Could it have happened any other way, really?
In what you might call the most fitting (if not unfortunate) ending to his season, Ricky Romero ended his final start in 2012 after just 3 innings with an apparent injury to his left knee. Seriously, if there’s anything about that which could encapsulate the Toronto Blue Jays season as a whole, I can’t say I know it.
Romero departed the game after the 63-pitch, generally ineffective performance, spending much of his start in front of the home crowd dodging major trouble against the New York Yankees, loading the bases with no outs in the 1st and 3rd innings, and allowing a runner to reach scoring position with a wild pitch in the 2nd. It was not exactly the redeeming performance fans hoped to see from the 2011 All-Star, but Romero never fell apart in the outing, doing his best high-wire act on the mound and giving up just a pair of runs on sacrifice flies (both coming in the 1st). Even when he was apparently in discomfort after getting Curtis Granderson to hit pop-up for the first out with the bases loaded in the 3rd, Romero gutted it through after a couple of warm up pitches, finishing the inning by striking out Andruw Jones and getting Eduardo Nunez to line out.
If there’s something resembling a bright spot to be said about Romero’s season, it’s perhaps just that: he gutted it out. Yeah, it’s going to sound a whole lot like a shitty baseball cliche, but while you can certainly fault Romero for his poor performance on the mound – and without mincing words here, he was one of the very worst starting pitchers in the league – you can’t say that the effort level wasn’t there. Romero wanted it each time out, and competed to the best of his ability, even when his ability failed him. In his final start of the season, Romero competed even when his body failed him as well.
Maybe that counts for a little something, even if that thing is just a commitment for Romero to give his best effort to right to ship in the coming off season.