Grandal back in home park with minimal buzz

Grandal back in home park with minimal buzz

SAN DIEGO -- The crowd at Petco Park was excited and the pyrotechnics were still fresh after Chase Headley launched a 400-foot home run in the first inning on Wednesday.

Because of that buzz, not many seemed to notice when the PA announcer introduced the next batter to the plate, even though he has been the most talked about man on the Padres' roster this week.

Yasmani Grandal was hitting fourth in his first home game after receiving a 50-game suspension in November due to elevated levels of testosterone. He went 1-for-4 and scored a run in his return on Tuesday, but this was the first time he faced the home crowd since the suspension.

Prior to the game, Grandal said he didn't have any expectations of how Padres fans would react and that he was focused on helping the team.

"The Padres come first and then [the fans]," Grandal said. "I do apologize to them [the fans]."

For the most part, things seemed to be normal for Grandal in his return to his home ballpark. He sat at his locker before the game, opening new catcher's gear out of a bag and laughing with teammate Jedd Gyorko, who tried on the chest protector and could barely fit it over his head.

Padres manager Bud Black commended Grandal for his play -- both in the batter's box and behind the plate -- and how he's handled the situation.

The lack of reaction Grandal received seems to be the way he wants it, with a chance for everything to return to normal.

"As a group, all of us, we've put it behind us," Black said.

Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.