Freese, Chipper share mutual respect
Back in Spring Training, shortly before Chipper Jones announced that this would be his final season, the Braves third baseman, speaking to a reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, heaped high praise on Cardinals third baseman David Freese. Among the compliments Freese has received, this was clearly one of the most meaningful.
Freese grew up admiring Jones and had the opportunity to watch the veteran third baseman regularly on TBS. Freese has since thanked Jones for the compliment (Jones replied by calling him a ‘stud’), but that has not diminished the significance of being on the same National League All-Star squad this week.
“The fact that Chipper has a chance to go to this All-Star Game, just relish the career that he has, it’s cool to be a part of this,” Freese said. “He’s the one guy that I’m glad is here.”
Freese’s comments were then relayed to Jones.
“It makes me feel good,” Jones said. ” It makes you feel like you’ve done your job right and well enough for people to look up to you. I think he’s blowing smoke because I told him during Spring Training that I had a man crush on him. To do what he did last postseason, that is anybody’s dream. I knew if David could just stay healthy, the sky was the limit for him. You saw what a healthy David Freese can do for you at crunch time.”
There was a brief time when it appeared as if Freese and Jones wouldn’t be able to share this All-Star stage. They made up two-fifths of the NL Final Vote ballot, which was to determine the final player on the NL roster. But Jones was soon after named to the team as an injury replacement. And Freese followed as the Final Vote winner. So here they are together.
“I want to be here, but Chipper belongs here,” Freese said. “Obviously, with the career that he’s had, I’m glad I can look to my left and he’s sitting there.”
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