ST. LOUIS - Everybody in the baseball world knew Kris Bryant was going to get booed the first time he was announced at Busch Stadium after saying St. Louis was "boring" during a comedy sketch at Cubs Convention in January.
The actual reaction from Cardinals fans wasn't all that overwhelming and Bryant promptly singled on the first pitch he saw Friday evening:
The reaction to Bryant's first AB, and then he singled on the first pitch pic.twitter.com/jAZdHuaXqF— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) June 1, 2019
Back visiting— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 1, 2019
In St. Louis.
Nice that we’ve finally
Given locals something to do. pic.twitter.com/PKgbz2V5V0
But the booing may have been louder thanks to...Bryant's own teammates and coaches?
Yep, that's the entire Cubs dugout booing their star player, with Anthony Rizzo emphatically throwing both thumbs down and even manager Joe Maddon cupping his hands around his mouth to shout boos at Bryant.
"That was hilarious," Bryant said. "Of course, Rizz is behind all that. Jeez. I tried to make it a point — I wanted to look and see who all was doing it. We were just having fun with it. That was really fun to see all the guys join in. Pretty funny."
Maddon has been in the game for more than four decades, but he said booing one of his own players was a first for him.
"We had to boo KB," Maddon joked after the game. "I think it was Rizzo's idea. He came around and passed it around. I was all for it; I thought it was a hell of an idea. I don't think I've ever roundly booed one of my own guys before. So check that off the list."
That's incredible and hilarious. And hey, Bryant asked for it.
They don’t boo nobodies. 🐻 pic.twitter.com/5fOGrh01WW— MLB (@MLB) May 31, 2019
Really, it's a great idea from Rizzo and Co. to help turn the inevitable booing into a fun thing. Nobody can make fun of you if you make fun of yourself first, right?
Bryant was asked if he would try to get payback on Rizzo, but doesn't think he could top this moment.
"That was really impressive that he gathered everybody," Bryant said. "I think he even told the bullpen guys to get in on it. I don't know if they did. All in good fun. That's what it's all about. And the stuff I heard today [from St. Louis fans] — it wasn't personal or any of that. It was just booing and that's what it should be about."