Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Throughout his entire career, Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun has dealt with hecklers from opposing fan bases. But up until 2012, he had only been heckled based on his amazing ability to play the game of baseball.
Now, fans have something else to shout at Braun — cheater.
But Braun, who was suspended 65 games in 2013, told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he doesn’t care what people say.
"Dude, say what you want about me, but I am strong. Mentally, and emotionally, I am strong."
After his initial suspension was overturned before the 2012 season, Braun dealt with boos and insults whenever the Brewers went on the road. The boo birds clearly didn’t faze him as he posted a .319 batting average and a career-high 41 home runs.
"This doesn’t bother me. People may have something new to yell now, but it’s really no different than anything I’ve gone though. I’ve never gone to Chicago and had them cheer for me. I’ve never gone to St. Louis and had them say, “I hope you do great.’ Nobody’s fans have ever cheered for the opposing team’s best player."
Braun doesn’t expect people to forgive him, but he wishes people would focus more on the positives of life than the negatives.
"All this stuff, really, is indicative of a larger issue in our society. People love negativity. There are so many great stories out there, so many wonderful things to focus on, but people focus on the negative because a lot of people aren’t happy in life."
If you think Braun’s statistics will suffer because he is off performance-enhancing drugs, that’s fine. But don’t think the heckling he’ll hear will have anything to do with it. He’s already proved he can deal with it.