Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. opens up on troubled relationship with Freddie Freeman and says he won’t miss him

The Atlanta Braves shocked the baseball world in March when they decided to trade Oakland Athletics First Base Player Matt Olson instead of re-signing Freddie Freeman, one of the faces of the franchise that dates back more than a decade. Whether or not that proves to be the right decision on the field remains to be seen — Olson beat Freeman last season and is several years younger — but there’s now reason to believe clubhouse dynamics play a role in their decision-making could have played process.

Braves star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. conducted a live Instagram interview with Dominican journalist Yancen Pujols on Wednesday night, in which he addressed Freeman’s departure. According to Pujols, Acuña said he won’t miss Freeman and that he doesn’t speak to him often. He also claimed Freeman was unfriendly during his rookie season.

Here’s a snippet of the video where Acuña can be heard saying “nada” in response to being asked if they spoke often.

Before the Braves’ first game He told reporters that he felt his comments had been “exaggerated” and “exaggerated by the media”.

“What I was talking about was what happened in 2018 (Acuña’s rookie year),” he said. Acuña added, “What should I miss about someone who’s on a different team?”

Freeman was asked about his relationship with Acuña during one MLB network appearance on Thursday afternoon and indicated he had no issues with his former teammate, despite standing up to defend the organization’s unwritten rules.

“If you put on a Braves uniform in this organization, there are organizational rules. You don’t cover the ‘A’ with sunglasses, you don’t wear earrings. You have a certain hair length. They wear a uniform during BP. You don’t have a black eye all over your face,” Freeman said (Video).

“It’s just organizational things, so I guess I was one of the older guys who had to enforce things like that in the clubhouse. But if you put on a Braves uniform, that’s what happens. I didn’t think of it as friction or clashes or anything. I loved Ronald, I still love Ronald, I will miss Ronald.

Clubhouse dynamics and interpersonal relationships cannot be judged from the outside. However, Freeman had previously publicly criticized Acuña. Here’s what Freeman said in October 2019 after Acuña recorded just a single on a long flyball in a playoff game against die St. Louis Cardinals because he acted like it was a sure home run: “It’s frustrating,” he said, according to USA Today. “I think you’ll have this conversation once. Beating a dead horse if you keep having the same conversation over and over again. That can’t happen in the playoffs, can’t happen in the regular season.”

Hear former Marlins President David Samson share stories from Opening Day and more on the Nothing Personal with David Samson podcast. Listen below:

Regardless of Acuña’s thoughts on Freeman, the Braves will begin their championship defense Thursday night (8:08 p.m. ET) against the Cincinnati Red. Acuña, who is still recovering from a cruciate ligament rupture and is not expected to play until May, will not feature; but neither does Freeman.

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