The talk of the town has been Clint Frazier … and not in a good way. The New York Yankees are now in the middle of some unnecessary drama.
As a professional athlete, a huge focus lies within the numbers they put up, the championships they win and the individual accolades they receive after a particularly impressive season.
As a New York Yankees employee, a huge focus lies within presence, attitude and serving as a role model.
In today’s world, there can be athletes who possess both skills and when that happens, the entire team excels. Those are the teams that win World Series championships.
Right now, the Yankees have that dilemma on their hands, but it’s not one they’re unfamiliar with. Clint Frazier’s lack of accountability and recent comments to the New York media have stirred the pot and thrust the Bombers into the negative spotlight.
As ESNY’s Dom Renna discussed, Frazier’s accountability is a huge issue for the New York Yankees but something they have dealt with before. With their record of brash players, they also have role models who did everything right in their turn in the spotlight.
This brings up yet another conversation that should be had concerning professional athletes of all walks of life. Do impressive stats outweigh poor character?
In the Bronx, no. While the Bronx expects greatness at every turn, there are also athletes who have been in the Bronx and demonstrated incredible character while leading the league in stats.
How about that?
There have been a few who have been prime examples of that. Take last season’s AL MVP. Mookie Betts played a huge role both on and off the field and, ultimately, his team won the World Series. In Yankees history, of course, the primary example is Derek Jeter. His Core Four teammates were much of the same.
They all owned up to their mistakes and faced the media. They didn’t make their teammates respond to questions about them. They also did amazing things on the field in the process.
Clint Frazier feels he has nothing to apologize for and has the right to his own opinion. The media did chase after him early on when he refused to cut his hair and reportedly asked for Mickey Mantle‘s number. (Reports following the reported request dispute the no. 7 claim. Suzyn Waldman has since apologized and George A. King III of the New York Post has presented information to the contrary.)
There’s no reason to think Frazier actually asked for No. 7. The greater point that issues of this nature continue to pop-up holds true.
Media issues aside, he’s confident in his own abilities and it has shown mainly at the plate this season.
Frazier is ranked as the worst defensive outfielder in the league. He also is fourth on the team with 11 home runs and is slashing a cool .275/.327/.529 line.
When reporters want to discuss his monster home run from the other day, he gladly obliges. When they want to cover his defensive woes, he avoids. The Yankees will gladly take his bat in the lineup every day but when it comes time to make a decision on what players to send down to make room for Didi Gregorius, it should be Frazier.
The Yankees cannot continue to let his play overshadow his attitude. Hopefully, this will be a learning experience for the young outfielder as he’ll get a chance to work on his fielding and not have his teammates hold accountability for his poor defensive abilities.
Frazier has a lot of learning and growing to do and this is the perfect opportunity to do so. By taking some accountability and changing his attitude, he’ll not only help himself but the team in the long run.
It’s not about molding Clint Frazier into being what the New York Yankees want him to be. It’s about molding him into a well-rounded athlete who can serve as a role model for something besides his eclectic collection of cleats. It’s about molding him to be not just an athlete but a winner in all senses of the word.
Talent alone cannot outweigh character—not when the World Series is the goal. In today’s world, it often does. However, the Yankees have the chance to do right by Clint Frazier and he has the opportunity to help himself.
Naturally, his stats make him a role model for athletes but his attitude, not so much. It’s time to make a change for the better and realize it’s not just all about the stats.