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Reunions for Freddie Freeman, Kenley Jansen to start Dodgers-Braves

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Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Freddie Freeman and Kenley Jansen each spent 12 major league seasons with their first teams, but now find themselves on the other side of the Dodgers vs. Braves rivalry.

Freeman homered and reached base three times in the Dodgers’ win on Monday night. Jansen didn’t pitch, but both players visited former teammates before the game, which was heavy for both players.

From Alden Gonzalez at ESPN:

“Obviously there’s just a lot of emotion going on right now,” Freeman said in front of a horde of media members in the Dodgers’ dugout, “but a lot of good emotion.”

“He’s a sensitive guy,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Freeman, per David O’Brien at The Athletic. “That’s who he is. That’s why we love him.”

The two iconic reunions with old teams were contrasted by Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register, including this from Jansen: “I know it was an easier transition for me to move on – because I didn’t take last year for granted. I enjoyed every single day. I came every single day like it was my last. Like I said, I had a blast in 2021. Unfortunately, we fell short, but I didn’t take it for granted.”

More from Jansen, from Mark Bowman at MLB.com:

“When you’ve grown up in baseball playing for one team, it’s like you’re leaving your parents to go to college,” Jansen said. “Whatever you want to call it. It was an exciting moment for me to see what the future was, being in a new uniform, playing for a new team. But it was also emotional.”

Freeman and the Braves maintain a strong relationship even after the split, says Justin Toscano at the Atlanta Journal-Consitution.

Monday was the 72nd anniversary of Vin Scully’s first Dodgers broadcast. Isabelle Minasian has more at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

More Bauer

The rumor that Trevor Bauer, currently on administrative leave, might show up at Dodger Stadium on Sunday never happened, but Dylan Hernandez at the Los Angeles Times opined, noting the nearly 10-month investigation by MLB coupled with Bauer’s combativeness, “By dragging out the process, he is not only tainting the Dodgers’ history but also clouding the team’s present.”

Over the weekend, Julie DiCaro at Deadspin wrote, “MLB and Rob Manfred stand to do a lot of harm if Bauer isn’t handed a lengthy suspension. Because allowing him back into baseball’s good graces is putting MLB’s stamp of approval on everything Bauer has done since the allegations came to light.”