ST. LOUIS -- Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward heard boos every time he touched the baseball or stepped into the batter’s box. His former fans turned on him after he turned his back on St. Louis in signing an eight-year deal with the Cubs, who took Game 1 of the three-game series 5-0 on Monday night. Win or lose, the negativity wasn’t going to get to Heyward.
“You hear it,” Heyward said after the game. “It’s fun. They don’t boo too often. It must be someone important or someone doing something worth booing.”
Heyward went 0-for-4 at the plate, dropping his batting average to .188. He more than made up for it on defense, though, where he hit the ground several times to make sliding catches in support of another former Cardinal, John Lackey.
“I've seen booed, that ain't booed,” Lackey said, smiling. “That was pretty soft boo.”
Heyward heard it all night from the fans in right field. He claimed it’s not like he was listening for the trash talk, but it was hard to ignore standing out there for nine innings.
“Who didn’t say anything?” Heyward laughed. “Obviously people are going to say something, but there are a lot of Cubs fans here supporting us.”
Heyward and some of his teammates also got a kick out of his old team playing classical music while the Cubs took batting practice before the game. It’s not the usual pregame sounds you might hear at the ballpark.
“If you’re thinking about it that much to play something different, then do your thing,” Heyward said.
The Cubs ended up using a wireless speaker of their own to provide a more appropriate music setting for BP. The music didn’t faze them, and neither did the booing later in the game.
“It’s good to know I’m not going through it alone,” Heyward said. “My manager is there, my teammates are there, my friends, family is there.”
And the Cubs won, which was the ultimate payback for all the noise.
“It was fun,” Heyward reiterated.