Atlanta Braves, MLB Postseason

Braves: Freddie Freeman sets MVP standard in locker room during playoff push

Freddie Freeman instills an MVP standard as the leader of the Atlanta Braves clubhouse.

With a fourth straight division title hanging in the balance, Freddie Freeman continues to do his part in the Atlanta Braves‘ locker room to ensure his team will be ready to play every single day.

The perennial All-Star first baseman is coming off his first career NL MVP. While he is not going to win back-to-back, he is setting the standard Chipper Jones did before him in the Atlanta locker room: If you are an important player on the team, you are expected to play hurt and play every day. So when shortstop Dansby Swanson was struggling of late, Freeman pushed him to go be better.

Swanson was held out of the lineup on Sept. 9. Braves manager Brian Snitker told Freeman to take it easy on the shortstop. And while Freeman did in some capacity, his message as the team captain was received by the former No. 1 overall pick out of Vanderbilt in the Braves’ clubhouse.

“I just took his jersey down, I took his pants down, and put his little sweatshirt up. And right when he walked in, I was sitting at my locker, he just looked at me and he goes, ‘I’ve been, unfortunately, not waiting for this moment today,’ said Freeman to Yahoo Sports’ Hannah Keyser.

“Because everyone knows I’m going to get on him.”

Atlanta holds a two-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East division standings.

Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman sets the tone for the sense of urgency

Freeman just turned 32-years-old. Despite being one of the best players in baseball, he is in the midst of a contract year with the Braves. While he and his young family may want to stay in Atlanta, it seems inevitable that he will be hitting free agency this winter. Though Atlanta is not favored to come out of the National League this year, missing the NL postseason is inexcusable.

Freeman gets his work ethic from his father who never took a day off. He raised three boys after his wife’s untimely passing from skin cancer when Freeman was 10-years-old. Freeman wears long sleeves during games as a reminder of what he has had to overcome personally to get to where he is today. If Atlanta wants to avoid an awful collapse, Freeman must lead the Braves.

By getting on his teammates to play every day, it instills an inherent sense of competitiveness.

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