Juan Soto responds to Padres fans' boos by hitting 423-foot home run during Yankees win


San Diego Padres fans are still bitter about the way the Juan Soto era ended after a season-and-a-half of service.

With the New York Yankees in town this weekend, and Soto now wearing pinstripes, Padres fans wanted to let their feelings on the superstar be known.

After receiving cheers from the Petco Park crowd following his first at-bat strikeout, Soto was booed as he was introduced for his second plate appearance during Friday’s 8-0 Yankees win.

In a surprise to no one, the man hitting .315 was not affected by the crowd’s displeasure and he proceeded to send the second pitch from Yu Darvish 423 feet.

“I wasn’t expecting cheers or boos but they did both,” said Soto, who could be a free agent in the winter. “I was right in the middle. That was pretty cool. That’s fine. I don’t mind at all.”

Soto kicked off a rough inning for Darvish. Following his home run, Aaron Judge hit his 16th blast of the season. Two batters later, Giancarlo Stanton sent his 13th of the year out of the yard to make it 6-0 Yankees.

The game was Soto’s first in San Diego since a Dec. 7 trade that sent him to New York. He’s off to a blazing start for the AL East-leading Yankees with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs.

“It’s kind of tough for me because they were right there every day for me,” Soto said via The Athletic before Friday’s game. “And I tried my best. I played hard every day. But I didn’t play my best. That’s one of the things I was kind of, like, sad about, because I couldn’t show them really how great I can be. But it is what it is. I really feel good that I get the chance to give my 100 percent out there. But I don’t know how they’re gonna react. It’s baseball, it’s crazy. I’m expecting anything tonight.”

In 214 games with the Padres over parts of two seasons, Soto hit 41 home runs and drove in 125 runs while batting .265. He did help the team reach the 2022 NLCS where they fell to the Philadelphia Phillies, but they followed that by finishing third in the NL West last season and missing the playoffs.

“For me, it’s just baseball,” Soto said. “I think I had a great time in San Diego. We had a great group in 2023. I just think it’s baseball. At the end of the day, even if you have the best team on paper, you got to go out there and try to win games. But stuff happens. We didn’t have the luck on our side in 2023. We have some games where it was nothing we can do. But it is what it is. Now it’s in the past.”

Soto’s future is still in question as he’s expected to earn a massive contract with his current deal expiring after this season. The Yankees have made it known they want him to stay, but money will talk and it will be up to team owner Hal Steinbrenner to decide if Soto’s desired dollar amount and term matches what the club has in mind.



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