Thumb Injury Forces Freddie Freeman To Miss MLB All-Star Game

Brian McCann Selected To Replace Freeman

Sunday, July 14, 2013
Freddie Freeman
Freddie Freeman
- photo by Tim Evearitt

Just three days after being voted into the All-Star Game by a record number of fans, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman sustained a jammed thumb on the first play of the game in Saturday's 5-2 win over Cincinnati that will keep him off the field in Tuesday's Midsummer Classic.

Freeman will still travel to New York City for the All-Star festivities, but the Braves announced on Sunday afternoon that he would not play in the game itself.

The 23-year-old first baseman was wearing a soft splint on his left hand on Sunday morning and dealing with swelling in his left thumb from when he turned his glove hand into the path of Reds outfielder Chris Heisey while making a tag in the first inning. Catcher Brian McCann went out to the mound to give Freeman time to test his thumb, and Freeman stayed in to finish the game, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts at the plate and wearing a batting glove under his first baseman's mitt in the field.

Freeman said that he jammed the same thumb sliding headfirst in 2010 with Triple-A Gwinnett and that the splint was primarily a precaution.

Before the announcement was made, his manager was adamant that Freeman would make the trip to New York City regardless of his playing status.

"I think he needs to go, and if he can participate, participate," Fredi Gonzalez said. "If he can't participate, don't participate. He needs to go and, at the very least, enjoy himself."

Freeman will meet with Dr. Gary Lourie in Atlanta on Thursday to re-evaluate the injury before the Braves decide how he will be used in the first series after the break against the White Sox.

A few hours after Freeman learned a left thumb injury would prevent him from playing, Major League Baseball announced National League manager Bruce Bochy had selected McCann to serve as Freeman's replacement.

Bochy's decision to go with McCann was primarily influenced by the fact that he wants to carry three catchers on his roster that already included Buster Posey and Yadier Molina, who has spent the past week dealing with an inflamed right knee.

But it also could to do with the fact that Bochy still remembers the game-winning double McCann recorded in the 2010 All-Star Game. The hit provided McCann his only All-Star MVP Award and the Giants a chance to own home-field advantage as they beat the Rangers in that season's World Series.

McCann earned six straight All-Star selections from 2006-11 and then missed last year while dealing with a right shoulder ailment that forced him to undergo offseason surgery and miss this season's first five weeks. Since returning to his everyday role as Atlanta's catcher, he has produced like he did while winning five NL Silver Slugger Awards.

McCann entered Sunday hitting .291 with 12 home runs and a .910 OPS, which ranked second only to Posey among NL catchers with at least 200 plate appearances. The Braves veteran enhanced his All-Star credentials while hitting .440 with a 1.282 OPS in his past 13 games.

"It's huge," McCann said. "A lot of hard work went into this winter to be in this position. The rehab that I put in, it's all paying off right now."

McCann will enjoy this year's Midsummer Classic with Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and Freeman, who will travel to New York to enjoy the honor he received by garnering more votes than any player in the history of the All-Star Final Vote balloting process.

--- Source: MLB.com

Brian McCann
Brian McCann
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

NFL Punt, Pass & Kick Competition To Be Held Oct. 16

The NFL Punt, Pass & Kick Competition will be held  Sunday, Oct. 16. Registration and warm up will be at  12:30 p.m. and c ompetition starts at  2 p.m. at  McCallie School. Boys and girls will compete separately. This is for ages  6/7, 8/9, 10/11, 12/13 and 14/15, and the a ge group is determined as of  12/31/2016. Winners ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: SEC Picks Week Five

If there was ever a game that could have been called " A Tale of Two Halves", last week's Florida at Tennessee game would be it. The Gators dominated the first half, leading 21-3 at the break, while the Vols then scored 38 straight unanswered points to post a 38-28 win. That win for the Volunteers snapped an eleven game losing streak to the Gators, and started a string of four crucial ... (click for more)

Boyd Questions Effectiveness Of Read 20 Program; Coppinger Defends It

County Commissioner Tim Boyd said he questions the effectiveness of the Read 20 pre-K literacy program and wants the director to come before the County Commission to answer questions.   County Mayor Jim Coppinger defended the program, noting that it was the creation of former County Mayor Claude Ramsey.   Commissioner Boyd said the low literacy level hearing ... (click for more)

Corker Says Without Budget Reform, Washington Is “Laying A Huge Burden On Future Generations”

In remarks on the Senate floor  on Wednesday , Senator Bob Corker joined a number of colleagues to discuss the broken federal budget process.   “The processes that we have in place make it impossible for us to really deal with our country’s fiscal issues,” said Senator Corker. “Today is the perfect example of that: we pass a continuing resolution ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)