Remembering Ryan Freel

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Remembering Ryan Freel
G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images

My phone rang at 11:42 p.m. Saturday night. It was one of Ryan Freel's former teammates. He was shocked and saddened by the news that Freel had committed suicide on Saturday. He wasn't alone. When I worked for the Cincinnati Post, I covered Freel for several years. I traded texts with at least two other writers and emails with another. I asked one, Marc Lancaster, if he wanted to write something for CBSSports.com. Lancaster is one of my best friends and currently the deputy sports editor at the Washington Times. He previously covered not only the Reds for the Post, but also the Rays for the Tampa Tribune. I immediately thought of Marc when I heard of Freel's death, because one of my greatest memories of Freel was when Marc and I were in a nearly empty bar in Cincinnati one night and Freel, fresh off a knee surgery and on crutches, came in, saw Marc and lit up. Freel was so excited to see Marc that he ambled over on his crutches and gave Marc a kiss right on his lips. To this day, the sight makes me laugh.

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