Schultz: Will Freddie Freeman be booed in his return? What’s the Hawks’ plan?

ATLANTA — When Tom Glavine left the Braves as a free agent in 2002 after 16 years with the group and signed with the Mets, it did not go over effectively in Atlanta. Many followers considered him as egocentric and disloyal and mainly a traitor. The very fact he already had misplaced some supporters as a result of he was a powerful voice for the gamers ‘union throughout a strike a number of years earlier — and he had the audacity to signal with New York! — did not assist.

So it wasn’t too stunning that when Glavine made his first look as a Mets’ pitcher in Atlanta in 2003, he was “booed fairly badly,” he recalled. “And folks had some nasty issues to say to the purpose that my spouse and youngsters left.”

(It did not go effectively for him on the sector, both. The Braves dented Glavine for six runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings in a 10-4 win.)

The hope right here is that the reception for Freddie Freeman is totally different Friday when he returns to Atlanta for a weekend sequence with the Doggers. No matter which aspect you wish to blame for Freeman signing with Los Angeles as a free agent — after the Braves successfully ended negotiations by buying and selling 4 prospects for his substitute, Matt Olson — it could be absurd to boo one of the crucial loyal gamers in franchise historical past and the one most chargeable for the crew’s rise to World Champions final yr. The “he by no means wished to signal right here” takes are lazy and patently false. However in sports activities folks usually lead with their feelings.

Glavine believes Freeman “will get a optimistic response.” There seemingly can be some boos — see ballot outcomes — however they need to be drowned out by a loud standing ovation when he involves the plate within the first inning Friday night time.

The group will deal with Freeman’s return as a celebration, simply because it has with different gamers from final yr’s title crew who’ve returned in a distinct uniform this yr, just like the Giants‘ Joc Pederson on Monday night time. The Braves will current Freeman along with his World Collection ring, and it is anticipated they’re going to even have a video tribute of their former MVP earlier than the sport.

Only a guess however there can be some clips of Freeman homers and perhaps certainly one of him elevating his arms at first base after taking a throw from Dansby Swanson to file the ultimate out of the World Collection in Houston.

Freeman homered in his first at-bat in opposition to the Braves in Los Angeles two months in the past. This would be the solely different sequence between the groups until they meet within the postseason, wherein case Braves’ Twitter would soften down.

It looks like . . . October?

If it felt like a playoff ambiance for a Monday night time recreation in June, there is a motive. The Braves might have turned heads and rotated their season with their current 14-game successful streak, however this week’s seven-game homestand in opposition to the Giants and Dodgers qualifies as a measuring stick. All three challenge as postseason groups, as do the Mets, who come to Atlanta in just a few weeks. So, sure, that is when a pecking order begins to take kind.

Groups have nice seasons once they get performances from unlikely sources. The Braves had a type of come by once more in Monday’s 2-1 win over the Giants, when second baseman Orlando Arcia, who’s filling in for the injured Ozzie Albies, had a walk-off RBI single within the ninth to attain pinch runner Phil Gosselin . Orlando Arcia? Phil Gosselin? Arcia is hitting .338 with a .941 OPS. The Braves’ high three OPS averages at present belong to William Contreras (.987), Michael Harris (.949) and Arcia, though not one of the three have sufficient at-bats to qualify.

MBS may have grass on a regular basis, however this is why it will not

By now you understand that the sector at Mercedes-Benz Stadium can be switched from synthetic turf to grass instantly following the ultimate Falcons house recreation of the 2025 season to organize for the 2026 World Cup. The precise timeline is not finalized but, however MBS seemingly might want to set up some type of underground irrigation and air flow system, in addition to some type of lighting system to copy a greenhouse impact. The open retractable roof itself will not suffice.

However this is the query: With this all being possible, why cannot the stadium have pure grass on a regular basis? Reply: It may. However it will not occur. MBS is without doubt one of the busiest sports activities amenities on this planet. Within the final pre-COVID yr of 2019, it hosted 66 ticketed occasions and 275 personal occasions for a complete of 341 in twelve months. That features soccer and soccer video games, in addition to live shows, conventions, weddings, retirement events, company occasions and extra. Wooden planks are used to cowl the sector earlier than phases and tables are arrange.

The grass wouldn’t survive that. Proprietor Arthur Clean will not be going to sacrifice that income stream or add the price of always repairing and changing the grass. So you’re going to get plastic turf and be proud of it.

Hawks want change through commerce, not draft

The NBA draft is Thursday night time and the Hawks allowed imminent new common supervisor Landry Fields, who will nonetheless reply to crew president Travis Schlenk, to area questions from the media Monday. Fields dealt with it effectively, particularly given this was his first formal information convention since signing with the Toronto Raptors 10 years in the past. He succeeded in not likely giving something away on the crew’s plans.

However this is a thought: The Hawks’ solely path to vital enchancment over final yr is through commerce (or free company), not the draft. This crew is younger sufficient and desires an NBA-proven scorer and defender, which the draft cannot assure. (Schlenk shared some ideas with The Athletic right here.) Fields on weighing the advantages of buying and selling versus conserving the choose (at present sixteenth general): “There’s all the time a nice line. There’s just a few instances annually when you possibly can improve your crew, and a type of is the draft. On this league you want gifted gamers to win basketball video games. We attempt to not get too caught up in positional wants. It is nonetheless very a lot finest participant obtainable.”

Fact, fiction and someplace in between …

• How come no one is speaking in regards to the Phillies? Their file in June (15-3) is just one recreation worse than the Braves (16-2).

Wizards guard Bradley Beal is predicted to say no his $36.4 million participant choice. It is “extensively assumed” he’ll accomplish that to signal a max take care of Washington, through The Athletic’s Josh Robbins. OK, now that I am lined, let your self think about the Hawks with a backcourt of Trae Younger and Beal.

• Critically. (Kinda.) sportbook.ag has listed odds for potential suitors if Beal would not re-sign with the Wizards. Listed here are the highest 5: Celtics 3-1, Path Blazers 4-1, Warmth 5-1, Nets 6-1, Hawks 7-1, Nuggets 15-2, Lakers 8-1, Mavericks and Sixers 9-1, Knicks 10-1.

• Listed here are the unofficial odds on the Hawks being within the disgruntled (once more) Kyrie Irving: zero.

(Photograph: David Banks / USA At the moment)

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