It is already Wednesday. I thought by now I would not have to weigh in on the Freddie-Freeman-Braves-Dodgers saga. It's the story that does not die.
If you're unfamiliar with it (where have you been) I will post the first press conference that Freeman had just before the first game in Atlanta between the Dodgers and Braves.
Freeman is understandably emotional in this clip. It is clear that his intentions after the season were to find a way to re-sign with the Braves but that the plan went south (or west) during negotiations. Freeman was seen throughout the Braves/Dodgers series being emotional and touched by the goings-on around him. A quote from Clayton Kershaw put the media into a bigger frenzy.
“He’s obviously been a big contributor for our team. And I hope we’re not second fiddle.”-Clayton Kershaw
Freeman's quote sometime later seems fair to me.
"If you were in a relationship for 15 years, and it ended, you're going to have feelings. And I've had feelings. I've been going through this process of grieving and now I'm in the healing process and the moving on process.”
There is where I finish telling the story. The media loves stories like these (understandably) but it makes for unnecessary issues.
Freeman Gave Everything To ATL
Freddie Freeman was drafted by the Atlanta Braves when he was 18 years old. He spent the next 14 years in their organization. Freeman grew up from boy to man in the Atlanta Braves organization. He came to prominence during one of Atlanta's better runs from 2011-2013. Freeman took a more team-friendly contract during Atlanta's rebuilding process. He "trusted the process" as they say. The Braves became competitive again around 2018. Freeman gave to the Braves what they ultimately did not give back. Many speculate (or are certain) that Freeman's representation is to blame for his departure. There may be truth to that.
Being Emotional Is Good, Actually
Freeman being openly emotional is a good thing. It is 2022. I cannot believe I am doing another aria on toxic masculinity and the benefit of showing one's emotions, but here we are.
How do we expect someone who spent their entire adult life with one organization only to have the relationship broken or bungled, to not feel the emotion that it ended so poorly? In 2021 Freeman finally was able to lead the Braves to the promised land of a championship title, only to be surreptitiously replaced without much of a warning. Call it a fumbling of the bag on his representation's fault or call it whatever you wish. It would make anyone feel emotional.
We live in a society where boys are told to "man up" or "act like a man" from such a young age. This leads to emotional avoidance that almost always leads to worsening issues with mental health. Freeman is a large, prototypical male athlete. For him to be showing emotion over a situation that hurt him is a good thing. The supposed concern that he's "not all in" as a member of the Dodgers is a distraction. He's statistically having one of his best seasons.
The Atlanta Braves and Freddie Freeman's journey ended abruptly and painfully. Let us applaud Freeman for being vulnerable with his emotions and hope that we teach our sons to show their emotions, too.