Ronald Acuna Jr. opens on rift with Freedie Freeman

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Ronald Acuna Jr. opens on rift with Freedie Freeman

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. admitted there was a friction between him and now former Braves star Freddie Freeman. After 12 seasons with the Braves, Freeman signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers last month. Acuna, who has been with the Braves since 2018, conducted an interview with Yancen Pujols on Instagram Live and there he was asked what he would miss the most about Freeman.

"Me?" Acuna responded to the question, as quoted on ESPN. "Nothing." Then, Acuna was asked if he had been close with Freeman during their four years together. "We were close in that we shared the same stadium," Acuna said, "but we had a lot of, how do you say ..." "Lots of clashes," Pujols interrupted.

"Lots of clashes," Acuna said, nodding.

Acuna later tried to downplay the comments

"To be honest, I think it was just exaggerated and blown out of proportion by the media," Acuna said through translator Franco Garcia on Thursday.

"I didn't say anything bad about [Freeman]. I didn't disrespect him. ... I talked about what happened in 2018. That was in the past." Acuna added later: "He never controlled me. He has a life and I have a life." Acuna suggested Freeman picked on him as a rookie and that caused some of the friction between the two.

"When you come up as a rookie, there's always someone who [wants to tell you how to do things]," Acuna said. "You come up from the minor leagues with the big eye black, the sunglasses, the hat low, and a lot of people see that as wrong.

And the other person doesn't see it as wrong because it's part of the game. "A lot of veterans [picked on me] when I was a rookie, and they called me into the office themselves and told me: 'No, you can't use that.' And they took [the eye black] off me with a towel like that.

And I said, 'OK, that's fine.' " Pujols then asked Acuna if he stayed quiet. "Yeah, of course. I can't say anything, you know?" Acuna said. "I just said, 'One day I'll be a veteran.' I'm not saying I'm a veteran right now, but nobody's going to take the eye black off my face now, you know?"