Shohei Ohtani gets booed by Toronto fans, then smacks a homer to spark Dodgers' win

The boos rained down before Shohei Ohtani’s name was even announced.

They only got louder as he trotted around the bases.

In December, Toronto Blue Jays fans thought they were about to win Ohtani’s free-agent sweepstakes— teased by online reports that the two-way star was flying to Toronto, and likely to sign with the team.

Instead, the social media rumors were ultimately debunked. The internet sleuths tracking his supposed private jet turned out to be wrong. And a day after his infamous fake flight to Toronto, he announced he was signing with the Dodgers on a record-breaking $700 million deal.

If there was any thought that the frustration among Blue Jays faithful had dissipated in the five months sense, it took about five seconds Friday night, in the Dodgers’ 12-2 blowout win, for that notion to be dissuaded.

In Ohtani’s first trip back to Rogers Centre, he was welcomed with a chorus of boos during both pregame introductions, as well as his first trip to the plate.

Ohtani’s response, however, was immediate, launching a towering home run with his first swing.

The crowd initially sat in silence as Ohtani’s seventh Dodgers homer — tying manager Dave Roberts’ mark for most by a Japanese-born player in franchise history — sailed out to right field. Within moments, though, the jeers returned with a vengeance. Heckles and hollers accompanied Ohtani’s every step back to home plate.

Entering this weekend, the Dodgers thought Ohtani would avoid such a scene.

As Roberts noted before Friday’s game, Ohtani hadn’t been responsible for the inaccurate reports of the flight to Toronto.

“He didn’t do anything,” teammate Freddie Freeman said. “It’s not his fault that the media was wrong.”

That didn’t seem to matter to a jam-packed crowd on Friday.

After missing on Ohtani, the Blue Jays lacked many impact additions the rest of an underwhelming offseason. And at the start of this year their offense has struggled, entering Friday with the eighth-fewest runs in the majors.

That’s why, in Ohtani, Blue Jays fans finally had a vehicle to vent their frustrations — giving the internationally popular superstar as hostile a greeting as he’s experienced in his seven-year MLB career.

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