Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier has been the subject of a lot of scrutinies lately, and for good reason. Hia fielding errors on Sunday night and subsequent snub of the New York media sent social media into a frenzy, calling into question the character of the fiery outfielder.
On Tuesday, Frazier responded big time with a two-run blast in the fourth inning to give the Yankees an early 2-0 lead in an eventual 4-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Following the game, Frazier finally faced the music and addressed the media, in what was a not so ginger interaction.
El Rojo expressed his discontent with New York media stating he “doesn’t need motivation through articles that are written.” What followed was an awkward stare down with reporter Ken Davidoff of the New York Post for what felt like an eternity.
Frazier’s issues with the media seem to have carried over from last season. One incident cited by the young outfielder was from last Spring Training in which Suzyn Waldman claimed on WFAN that Frazier had asked if the Yankees unretired numbers he would like to wear Mickey Mantle’s number seven.
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Another came when YES play-by-play man Michael Kay called Frazier out for not getting healthy after a lengthy battle with a concussion last season.Both broadcasters soon apologized, but not without leaving a lasting impression on the rookie.
Frazier has legitimate gripes with these incidents and for good reason. However, he shouldn’t harbor this resentment on the rest of the New York media. He cannot become inflamed every time a reporter is critical of him such as Davidoff was.
Every player has a bad game, every player makes mistakes, but facing the media is part of the job. Being a professional athlete means dealing with the press, even in the most difficult times, and even when you don’t want to.
Frazier is an outstanding young talent with unbelievable bat speed. He carries himself with the swagger of an All-Star and the confidence of a World Series champion. He is not tepid in his opinions, nor bland in his dress.
His defense is a problem right now but as he continues to put the work in it will improve. Reports show that Frazier has been out every day working with Aaron Judge and Yankees first base coach Reggie Willits.
He needs to worry more about improving his game on the field than focusing on how he’s being talked about off of it. If he can do that he still has a big role to play on this Yankee team moving forward.