Injured Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. took part in an interview Wednesday night on Instagram Live. During the interview, he made some comments about former Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and referenced an incident during this rookie season where some of the team’s veterans called him into the office and removed his eye black with a towel. The conversation was translated by ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez.
Acuña was asked about his comments prior to Thursday’s season opener and said that he thought they had been exaggerated and blown out of proportion.
“To be honest, I think it was just exaggerated and blown out of proportion by the media,” Acuña said through an interpreter. “I was talking about some things that occurred during the 2018 season and I just think it was just blown out of proportion.”
A follow up question asked whether he had conflict with Freeman during this rookie season which was something that he also took the high road on.
“Not really. I think that’s all in the past right? That’s something that took place a long time ago and we’ve all moved past it and I’m over it,” Acuña said. “Instead of talking about the reigning World Champions we’re here talking about these things.”
Freeman of course left to sign with the Dodgers this offseason. The Braves pivoted acquiring Matt Olson from Oakland and locked him up with an eight-year extension. When asked what he would say to Freeman, Acuña again said that there was nothing to say and that they had moved on.
“There’s nothing to say because I was just referencing an incident that occurred in 2018, Acuña said. “So I didn’t disrespect him. I don’t have any ill-will towards him. I didn’t say anything to him about that. That was just me referencing something that happened between us in 2018.”
Probably not the story that the franchise wanted to tell on the day they are raising their 2021 championship banner. It is also a reminder that major league clubhouses are large and that everyone isn’t going to have close relationship.