If you are one of my Twitter followers than you may have seen tweets about this yesterday. If not, here's a story about how I could have died yesterday. The Yankee bits and pieces will be after the story.
I don't live too far from Toronto so I usually try to make it up for at least part of every Yankees/Jays series. I'm also a big baseball memorabilia collector so I usually spend a good part of the morning and afternoon outside the team hotel trying to pick up some autographs. So yesterday, as usual, I left for Toronto at about 7:30am, with an estimated arrival time of 10:15-10:30 depending on traffic. Right from the get go my trip was off to a rough start.
We had a huge thunderstorm that night which dumped a lot of rain. I was about a half-mile or so from my house when my car wouldn't accelerate. I figured it was because rain had somehow gotten part of the engine wet or something. The same thing happened a few years back after a drove through a huge puddle at night, ironically on the way back from Toronto. I knew the problem would resolve itself as the engine heated up and dried the connectors. I had to pull to the shoulder a few times because I couldn't accelerate to the speed of traffic. As a good driver should, I put my emergency flashers on to alert other drivers. Unfortunately for me it wouldn't be the only time I would put my flashers on.
I was approaching Toronto at around 10 or so. I was driving on the QEW, roughly six miles away from the exit I use. It had been a really smooth drive with surprisingly very little traffic. Traffic had been picking up for a few miles which made sense as I got closer to the city. I expected it to really pick up at any moment because there is this one spot on the QEW where you usually run into a sea of red brake lights. For those familiar with the QEW, that spot is right where it becomes the Gardiner Expressway and has an exit for Lake Shore Blvd, right near a red and white water tower that says, Christie's. Right beyond that part of the QEW starts the outskirts of downtown Toronto. It's where there are a few high rises, condos maybe, and a hotel on the right. It's at that point where I usually run into heavy traffic. I was about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from that point when things went awry.
I was traveling in the left lane and there was a decent amount of traffic. It was raining and there were spots of stop-and-go traffic so I wasn't traveling at a high rate of speed. I had to brake so I put my foot on the pedal, heard a pop, and the pedal dropped to the floor of the car. My brakes had gone out and I couldn't stop the car.
I was taken by surprise by what unfolded that I don't remember the exact details of how fast I was going and things like that. I couldn't have been going too fast because I was able to maneuver the car onto the left shoulder and coast the car to a stop. The flashers went on and the swear words came flying. I had no idea what to do next.
I'm going to skip the details of what I did while sitting there but in short the police, unbeknownst to me, dispatched a tow truck to the scene. I opted to have the car towed to a mechanic in hopes that the car could be fixed. Long story short, I spent seven hours waiting for my brake lines to be replaced. Final cost to fix was $315. At 6:30pm, 37 minutes before gametime, I was back on the road.
As I wrote above, the stretch of road where my brakes failed me was roughly a half-mile or so from the outskirts of downtown Toronto. Had the brakes failed me at any point beyond where I was I very well might not be here. Had I been any further than a 1/2 mile down the road from where I was I would have had no shoulder to coast on. I would have likely had no choice but to rear end someone at a much higher rate of speed. Had I left my house any later than I did I very well might not have encountered my problem until I got off the QEW at my exit. Roughly 10-15 minutes after my brakes had failed cars were passing me at a full rate of speed and they very well could have been free and clear of any traffic until the heart of downtown Toronto. Had this happened on an off ramp I would have rear ended a stopped car, run into oncoming traffic, or run head first into a concrete barrier, going at least 50mph. Lucky for me it happened when it did and how it did. I really shudder to think what might have happened had anything been different. Scary stuff.
I made it to the game just in time for first pitch but ran into a really long line waiting to buy tickets. The first piece of action I saw was Curtis Granderson rounding first on his way to a 2nd inning triple. And from there on I think you all know what happened in the game. I feel like I've been writing this post for awhile now so I'm going to briefly sum up my thoughts.
- Derek Jeter looked awful at the plate. Was very disappointed I saw him go 0-5 with 4 groundouts and 1 GIDP. He's now hitting .219. I keep expecting him to flip the switch but now I'm not sure when/if he will. I thought last year was an anomaly. Now I'm not so sure.
- Curtis Granderson is on fire. Another dinger, his 6th, which coming into today was tied for tops in the AL. I know owe his charity $90 and he's on pace to take $915 from me. I did not see this coming. I'm happy that it's happening.
- Mark Teixeira had 3 doubles and raised his average up to .259. Not bad for a guy who always struggles in April.
- Good to see A-Rod back in the lineup.
- How about that Bartolo Colon? He gets my award for player of the game. He looked really good. I'm not sure if the radar gun in the Rogers Centre was jacked up a little bit but he hit 94 MPH late in the game. Impressive. What I'm finding to be most impressive is the strikeouts. Bartolo has whiffed 20 hitters in 18 IPs. He's mowing them down. He's also pitching to a tune of a 3.50 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Did anybody see this coming? Well, one man might have and his name is Brian Cashman. How you like him now haters?
My day might not have gone as planned but I'm glad it ended the way it did. I spent $315 that I wasn't planning on spending. I spent the entire day stranded outside of Toronto not knowing if my car would be fixed in time to see the game or even make it home. I could have died. But seeing the Yankees play and watching them win was a nice ending to a long and crazy day. You can never go wrong with that.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,