TORONTO -- When Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro returned to Rogers Centre on Monday for the opener of a three-game series against the Blue Jays, he remembered it as the place where he got his chance to be an everyday player.
Scutaro had had a good career as a super-sub, able to fill in at several positions. But last season, Jays manager Cito Gaston made Scutaro his regular shortstop. Scutaro responded by batting .260 with 12 home runs and 60 RBIs in his second season in Toronto.
Scutaro became a free agent at the end of the season and signed with Boston. He said new Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos was frank with him last offseason.
"He was very clear," Scutaro said before Monday's game. "[He told me], 'If we would be competing next year, you'd be the first guy we would sign.' They felt like they wouldn't be competing, so I guess it's kind of a business [decision] and stuff like that, and they didn't want to spend some money."
"I always thank Cito and [former general manager J.P. Ricciardi] for giving the opportunity to play every day. They gave me the chance of being an everyday player and this opportunity to play for the Red Sox. I'll always appreciate that."
Scutaro wasn't sure how the fans would react to him when he came to bat Monday. There was a mix of applause and boos. He led off the game with a single.