Atlanta Braves chairman Terry McGuirk touched on the Freddie Freeman departure among a few other things in his exclusive interview with Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
While things are going fantastically for the Atlanta Braves, chairman Terry McGuirk mentions how tough it was to see former franchise cornerstone Freddie Freeman leave for the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in his free agency.
“I love Freddie like a son,” said McGuirk to Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I know him very, very well. It was difficult. I think if we could all turn back the clock and Freddie could maybe take more charge of what happened and not put it in the hands of his representatives. …”
“We’ve had to close the book on Freddie and start thinking about how we win games this year. But as a memory, he’s going to be very special for us. We’re going to celebrate him when he comes back into town, and we’ll always love him.”
McGuirk has the right approach here with how to handle the Freeman situation going forward. The Braves will continue to be a first-class organization and will honor him for his accomplishments in an Atlanta uniform when he makes his return to Truist Park. And that is precisely where McGuirk is the most excited about this team. The Battery has proven to be a massive success for the ballclub.
By having The Battery come alive like it did last postseason, Atlanta has the chance to finally be a big spender in terms of overall payroll. It has been to look and long time since Ted Turner owned the franchise.
Atlanta Braves: Terry McGuirk reflects on the Freddie Freeman departure
Look, for as painful as it was to see Freeman leave in free agency, up until this offseason really, Atlanta was not in a position financially to compete with the likes of big spenders across baseball like the Dodgers. The Braves will finally have a top-eight to 10 payroll and will be expected to compete for championships for the foreseeable future. However, losing Freeman is a black eye.
When Atlanta does play its first home game since winning it all a week from now vs. the Cincinnati Reds, it will be an awesome moment at The Battery, but a slightly empty one with Freeman no longer being part of this team. However, the Braves are set up for success for the better part of the rest of the decade because of the savvy moves made by general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
McGuirk spoke glowingly of the franchise’s general manager, citing, “I would dare say he may be the best in the business now at this job.” Anthopoulos deserves a ton of praise for navigating a very tumultuous offseason for the Braves. While he was not perfect in his execution of it, he had way more hits than misses. All the while, the Braves will remain in the mix to win it all again in 2022.
McGuirk may love Freeman like a son, but it is clear that Braves Country is ready to turn the page.