Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun was heckled profusely during his at-bats against the San Francisco Giants during the team’s first exhibition game of the season.
The Brewer fans gave Braun a standing ovation as he walked to the plate for his first at-bat. The applause did not last long as he struck out while a small group of Giants fans chanted: “Urine sample! Urine sample!”
In Braun’s second at-bat of the day, one fan screamed “You’re a cheater!” He struck out looking against Shane Loux and was done for the day. Japanese sensation Norichika Aoki replaced him in left field and did not do any better at the plate as he went 0-2 as well.
“It’s certainly going to be an adjustment, but overall it is not something that really factors into my thought process or preparations, too much,” said Braun.
If Brewer fans think this is bad they have seen nothing yet. About half of the 6,619 fans in attendance cheered for the Giants but that is nothing compared to what full baseball parks of opposing fans will do once the season gets underway. It is going to be loud and obnoxious as Braun will have to figure out a way to get past the crowd noise.
One way to shutout the fans is by playing exactly how he did last year when he won the National League MVP award. I’m not saying the fans will completely stop heckling him but if he feeds off the negative energy it could certainly go a long way to turning the noise down.
Besides the jeering from the fans, Braun also talked about how nice it is to being able to play baseball again with his friends and teammates.
“Yeah, it was great. I think for all of us as a team, you look forward to games starting” said Braun. “It’s a little more adrenaline, little more excitement and enthusiasm. So, it was fun. “First couple of weeks, it’s fun trying to find your timing, rhythm, see some different pitches, get in different counts. Literally like seeing the ball out of the hand, finding your timing and rhythm.”
Overall, everything went well for the first exhibition game of the season as the Brewers and Giants ended the game with a 1-1 tie. The pitching and defense was outstanding but manager Ron Roenicke was disappointed in Milwaukee’s ability to swing the bat as they only mustered four hits.