Freddie Freeman made his first appearance at Truist Park as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers this past weekend, which evoked strong emotions as reality set in that he was no longer a member of the Atlanta Braves, an organization he spent 12 years with.
Freeman received his 2021 World Series ring to a standing ovation on Friday, which he followed up by giving an emotional speech to his old fanbase. He had to fight back tears on nearly every occasion that all eyes and cheers were on him.
On Saturday, Clayton Kershaw expressed his understanding given Freeman’s career with the Braves but went on to say he hopes the Dodgers aren’t ‘second fiddle’ in terms of commitment.
The comments from Kershaw could be how multiple players in the Dodgers clubhouse are feeling, but he wanted to reiterate to Freeman that his statement wasn’t meant to be a jab as the two had a conversation regarding the matter, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
In Colorado on Monday, Kershaw told reporters that he had spoken with Freeman about his comments and told him he meant no disrespect. Freeman said he and Kershaw – who is also represented by Excel Sports Management – are “good” and the original comment didn’t bother him.
Prior to the series in Atlanta, Freeman was straightforward about how difficult this reunion would be and how much it would take a toll on him emotionally. Friday was a special night that left him without energy following the game and those feelings carried throughout the series.
The Dodgers ended up leaving Atlanta winning two of the three games against the Braves.
Freeman ‘kind of glad’ to move on from Braves series
Freeman’s return to Atlanta drew out raw emotions and feelings for the former Braves first baseman, and it presented an opportunity to close a few doors with his old club.
Braves fans generally welcomed their former franchise pillar with open arms, giving Freeman a standing ovation before his first at-bat that lasted more than one minute. He was applauded at various points throughout the ensuing two games as well, but also booed at times.
Freeman started in all three games against the Braves and drew praise from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts for his handling of the situation.
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