Braves' Freddie Freeman on loyalty, rebuilding, and the future
LOS ANGELES - Freddie Freeman was with the Braves the last time they made it to the Postseason. The first baseman said he is ready for the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Freeman admitted it has been a tough few years to be on the team as they experience rebuilding and some growing pains, but it was all worth it and he feels they did it in such a short turn around. Freeman expressed his loyalty to the team throughout the years.
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“You know they draft me when I was 17, they called me up when I was 20 and gave me that contract when I was 24, so ultimately, I owe everything to the Braves. I didn't feel like I had the right to ask for a trade. It was my job to get this team back to the playoffs as quick as we can and I just feel like 3 years of rebuild is pretty quick and I feel like we're going to be here for a lot of years,” Freeman said.
Freeman said he didn’t have too much time to dwell on the past, only the future, but his former teammate, pitcher Alex Wood, who now pitches for the Dodgers, didn’t mind taking a step back to the last time the Braves were in Dodger Stadium.
“I remember we left the best closer in baseball in the bullpen. That one hurt a little bit. You know, it's amazing you look at that now and it seems so crazy, at the time it probably wasn't as crazy because of the analytics and how teams were using their bullpens at that time. It wasn't such a huge, huge shock, you know that's just how things kind of went then. Now, Craig [Kimbrel] might have been pitching the 6th inning. Yeah, it was some tough memories. I’ll be on the right side of it this year,” said Wood.
The Braves are hoping to do what they do all season on the road: score first, quiet down the stadium and just play the other team. Game One is Thursday night starting at 9:37 p.m. Eastern. Game Two is Friday.