Bird Watching at the Rogers Centre

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There were a lot of birds in Toronto. Well, Blue Jays and Orioles. We saw the same two teams match-up in Toronto as we saw in Baltimore. The Blue Jays actually sent the same pitcher to the mound, so we saw Brandon Morrow pitch for the third time this season. The reason that is crazy is because he had a stint on the 60-day DL this year, but we were still able to catch 3 out of his 16 starts.

The Rogers Centre is very distinct, in a good way. You can tell its relatively old, but it is charming. Not charming like you would describe Wrigley Field, but charming as in quirky and endearing. I mean, it’s got a hotel in the centrefield part of the stadium, that’s definitely unique. It also has the first fully motorized retractable roof, which apparently malfunctioned the previous game and is pretty unique too. The stadium is located directly adjacent to the CN Tower, which until as recently as 2010 was the world’s tallest tower at 553.33 metres. The roof was open during the game, providing spectators a great view of the tower.

The story behind how the idea for the stadium in Toronto came about is gold. It’s pure Canada. According to the Wikipedia page, the idea for an enclosed stadium came following the Grey Cup in November 1982 at the outdoor Exhibition Stadium. The Grey Cup is the Canadian Football League Championship game. It’s pretty much the Super Bowl, except it’s only watched in one country and Nickelback* is the halftime performer every year.

*Probably not true, but I’m not certain.

Well, in Canada in November, predictably, the weather is unpredictable. The game was played terrible rain and snow, and the crowd spent most of the game seeking shelter. The “washrooms were overflowing, which was on the whole a bad experience for the fans,” according to the website. The following day, tens of thousands of Canadians rallied at Toronto City Hall chanting, “We want a dome!” Politicians listened to the crowd, and after a few years of planning construction began in 1986, and the Blue Jays started playing there in 1989.

The game atmosphere was, um, interesting. There weren’t that many people at the game (school just started and whatnot), but there happened to be a huge group from the University of Toronto sitting near us in the cheap seats. They were divided into groups like they were some sort of fraternity or sorority, or other campus organization all wearing different color shirts. And for much of the game they did their stupid cheers back and forth to each other. The stadium was very tame and library-ish other than the huge group of hundreds of college kids chanting the whole game. I’m sure they were audible on the TV broadcast.

During the game, the retractable roof partially closed. We always watch the roof-closing process was amazement, but at this game nobody seemed to care or notice. I’m not sure if it is common, but we were interested in watching it close. Part of the roof rotated 180 degrees so only middle section of the roof was open during the rest of the game. I’m not sure why the Rogers Centre partially closed it, but it was neat.

The game was a good one for the home team. The surprisingly red-hot Orioles, who after beating the Blue Jays 12-0 the previous night, were tied with the Yankees for the AL East lead. September 5th was the latest the Orioles have at least a share of the division lead since 1997. But they weren’t able to get past the Blue Jays on this night, even with Mark Reynolds hitting his 6th home run in 5 games for the Orioles. As of when this was published he’s now hit 8 home runs in his last 30 at-bats. He now has the highest OPS in baseball the last 30 days. Maybe that’s part of the reason why the Orioles won’t go away like everyone expects.

The Blue Jays responded with some power themselves, as well as timely hitting. Rajai Davis hit a 113 metre home run to left field, and followed it up with a bases loaded single that ended-up scoring all 3 runners and Davis finished on 3rd base after a poor throw by Adam Jones in centrefield. The error by Jones essentially put the game away for the Blue Jays as they held on to win 6-4.

Our time at the Rogers Centre was spent marveling at the many birds on display of the Blue Jay and Oriole varieties. We had a great time, and Canada treated us very well. Next time, we’ll have our Blue Jays hats and hopefully we’ll meet Jose Bautista when he’s not hurt. 

Gm 1– 4/13 Safeco Field – Oakland A’s @ Seattle Mariners
    Oakland wins 4-0 (WP – Colon, LP – Hernandez)

Gm 2 – 4/24 O.Co Stadium – Chicago White Sox @ Oakland A’s
    Oakland wins 2-0 (WP – Milone, LP – Floyd, SV – Balfour)

Gm 3 – 4/27 AT&T Park – San Diego Padres @ San Francisco Giants
    San Diego wins 5-3 (WP – Luebke, LP – Hacker, SV – Street)

Gm 4 – 5/3 Angels Stadium – Toronto Blue Jays @ LA Angels of Anaheim
    Toronto wins 5-0 (WP – Morrow, LP – Haren)

Gm 5 – 5/7 Dodger Stadium – SF Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers
    Dodgers win 9-1 (WP – Lilly, LP – Zito)

Gm 6 – 5/8 Petco Park – Colorado Rockies @ San Diego Padres
    Padres win 3-1 (WP – Suppan, LP – White, SV – Thayer)

Gm 7 – 5/12 Chase Field – San Francisco Giants @ Arizona Diamondbacks
    Giants win 5-2 (WP – Cain, LP – Cahill, SV – Casilla)

Gm 8 – 5/20 Coors Field -Seattle Mariners @ Colorado Rockies
    Mariners win 6-4 (WP – Beavan, LP – Guthrie)

Gm 9 – 5/30 The Ballpark in Arlington – Seattle Mariners @ Texas Rangers
    Mariners win 21-8 (WP – Beavan, LP – Holland)

Gm 10 – 6/3 Minute Maid Park – Cincinnati Reds @ Houston Astros
    Astros win 5-3 (WP Lyles, LP – Arroyo, SV – Myers)

Gm 11 – 6/15 Tropicana Field – Miami Marlins @ Tampa Bay Rays
    Rays win 11-0 (WP – Moore, LP – Zambrano)

Gm 12 – 6/22 @ Marlins Park – Toronto Blue Jays @ Miami Marlins
    Blue Jays win 12-5 (WP – Romero, LP – Sanchez)

Gm 13 – 6/30 @ Turner Field – Washington Nationals @ Atlanta Braves
    Braves win 7-5 (WP – Minor, LP – Strasburg, SV – Kimbrel)

Gm 14 – 7/6 @ Busch Stadium – Miami Marlins @ St. Louis Cardinals
    Marlins win 3-2 (WP – Nolasco, LP – Westbrook, SV – Bell)

Gm 15 – 7/1@ Kauffman Stadium – Chicago White Sox @ Kansas City Royals
    White Sox win 9-8 (WP – Alexrod, LP – Teaford)

Gm 16 – 7/19 @ Target Field – Baltimore Orioles @ Minnesota Twins
    Orioles win 4-3 (WP – Chen, LP – Burnett, SV – J. Johnson)

Gm 17 – 7/24 @ U.S. Cellular Field – Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox
    White Sox win 11-4 (WP – Jones, LP – Fien)

Gm 18 – 7/26 @ Miller Park – Washington Nationals @ Milwaukee Brewers
    Nationals win 8-2 (WP – Jackson, LP – Gallardo)

Gm 19 – 7/30 @ Wrigley Field – Pittsburgh Pirates @ Chicago Cubs
    Cubs win 14-4 (WP – Germano, LP – Bedard)

Gm 20 – 8/5 @ Comerica Park – Cleveland Indians @ Detroit Tigers
    Tigers win 10-8 (WP – Downs, LP – Perez)

Gm 21 – 8/7 @ Progressive Field – Minnesota Twins @ Cleveland Indians
    Twins win 7-5 (WP – Robertson, LP – Perez, SV – Perkins)

Gm 22 – 8/10 @ PNC Park – San Diego Padres @ Pittsburgh Pirates
     Padres win 9-8 (WP – Brach, LP – Watson, SV – Street)

Gm 23 – 8/15 @ Great American Ball Park – New York Mets @ Cincinnati Reds
     Reds win 6-1 (WP – Leake, LP – Dickey)

Gm 24 – 8/22 @ Nationals Park – Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals
     Braves win 5-1 (WP – Medlen, LP – Detwiler)

Gm 25 – 8/25 @ Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Toronto Blue Jays @ Baltimore Orioles
      Orioles win 8-2 (WP – Johnson, LP – Morrow)

Gm 26 – 8/29 @ Citizens Bank Park – New York Mets @ Philadelphia Phillies
      Mets win 3-2 (WP – Harvey, LP – Cloyd, SV – Francisco)

Gm 27 – 9/5 @ Rogers Centre – Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays
      Blue Jays win 6-4 (WP – Delabar, LP – Gonzalez)

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