It's fair to say Anthony Bass was not particularly popular after criticizing United Airlines for apparently making his pregnant wife pick up popcorn that their children had spilled. Whether it was Blue Jays or baseball fans in general, he received a lot of negative feedback.
However this paled in comparison to the backlash Bass received, when he shared a video on Instagram. The video called for a boycott of Target and Bud Light, because they supported the LGBTQ community.
The way the situation was dealt with in general by the Blue Jays, resulted in a lot of criticism. Ultimately, the team had no choice but to release the pitcher.
This brings to mind Blue Jays players who've been hated over the years for a variety of reasons, whether it be by the fans, other players, coaches, or even the media. There's plenty to choose from, but here is a selection of six players who have incurred the wrath of those around them during their time in Toronto:
Alex Rios seemed destined for something special in Toronto. Selected 19th overall in the 1999 draft, he blazed a successful trail through the minors, before making his Major League debut in 2004.
Rios was soon establishing himself as a key part of the Blue Jays' roster, and was selected to the All-Star Game in both 2006 and 2007. The 2007 season was also notable for him being named the team's player of the year.
This all contributed towards the decision to sign the outfielder to a seven-year, $69.835 million contract in April 2008. At the age of just 27, he was entering his prime and looked to have a long and prosperous future ahead of him in Toronto.
However, as can happen when someone becomes rich and famous at a young age, it all seemed to go to Rios' head. There was speculation about him not listening to his coaches and not always putting in the effort.
The Coffee, Alabama native's offensive production was also beginning to slip, but things came to a head following a Blue Jays' fundraising event. He was caught on video swearing at a fan after ignoring a child's request for an autograph.
Rios was placed on waivers in August of 2008, with the official line that money and the economy was a key factor. However, you have to believe his attitude and declining production also played a role.
For his part, the three-time World Baseball Classic participant genuinely believed (and hoped) he was somehow going to remain with the Blue Jays. As per Jack Curry of The New York Times, at the time he said:
"This is the place that I first started playing and this is the place that I like. I’d like to finish my career here, but you have to see it in other ways. It’s a business for them, and they’re going to do what they have to do to do what they want to achieve."
Rios was subsequently claimed by the White Sox and fans were left wondering about what could have been with the mercurial talent. For his part he would come back to haunt the Blue Jays in 2015, playing well as the Royals knocked them out in the ALCS on their way to a World Series championship.