TORONTO — John Farrell should probably stick with room service this weekend. He’s not very popular here.
Two nice folks riding the ferry from Billy Bishop Airport to downtown said Farrell was the biggest Toronto sports villain since Vince Carter left the Raptors in 2004 after requesting a trade.
Then a fellow on television referred to Farrell as “a scoundrel” and encouraged fans to boo him this weekend. Of course that came after a look at the NHL playoff race.
In Boston, Farrell’s departure from the Jays wasn’t a big part of the story last fall when he became manager of the Red Sox. But in Toronto, he is seen as disloyal, if not treacherous, for leaving the Blue Jays after only two seasons to return to the organization he came from.
Toronto fans aren’t generally known for being surly, certainly not when compared to the angry mobs in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. But this weekend has a chance to be pretty ugly.
Was Farrell wrong? He was under contract and he asked to leave for another team, so it’s easy to see why Blue Jays fans are mad. If that happened in Boston, people would want blood.
But we all make decisions to benefit ourselves and our families and having a high-profile job doesn’t preclude that. Farrell knew when he left the Jays there was going to be backlash but the lure of going back to Boston outweighed that significantly. He’ll handle the boos and in time, they’ll fade away.