LOS ANGELES – One thing is more important than any other.Surprised by the number of times his name was chanted at Dodger Stadium after more than a decade of jeers and jeers, his first series in Dodger Stadium marked his debut as a visiting player. .
Freeman laughed and said, “They're singing every time I go to bat.”
These chants were heard again Monday night, as Freeman walked to the box to face his old team for the first-time. Freeman fulfilled their expectations and lined the second pitch he saw into left-centerfield gap and over the fence for the Dodgers' first home run.
Welcome to LA, where the players play.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 19, 2022
Freeman, his wife and their three children were on the field to collect the Silver Slugger Award that he had won last season about a half an hour earlier. His side was Braves manager Brian Snitker, and hitting coach Kevin Seitzer. Both of them were crucial in his growth as one of the top hitters in the game.
The video tribute was then played a few seconds later.The Dodgers' famous former closer was greeted by Dave Roberts, Los Angeles manager, and was named third baseman. Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, with framed mementos of his first career save in summer 2010.
Monday's series opener between Braves and Dodgers featured an emotional, rare pairing of two iconic franchises who, coincidentally, and in both cases, shockingly, signed free-agent agreements to join each other's teams.
Jansen was a former catcher and saved 350 regular-season games over a dozen seasons with the Dodgers.
Freeman, who was a 12-time All-Star, one-time MVP, and won the World Series with the Braves in his last 12 years, stated that his emotions were “all over” the place.
Freeman spoke in front of an enviable crowd of media representatives in the Dodgers' dugout. “Obviously, there's just so much emotion going right now,” he said. “But a lot good emotion.”
Freeman saw George Poulis, the Braves' head athletic trainer, as he stepped out of the elevator. He then took his photo.
Freeman said to him, “Oh, geez. I'm not ready.”
Later, Freeman visited Braves clubhouse to exchange hugs. Snitker was the place where he met him privately. After that, he met Alex Anthopoulos the Braves general manger, who traded for Freeman.Freeman, however, remained an unrestricted agent. Freeman called him “world champion” and greeted him. They got emotional while speaking in the first-base Dugout. Freeman decided to bring the conversation inside so that the cameras were not present.
Anthopoulos was visibly emotional when he spoke to reporters the day after Olson was acquired from him. Freeman was clearly shocked and hurt, and he angrily dismissed the comments during his first news conference with Dodgers. They spoke on FaceTime for three hours approximately a week later.
Freeman said, “That was my closure.” “Now it is just happiness in seeing him, and friendship, since we spent so many time together over four years trying for a World Series win, and it was just nice to see him.
Jansen, who won his Dodgers ring during the COVID-19-shortened 2019 season, signed a $16m contract with Braves on March 18, just days after Freeman and the Dodgers agreed to terms for a six-year, $162m deal. Jansen's situation was complicated by Freeman's deal. They were too close to the third-tier luxury-tax threshold. Jansen had to reduce his salary to make room for the contract. Jansen was a fan of the Braves in Curacao and received an offer from them. Jansen needed an immediate answer. Jansen took it.
Shortly thereafter, he felt the emotions of joining another group. Turner spoke to him via phone..
Jansen stated, “Growing in baseball, playing on one team is like leaving behind your parents to go college or whatever else you want.” “It was exciting and very emotional to be on a different team.
Freeman knew that he had given out 25 hugs to his family and had also shed four tears when he spoke to the media at 3:30 PM PT. This was their first time seeing them since taking part in a parade six months ago. Rob Smith, the Braves manager for video operations, was wearing his World Series Ring and Freeman playedfully asked him to remove it. His will not arrive until June when the Dodgers face the Braves at home. Freeman returns to Truist Park to begin what promises to be an emotional series.
He was also asked if Monday's match represented closure.
Freeman stated, “I don’t know if anyone is really looking for closure.” “I had a wonderful 12 years. I'm not trying close anything. I just want to get on with my life. I will never forget the Braves and all the great times that I shared with them. That's always going to be there, I think.”