It was one year after I witnessed Marcum get slammed that I found myself in Toronto again for a game day. It was September and it was the last home game of the season for the Toronto Blue Jays. The story of the season was the 1-2 punch in the starting rotation of Roy Halliday and AJ Burnett. Both were challenging each other to see which pitcher could come out on top and win 20 games. Halliday had 19 and Burnett had 18, there was still two series left to play after Toronto finished their home stand, but this would be Hallidays last start of the season…and we were there to witness it after a day of walking around Toronto, scoping out Kensington Market, bumping into old aquintances (punk rock legend Steve Goof) and making time to have a beer and toke with them.
It was the Yankees in town again this time and I was really hoping that with Roy Halladay on the mound the outcome would be different from my last live MLB experience. We were able to buy great tickets down by 3rd base off a scalper for $40 and made it into the Dome in time for batting practice. It was my partner Leah’s first experience at a Major League Baseball game and she was astounded by the size of the arena, the dome was open and the CN Tower (which is on first base side) looked directly down upon us. She may have been more impressed at the size and scope of the Rogers Center than anything else.
With Halladay on the mound the Jays were able to jump out in the lead with a 3 run blast by Vernon Wells around the 4th inning. Not 10 seconds after the ball left the park than did Leah’s phone ring, mom was watching the game on TV and called quickly to say hi…and…’did you see that ball leave the park?’
“I knew you might call mom,” I said on the phone.
Halladay went to work. He struck out 9, pitched a complete game, allowed 1 run and won his 20th game of the season ending the Blue Jays home season on a grand note. As the crowds cheered Halladay came out and tipped his hat to the crowd. When the crowds started leaving I wasn’t ready to go, that’s why I was able to see Halladay come out and give an interview to the Sportsnet camera. While he talked AJ Burnett sneaked up behind him and tried to slam a cream pie in his face, but the lanky Halladay deeked him quick and was able to get about half the pie back on Burnetts face.
AJ Burnett and Roy Halladay really got along, Halladay did a lot for his career…but the writing was on the wall, Burnett was looking at free agency and the chances of the Jays keeping him were very slim. That which I dreaded soon came to pass. The Yankees offered him $100 million and his time with Toronto was done. That enraged me, the damn Yankees are always stealing and buying everyone’s best players out from underneath them. The whole 2009 season I hoped that Burnett would be burned for his defection to the enemy, surely it looked for a while like that might be the case…he was rocked often and hard over the first few months pitching for New York last year.
But somehow, the Yankees bought their way into the ALCS. I hoped that the Anaheim Angels could uproot them and send them home packing…yet the Yankees were to
o powerful. They walked into the World Series and then went to work dismantling the Philadelphia Phillies winning the whole damn championship.
Here’s where my twisted logic comes to play. I did not want to see Halladay walk out of Toronto for nothing, yet I didn’t want to see Halladay on any other team but Toronto. When Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulous pulled the trigger on the deal and sent Roy to the Phillies I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank god he’s not going to be a Yankee! In fact, thank god he’s a Phillie…maybe now there will be a team out there this post-season that can put the Yankees in their rightful place. If I had to see anyone win the World Series it would be Roy Halladay, one of the greatest pitchers ever!
So, go Phillies go! Go far, go hard…win your division, win the NLCS, get to that World Series and stomp on the Yankees with their $230 million payroll. I hate them so much! I hate them so much! They are like that rich spoiled kid in school you always wanted to punch in the nose for having everything you always wanted. With the Halladay trade the Jays have made themselves a more rounded complete team…with Halladay gone to the Phillies…maybe somebody can stand up to New York once and for all.