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.
Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna recently revealed that he has been dealing with an anxiety issue, Rob Longley of the Toronto Star reports. Osuna specified that the issue is completely off the field, not on the field. He is not sure when he’ll be able to return to pitch again.
Osuna had been feeling “a little bit anxious, a little bit weird” and said, “I feel like I’m lost a little bit right now.” Despite the anxiety, Osuna volunteered to pitch during Friday’s loss to the Royals, but the Blue Jays smartly chose not to put him into the game.
Osuna said, “I wish I knew how to get out of here and how to get out of this. We’re working on it. We’re trying to find ways to see what can make me feel better. But to be honest I just don’t know.”
It must have been tough for Osuna to make his issue public, as there is still a stigma around dealing with mental issues. Given the prominent position he holds in the Jays’ bullpen, fans become even less empathetic about taking time off to deal with it as well. Hopefully, Osuna is able to use the time off to get the help he needs. And hopefully his going public helps motivate other people dealing with mental issues to seek help for themselves.
The 22-year-old recently became the youngest player in major league history to reach 75 career saves. This season, Osuna is carrying a 2.48 ERA with 19 saves and a 37/3 K/BB ratio in 39 innings.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.
Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.
With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.