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Toronto greets Shohei Ohtani with loud boos after free agency snafu; Ohtani responds with HR

It appears that Toronto Blue Jays fans aren't quite over being spurned by Shohei Ohtani. It also appears that Ohtani doesn't care.

Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers visited Toronto on Friday, only a few months after the most confusing day of last year's MLB offseason. Long story short, Ohtani was widely speculated — and, at one point, directly reported — to be on a jet headed to Canada with plans to sign with the Blue Jays on Dec. 9. Then it turned out that he wasn't. And then he signed with the Dodgers.

Many wondered how Ohtani would be received in the city that once eagerly awaited his arrival. The answer turned out to be some very loud booing.

Let's just say Ohtani wasn't fazed.

Two pitches later, Ohtani clobbered a solo homer off Blue Jays starter Chris Bassitt to give his team a 1-0 lead. More boos followed, though they were more than matched by cheers from Dodgers fans in the crowd.

Toronto fans followed that by booing Ohtani arguably even harder in his next at-bat and cheering a pitch that came in right under his chin. That at-bat resulted in a walk as part of a six-run inning for the Dodgers.

Los Angeles went on to win 12-2, improving its record to 17-11.

It once looked like the Blue Jays had Ohtani in their hands. Even many people on the Dodgers believed the speculation to have real legs, but it all turned out to be smoke with no fire.

You can't really blame Blue Jays fans for being annoyed at how that all turned out, but the events of Dec. 9 were hardly Ohtani's fault. He was sitting at home in Southern California while fans were tracking a jet from Anaheim to Toronto — which turned out to contain "Shark Tank" businessman Robert Herjavec — and gassing up a collection of unfounded rumors and erroneous reports.

It was then a bit of a knife twist when Ohtani announced literally the next day that he was signing his record $700 million deal with the Dodgers. The whole thing was a lesson in not trusting people on the internet.

Shohei Ohtani headshot
Shohei Ohtani
DH - LAD - #17
2024 - false season
198
AB
.348
AVG
13
HR
13
SB
1.059
OPS

Ohtani gave Toronto a taste of what it missed on Friday as part of a hot start to his Dodgers career. He entered Friday leading MLB in doubles (14) and total bases (73) with a .358/.419/.670 slash line, despite having undergone major elbow surgery only six months ago.