New York Yankees prospect Clint Frazier, who is not even with the major league club, has now found himself smack dab in the middle of two ridiculous situations not of his making. The first came in Spring Training when Frazier shaved off his long red hair after he and Joe Girardi decided it had become a distraction.
The organization’s draconian rules regarding personal grooming, of course, bend for no man, regardless of potential. And Frazier certainly has potential. The left fielder has posted an .804 OPS in four minor league seasons. Earlier today, Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman claimed Frazier had asked the team to retire Mickey Mantle’s No. 7 so he could wear it.
He did no such thing. He did, however, graciously accept her apology. It’s quite striking that it’s the 22-year-old who keeps rising above to be the adult in these situations.
He knows, deep down, that his long hair had no effect on his baseball-playing ability and yet went along with the shearing process. In offering that he asked for Mantle’s number, Waldman painted him as a Millennial with no respect or reverence for the past. Once again, Frazier, who has already sacrificed in the name of Yankee tradition by forfeiting some of his individuality, took the high road.
The Yankees’ extended orbit is doing an impressive job in making playing for the organization, which has been the dream of every kid who learned to throw a curveball in the last century, seem unappealing. While Frazier is handling himself with composure now, one must wonder if these incidents will have an impact on his willingness to stay with the club down the road. Or, bigger picture, how other players his age will react to the nonsense he’s been forced to deal with.