Funny to think earlier this season some people thought one of the most successful seasons in modern Los Angeles Dodgers history would be derailed/interrupted because of professional agitator Doug Gottlieb. How stupid could we could have been?!
Shortly after the series between the Dodgers and Braves where Freddie Freeman made his emotional return to Atlanta, Gottlieb “reported” that Freeman’s ex-agent Casey Close, who was fired by Freeman after that particular series, withheld a competitive contract offer from the Braves last offseason so that Freeman would take the larger one from the Dodgers.
Close, who’s one of the most respected agents in the business and even had former client Derek Jeter backing him publicly when this all came to a head, sued Gottlieb for libel back in July as a result.
It took about two months, but the always-stubborn Gottlieb finally found a bout not worth fighting. He’s officially retracted his erroneous “report” in exchange for Close dropping the lawsuit.
Gottlieb tweeted out a lengthy statement as well, with his tail between his legs, and Dodgers fans are going to love it. As for Braves fans, time to sit down, folks. This was never true and Freeman is on the best team in the NL.
The Dodgers-Braves-Freddie Freeman drama is now officially over
The Braves, on top of dealing with the MLB lockout interrupting their negotiations with Freeman, jerked their franchise player around in a narrative that couldn’t have been more obvious. Close gave the Braves a timeline as well as the offers his client was willing to accept. The Braves never made another offer above the $135 million deal from Aug. of 2021.
Freeman then bolted for southern California, where he’s from, and signed a $162 million contract with the Dodgers. He currently leads MLB with 171 hits and 44 doubles. Meanwhile, the Braves traded for A’s first baseman Matt Olson and immediately signed him to a $168 million extension.
Both sides are doing just fine, so there was little reason for the drama, which was very much taken to another level by Gottlieb.
Though there’s no fixing the damage that’s already been done, it’s at least a way for Dodgers fans to move on, Braves fans to quit their whining, and for everyone to focus on a potential matchup between these two teams in October, which will create any and all organic, captivating storylines fans are looking for.