Seeing is the most important thing. This baseball axiom was demonstrated by the character Charlie Sheen played in "Major League," when Ricky Vaughn got fitted for a funky pair of glasses. He might have looked odd, but improved vision helped "Wild Thing" pitch way better for the fictionalized Cleveland Indians.
Meanwhile, in real life: After sitting out four games waiting for a pair of special glasses to arrive, a newly bespectacled Freddie Freeman homered and drove in three runs to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 10-7 victory against the Cardinals on Wednesday night.
Before you go, "Four games? What happened to '... in about an hour'"? The Braves had benched Freeman so his eyes could heal from vision problems caused by a dry-eye condition and his contact lenses. Freeman had become so frustrated, anxious and eager to get back on the field, he rushed to the batting cage wearing his new glasses as soon as they arrived on Wednesday afternoon without changing out of the polo shirt and shorts he wore to the stadium.
Aided by the Tyler Clippard-style sports goggles, Freeman's slumbering bat awoke for three hits during the game: He also had a run-scoring double and a run-scoring single. Way to go, Kareem! He obviously hadn't lost his optical nerve at the plate.
''I was surprised about how I hadn't played in a few days and was able to have my swing like that,'' Freeman said. ''I wasn't worried about the glasses. I knew they were good.''
That didn't stop his teammates from playfully poking fun at Freeman by giving him the international "Four Eyes" salute:
I like how one guy goes upside-down with his hands, while another stays right-side up — almost like binoculars. Livan Hernandez really went super fashionable with virtual Mardi Gras glasses during Freeman's postgame TV interview. Hey, the Braves have been struggling and this seems to be a fun way to break some of the tension. It's also good to know that people still receive good-natured ribbing for wearing glasses. That seemed to have become a lost art/put-down.
Freeman says the next step will be to see how he sees during a day game.
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- Freddie Freeman