Jason Heyward expected an emotional return to St. Louis, but it's hard to say anybody predicted this fallout.
The New York Daily News published a story Tuesday morning alleging Cardinals fans shouted racist taunts at Heyward as he stepped up to the plate in the top of the first.
The racial slurs were reportedly heard on the ESPN broadcast, but no proof has been found via audio from ESPN or anywhere else:
MLB.com's video of Heyward's first at-bat portrays the loud boos from Cardinals fans, but the clip was taken from WPWR's broadcast - not ESPN's - and no racial slurs are heard at any point in the audio.
Jason Heyward said he didn't hear any specific racial slurs on Monday in St. Louis but "honestly I wasn't really listening."— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) April 19, 2016
Heyward: "I don't feel like it's a story. It's something I've dealt with my whole life. Keep going and don't really give it any attention."— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) April 19, 2016
St. Louis Post-Dispatch has yet to confirm any racial statements or taunts.
Deadspin acquired the crowd audio from the ESPN broadcast from Heyward's first two at-bats and no racial slurs were picked up either time.
Heyward spurned Cardinal nation when he signed an eight-year, $184 million deal with the Cubs in the offseason, a move that has ellicted a strong immediate reaction from fans who took to burning Heyward's jersey.
Stick with CSNChicago.com and Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney for more on this developing story and tune in to SportsTalk Live Tuesday evening for the latest news and information.