Posted April 07, 2013

Braves’ Freddie Freeman visibly upset after being placed on DL

The Braves' Freddie Freeman was upset after the team placed him on the disabled list. (J. Meric/Getty Images)

The Braves’ Freddie Freeman was upset after the team placed him on the disabled list. (J. Meric/Getty Images)

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was visibly irritated after the team placed him on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained right oblique muscle.

An upset Freeman told reporters that he was not counseled by management before it made its decision. And in a defiant move, he shagged fly balls Sunday before the Braves’ game against the Chicago Cubs.

“They didn’t even tell me anything,” Freeman said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

“It’s not hurt to the point where I can’t play,” Freeman added. “I can play just fine. At least talk to me about it. You can’t just make a decision without me knowing.”

Freeman suffered the oblique injury during workouts last Sunday. He still played in all of the Braves’ five games before Sunday. Freeman, a 23-year-old entering into his third full major-league season with the Braves, was hitting .412 with one homer and seven RBI before he was placed on the disabled list.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said the organization wanted to exercise caution early in the season after Freeman appeared to aggravate the injury in his last at-bat Saturday night.

“Obliques are going to be a couple weeks at minimum and, if you are really lucky, you can get a player back right after the ‘DL’ stint,” Wren told the Journal-Constitution. “But it’s not shortened any. Especially this early in the season, we are not going to take a chance to turn what could be a two to three-week (injury) into a six-to-eight week by tearing that oblique area.”


Guess Freddie does not understand indentured servitude! He is their propeerty!


I have no problem whatsoever with the decision. It's the correct, prudent and not altogether too conservative approach to dealing with oblique injuries. In fact, this is pretty much the norm for that injury in the sport of Baseball. HOWEVER, if what Freeman is saying about the communication involved, this is, for me, a MASSIVE issue for the Braves that they need to fix. In the past, they have stumbled with player relations and made some huge gaffs. As recently as the Glavine trade, the way they dealt with the Schmoltz issue, etc., we have seen the front office drop the ball on proper liason efforts with the public and, more importantly, players they can ill afford to allow to get perturbed. After all, this is a VERY psychological sport and players need to be treated with kid gloves. To make this decision and not inform Freeman of it is inexcusable and calls into question the ability, professionalism and perhaps even the concern of the front office, the GM and the coach. There is a plethora of reasons why this simply cannot happen:(a) you cannot ignore the feelings of the player- especially a key (if not THE key) player on your team;(b) other players watch and think, "Wow! That was heartless. Hope I'm never in that situation;(c) agents/other teams will use it against you in trade discussions when trying to woo or steer player from the Braves "remember how they treated Freeman, Schmoltz and Glavin (among others)";

(d) it is a PR nightmare: the Braves leadership was thoroughly castigated in embarrassing fashion by MLB network and a full compliment of press writers, bloggers, website writers and baseball talking heads- not good!; and (among many more issues I could name); (e) quite frankly, it simply sucks as an issue of lack of human empathy: one simply does not act without concern for the feelings of another in matters of huge importance to that person. It's unforgivable.Fortunately, I think Freddy loves the Braves. He'll get over it. But that's not the point. It will be forever a source of irritation for him (not the injury, hopefully; but the incident of poor communication). Moreover, he's just one helluvah guy and hopefully he will see this as not so big an issue once he's back on the field. If so, let it  be a lesson learned and policy is changed. If not, God help the Braves; for dugout chemistry has rarely if ever been an issue for our Bravos and we hope it will not be so now. Do the right thing, Wrenn and Company- can you say 'PLAYER LIASON!?"