Star of Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman and 3 Others Test Positive for Coronavirus
By: Evan Mei
Freddie Freeman, the four time All-Star, along with premier reliever Will Smith, have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a massive blow to the gut, especially with the start-delayed season looming overhead like a towering wave.
Manager of the Atlanta Braves Brian Snitker said “It will be a while before we can get him back.”According to Snitker, four players, amongst them right-hander touki toussaint and infielder Pete Kozma, have agreed to have the team disclose any positive tests.
Freeman had a negative test early during the week, and received a positive test on Friday. The team’s first baseman also has a fever and “is not feeling great.”
On July 23rd, the MLB’s 60-day game season is scheduled to begin, and Freeman is arguably the biggest star in the whole sport to have his virus test announced to everyone by his team.
Freeman has set career highs with more than 30 home runs and 100 RBIs just last season, winning Atlanta its second NL East title in a row. He held the title of fourth place in the NL MVP voting in 2018 with a score of 0.309 with 23 homers, winning him the Gold Glove.
Now, fear lies not in whether the players can return, but in the future of the team. “Guys have gotten it more than once,” Snitker said. “We’re going to have to be careful all year, and it’s going to be the new normal for the next three months.”
Snitker hopes that at the very least, Freeman can show the world that COVID 19 is not a joke, and that everyone should remain distanced from those around them. Two of Freeman’s teammates, Smith and Toussaint, have no symptoms. Kozma, who is currently working with top minor leagues at the team’s Triple-A Gwinnett facility, currently has a fever.
“I applaud EY,” Snitker said. “It was a tough decision for him. He’s an old gamer and we’ll miss him dearly for what he brings inside this clubhouse and his energy and everything.”