The Atlanta Braves made the bizarre decision to let Freddie Freeman walk to the Dodgers this offseason, and Los Angeles thanks their low-balling front office every day for facilitating the move.
Turns out, though, that for as many Matt Olson hit pieces as you write, the real Olson comes back with just as many homers in a late-season statement series against the New York Mets. With the Braves surging towards the postseason and the Dodgers coming up just short of the all-time wins record, it’s safer than ever to say the swap seems to have worked out pretty well for both parties.
But it still, months later, doesn’t make complete sense. Freeman on the Dodgers feels like a mid-career automated trade in MLB The Show. The man was set up to be a Brave for life — and that sentiment is ingrained in his family to this day.
After all, who could blame Freeman’s young son, Charlie, if he likes both teams? You may remember Charlie Freeman from the summer of 2021, when he emerged as a Fernando Tatis Superfan at the All-Star Game, and got the thrill of a lifetime meeting his hero. He’s a kid who loves the game, a finite resource that we should always be encouraging to seek baseball joy wherever he finds it.
And, on Sunday night, he found a little of it in his father’s old team sweeping the Mets out of the NL East race.
Still clinging to some natural love for Ronald Acuña Jr. (remember when people thought he and Freeman had beef?), the youngest Freeman chopped New York back into the Wild Card series, where they’ll match up with Tatis Jr.’s Padres. Fitting clash.
Dodgers 1B Freddie Freeman’s son chops away Mets along with Braves fans
Now, things get complicated. The Braves and Dodgers feel like they’re on another NLCS collision course, at which point Charlie’s parents are going to have to explain to him that, while everybody’s having fun, daddy has the unenviable task of taking down his old friends.
Clearly, the move west has worked out for the elder Freeman, who’s triple-slashing .329/.412/.513 with a 154 OPS+ on one of the most complete teams that’s ever lived. But Charlie still has room in his heart for the slugging team the Freemans left behind. And that’s probably going to last forever.
Hopefully, for everyone’s sake, the Cardinals pull off the upset over Atlanta and Charlie, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. can all band together to root for the juggernaut Dodgers to take it home. That’s how this works, right?