Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman carried a red-hot stretch into the All-Star break, capping a special few weeks by earning a last-minute nod to the All-Star Game itself. Unfortunately, all his positive momentum is for naught, considering he despises being a Dodger.
Kidding! Kidding. So obviously kidding.
Don’t believe what you’ve heard, according to someone who knows and is on site with the team everyday: Dodgers play-by-play man Tim Neverett.
Neverett dropped by The Incline podcast this week (the official Dodgers podcast of FanSided) to chop it up with the hosts about the All-Star Game, the second half, the trade deadline, and his career. Naturally, he focused plenty on Freeman, who’s been both absolutely on fire at the plate and caught up in a firestorm regarding his love for Atlanta and his now-former agent.
Take it from Neverett and not Doug Gottlieb, though; Freeman is very happy to be exactly where he is, mashing in Los Angeles.
Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman loves being in Los Angeles, per Tim Neverett
As Neverett related:
“What’s interesting to me is [Freddie] likes to take the same bus that I do into the ballpark. … I see him on the bus all the time,” Neverett told The Incline. “I see him in the hotel. I see him in other areas where a lot of people don’t get to. And he is — contrary to what some people may have wanted to write about him — it’s not like it sounds. He loves where he is. He really does. And I see him interact with his teammates in private, in certain areas. I’m on the plane with him. I see how it goes down.”
“He’s treated like one of the boys, he treats everybody like one of the boys, and they love having him around,” Neverett concluded, before even getting to Freeman’s obvious on-field bonafides. Hits. Runs. Average. RBI. There’s nobody better.
As the second half opens, Freeman’s heater has gotten him up to a 159 OPS+ with 14 homers, 60 RBI, a remarkable 31 doubles, and a league-leading 115 hits.
It’s difficult to imagine this Dodgers team without him. It’s equally difficult to imagine this Dodgers team with Freeman’s smile somehow poisoning the locker room and further fracturing things.
It’s good to hear he’s happy, too. But if this is how he hits when he’s thrilled, the rest of the league had better hope he never gets angry.