BOSTON — It’s going to be an interesting season for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.
Braun, who served a 65-game suspension last season after admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs, was mercilessly booed before and during the Boston Red Sox’s home opener Friday at Fenway Park. The less-than-flattering ovation from the Fenway Faithful didn’t come as a surprise to Braun, and the slugger seems to realize that it’s likely a sign of things to come.
“I’ve dealt with it for the last couple of years,” Braun told reporters after Friday’s game, which the Brewers won 6-2. “It’s not something that’s new to me. I’ve had plenty of experience dealing with it and I think, regardless of how challenging anything is, the more you deal with it, the easier it becomes to deal with it.”
Braun received a standing ovation from Brewers fans earlier this week, but road games are going to be a whole different beast. Red Sox fans got their first crack at Braun during Friday’s pregame player introductions, and their boos hardly weakened as the day wore on. Braun was booed every time he stepped to the plate.
“I think it’s the only way,” Braun said of blocking out the negative reception. “I don’t know if there’s anything I can do or say. I don’t know if I was yelling at people that would make any type of difference, and that’s not who I am. Again, I try to do the best I can, deal with everything the best I can. There’s no blueprint for any of this stuff. It’s not easy. It’s not fun, but I just deal with it the best I can.”
Braun went 0-for-5 on Friday despite Milwaukee’s victory. He’s 1-for-16 through the Brewers’ first four regular-season games while dealing with a nagging thumb injury, so boos should be the least of his concerns.