It was probably enough that Braun was named the league’s top player last season while playing for a National League Central rival. But then there was the matter of that other offseason news he happened to make.
Accused of elevated testosterone levels through the league’s mandatory drug testing program, Braun managed to beat the rap in front of an arbitrator and avoid a mandatory suspension.
The court of public opinion seems to have judged him by a different standard, though. He only played in a select few road games during spring training and even at home games, he heard the jeers from fans. So there is no doubt the Wrigley Field faithful, especially those in the bleachers, will have something to say to the left fielder.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum, the Brewers hitting coach last season, was asked what kind of reaction he expected for Braun and whether or not he reached out to the slugger this offseason.
“I’m sure it won’t be very good, just like any times and especially [after what happened in] the winter,” Sveum said about the expected Wrigley reception. “But I didn’t talk to Braun besides right after he got the MVP congratulating him. I didn’t talk to him about all the other stuff that went on.”
The Brewers opened the season at home against the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend, so Cubs fans are the first to react to Braun outside of Milwaukee in what figures to be a long season of harsh receptions.