It’s been over a week since Freddie Freeman made his return to Atlanta, and we’re still discussing it. Freeman’s mistake is a lesson for free agents everywhere.
Freeman was visibly shaken both on the field and in the clubhouse, so much so that Dodgers teammate Clayton Kershaw openly questioned whether or not he wanted to switch clubhouses.
The answer is a little more convoluted than you might think.
Freeman fired his agent shortly after the series, with a rampant rumor suggesting the star first baseman was blindsided by leaving the Braves, and never given the full scope of offers in front of him. Casey Close, Freeman’s former agent, has denied these claims.
The real truth is a bitter one: Freeman’s exit from Atlanta is on him. He knows this, and as much as it stings right now, it’s something he’ll have to accept long-term.
Braves: Freddie Freeman’s departure is his fault
Players with the influence of Freeman ought to have complete control over where they play. In fact, it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t. Had Freddie wanted to return to Atlanta, he would’ve done so. While the Dodgers gave Freeman a sixth year, they did so at a discounted price when California state taxes are included.
There’s little reason Freddie shouldn’t be wearing an Atlanta uniform right now, which is likely what makes this so painful for him.
The PR spin on leaving Atlanta was that it was merely time for a change. Freeman had accomplished all he could in a Braves uniform. He was returning home, or so we thought.
Yet, Braves country was Freddie’s new home. It had grown on him over the years. He was the modern-day Chipper Jones…until he wasn’t.
In time, Freeman will adjust to life as a Dodger, but that time is not now. His slash line suggests otherwise, but his mental fortitude was clearly shaken in a quick weekend set at Truist Park.