Saturday, March 14, 2009

2009 WBC- Toronto trip- Part II

My friends, I took a bunch of pics on our trip, and yesterday's post was just a small taste of what our sweet trip was all about. Unfortunately, I caught a cold on the last day of our trip and have been fighting it ever since. I think I got sick from walking about 10 blocks in 50 mph gusts of icy Lake Ontario wind. We walked to Wayne Gretzky's restaurant on Wednesday before the game. It is not far from the Rogers Centre, but we kept getting a lot of terrible directions from the locals...I wonder if it was because we were totally decked out in our team USA gear from head to toe...hmmm? Anyway, I had a BBQ chicken sandwich and fries at Gretzky's, and it was by far the best meal that I had on the entire trip! I love their Heinz ketchup. I know what you are thinking, Heinz ketchup!? What's the big deal, Junior? The Canadian Heinz has liquified sugar in it instead of it is sweeter. I actually really prefer the Canadian ketchup over the stuff that we get here in the U.S. I even bought a bottle to bring back home with me. I know, it's weird, but if you are ever in Canada, try the ketchup, and then judge me. I have a huge sweet tooth. My wife doesn't, so she prefers the American ketchup. It's all about personal taste preferences. The address to Gretzky's is 99 Blue Jays Way, and they burn the number 99 into the hamburger buns to honor the Great One's jersey number. Okay, back to baseball...

(I'm not sure what happened to the font up there, and I can't figure out how to fix it) 
It was so crazy on how many Venezuelan fans packed into the Roger's Centre to support their fellow country people. Their were very loud, with their unified chants and whistles, along with their red, blue, and yellow flags every where. I'd have to say that they showed the most country pride out of all of the fans, even the hometown Canadians. The best game that we saw was Italy's elimination of Canada in game 4 of the series. Both teams having lost one game each and 
were facing elimination and the underdog, team Italy won. I was supporting the Italians due to my proud heritage. It was really cool seeing future Hall of Famer/ former Dodger & Mets catcher, Mike Piazza as Italy's hitting coach. Unfortunately, we were unable to get Mike's autograph on our ball. Oh well, Mike is still one of my all-time favorite players. (BTW, the Dodgers always seem to have really good catchers: Campenella, Scoscia, LoDuca, Piazza, and now Martin). I thought that the Italian team were all Italian- Americans, but there were actually some players from Italy on the team. My favorite Italian player was the right fielder, Mario Chiarini, who made some web gem defensive plays. On one play, he made a sweet diving catch and broke his belt in the process. Mario is definitely a gamer! While getting our ball autographed by Italian players, a couple of them only spoke Italian, which took me by surprise, but they were all really cool and willing to sign the ball. If I ever go back to Italy, I might try to check out a game over there to compare it to our version. After their victory, team Italy celebrated on the field as if they just won the World Series. It was their biggest victory of the tournament, as they were unfortunately eliminated the next day 10-1 by Venezuela. My friends, I will write more about our trip in tomorrow's posting, because I am starting to feel really runned down. We are actually driving down from LA to San Diego tomorrow to watch Japan vs. Cuba, so hopefully I will being feeling better. I will have even more WBC adventures to post on here. I will continue with the Toronto trip, as there is still a lot to cover, then I will post the San Diego stuff, so stay thirsty my friends!

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