As the Yanks (hopefully) ascend towards something close to the promised land, fans received a reminder of the last “most fun era” in recent Bronx baseball on Saturday when Todd Frazier showed up.
Remember The Toddfather? The affable slugger who helped wake up the Yankees offense at the 2017 deadline, swiftly rising from the unheralded nether regions of the David Robertson trade to help redefine the team’s playoff run?
He’s a Pittsburgh Pirate now, switching places with Taillon entering a 2021 season that almost feels normal so far.
Taillon took care of business on Saturday once again, whiffing four and allowing two hits in a pair of shutout innings, gearing up for April by stretching out a bit with 39 pitches.
On the way off the mound, Frazier stopped him and assured him he could move on from Pittsburgh and keep doing his thing in the Bronx. The veteran third baseman would take it from here.
Todd Frazier let Jameson Taillon take the torch to the Yankees on Saturday.
This interesting little moment certainly speaks to the “caretaker” nature of both men.
Taillon is a unique individual, poached in part by his former teammate Gerrit Cole to reunite as a top-of-the-rotation duo with the Yankees. Until this past month, however, the Pirates were the only organization Taillon had ever known. They were his baseball family.
As he made perfectly clear Saturday, he made the drive to Bradenton with his eyes metaphorically closed. He’d followed the path that was already ingrained within him.
Years after leaving the Bombers, Frazier’s short pep talk on Saturday showed he’s still dedicated to helping his former team when the opportunity arises.
People like Frazier don’t come around terribly often, and neither do individuals like Taillon, a pitcher clearly on the precipice of greatness who still feels the burden of the team he left behind.
Frazier? He, too, views baseball as a brotherhood, and Saturday’s short conversation was one final way of letting the quirky Taillon know it was more than alright to move on.
Great things could be ahead for the Taillon-Cole pairing, as long as the team’s newcomer and ace in the hole is mentally ready to contribute. Saturday’s game was a big step towards normalcy, in more ways than one.