Ricky Romero says he doesn't care much about the labels other people place on him. But the Blue Jay ace must know his team needs him — now, more than ever — to live up to his name, if not his anointed title.

"The ace label is something that gets placed on me by you guys," Romero said here in Fenway's cramped visitors' clubhouse. "I don't really care what anyone calls me. I'm a starting pitcher and that's it. My job will always be to get quality innings and give the team a chance to win."

The Jays were already counting on Romero to lead the team's young rotation this year.