Freddie Freeman admits no budding rivalry with Braves

Freddie Freeman and Kenley Jansen tend to think the budding NL rivalry between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers is a bit over the top.

Freddie Freeman and Kenley Jansen have traded places this offseason as Freeman’s primary base is for the Los Angeles Dodgers while Jansen has the closer role for the Atlanta Braves.

Prior to this season, Freeman and Jansen were franchise cornerstones for their former clubs. While Atlanta and Los Angeles have often met in October in recent years, this duo thinks the budding rivalry between the NL contenders is a bit excessive.

“There’s no bad blood,” Freeman told the Los Angeles Times. “There’s nothing there. It’s just two organizations that respect each other that are winning organizations at the moment.”

Of course, a competitor wants to win every game, but Jansen doesn’t hold a grudge against his former team either.

“Everybody wants to beat the Dodgers,” Jansen said. “Now I’m on the other side, of course I want to beat her as much as I love her. This organization will be in my heart for the rest of my life. But now that you’re on the other side, you want to hit her.”

The question is will things heat up when these two NL contenders meet for the first time this year?

Freddie Freeman says there is no budding rivalry between Braves and Dodgers

They both have a point in that their rivals are in their division. The Dodgers’ biggest rival is the San Francisco Giants, followed by the San Diego Padres in NL West. As for the Braves, in the NL East they usually get everyone to the best of their ability. With the Braves and Dodgers only playing six games during the regular season, there won’t be enough fuel to fully ignite this rivalry … until October.

Of course, the Dodgers will be hosting the Braves in a week. Los Angeles will not return to Atlanta until late June. While every game played between these contenders will be a must-watch on TV, the Dodgers know their biggest games are against the Giants and Padres. As for the Braves, they have business to run against the likes of the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies.

While Freeman and Jansen can say everything is cool for now, all it takes is for a pitcher to lose control of his fastball and we could have fireworks. Although the Braves and Dodgers used to play in the old NL West, it’s difficult to spark a budding rivalry unless you play in the same division as your opponent. What might happen in October is another matter.

What happens in next week’s series will say a lot about the ‘animosity’ between these two clubs. Freddie Freeman admits no budding rivalry with Braves

John Verrall

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