In part one of David O’Brien’s interview with Charlie Morton for The Athletic, Morton talked about how injured players could suffer from a potential lockout since they won’t be able to rehab with team doctors. Part one also covered a number of other topics, so I encourage you to read it if you have a subscription to The Athletic. However, it is part two that covers the #1 topic on the minds of Braves fans right now — Freddie Freeman.
Here’s Morton’s response when O’Brien asked if he could even imagine the Braves without Freeman:
Well, he’s just been such a fixture. Having been part of the organization when I was first with the Braves, and then leaving — granted we didn’t play together in the big leagues, but he was here. And then I went away for a long time, and I came back and he was still here. (Laughs.) He’s been a Brave for a while, you know? I mean, he has his face up on the parking garage. Like, next to some of the greatest to ever put the uniform on. And I said that about him. I can’t remember where we were, I think Cleveland, and somebody said, what do you think about Freddie? And I said, he can be one of the greatest to ever put that uniform on. And a player like that, he’s part of the fabric of the organization. And now the history of the organization. But sometimes the business side of the game gets in the way of that. I mean, it’s part of what makes baseball sad, but also great at the same time, for those fortunate guys in those organizations that were lucky enough to have those franchise players, who never wore another uniform. How special that is.
It’s been repeated time and time again by Alex Anthopoulos and Freddie Freeman that both sides want to get a deal done. I imagine it’s even more true after the Braves won the World Series. Freeman is Atlanta, so it’s impossible to imagine him playing for anywhere else. But it can happen, and if it does, he’ll still be a legend in this city forever.
As a side note, I really encourage you to read the second part of O’Brien’s entire interview. Morton’s descriptions of the events that happened throughout the season gave me chills on several occasions, and I had a smile on my face the entire time reading it. So if you have a subscription to The Athletic, this is a must-read for Braves fans.