Freeman’s back to contact lenses (UPDATE w/ finger injury)

MIAMI – Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has ditched his glasses and switched back to playing in contact lenses again, hoping the latest medicated eyedrops will keep his dry eyes from becoming irritated again.

“I’m going with contacts now,” said Freeman, who a week ago said he was done with contacts and would wear glasses on a permanent basis for the forseeable future.

“I can’t see in glasses,” he said Wednesday.

By that he meant he couldn’t see to hit. He explained that glasses made for him by Oakley, with peripheral correction all the way to the frameless, curved outer edges, had a “blind spot” caused by the nosepiece when he looked at the pitcher from the angle he does while in his closed batting stance.

“That’s why  you never seen anybody with glasses when they hit,” he said.

Freeman went 1-for-2 with an RBI single Wednesday before leaving the game with a injured left index finger, from being hit by a relay throw as he was sliding into second base in the fourth inning. He will have it X-rayed on Thursday.

In his first game wearing the glasses May 30, he had three hits including a homer and three RBIs in a 10-7 win against the Cardinals at Turner Field. But Freeman went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts in his next two games during the weekend at Washington.

After Monday’s off day in Miami, Freeman decided to switch back to the contacts for Tuesday’s game in the controlled, windless environment of Marlins Park, with its retractable roof closed. It was after playing a May 4-6 series in the windy, low-humidity conditions at Colorado’s Coors Field when Freeman’s dry-eye condition was exacerbated and he ended up with corneal abrasions from his contacts.

Freeman hit .364 with 14 extra-base hits (six homers), 25 RBIs and a 1.084 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 19 games from April 17 through May 6. Then with his vision blurry at times and uncomfortable on a daily basis, he hit .164 with six extra-base hits (two homers), nine RBIs and a .566 OPS in his next 19 games through Sunday at Washington.

After switching back to contacts for Tuesday’s game, he went 2-for-5 and scored two runs in the Braves’ 11-0 series-opening win. Perhaps more importantly, a day later he said his eyes felt fine Wednesday. He wore his glasses all day, then put in some of his new drops and put in his contacts before going out for batting practice before Wednesday night’s game.

Freeman said he wouldn’t know until later if his problem will crop up again once the Braves get back outside. He hopes the new drops take care of it.

If following this ongoing saga is starting to wear you out, imagine how Freeman feels as he continues to explain the machinations of his vision problems and sundry attempts at finding a solution. All while dealing with the frustration of having the hottest three-week stretch of his career be followed immediately by one of his worst slumps.

He was cordial but kept answers brief to the vision questions Wednesday. Which was a lot more than Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had to say about the matter.

“I don’t want to hear it,” Gonzalez said, smiling. “If I hear another thing about the contacts, the goggles, or the [bleeping] wind, I’m sending him to Gwinnett.”

He was kidding, but the essential point was clear. Everyone with the Braves, most of all Freeman, wants this ongoing story to have a good ending — and soon.

26 comments Add your comment

eskippy

June 6th, 2012
7:28 pm

dawg4u

June 6th, 2012
7:34 pm

I remember Reggie Jackson used to wear glasses when hitting in the late 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s. He did strike out a lot but also hit some mammoth home runs also and he was facing pitchers like Nolan Ryan and Jim Palmer.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

June 6th, 2012
7:46 pm

“That’s why you never seen anybody with glasses when they hit,” he said.

Uh, some guys wear glasses when they hit…just ask BMac about 2009 and part of 2010…

TWO GOOD DOGS

June 6th, 2012
10:29 pm

FREDI NEEDS A HANDLER. HE CLEARLY INTERFERRED OR TRIED TO CAUSE A BAD THROW ON THE DOUBLE PLAY THROW. LET’S NOT CODDLE FREDI. HE TRIED TO DEFLECT THE THROW TO FIRST AND MESSED UP HIS FINGER. HE’S AN IDIOT. NOW HE’S OUT WITH A INDEX FINGER ” CONTUSION”. HE’S AN IDIOT. QUIT DOING STUPID SH….T. HE’S HURTING THE TEAM. THE TALKING HEADS DON’T ADDRESS THE FACT HE’S SO IMMATURE. HE KEEPS DOING STUPID SH…T OVER AND OVER .

oasisbraves

June 6th, 2012
10:30 pm

Chris Sabo wore goggles I believe.

D.A. Nuggla

June 6th, 2012
10:46 pm

Heck just tape a pair of binoculars(opera glasses?) to your head so the ball looks like a beach ball and hit away!

spartygw

June 6th, 2012
11:22 pm

Sabo is a good one. I was trying to think of players I’ve seen wear glasses. For some reason Al Cowens came to mind. No idea why he popped in my head.

Reggie was also a good one. I really can’t think of too many. Freddie might have a point.

Greg Luzinski is another 80s era guy who wore glasses.

Can you think of anyone else?

jack

June 6th, 2012
11:48 pm

There was a Chicago White sox 1st baseman in the late 60 that wore glasses. can’t put a name to it right now.

jack

June 6th, 2012
11:52 pm

Mike Squires

spartygw

June 7th, 2012
12:36 am

I think Cecil Cooper wore glasses at the end of his career.

jack daniels

June 7th, 2012
1:26 am

i think the team needs a new eye doc

bostonbravo

June 7th, 2012
4:01 am

Roy McMillan, Reds shortstop=glasses

bostonbravo

June 7th, 2012
4:02 am

Dom DiMaggio=glasses

Dennis

June 7th, 2012
7:29 am

Two Good Dogs…..quite a handle but probably indicative of maturity and focus in life. He certainly loves his Caps key and tries mightily to inflame with his nonsense about Freeman. Probably just another frustrated Phillies fan with nothing better to do.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

June 7th, 2012
8:33 am

Wilson Betemitt (sp?) was wearing glasses to bat last time I saw him…

Yehuda Hamer

June 7th, 2012
8:59 am

Freddie will be at full strength before you know it.

Disbott3000

June 7th, 2012
9:11 am

Well, you CAN hit with glasses on, but you have to position your head differently, more straight toward the pitcher, in order to see well. Even with special glasses, peripheral vision can be awkward. If it’s the way you always did it, it wouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re used to hitting without them and then suddenly need them, it is far more difficult, I imagine. I do not want him to tinker with his approach, so let’s just stick with the contacts, ok?

Jack G

June 7th, 2012
9:24 am

If Freddies eye Dr. is the same one that BMac goes to, I think I would change Dr.s

Rick Matula

June 7th, 2012
9:54 am

Jeff Burroughs wore specs and I seem to recall a hot streak coinciding with an ocular adjustment…

spartygw

June 7th, 2012
10:18 am

Roy McMillan I had to google, I had never heard of him.

I’ll add Tom Brookens to the list. At the back end of his career he wore glasses. Now he’s Detroit’s 1B coach.

Ignore TWO DOGS RANTING. Why engage him in discussion? The all caps, misspelled posts are so bad I don’t even read them.

Bigfoot in Urbana

June 7th, 2012
11:57 am

It's over now

June 7th, 2012
12:57 pm

Freddie HAD TO given up his Oakley’s because Milkbone (aka Under Armour) told him to.

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

June 7th, 2012
4:10 pm

Ken Phelps for the Yankees wore glasses! Kurt Rambis, did too. Oh wait…..

FreddieFan

June 7th, 2012
9:44 pm

Who cares who else wore glasses, or does presently.. I wear contacts & will vouch for the pain in the ass they can occasionally be, especially in very dry areas. That said, I’m sure he’s ready to get back going again. He has really impressed me personally, & the fact that he’s only 22 is promising. Really good bat, prbly still be near top NL offsve categories if not for missed time/eye trouble. Excellent overall 1B, just needs more range at first. That’s why he gets a knock from some ppl defensively.. But what he can get to, he’s gotta good glove on. Once again, he was born in 1990. he’s only gonna get better.. #futureallstar

Paulban

June 24th, 2012
10:57 am

I think he rocks. I wish I was a sportsman. Go for it Freddie!

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September 23rd, 2013
11:02 pm

Freeman’s back to contact lenses (UPDATE w/ finger injury) | Atlanta Braves
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