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 properly in Atlanta. Many followers seen him as egocentric and disloyal and mainly a traitor. The actual fact he already had misplaced some supporters as a result of he was a robust 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 other people had some nasty issues to say to the purpose that my spouse and children left.”

(It did not go properly for him on the sphere, 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 Freeman is completely different Friday when he returns to Atlanta for a weekend collection 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 alternative, Matt Olson — it will be absurd to boo some of the loyal gamers in franchise historical past and the one most accountable for the crew’s rise to World Champions final 12 months. The “he by no means needed to signal right here” takes are lazy and patently false. However in sports activities folks typically lead with their feelings.

Glavine believes Freeman “will get a optimistic response.” There possible might 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 evening.

The group will deal with Freeman’s return as a celebration, simply because it has with different gamers from final 12 months’s title crew who’ve return in a distinct uniform this 12 months, just like the Giants‘ Joc Pederson on Monday evening. 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 might be some clips of Freeman homers and possibly one in all 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 collection between the groups until they meet within the postseason, during which case Braves’ Twitter would soften down.

It appears like . . . October?

If it felt like a playoff ambiance for a Monday evening recreation in June, there is a cause. The Braves could have turned heads and rotated their season with their latest 14-game profitable 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 after they get performances from unlikely sources. The Braves had a type of come by means of 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’ prime three OPS averages presently belong to William Contreras (.987), Michael Harris (.949) and Arcia, though not one of the three have sufficient at-bats to formally qualify.

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

By now that the sphere at Mercedes-Benz Stadium might be switched from synthetic turf to grass instantly following the ultimate Falcons dwelling recreation of the 2025 season to organize for the 2026 World Cup. The precise timeline is not finalized but, however MBS possible might want to set up some form of underground irrigation and air flow system, in addition to some form of lighting system to duplicate 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 might. However it will not occur. MBS is without doubt one of the busiest sports activities services on the planet. Within the final pre-COVID 12 months of 2019, it hosted 66 ticketed occasions and 275 personal occasions for a complete 341 in one year. That features soccer and soccer video games, in addition to concert events conventions, weddings, retirement events, company occasions and extra. Wooden planks are used to cowl the sphere earlier than levels 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 continuously repairing and changing the grass. So you’ll get plastic turf and be proud of it.

Hawks want change by way of commerce, not draft

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

However this is a thought: The Hawks’ solely path to important enchancment over final 12 months is by way of commerce (or free company), not the draft. This crew is younger sufficient and wishes an NBA confirmed 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 protecting the decide (presently sixteenth total): “There’s at all times a fantastic line. There’s just a few occasions 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 greatest participant accessible.”

Reality, fiction and someplace in between …

• How come no person 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 anticipated to say no his $36.4 million participant choice. It is “extensively assumed” he’ll achieve this to signal a max take care of Washington, by way of 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.

• Severely. (Kinda.) sportbook.ag has listed odds for potential suitors if Beal would not re-sign with the Wizards. Listed below 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 below are the unofficial odds on the Hawks being within the disgruntled (once more) Kyrie Irving: zero.

(Photograph: David Banks / USA At present)

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