LOS ANGELES (AP) — Freddie Freeman arrived at Dodger Stadium and headed to the visiting clubhouse for an emotional reunion with his former Atlanta Braves teammates. Once the game began, he reminded them of what they’re missing by slugging his first home run for his new team.
Kenley Jansen showed up and promptly got lost trying to find his way to the Braves’ side after 12 years as the Dodgers’ closer.
“It was weird, man,” Jansen said, his black glove and black hat with a white ‘A’ sitting on a table next to him.
Two players who had spent their entire careers with one team found themselves on opposite sides Monday night in the opener of a three-game series between the defending World Series champion Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers — a rematch of the last two NL Championship Series.
“It doesn’t happen very often,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Freeman joined the Dodgers in March on a $162 million, six-year deal that returned him to Southern California, where he grew up in Orange County.
Jansen left the Dodgers the same month for a $16 million, one-year deal to be the Braves’ closer.
“It’s like you’re leaving your parents for college,” Jansen said.
Freeman dropped in Braves manager Brian Snitker’s office for a chat and made his way around the clubhouse sharing memories of last year’s World Series victory, the franchise’s first since 1995. He hadn’t seen any of his old mates since the team’s victory parade through the streets of Atlanta in November.
“Hi, world champion,” he said, greeting Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
Freeman said his former teammates told him he looked skinny.
“We’ve got about 25 hugs and about four tear sheds so far,” he said, totaling up the reactions.
Freeman told a Braves employee…