While it might seem like a lot more, David Freese’s Dodgers’ career spans just 98 regular season games in 2018 and 2019. Additionally – he tallies on 14 postseason games during the 2018 run – and hopefully over a dozen more to come this October.
However, Freese is 36-years old and was sidelined with injury for a lot of the 2019 regular season. Indeed, he’s reached an age where it’s reasonable that a player begins to think about the next phase of life; or perhaps the end of his playing days.
Now, Freese talks with Bill Plunkett of the OC Register about coming to the end of the line and how he feels about doing so with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
#Dodgers notes: Veteran David Freese isn't ready to say whether he has reached the end of his major-league road. But if it does end with his LAD experience, he'd be "just damn happy about it." (Plus Bellinger-MVP talk)https://t.co/Q0P5ei5vDx
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) September 29, 2019
Without question, this sounds like it could be the last ride for Freese in a baseball uniform.
“I was talking to my wife the other day. I don’t know how I made it this far. Physically. … In a lot of ways,” said Freese reflectively. “It just comes down to selfishly pushing and also the people around me. You put that together and you’ve got a chance.”
Physically, Freeser has suffered with foot and ankle issues for most of his career. Multiple surgeries, and another upcoming in the off-season have taken their toll on the 36 year-old.
What’s more, we learn within Plunkett’s article that Freese has dealt with a much bigger demon than physical injuries suffered on-field in the past. As Plunkett writes it “Freese has acknowledged suffering from depression and anxiety throughout his life.”
Equally important, it’s a demon he’s been able to beat.
“I’ve dealt with this game differently than a lot of people,” he said. “I’ve lacked in other areas because I’ve been smothered by this game. It’s all self-inflicted. But you are who you are. It’s kind of a fearful thing to take a step back when you have been successful — will I still be as successful if I take a step back? There’s fear in that. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it knocks you in your face.”
Finally, if you want to know how Freese feels about his career ending with the Dodgers; he sums it up nicely.
“Just damn happy about it.”
Reading stuff like this makes you root just a little bit harder for Freese and the Dodgers to bring the curtain to a close with a World Series title. I’m really going to miss this guy.