Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Freddie Freeman has completely changed since signing with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in his free agency.
Freddie Freeman’s divorce with the Atlanta Braves has been nothing short of ugly, as general manager Alex Anthopoulos questioned his former first baseman’s character after signing with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
“That’s not the Freddie we know,” said Anthopoulos on Dukes and Bell on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta. “We had years together, at moments he was like an extra GM to me … a partner in a lot of ways. It’s emotional for me, the fans and the community.”
Freeman took out his frustrations on Anthopoulos during his introductory press conference with the Dodgers after a botch-job of a free agency thanks to his representation. Anthopoulos has a job to do which is to build a competitive roster under certain financial constraints. Freeman’s agency overplayed its hand and tarnished its client’s previously unblemished baseball legacy forever.
Freeman’s representation transformed him from millennial Chipper Jones to public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of Braves Country.
Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos says Freddie Freeman has completely changed
Look. Anthopoulos can only build a roster with what Liberty Media allocates to him financially. Does he deserve some blame in this breakup? Sure, but he did not expect his former franchise cornerstone to play hardball with him. A bit of naivety, yes, but Jones always made it a point that he wanted to only play for the Braves. This is why he crushed Freeman on the radio last week.
Has Braves Country moved on from Freeman? Yes, as Anthopoulos has masterfully added the likes of Matt Olson, Collin McHugh and Kenley Jansen to the roster, while being able to bring back Eddie Rosario in his free agency. However, there will always be a level of emptiness that Freeman will not be a career Brave. Matt Ryan was not this acrimonious when he left the Atlanta Falcons.
Ultimately, the Freeman exodus will sting for years like the Tom Glavine departure did from a generation ago. Time heals all wounds. For now, Freeman plays for the one franchise Atlanta continues to run into during the postseason. On paper, Atlanta should face Los Angeles for the third year in a row in the NLCS. This old NL West rivalry is heating up and has never been hotter.
Anthopoulos acknowledges Freeman has turned heel, so he must accept his role as the villain.