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BOSTON (CBS) – It’s not like John Farrell received a warm reception from New York Yankees fans in his first series as Red Sox manager, but he can expect a whole lot of boos to rain down his way all weekend long in Toronto.
Farrell and the Red Sox begin a three-game series with the Blue Jays on Friday night, as Farrell returns to the place his managerial career began. When he left Boston for Toronto in 2011, he was met with high expectations to take the Jays to the next level and reach the postseason. After going 81-81 in 2011, the Blue Jays were a disappointing 73-89 in 2012.
Many felt that Farrell lost Jays clubhouse, and were fairly happy to see the manager shipped off to Boston for infielder Mike Aviles.
Farrell already faced the Toronto media in the spring, so he has an idea of what will come his way Friday. He also knows that Jays fans won’t be pleased whenever he pokes his head out of the Rogers Centre dugout throughout the weekend.
“Villain or the bad guy, whatever it might be, I can only say we’re looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead of us,” said Farrell. “People are going to have their own opinions, and I respect that.”
“I can fully appreciate that they might have those feelings,” he said. “What might come out of it, we’ll see starting (Friday). But we’re looking forward to going up there and competing against them.”
The Blue Jays revamped their image after Farrell’s departure, pulling off a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins that brought Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio to Toronto. They also singed outfielder Melki Cabrera to join Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in a powerful lineup, one that Farrell is looking forward to facing this weekend.
“Definitely looking forward to it; they’ve got a good team,” Farrell said of the Jays prior to Boston’s 4-2 loss in New York. “We’re looking to compete against them. I’m sure the excitement that’s around the Blue Jays because of the changes they’ve gone through in the offseason, this will be a very good challenge for us.”