With all the ups and downs of Clint Frazier’s New York Yankees career, it’s clear he’s different, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The spotlight has been burning into Clint Frazier ever since his arrival from the Cleveland Indians in the Andrew Miller trade in 2016. The New York Yankees outfielder immediately became the next big thing.
And then there was the attitude. The request for a haircut. The questions over No. 7 on his jersey. The fight over how he was treated by the New York media. The defensive issues.
Basically, Frazier’s tenure within the Yankees organization has been nothing but a problem for the straight-laced franchise. His recent spin with the media was his video game stream that showed him trolling the Houston Astros regarding the sign-stealing accusations.
So, he’s different. Clint Frazier is brash, no-nonsense and incredibly confident in himself. He is not the stereotypical Yankee the organization has been trotting out for decades.
Instead, he might just represent players who will be coming up through the organization in the future. And it’s time to get used to this type of player because he will be just the first of many.
It’s OK to be upset about the way Clint Frazier handles his fame because it’s new. It’s a huge change from what everyone is used to when the New York Yankees are in the conversation. But let’s be realistic here: he may change slightly but he is who he is.
Frazier obviously has some things to work on. His bat speaks for himself, with his legendary hands striking inside fastballs with ease. His defense leaves much to be desired, but with the right mentorship and hard work, there’s no doubt that he’ll improve and become a solid outfielder for this young Yankees team.
The way he approaches the media will clearly be an area for improvement, seemingly because the Yankees organization drills into their athletes the appropriate way to demonstrate the “team-first” mentality in interviews.
For now, we don’t have to like what Frazier does. Instead, we just have to accept it. He is who he is and it’s become clear he’s not the only player who is like that within Major League Baseball at his age.
For the Yankee traditionalist who believes that every athlete who comes through the Bronx will be pure and refined right away, that will rarely be the case. It takes time for players to adjust to the environment that the Bronx Bombers have built. And sometimes, for certain players, it doesn’t make a difference in their attitude—see Reggie Jackson.
Frazier is going to be one heck of athlete for the New York Yankees if they choose to stick with him. Let Clint be Clint and coach him along the way. He has plenty of growing up to do, but isn’t this what the Yankees want? …talented players who are willing to learn along the way?
Let’s keep in mind that he is still young and he was raised in a different generation. He is not the stereotypical New York Yankee you would imagine upon first glance, but he is not the only one in the sport. It’s time to accept him for who he is.