[OPEN ON: JUNE 2022 at YANKEE STADIUM]: Well, well, well, if it isn’t the presumptive 2021 Yankees starting left fielder … wearing Cubbie blue …
[A tumbleweed blows through the entire bleachers and across the outfield.]
What do you say … we … show him how we feel about him, Bleacher Creatures?
[A giant man painted with a bullseye on his chest gives a side-eye and a hand signal to the rest of his cohorts. They all stand and unleash an ovation so deafening it crumbles the 80-foot George Steinbrenner mural to dust.]
Frazier had great Yankee moments in fits and spurts, sure, but all in all, his tenure in the Bronx was largely disappointing. That’s why it was so confusing to see, among the well-wishes, a tweet that posited that Frazier would get an equivalent ovation to World Series winner Nick Swisher, who left the Yankees for Cleveland as a free agent after the 2012 season.
Sure, we’ll miss Frazier … but Swish is Swish … right?
Will Clint Frazier get a Nick Swisher-esque standing ovation in his Yankees return?
This debate shouldn’t be going to such extremes. Yes, Frazier deserves positive acknowledgment on his way back into town, and if you’re so turned off by him tweeting that he’s glad he’s gone on Tuesday, you’re knotted up over nothing. He has a new opportunity now, and he’s thankful for it … and there also clearly might’ve been some front-office friction involved.
But no, he shouldn’t be treated as a Yankees Legend. He shouldn’t be fawned over. He didn’t bring us a ring or fulfill his potential, for myriad reasons. He should be wished well and moved on from.
There is another hidden element here that merits mentioning, though. Some folks in these replies seem to believe that Frazier left on “bad terms,” while Swisher left as a beacon of light. Neither side of that fantasy is entirely true. Frazier’s 2021 was marred by strange concussive side effects that derailed his final chance to prove himself (though 2020’s playoff benching showed the Yankees would always pivot away from him at the first sign of another option rather than embrace him). His jabs at the franchise/controversy seem light-hearted. Swisher, on the other hand, actually left the Bronx feeling slighted by the Bleacher Creatures; he was booed for a 2012 Game 1 ALCS misplay that some (incorrectly) used as ammo to pin Derek Jeter’s resulting ankle injury on his shoulders. Suddenly, his playoff struggles were magnified, and it all led to an unnecessarily icy few weeks.
And yet, a half-year later, all was forgiven. A helpful primer that players who lead the Yankees to titles might just get a little more leeway than those who don’t.
Oddly, perhaps American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis summed it up best.
All positive vibes, all around, for both men. Most of the Yankee fan base has this right. Some have it wrong, forcing the Frazier defenders to skew too far in the other direction.
Show him some love. Tip your cap. But don’t go nuts.