Quit picking on Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman

ADDS SEVENTH INNING - Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman makes a catch on a ball hit by San Diego Padres' Jurickson Profar during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 2, 2022, in Los Angeles.  Profar was out at first on the play.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman makes a catch on a ball hit by San Diego’s Jurickson Profar during the seventh inning on July 2. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

Dylan Hernandez’s demonization of Freddie Freeman struck me the wrong way. Put yourself in his shoes. He came up in the Braves organization and has many fond memories. Those aren’t erased immediately.

Freddie is an emotional guy. He asked to close that chapter, but no, the sensational press won’t let that happen. There is too much demonization by the media in the political world. I turned to sports to escape that. Let Freddie prove himself on the field and earn his salary.

Kirk Stitt

Hereford, Ariz.

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Dylan Hernandez’s column (hit piece?) on Freddie Freeman triggered my gag reflex. Hernandez labels Freeman the “archetype of the entitled athlete.” The Dodgers’ roster is full of eligible athletes paid tens of millions of dollars per year. Hello Mookie, Cody, Trea, Justin, Clayton, et al.

Hernandez accuses Freeman of conducting a three-month publicity campaign to burnish his image with Atlanta fans. So, if reporters bombard Freddie with questions in the weeks leading up to the series in Atlanta, and if Freddie answers those questions, presenting his side of the story, that constitutes a publicity campaign? And now, when he says, “That chapter’s closed,” his reputation as one of the good guys in the game is in question?

It seems Hernandez wants it both ways. Either Freddie continues to address the issue (ie, publicity campaign) or his “image is a far cry from truth.”

Freeman is a gold glove first baseman who hits .300 and drives in runs for the first-place Dodgers. That’s all he owes the team, their fans and Dylan Hernandez.

Charles Spooner

Aliso Viejo

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Nice going, Hernandez!

You’ve taken a talented new hero that Dodger fans have fallen in love with and blasted him for seeking a better contract. Why the hatchet job on this ex-Brave? Was it really necessary? We have so few heroes these days. Must you topple them?

You’ve taken Santa Claus and made him into Trevor Bauer. What upcoming columns do you have for us? Did Sandy Koufax once litter? Was Jackie Robinson once caught jaywalking on Ventura Boulevard?

Shame on you.

Arthur Drobes

Los Angeles

Nutty decision

The Dodgers’ decision to ban longtime Dodger peanut vendor Roger Owens from lightly tossing bags of peanuts to fans (of his and the Dodgers) is beyond ridiculous.

Owens has been tossing bags of peanuts from behind his back, under his legs, hook shots and long bombs for as long as the LA Dodgers have been, well, the LA Dodgers. He is iconic. You felt lucky if you were sitting in his section, and disappointed if you weren’t.

The decision was made by the geniuses at Levy Restaurants, the company that now runs the concessions at Dodger Stadium. They claim it is for “fan safety.” Next to go: the 7th-inning stretch because it endangers the fan sitting next to, or behind/in front of you, as you could accidentally bump them.

I mean, what are these guys, nuts?

Steve Kay:

Tucson, Ariz.

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With the current climate of declining civilization and how badly people misbehave and commit unspeakable crimes against mankind, I hardly think a long-standing fun tradition and ritual fans love, such as tossing a bag of peanuts at Dodger Stadium to the crowd, is grounds for a “BAN!” In the scheme of life and on a list of what is dangerous and hazardous, this surely goes right to the bottom of it all. It’s one of the few happy things left to enjoy, so lighten up, batter up and play ball. Let the peanuts continue to fly and say it ain’t so!

Frances Terrell Lippman

Sherman Oaks

Blues clues

When are the Dodgers going to wake up and acknowledge that Craig Kimbrel cannot be their closer? Kimbrel clearly does not have what it takes. And wouldn’t it be nice to have AJ Pollock now? If the Dodgers seriously hope to compete for the World Series, they had better find a replacement for Kimbrel soon.

Steve Phillips

Arcadia

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It has become increasingly clear that the only rationale for pitching Kimbrel in the ninth inning is that his contract must stipulate that he must pitch a specified number of innings per week/month, etc.

It must be getting increasingly hard for Roberts to look the Dodger team members in the face when he consistently exhibits poor decision-making.

Lila Oshatz

Austin:

Game over

You can blame the Angels’ problems on bad deals and injured players. You can fire the manager or hire a new GM. Or maybe it’s just bad luck.

Whatever it is, the Angels stink from the head, and that’s owner Arte Moreno. You tried dude, but for the sake of the fans, take your profit and sell this team to management that knows how to win, because you don’t.

Jim Fredrick

Manhattan Beach

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Please sell, Arte.

Please sell Arte.

Either one.

Kelly Gallagher

Santa Ana

Double trouble

There is no doubt in my mind that Brittney Griner is a celebrity political prisoner. However, how immature could she be? Who packs hashish oil in her suitcase to take to a country where the drug is illegal? Haven’t American athletes gotten the idea already that whether it be stealing sunglasses in China or smoking marijuana before an Olympic drug test, that breaking another country’s rules will get you in trouble?

Griner not only broke the law but she lost a lucrative contract to play basketball in Russia. If I were the Russians, I would send Griner home as yet another example of a spoiled and pampered American athlete.

Mark Walker:

Yorba Linda

Can’t LIV with it

Why do you give the LIV blood money tour top billing? Why do you even show the results? All of those players are greedy selfish traitors to the tours that gave them a good living.

Donald Sirney

Manhattan Beach

Money ball

The Larry Scott hangover continues with the Pac-12, as USC and UCLA move on for more money to join the Big Ten Conference. Kudos to the Trojans and Bruins. NBA players are signing contracts for about a quarter of a billion dollars. Insane numbers. But when a PGA player moves on to the LIV tour to make more money, this is frowned upon. Our sports world is a little wacky.

Chris Sorce

Fountain Valley

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So, UCLA and USC fans will no longer attend road games, but with more people watching on TV, they’ll get more money, all to bolster the bottom half of the Big Ten standings. Got it!

Gene Miller

Huntington Beach

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The former president of Fox Sports estimates that USC and UCLA have a combined annual value of $200 million in the next media rights deal. The rest of the Pac-12 carries a value of about $30 million per team.

So when a fan of Cal football writes in to call USC — and their $70-million-per-year subsidy of the rest of the conference — “greedy,” he absolutely and concisely epitomizes why USC had no choice but to move on to the Big Ten.

Mark Backstrom

Newport Beach

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The really funny thing is that both UCLA and USC have advanced graduate programs in geography.

If the Big Ten doesn’t work out, they should go for a win-win and apply to the Ivy League. Easy victories, plus being an Ivy League school could burnish the academic reputation of both schools.

Ron Richards

Los Angeles

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I suppose the Big Ten will pay USC in Bitcoin.

David Marshall

Santa Monica

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This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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