Yankees: Clint Frazier’s Masked Home Run Set Tone for Monster 2020
By Adam Weinrib
Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier socked a home run in Saturday’s tuneup vs. the New York Mets.
Even though Didi Gregorius has departed for Philadelphia, the Yankees still have a masked man of their own in Clint Frazier.
Though the facial covering Frazier wears is intended to safely protect him from coronavirus infection and spread, it seems to be serving a dual purpose, too. Without his face as the focus, Frazier is simply blending in.
And after a Summer Camp session in which he’s done and said all the right things, led by example, and fought through plantar fasciitis without a hint of a complaint, the 25-year-old outfielder capped his comeback month by loudly socking a dinger off Rick Porcello in the Yankees’ exhibition win on Saturday.
Frazier’s home run loudly echoed through an empty ballyard, serving as a powerful, silent statement from a masked assassin.
Frazier’s been a difficult case study for Yankees fans in recent years, and the group as a whole tends to root for his success.
For all his reputation as a hot dog or lone wolf, the Frazier we tend to actually see is much more of a warrior, zeroing in better when the pressure’s on. During an injury-plagued stretch for the roster in 2019 where he starred, he hit .362 with five homers and 28 RBI with runners in scoring position, before being unceremoniously demoted.
Every time Frazier appears to be doing his best to fit in and carry the load, though, a new concern rears its head, and causes the masses to face-palm. His defensive deficiencies against Boston last year led to a postgame disappearance, and comments that rankled the staid Yankees media in the days that followed.
While a mask certainly holds more sway for other reasons in 2020, it’s allowed Frazier to be himself, while taking the focus away from his outspokenness a bit.
Frazier isn’t problematic, and he’s certainly not trouble. He’s just a 25-year-old with prodigious power being a 25-year-old in front of a city that’s used to tearing people down at every turn until they can tangibly provide a win.
By wearing a mask and socking the requisite dingers, Frazier has been leading by example in 2020, and doing a great job of indirectly attempting to educate all the most wrong people in our country while fully ignoring their noise.
He doesn’t mind if he becomes known as the Masked Man in 2020 because it’s the right thing to do. And if that’s going to be Frazier’s new identity, he’ll have to do more talking than ever with his especially loud bat.
So far, so good.