Juan Soto’s new home fans aren’t being very homey.
In the midst of a 2-for-27 slump, San Diego fans welcomed Soto with a Bronx cheer this week as the 23-year-old superstar went 0-for-4 in each of the Padres’ games against the Diamondbacks.
Soto then told the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee that handling the boos was a “challenge” because that’s something he never experienced from a home crowd in the District.
“I know they are almost as frustrated as me,” Soto told Acee. “So I understand whatever they are doing.”
“They are fans,” Soto added. “They want you to be successful. Now sometimes it isn’t going to happen all the time, but we just got to take it like a champ and keep going. They want the team to win. I bet you they don’t want to pay (for) a ticket to come watch the team lose.”
Soto was traded to San Diego on Aug. 2 in arguably the biggest trade deadline deal in MLB history. He’s still performed well compared to the average major-leaguer since arriving in San Diego, but his .773 on-base plus slugging percentage is much worse than his career clip of .957. In San Diego, Soto still has an on-base percentage — the stat he’s best known for — over .400, but he’s only smacked three homers in 28 games with the Padres.
The comment from Soto that drew the ire of some Nationals fans online, though, was one he made about the difficulty of going from a last-place team to one that has World Series aspirations.
“The challenge is just going from a team that doesn’t care about anything because they know they don’t go anywhere to a team that has a really good chance to win the World Series,” Soto said.