Yankees’ Clint Frazier Defends His Silence After a Rough Outing Express News

TORONTO — Through good or bad over his 20 years as a Yankee, Derek Jeter would stand at his locker in the clubhouse after games to account for his performance. He rarely said a lot, but he showed up for that part of his duties as a major league player, and as the captain of the team.

“Part of being a big-league player and part of playing here is we want our guys to always respond when you certainly play a specific role in the ballgame, and that’s part of being a pro and being a big league ballplayer with the New York Yankees,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said before Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

That backdrop cast an even harsher spotlight on the behavior of Clint Frazier, an outfielder still trying to establish himself in the major leagues, after he had the worst defensive game of his career on Sunday. He avoided reporters after that game, an 8-5 loss to the Red Sox, and largely doubled down on Tuesday, when he faced them all for the first time since the defeat.

“I didn’t feel like I needed to stand in front of everyone and explain myself,” Frazier, 24, said. “The plays were what they were. I sucked. I lost us the game. Everyone knew that I did wrong. And that’s what it came down to.”

Later in his interview session on Tuesday, Frazier acknowledged that he should have addressed his poor play in right field rather than leaving it to his teammates.

“I don’t want them to have to speak for me,” said Frazier, who also avoided reporters when he landed on the injured list earlier this season. “But I also want to be on the same page as everyone in there, so I should’ve been standing in front of my locker.”

Frazier’s hitting (.272 with 10 home runs and 28 runs batted in entering Tuesday’s game) has helped the Yankees weather injuries that have knocked out a wide swath of their roster this season, and his bat has largely compensated for his shortcomings in the outfield. In the fourth inning Tuesday, after his meeting with reporters, he hit his 11th homer of the season, a two-run shot.

But Frazier’s struggles in the field have been puzzling considering his age and athleticism. He said on Tuesday that he felt that his offensive contributions were being forgotten because of his defense.

Frazier missed vital development time last season because of a concussion that kept him out for most of the year.

“I’m trying to stay on that field, and when I play the way that I did in the outfield, it’s probably going to lessen my time that I get to stay on that field,” said Frazier, who was in the designated hitter spot on Tuesday.

Frazier, who has been praised by Boone for his hard work in trying to improve, said he struggled to stay composed on Sunday and heard the boos from fans. Although Frazier insisted he was just as confident on defense as at the plate, it is clear his fielding woes have become a mental hurdle. Boone said it was part of the team’s responsibility to help Frazier.

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