The Yankees have two players with curiously similar strengths and weaknesses. One gets treated with kid gloves – the other not so much. What’s up with that?
As professional ballplayers, they are remarkably similar. Each is powerfully built and can be counted on to hit many a ball far into the night sky. But neither is gifted defensively.
And yet, while Gary Sanchez gets a seat in the front of the classroom, with the Yankees even going so far as to hire Tanner Swanson as a personal tutor, Clint Frazier doesn’t even get a seat in the school.
How can that be?
Gary Sanchez – Yankees Good Boy
Perhaps it has something to do with the makeup of each player. Sanchez comes across as a big lug, not in possession of the sharpest tools in the shed.
A happy-go-lucky sort, he plods through life willing to take direction from anyone in authority.
Sanchez remains an enigma to fans otherwise. He rarely speaks or appears before the media, and this is mostly due to his inability or laziness to learn even the basics of English.
Clint Frazier – Yankees Bad Boy
In stark contrast, Clint Frazier is the brash kid with flaming red hair who can’t stop shooting himself in the foot.
He asks to wear Mickey Mantle‘s Number 7 and then says he didn’t. Or, at least he didn’t mean it.
There was that fateful game in which Frazier had the worst defensive game of his career in the 8-5 loss to the Red Sox, committing an error on a ground ball and having two miscues on fly balls that were ruled as hits.
After which, he ducked out of the clubhouse, telling reporters, “No, I don’t regret it. And to be fair, I don’t think I owe anyone an explanation because it’s not a rule that I have to speak,”
Promptly, the Yankees demoted Frazier to Triple-A Scranton, after which he used all of the 72 hours afforded by the Player’s/Owners Agreement to report for duty.
Sanchez experienced his version of Frazier’s worst defensive day in September 2018 in a loss to the Oakland A’s.
With Luis Severino pitching in the first inning, Sanchez allowed two passed balls and two borderline wild pitches that gifted four runs to the Athletics.
Following that performance, Sanchez was not exiled to the minor leagues. Instead, Aaron Boone benevolently attributed Sanchez’s bad day as “just something we’ll have to look at if he got a little out of whack mechanically. “We’ll look at the video and see if we can’t correct that. Just a tough first inning all around, frustrating.”
And never the twain shall meet
Clint Frazier has rubbed the Yankees the wrong way on several occasions, while meek and mild-mannered Gary Sanchez has quietly gone about his business – in the stoic tradition of Yankees lore and history.
This writing is not meant to disparage the way the Yankees do business or to criticize what they expect in the behavior of their players.
It is, however, to point out the difference in the way they are treating Frazier and Sanchez. The Yankees may be blind to the disparity, and if they are, this sets the record straight, and they need to fix it.
Yankees – deal with the truth
And the best way to do that is to acknowledge the fact their marriage to Clint Frazier is not working.
An annulment is in order, not a divorce. This is a case where neither Frazier nor the Yankees ever committed to marrying each other. It was a bad mix from the beginning.
Gary Sanchez is the Golden Boy – so be it. But there is no longer a need for the Yankees to continue the charade that Clint Frazier is part of their future.
He’s not – and the Yankees vindictive behavior in not executing a trade – just as much as Frazier’s immature behavior displays an unwelcome but necessary truth.
A truth that must end soon with the Yankees releasing their control of Frazier while the Sanchez experiment continues.