Ronald Acuña Jr. says Freddie Freeman comments were 'blown out of proportion'

ATLANTA – Ronald Acuña Jr. had quite the response when asked about former Atlanta Braves teammate Freddie Freeman.

“We were close in that we shared the same stadium, but we had a lot of, how do you say … lots of clashes,” Acuña told journalist Yancen Pujols in an Instagram Live interview.

The response raised a lot of eyebrows.

Together, they were magic on the field. Acuña and Freeman led the Braves to four consecutive division titles and in 2021, the team won its first World series title since 1995, though Acuña missed the postseason run due to injury.

However, things weren’t as rosy behind the scenes.

Acuña mentioned a situation that happened during his 2018 rookie campaign. He alluded to a time where he didn’t receive such a warm welcome from his veteran teammates.

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That season, Acuña stated that some teammates weren’t happy with him utilizing eye black or wearing his hat low – among other dress code issues. He mentioned that the vets called him into the clubhouse and took off the eye black with a towel.

On Thursday, Acuña addressed the situation with reporters. He said that the Instagram Live interview was “blown out of proportion.”

“I think that is all in the past,” Acuña said through an interpreter. “That is something that took place a long time ago and we all moved past it. I am over it. Instead of talking about the reigning world champions, we are here talking about these things.”

Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr. celebrate during the playoffs in 2018, the latter's rookie season.
Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr. celebrate during the playoffs in 2018, the latter's rookie season.

This offseason, Freeman signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“He is on another team,” Acuña said. “I can’t control that. How can I miss someone if they signed with another team?”

Freeman took the high road when speaking with MLB Network.

“I obviously heard everything that was said. I am going to miss Ronald. Charlie (Freeman) is going to miss Ronald. My family is going to miss Ronald. That is my side of it. I love Ronald Acuña and I can’t wait for him to get healthy and get back on the field.”

Still, Freeman made it known about the Braves clubhouse rules. He confirmed that he did have to enforce those rules to the younger players.

“I guess I was one of the older guys that did have to enforce those kinds of things in the clubhouse,” Freeman said. “When you put on a Braves uniform, those are what kind of happens there. I didn’t view it as any friction or clashes.”

Coming off their stellar campaign, the Braves already been met with a distraction – but the Braves star mentioned that there are no problems between him and Freeman.

“It is totally normal,” Acuña said. “It was one incident that was blown out of proportion. The one thing that I referenced during that interview is what happened there. After that, we had a complete, normal relationship. We had a relationship as teammates.”

The Braves will move on with a new star in tow. Atlanta acquired All-Star first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics. Olson is a Georgia native and makes Braves debut against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.

Freeman joins a vaunted Dodgers lineup that includes fellow MVPs Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger, shortstop Trea Turner and others.

The situation between former teammates adds another level of intrigue for the rivals, who met in the NLCS the past two years.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ronald Acuna says Freddie Freeman comments 'blown out of proportion