My compatriot Stephen Knox covered all this not so long ago, but if you need a refresher…
Doug Gottlieb exists somewhere between Adam Schefter and Skip Bayless in the spectrum of being a useless drivel smokestack. He’s not simply just an emitter like Bayless, as he still has something of an “insider” rep to his name where you’re under the impression he occasionally has a phone to his ear instead of just making sounds and noises between camera red lights like Bayless. But he’s not just a simple bullhorn for whatever NFL executives want out into the bloodstream like Schefter, so he does get to fart out an opinion every now and then, and they’re almost always wrong.
If you missed it last night, Gottlieb stepped up to his Twitter urinal and let loose, claiming that Casey Close, Freddie Freeman’s recently fired agent, never told Freeman that the Braves had made a final offer for an extension in the winter, and hence railroaded Freeman into taking the Dodgers offer while providing enough of a pause for the Braves to assume he wasn’t coming back and trade for Matt Olson. And seeing as how Freeman fired his representation this week, it wouldn’t take much for those who don’t want to actually consider Gottlieb’s usual M.O. of dysentery of the mouth.
Close has vehemently denied this, as most agents would. This is ice cream for morons, as there’s still a wide swath of fans, especially in baseball, who consider agents to be a pox on the sport. Certainly they can be unseemly at times, because they don’t have your team’s interest at heart, just their clients’. And assuredly there’s been an agent’s agenda filled out over a player’s somewhere in the history of the game, though not nearly as often as those who hate Scott Boras would like you to believe.
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It’s obviously not clear whose bidding Gottlieb is doing here, but it’s hard to follow this through to the conclusion. Even if Close preferred Freeman take the Dodgers’ offer because it was bigger or for another reason, he would know that Freeman would find out eventually and he would lose out on his agent fee altogether when he did. Lying to clients also tends to cause an agent to lose other clients. If Close continues to be dropped by other players, maybe this all has legs.
Freeman clearly didn’t get the ending he wanted, as it’s been obvious this week he desperately wanted to stay in Atlanta for the rest of his career, especially after a World Series win. But what’s more likely, that his agent sabotaged him? Or the Braves wanted Freeman at the price they wanted him at, which Close wasn’t going for because his detail is to get his client the most money he can, and the Braves decided to get five years younger at the position and $6 million per year cheaper? Given you know how MLB front offices work, and especially given how we know that the Braves love to save a dollar wherever they can, the answer is pretty clear.
But because Gottlieb still has a “Fox” label to his name, somehow, he can bellow this kind of thing and it gains traction. Gottlieb has bee spitting into the wind for a while now, and yet these guys can’t ever seem to lose their credibility. Maybe it’s the Braves trying to stick it to the Dodgers one more time, or to make themselves look better to their fans who might still be a little sore about Freeman’s exit. Maybe it’s other agents trying to bury Close and nab some of his clients. Whenever someone like Gottlieb steps up to the mic to have a bunch of green shit drip out like they have mouth clap, you can be sure they’re doing someone a favor.
Took me an extra night to get around to it, but on Tuesday night history was made when Carson Pickett made her debut for the USWNT. She is the first player to appear for the team with a limb difference, as she was born without a left forearm.
Pickett has been a NWSL vet for a few years now, and getting her first call-up at 28 would be a story in itself, as the story with the USWNT of late has been the kids how are usurping the old standbys on the team like Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman and Ashley Sanchez. We need any story we can get these days of someone getting their rewards after years of working toward it, and Pickett is the best one at the moment.