Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman laments leaving WBC sport for Canada

Freddie Freeman selected membership over nation Tuesday, the Dodgers first baseman pulling himself from Team Canada’s World Baseball Classic sport towards Colombia due to a gentle proper hamstring harm reasonably than taking part in via the ache, a choice that wasn’t as straightforward because it might need appeared.

“It was really tough,” Freeman stated Wednesday after receiving three hours of remedy at Camelback Ranch. “I apologized to [Canada coach] Greg Hamilton. I feel like I let them down. He obviously reassured me that I didn’t, but that’s just the way I feel.”

Freeman, 33, selected to play for Canada, as he did within the 2017 WBC, to honor his late mom, Rosemary, who died of pores and skin most cancers when Freeman was 10. She was born and raised in Canada; he was raised in Southern California and starred at Orange El Modena High.

Canada didn’t win a sport within the 2017 match however went 2-2 this yr, together with a 5-0 win over Colombia. Canada was eradicated with Wednesday’s 10-3 loss to Mexico.

“Watching on TV when you’ve invested as much as you have in the last week, it’s definitely tough to watch,” Freeman stated. “It was a wonderful week. Canada, we put on a good show, a lot better than 2017. To not see it all the way through is hard. So there’s a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth having to leave the WBC.”

The Dodgers have been grateful that Freeman pulled himself out of Tuesday’s sport, Manager Dave Roberts calling it “a very responsible decision.”

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Freeman stated he felt “a little tightness” however not “a grab” on a swing within the third inning. He slowly ran out of the field, clearly in discomfort. He performed the subsequent half-inning within the subject however was changed within the fourth.

“I thought it was a cramp, but obviously it didn’t go away,” Freeman stated. “No matter what game I’m in, I’m going to play it to the hardest of my capabilities, but with opening day 15, 16 days away, I was a little nervous having to go first to third or first to home, so ultimately I had to make that tough decision to come out.”

Both Freeman and Roberts stated the harm will on no account impression Freeman’s standing for opening day. Freeman, the truth is, stated he expects to return to Cactus League motion by this weekend.

Canada’s Freddie Freeman (5) celebrates with teammates after scoring towards Britain in a World Baseball Classic sport in Phoenix on Sunday.

(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

“Opening day is not in doubt,” Freeman stated. “I feel fine. Just a little tight right in the middle of my hamstring. I feel much better today.”

Freeman, the 2020 National League most precious participant, has missed simply 10 video games for the reason that begin of 2018. He appeared in 159 video games final yr, his first season with the Dodgers after signing a six-year, $162-million deal, and hit .325 with a .918 on-base-plus-slugging proportion, 21 homers, 100 RBIs and a league-leading 199 hits, 117 runs and 47 doubles.

The Dodgers are relying on Freeman to gas a lineup that misplaced shortstop Trea Turner and third baseman Justin Turner to free company and Gavin Lux to a season-ending knee harm, and so they can’t afford to lose the left-handed-hitting slugger for an prolonged time period.

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The threat of harm is the largest concern for main leaguers who take part within the WBC — seven Dodgers gamers, together with ace Julio Urías, proper fielder Mookie Betts and catchers Will Smith and Austin Barnes, have performed on this yr’s occasion — however the Dodgers appeared to have dodged a bullet with Freeman.

“I was hoping the injury was more mild, and I think this is the best-case scenario,” Roberts stated. “When you have a situation where we don’t have our eyes on guys, you always kind of have a little bit of nervousness, a little fear of injury, and hopefully this is the worst of it.”

Times workers author Jorge Castillo contributed to this story.