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Video: “The Freeze” loses a race to a Braves fan


On a balmy June evening, in front of 38,123 fans gathered in the stands of SunTrust Park, well before the Marlins polished off their decisive 5-0 shutout and vaulted into second place in the NL East, the unthinkable happened: a Braves fan handed “The Freeze” his first loss of the season.

If you haven’t been following the rise of “The Freeze,” the superhero moniker of Braves’ grounds crew member Nigel Talton, you can watch the results of his first race here. He’s a seasoned sprinter and has plans to enter the 2018 world indoor championships in England, according to this profile by USA Today’s Andrew Joseph.

Friday’s loss wasn’t the first Talton has experienced at SunTrust Park — he lost to another fan during his first race on Opening Day — but it’s the first he’s experienced while under the teal-and-white guise of his speedy alter ego. On Friday, the race began in similar fashion to the others. The Braves fan took the customary 200-foot head start, but this time, The Freeze was unable to eclipse him on the warning track as the two sprinted toward the finish line:

Don’t let that dent your opinion of The Freeze, however. Talton told Cut 4’s Gemma Kaneko that his first race in costume inadvertently caused him to run blind, since he could barely see out of his goggles and wasn’t able to look up into the lights while sprinting. While he may not be invincible anymore, don’t be surprised if he has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.