It was difficult to detect who received more boos last night: Toronto catcher Rod Barajas or Phillies starter Adam Eaton.
Both were free-agent busts with the Phillies last year. Both played a significant role in Toronto's 6-3 win over the Phils last night in front of 42,604 fans at Citizens Bank Park.
Barajas spent an undistinguished season with the Phillies last year, but he haunted his ex-teammates with two home runs - including a second-inning grand slam off Eaton - to send the Blue Jays to a victory and drop the Phillies into second place in the National League East.
Barajas was booed loudly even
he ripped the third grand slam of his career. He hit just .230 with four homers and 10 RBIs last year and didn't endear himself to fans with his sometimes lackadaisical play.
"Absolutely," said Barajas, when asked whether he had heard the crowd when he was announced. "People in Jersey could hear the boos. You hear that, you notice them, but you don't let it bother you."
Barajas took a not-too-subtle jab at the fans.
"In the clubhouse, I loved the guys," he said of last year's Phillies. "I had a good relationship with everybody. On the field, it was a different story. It's almost like you have 40,000 people rooting against you. That's not what you want."
From the Phillies' perspective, he was a $2.5 million mistake, and the club declined a $5 million option in the off-season and paid him a $500,000 buyout.
Getting to Toronto has been a strange odyssey for Barajas. He originally agreed to sign with Toronto before the 2007 season, then backed out of the deal when he changed agents. He ended up signing with the Phillies, but he was hardly a factor - he got only 14 at-bats after the all-star break.
In January, he signed a one-year, $1.2 million free-agent deal to be a part-time catcher with the Blue Jays.
He endured an 0-for-18 slump earlier this season, but he extended his hitting streak to seven with last night's slam, which landed in the first row of the right-field seats and gave Toronto a 4-0 second-inning lead against Eaton.
"Let's Go Flyers!" the fans chanted, seconds after Barajas trotted around the bases.
"I don't know if he was trying to make a statement, but he had a pretty good night," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I never saw him hit one over the right-field fence here last year."
Barajas teed off on a 2-1 pitch.
"It was a good pitch - a fastball away, just above the knees and on the corner," Eaton said. "You have to tip your cap to him. . . . I played with him in 2006 [with Texas] and 2007 and I didn't see that [opposite-field power] from him. The wrong thing happened at the right time."
Eaton is 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA in nine starts. Phils starters have a 4.72 ERA.