CINCINNATI — I spent a lot of time Wednesday analyzing the Todd Frazier trade. Did the Reds get enough? How good is Jose Peraza? My conclusion — and everyone else’s — was the Reds had to move Frazier.
The economics of baseball dictate that. Whether it’s a good or bad trade will be determined over the next three or four years.
But trading away Frazier was an incredibly sad thing for the Reds to do. Very few major league players retain that boyish love of the game. Frazier did.
A photo posted on Facebook by my friend Gary Landers illustrated that. It shows Frazier celebrating winning the Home Run Derby as his brothers go nuts in the background. It could have been taken in their backyard when they were kids.
Frazier gets it. He’s been a star since he was 12 years old, but he treats everyone the same.
Quick story about Frazier: We were standing around the practice field in Goodyear, busting chops as they say in Jersey. Somehow the subject of chugging milk came up. Frazier mentioned nerds that did that at his high school.
I, busting chops, said Frazier, the big star athlete, probably had nothing to do with nerds.
“I wasn’t that guy,” he said.
Meaning, he, the big man on campus, never placed himself above the nerds and stoners who populate any high school. The exchange on the practice field in Goodyear led to a hilarious story from Frazier that I can never repeat.
That’s why today — removed from the analysis and justification of the trade — I’m more than a little sad that the Reds traded Frazier.
He’s a good guy who gets it. (And he was as media friendly as any Red). When a guy like that is also a good player, you wonder why baseball hasn’t figured out a way to allow small-market teams to keep them.
That’s a matter for another day. But, in the meantime, I’ll miss Frazier.