An interesting development occurred to , and apparently I witnessed it Thursday without realizing it at the time. LOOK CLOSELY at the featured photo that accompanies this article: Doesn't Freese look like he's saying to me, the photographer of the photo: "Get help, plezzzz!" as he peered into my Nikon camera? Now, I see.
To be honest, I sensed something different was happening between him and KSDK-TV reporter Julie Tristan as I took photos of her interviewing him at Thursday for the But Tristan does the Show Me St. Louis Show, which is upbeat in general, so I shrugged and thought she must have interviewed him before and that they knew each other.
Not true, apparently. But according to online critics, Tristan conducted the interview like she wanted to get to know Freese on a personal level, which is why her interview is attracting attention, but not on the merit of her interviewing skills.
Everyone who was lucky enough to speak to Thursday was admittedly giddy—even the guys. I personally was still talking about what a nice and generous sport Freese was the next day when I was a guest speaker at in Eureka. Some of my Facebook friends posted they were envious of the photos and that I got to interact with him.
And ever since Thursday's encounter, I revere him differently while he's batting during Cardinals' games. He didn't have to ride Mr. Freeze five times with youth groups who traveled hours on buses to ride with him, but he did.
He didn't have to talk to youths from Big Sisters Big Brothers of Eastern Missouri who suddenly discovered they were too nervous to ride the ride, but he did. He didn't have to stick around at Thursday's event as long as he did, making sure all media representatives had all questions answered, but he did.
He even proactively shook my hand one last time before getting into a car to leave from Six Flags, because he's a classy, well-meaning person. In short, Freese conducted himself in the utmost genuine way Thursday, so it's a bit painful to see that he might have been put in a hot box, rather than the batter's box last week.
Monday, Tristan was called "lovestruck" by Yahoo Sports reporter Kevin Kaduk. He wrote that Tristan awkwardly asks Freese "if he has a girlfriend, whether he prefers blondes or brunettes, and if he thinks she and her friend are pretty. All while telling Freese she loves him, of course."
Editor's Note: A full version of the Freese segment aired by KSDK-TV accompanies this article, for the convenience of Eureka-Wildwood Patch readers.
His parting words were: "Silly fluff or not, Tristan whiffed big time on this one."
Deb Peterson, St. Louis gossip and society news reporter, also wrote on Monday that "Tristan flirts and makes embarrassing comments through the nearly four-minute interview and ride on the Six Flags roller coaster."
Peterson indicated sports blog Deadspin said Tristan's treatment of Freese was "quite possibly the most uncomfortably awkward fluff piece ever, just ... watch and feel embarrassed for every single person involved in this mess."
What do you think about the way KSDK-TV reporter Julie Tristan handled Thursday's interview with David Freese? Share your thoughts in the comments' section of this article.