New York Yankees fans have spent the past several months lusting after cool, calm and collected Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, and the anticipation has ratcheted up tenfold thanks to new information indicating he’s ready to bolt Atlanta, and could do so nearly the second the lockout is lifted.
But what if he’s not quite as calm as he looks, instead battling a fire raging within him at all times, ready to explode out of his mouth after a crucial strikeout?
MLB insider Buster Olney, who’s been all over the Freeman chase in recent days, sees something you and I might not when he looks at the 32-year-old former MVP.
According to Olney, Freeman is a perfect fit for New York and the Yankees not because of his calm demeanor, but rather because he creates an internal struggle for himself that’s immune to media influence.
You know, kind of like Paul O’Neill, who never needed any help getting fueled.
If the Yankees could secure both a 35-homer, always-available bat like Freeman to play first base who also possesses O’Neill’s drive and intensity, they should probably go ahead and do that.
Yankees target Freddie Freeman is like a modern Paul O’Neill?
Oh, the exact thing the current Yankees are missing? Sounds like a good assessment. Might as well retire his number on Aug. 22, too, right after Paulie’s ceremony.
Of course, there’s one problem with the timing of all this. Olney’s pitch-perfect comment comes just as the tides in the preemptive Freeman chase are beginning to turn against the Yankees, and the path might even be leading to the Mets, a rumored new suitor.
Whether Steve Cohen’s involved or not, recent theories indicate the Dodgers could blow Freeman’s AAV out of the water on an expensive short-term deal. We once thought the Yankees had an advantage in the bidding as long as they were able to extend to six years first, but if that’s not the case, Brian Cashman doesn’t really have a weapon in his arsenal here.
We hope Freeman gets a chance to handle the New York media, but only on the right side of town.
If it’s long-term security and smashable water coolers you’re looking for, Freddie, you know who to call.