Friday’s game against the Boston Red Sox has been circled on the calendar for months by Blue Jays fans.
Ever since ex-manager John Farrell orchestrated his indelicate exit from Toronto, the city’s prideful sports fans have been awaiting their opportunity to heap scorn upon the Ohio native, derided as a stiff, unfeeling turncoat.
It’s sure to be a hostile homecoming for Farrell, who managed the Jays for two disappointing seasons before he was traded to Boston in October so he could pursue his “dream job” with the Red Sox.
Farrell had twice asked to be released from his three-year contract with the Jays to take the post in Boston, where he had previously held the title of pitching coach under Terry Francona.
Farrell’s awkward exit played into this city’s own insecurities, particularly in the professional sports domain where Toronto often has been absurdly saddled with a small-market label.
So Jays fans have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to voice their displeasure and Friday they’ll finally get their chance.
Given the anger that has simmered in the city since Farrell’s exit, Friday’s game against the Red Sox may even be more hotly anticipated than Tuesday’s season opener.
With that in mind here’s a look back at some of the other unhappy returns to Toronto.