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#pounditSaturday, February 4, 2023

Doug Gottlieb issues apology for Freddie Freeman report

Freddie Freeman looking ahead

Jun 25, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Gottlieb dropped one of the biggest bombshells of the MLB season back in June when he reported that Freddie Freeman’s agent never informed the slugger about a final contract offer from the Atlanta Braves. The FOX Sports Radio host has now apologized and said his report was inaccurate.

Freeman fired his agents in late-June after the Los Angeles Dodgers traveled to Atlanta for a series against the Braves. Gottlieb claimed Freeman made the decision to part ways with Excel Sports Management after learning that one of his former agents, Casey Close, never informed Freeman of Atlanta’s final offer in free agency last winter. Gottlieb said Close knew Freeman would have accepted the offer and withheld it.

Close strongly denied that he intentionally failed to act in Freeman’s best interests. He then sued Gottlieb for libel. On Wednesday, Gottlieb issued a statement retracting his own report and saying he “simply got it wrong.”

Close then issued a statement hinting he will drop the lawsuit against Gottlieb.

“From the onset, we were clear that Mr. Gottlieb’s tweet was wholly inaccurate and that we would seek legal remedies to set the record straight,” a statement that was sent to Larry Brown Sports read. “He has retracted his statement in its entirety and acknowledged that he got the story wrong. We consider this matter closed.”

Gottlieb’s initial report has been deleted from Twitter. In all likelihood, he agreed to delete the tweet and issue an apology in exchange for Close’s lawsuit being dropped.

Freeman’s agents overplayed their hand with Atlanta. They gave the Braves what Freeman felt was an ultimatum. Atlanta responded by acquiring Matt Olson in a trade with Oakland and signing the former A’s first baseman to a big contract extension. Many believe that is the outcome Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos wanted, anyway.

We may never know the specific reason why Freeman fired his agents, but he obviously learned something during that June trip to Atlanta. Otherwise, he would not have parted ways with his representation immediately after.

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