PLAYER OF THE YEAR
STEADY FREDDIE FREEMAN IS THE STRONG, SILENT L LEADER OF THE BRAVES’ DYNAMIC OFFENSE
The biggest home run Freddie Freeman hit this season came July 17, one week before Opening Day.
When the Braves held their first team workouts on July 3—the day camps reopened following the pandemic shutdown—they did so without their all-star first baseman and franchise pillar. Freeman had tested positive for COVID-19, adding further uncertainty to a season that many in the industry, including Braves manager Brian Snitker, were skeptical would finish.
Hours before Snitker informed reporters of Freeman’s status on July 4, Freeman was laying in his bed, drenched in sweat and praying for his life. His fever peaked at 104.5 degrees.
“I said a little prayer that night,” Freeman recalled. “I’ve never been that hot before. My body was really, really hot. So I said, ‘Please don’t take me.’ I wasn’t ready. It got a little worrisome that night.”
That evening was the worst of Freeman’s COVID-19 experience. His fever dropped when he woke the next morning. He was finally fever-free on July 6, though he didn’t regain a sense of taste or smell until days later. July 9 was Freeman’s final day feeling symptoms.
Being symptom-free didn’t clear him to rejoin the team, however. He still needed consecutive negative tests to return.
The Braves, preparing for Opening Day on July 24, readied to start without their best player. On July 16, while the Braves still hadn’t ruled Freeman out for the opener, Snitker said they would “need to make a decision soon.”
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OLD MEETS NEW
Brian Snitker expertly navigated the Braves to a third straight division title despite myriad pitching injuries
Focusing on the Northeast pays off for the Indians
Over the past few years, the Indians have mined the Northeast for talent. The 2020 team got big-time contributions from former college righthanders Aaron Civale (Northeastern) and James Karinchak (Bryant). Waiting in the wings are three more prospects from the region, all from high school: third baseman Nolan Jones (Bensalem, Pa.), catcher Bo Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and righthander Lenny Torres (Beacon, N.Y). All five of those players were signed by area scout Mike Kanen, a former Baseball America intern. BA recently spoke with Kanen about his first impressions of those players. The interview is edited for brevity.
Bobby Dickerson was integral in transforming the Padres’ infield from error-prone to October-caliber
TRUST THE TOOLS
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The 2020 Dodgers led the National League in runs scored and fewest runs allowed.
From scouting to player development to analytics to acquisition, the Dodgers cover all the bases as baseball’s model franchise.
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A LASTING LEGACY
All-star player. Decorated manager. Ambassador for the Dominican Republic. Felipe Alou wore many hats, but above all he was a pioneer who helped pave the way for generations of Latino players.
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Options to Protect Your Assets During Uncertain Times
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Diarrhea: Is It Serious?
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THE COLA CONTEST WITH 600,000 WINNERS
DECADES AGO, PEPSI’S NUMBER FEVER PROMOTION CAPTIVATED CONSUMERS AND PROMISED TO END COKE’S DOMINANCE IN THE PHILIPPINES. BUT AN ERROR AT A BOTTLING PLANT LED TO DISASTER
WHEN COVID-19 CAME TO TOWN
HOW ONE FAMILY DEALT WITH SELF-QUARANTINE
GUNS N' ROSES
WHY HAVEN'T THE SPAGHETTI INCIDENT? AND LIVE ERA ‘87 - ‘93 CONNECTED WITH GN'R FANS LIKE APPETITE? GW CHECKS IN WITH GUITARIST GILBY CLARKE, VOCALIST ROBERTA FREEMAN, ENGINEER JIM MITCHELL, HANOI ROCKS' MICHAEL MONROE AND THE DAMNED'S BRIAN JAMES.