Ryan Bruan has already dealt with his share of hecklers thus far in spring training, so it probably wasn’t surprising that he was greeted with a heavy chorus of boos against the Angels on Saturday in his first road game of Cactus League play since his much-discussed 50-game drug suspension was overturned last month. From the Los Angeles Times:
There were modest cheers, and there were scattered fans wearing his Milwaukee Brewers jersey, or cheering for the defending National League most valuable player. But the boos carried the day, the first of many days this season when a road game will not be a pleasant experience for Braun.
Braun still has a favorable approval rating in the Brewers’ own state of Wisconsin. (In other news, the sun rises in the east.) But, obviously, the true test of his popularity will be on the road this season. If we learned anything from Barry Bonds’ great achievements in public relations, it’s that once your name is tied to steroids — guilty or not — you become a marked man.
If this was the reaction Braun gets in a small spring training venue from typically laid-back Angels fans, it should be fun to see how he’ll be received ballpark to ballpark this season. But Angels outfielder Torii Hunter thinks any vitriol from fans will eventually dissipate.
“It’s going to go away,” Hunter said. “Eventually, people will forgive you. Braun is a nice guy. They’re going to forgive him.”
Sure, the jeering might fade away down the road, but, as Bonds, Sosa, Clemens and McGwire know, the cloud of suspicion never will.
Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas, US PresswireGoogle+