Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. Says Freddie Freeman Comments 'Blown Out of Proportion'

Erin WalshApril 7, 2022

HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 02:  Freddie Freeman #5 and Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves celebrate their 7-0 victory against the Houston Astros in Game Six to win the 2021 World Series at Minute Maid Park on November 02, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. on Thursday addressed the comments he made about his relationship with former teammate Freddie Freeman during an Instagram Live session on Wednesday night. 

“To be honest, I think it was just exaggerated and blown out of proportion by the media," Acuna said, according to Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Acuna also addressed his comments in a tweet:

Ronald Acuna Jr @ronaldacunajr24


Acuna said during an interview with Yancen Pujols, a Domincan Republic-based reporter, that he wouldn't miss Freeman, who signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason. 

The 24-year-old was also asked if he was close with Freeman, who he had spent four seasons with in Atlanta. He said they were close in that they "shared the same stadium" and added they had "lots of clashes." 

Acuna's issues with Freeman began with disagreements they had during his 2018 rookie season. 

"When you come up as a rookie, there's always someone who [wants to tell you how to do things]," he told Pujols, via ESPN's Coley Harvey. "You come up from the minor leagues with the big eye black, the sunglasses, the hat low, and a lot of people see that as wrong. And the other person doesn't see it as wrong because it's part of the game.

"A lot of veterans [picked on me] when I was a rookie, and they called me into the office themselves and told me: 'No, you can't use that.' And they took [the eye black] off me with a towel like that. And I said, 'OK, that's fine.'"

Here are his full comments:

Maria Torres @maria_torres3

Ronald Acuña Jr. spoke in the Braves clubhouse re: his Instagram live comments. He said his comments were exaggerated and blown out of proportion. Here are some highlights, w/his answers translated directly from Spanish <a href="https://t.co/xIhUbAppv0">pic.twitter.com/xIhUbAppv0</a>

The Braves were incredibly successful over the last four seasons with Acuna and Freeman in their lineup. They made the playoffs every year and reached the NLCS in 2020 before winning the World Series in 2021.  

However, Acuna missed the second half of the 2021 campaign and all of the playoffs after tearing his ACL in July. In 82 games, he slashed .283/.394/.596 with 24 home runs and 52 RBI. 

The 2022 season will be an interesting one for Atlanta. Acuna is expected to be sidelined until at least May while he continues his recovery, and the franchise has replaced Freeman at first base with Matt Olson, whom it acquired in a trade with the Oakland Athletics.

With Acuna sidelined, Olson, Ozzie Albies, Marcell Ozuna, Eddie Rosario and Dansby Swanson are expected to hold down the fort offensively, while Max Fried, Charlie Morton and Ian Anderson headline Atlanta's rotation.