Saturday, April 20, 2013
For Wells, there's no place like home
By Wallace Matthews
TORONTO -- Vernon Wells considers himself an honorary citizen of Toronto, having played the first 12 seasons of his major-league career for the Blue Jays. Tonight was not his homecoming -- he played a handful of games here over the past two season after being traded to the Los Angeles Angels -- and it was just as well, because the way the fans in left field greeted Wells was no way way to treat a guest, let alone a returning prodigal son.
"You know what, they have a really good time out there," Wells said after the Yankees' 9-4 win. "They're very consistent, I’ll give them that. And you know what? If we can come in here and win ballgames, they can yell at me all they want."
It's clear that Wells still loves playing at the Rogers Centre -- his home run in the seventh inning was his fourth in eight games here as a visiting player -- even if the Centre doesn't love him back.
"I pretty much grew up in the city and this was home for me for a long time," he said. "There’s some good memories and some bad ones. It’s kinda like a family when you come back here. There’s some family members that like you and some that really don’t, so you have fun with it and enjoy the moment."
Asked if the jeering was worse as an Angel or a Yankee, Wells -- who hit 223 of his 263 career home runs as a Blue Jay -- smiled and said, "You know, I actually heard it when I was a Blue Jay. So it’s no different. There was some love and some hate but you know what, they’re passionate and they love getting on to the opposing team, and if you were a Blue Jay, they love it even more."
Wells has been a surprisingly good pickup for the Yankees, batting .283 with four home runs and seven RBI so far this season.