Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Freddie Freeman has been in the spotlight since signing a six-year, $162 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, both because of what his addition means for their World Series aspirations and also due to matters stemming from playing with the Atlanta Braves.
During an introductory press conference at Camelback Ranch, Freeman spoke dismissively when asked about Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos giving a tearful interview after trading for Matt Olson.
“I saw ’em. That’s all I’ll say,” answered Freeman. He went on to speak with Anthopoulos, during which an apology was issued.
More recently, Freeman was at the center of criticism from former teammate Ronald Acuña Jr. That came across as curious, considering Freeman has a strong reputation throughout the sport.
It was on display in the Dodgers’ Opening Day game when Freeman lent his support to Colorado Rockies shortstop José Iglesias as he cried at first base upon hitting an RBI single.
Freeman wasn’t immediately aware of the situation but wanted to be there for Iglesias, according to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“I just tried to be there for him and console him and know that, it’s more than a game,” Freeman said. “You never know what any of us are going through in life. If he didn’t tell me, I would never have known that he had lost his father a couple of weeks ago. So I think it just kind of reminds you to just have some compassion and some humility, and just be kind to others. Because in that moment, all I wanted to do was hug that guy.”
Freeman’s mother died of melanoma in 2000 when he was 10 years old, which gave him further reason to console Iglesias:
“It kind of chokes me up because it just started making me think about my mom,” Freeman said. “When you lose a parent, all you can do is just give that person a hug. You know the words, no word is really going to be enough … You just have to let that person know you care about them.”
“I’m just happy to be able to share a moment with him,” Freeman said, “because I’ve been in the same shoes as him.”
Iglesias waived off a member of the Rockies training staff but was appreciative of Freeman’s support:
After the game, Iglesias described the exchange as “a beautiful moment.”
He added: “Beyond baseball, we’re human beings. That was very nice of Freddie.”
Opening Day marked the first game Iglesias was playing since his father passed away a few weeks ago. Iglesias’ dad always made sure to watch each of his son’s games.
Freeman focused on Dodgers
After addressing Acuña’s criticism during an appearance on MLB Network by explaining the messages were delivered from the standpoint of upholding long Braves traditions, Freeman declined to further elaborate on the situation as the Dodgers began their season.
“I spoke [Thursday]. I’m done, so we’re going to move forward,” he said.
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