The Imperial March Into Toronto

Every time the New York Yankees roll into down, it’s like a large cloud of disain envelops the city of Toronto. Even if you don’t root for the Blue Jays, most people can always bond over their hatred for the Yankees.

By now, the Evil Empire must feed off the hatred for their organization. It’s something that comes with the territory and for most Yankee players I bet the heckles go in one ear and out the other.


Tonight’s pitching matchup is especially interesting because it’s the former number two man in Toronto in A.J. Burnett going up against the man of the future in Toronto, Kyle Drabek.

I don’t know what it is, but just like there’s a united disain for the New York Yankees, fans in Toronto bond over their loathing for A.J. Burnett.

It also just so happens that every time Burnett comes back to Toronto, he gets his ass kicked. In his last apperance in Toronto, A.J. only lasted 2.1 innings and gave up 7 runs. The prior start, he gave up 6 runs through 6 innings.

For those counting at home, that’s a 14.04 ERA at the Rogers Centre while opponents hit .361 off him. In saying that though, I likely just jinxed the Blue Jays and Burnett will throw 7 shutout innings.

It’s almost irrelevant who’s pitching tonight, but for some reason there’s always a little more drama when it’s a former Blue Jay in pinstripes takes the mound in Toronto.

Hopefully Kyle Drabek will pick up where he left off last season when his final outing of the year was also against the Bronx Bombers. Drabek posted a quality start that night and has actually earned a quality start in all 6 of his big league games thus far.

Once again, I hope I didn’t just jinx the Blue Jays.

My only wish for tonight is that the Blue Jays faithful in the stands are louder than the Yankee bretheren that seem to come out of the woodwork when the Yankees come to town. It’s almost embarassing when you can hear “Let’s go Yankees” or a subdued version of the roll call on the broadcast.

That’s also something I’ve never understood; if you live in Toronto, how can you cheer for the Yankees or the Red Sox when the Blue Jays are right in your own backyard? Even if they aren’t a perennial contendor for the World Series, support your home team!


That means when the Blue Jays make the playoffs next, it will be all that much sweeter because you were there through the thick in the thin, rather than jump on the bandwagon of whichever team is leading the American League East.

Remember, even though we all may have our differences, united we stand in our scorn for the New York Yankees. Go Jays!

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

2 thoughts on “The Imperial March Into Toronto

  • April 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    "how can you cheer for the Yankees or the Red Sox when the Blue Jays are right in your own backyard?"

    A lot of Torontonians are completely oblivious to the fact that they're Canadian, and live in Toronto, and have a home team to root for. They want to root for a team "that wins" even if that team only wins 8 out of 18 games in 2010 to the Blue Jays. haha

  • April 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    BlueJayNator, I don't get it either. Some of these Torontonians have easy access to a big league baseball team that most cities in Canada would kill for. And yet, there are some folks in Toronto who choose to cheer for New York or Boston, and even show up to the games in their Yankees and Red Sox gear.

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