Apr 1, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun (8) walks back to the dugout after striking out in the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Braun, to boo or not to boo, is it really a question?

The Boston Red Sox host the Milwaukee Brewers in their home opener on Friday, and there will certainly be talk about Ryan Braun and how he is received in his first game outside his home ballpark since accepting a 65-game suspension last season. In the past, fans at Fenway have been vocal against both the alleged and proven PED users, most notably the “A-Roid” chants when Alex Rodriguez has visited Boston. But should Red Sox fans really be booing or chanting about PEDs when these players visit Fenway?

First, a trivia question: what do Marlon Byrd, Mike Cameron, Brendan Donnelly, Chris Donnels, Eric Gagne, Kent Mercker, Mo Vaughn, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz have in common? Answer: All have either tested positive or been strongly linked to PEDs and played for the Boston Red Sox.

Granted, most of these players played with the Red Sox before they were named in the Mitchell Report, which came out after the 2007 season. That 2007 campaign was just happened to be a year in which the Red Sox won the World Series with a roster that included four players linked to PEDs (Donnelly, Gagne, Ramirez, and Ortiz). Sure, only Donnelly and Gagne were on the Mitchell Report from that World Series club, but do you really think Manny Ramirez didn’t start taking PEDs until he was busted with the Los Angeles Dodgers? And what about David Ortiz, one of the most beloved Red Sox ever? Do we all really forget the fact he tested positive in 2003?

I grew up playing baseball in the steroid era. I had high school teammates on steroids, and knew many of my opponents, who were also ‘roided up, wound up getting college scholarships and minor league deals based largely on the improvements they made after taking PEDs. I say this to express that I get why players would and still do take PEDs. I have seen the life-changing effects (both good and bad) they can have.

If you want to boo the star player on an opposing team, be my guest. Heck, I will even join you in the chorus of boos, but make sure you know why you are doing it. Is it because Ryan Braun is the player who could most  impact the game at the Red Sox expense, or is it because of his PED past? Do not chant “STER-ROIDS”, because when you do, you are calling out your own team in the process.

Next Red Sox Game View full schedule »
Wednesday, Sep 33 Sep7:05at New York YankeesBuy Tickets

Tags: Boston Red Sox Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun

  • Sean Sylver

    Good first person perspective. Plus the reminder that our guys aren’t perfect, either.

    With regard to Braun, I was all over him in 2012. Guy thought he was untouchable and you could just tell by the smug manner in which he fended off the positive test on a technicality. Then all that stuff came out about how he did it. What a jerk. He’s the guy you wanted to punch in high school.

  • Patrick Green

    I don’t think people boo Ryan Braun for steroids — at least I don’t. I just can’t stand how he handled the initial accusations and held a press conference accusing the “handler” of prejudice and ruining his reputation. His lies are why he deserves to be treated to a shower of boos.

  • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Pete Sonski

    Let’s not forget that Braun’s suspension (65 days) was punitive in two ways: for PED use AND for the deception, arrogance and all-around foolishness of the grievance process he was engaged with after his test. It’s one thing to do something wrong. It’s another thing to defend it in the court of public opinion.

    You offer a litany of names associated with PEDs. There are still more, some of whom are being denied Hall of Fame honors, I contend, only in part because they are accusing of doping. A still bigger part is because they acted like dopes.

    Braun has talent, but he also has flaws. He may be forgiven, in time for giving in to the lure of drugs, but don’t expect BoSox fans – or any fanbase outside of Milwaukee – to give him a pass for his actions in trying to defend or hide it.

  • Shaun Kernahan

    I agree with most of what has been said thus far, and if the boos are a little extra for his lies and deceit, by all means boo away. I guess the title should have been “to chant or not to chant” but it doesn’t roll off the tongue as well. It just bugs me when a fan base gets on a player on another team for doing something guys they cheer for have also done. I get supporting the team you root for, but do it with some intelligence.

    • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Pete Sonski

      Point taken. It’s human nature to go easy in judgment on those you’re fond of. That said, I don’t think there’s denial or blind hypocrisy in Boston.

  • Rick M

    Patient zero in Boston? Manny Alexander. Wee bit before 2007, but he represents the worst of it.