The Marcell Ozuna dilemma has been a hot topic ever since the incident occurred back in late May, and for a good reason. Domestic violence is something that should never be taken lightly. Because of what happened, Ozuna was put on indefinite leave for the remainder of the season, missing the Braves’ memorable World Series run. However, after Major League Baseball completed their investigation, they deemed his absence from the team last season was enough punishment, handing Ozuna a 20-game retroactive suspension, clearing him for Opening Day in 2022.
Understandably, some fans were not happy about the “light” punishment, and many others believed the Braves would attempt to trade Ozuna. That last part is much easier said than done, though, and it’s probably why parting ways with Ozuna was never a realistic possibility. But there was also another aspect to consider: how would Ozuna’s teammates react to his return?
Well, in an interview with Bill Shanks on The Bill Shanks Show, general manager Alex Anthopoulos said he gauged how the team felt about the situation, and they all made it clear they wanted Ozuna back.
— KC Covington (@FriedBasballATL) April 6, 2022
Around the 15:30 mark in the interview is when Shanks brings up the topic, and Anthopoulos re-iterated a lot of what we already knew. The Braves weren’t involved in the investigation at all, and so far, Ozuna has handled it very well, addressing the team early on in Spring camp. However, regarding the team’s response, Anthopoulos also said, “to a man, they all wanted him back.”
Now, just because the team wanted Ozuna back doesn’t mean he’s free of blame; nobody is saying that. However, it does clear up a lot of the questions about whether or not the Braves will attempt to move him. Ozuna will be on the team in 2022, and I expect him to be a critical piece in Atlanta’s quest to repeat.
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