I have urgent breaking news about Reds third baseman Todd Frazier.
“I’m still going to have ‘Fly Me To The Moon,’ but I’m also going to have another song,” Frazier told me on 700 WLW. “I can’t really tell you what it’s going to be right now, because I’m in the midst of choosing from a couple.”
Are we talking about another Sinatra tune or might Frazier be considering a different legend from his home state of New Jersey like Bruce Springsteen?
“I like him too, but I don’t get as relaxed and as fired up as I do when I listen to Frank,” said Frazier.
You’ve got to love a 27-year-old major league baseball player who gets fired up listening to Francis Albert Sinatra.
The most appropriate Sinatra classic for Frazier to add as a walk-up tune might be ‘Night and Day’ because Todd’s role with the Reds going into this season is as different as night and day from where it was a year ago.
Last season, Frazier led the Reds during spring training in HR (5) and RBI (15) only to get sent to Triple-A Louisville one day before the season opener when the team claimed pitcher Alfredo Simon off of waivers.
“It was tough and I’d be lying to you if I said that it wasn’t,” said Frazier. “Not many people get to experience something like that. I’m just lucky to have family and friends behind me that helped me understand that it was not the end of the world. They said, ‘You’re going to get called up and you’ve got to believe that.’ I certainly did.”
The call-up came in 13 days and Frazier spent the rest of the season in Cincinnati, batting .273 (.331 OBP/.498 SLG) with 19 HR and 67 RBI to finish third in the National League Rookie of the Year vote.
“I was certainly disappointed that we didn’t make it farther in the playoffs, but for me personally, I was happy with my season,” said Frazier. “I thought that I could have done better, but at the same time, for my first season I thought that I did pretty well.”
So well, that he’s not fighting for a job this spring. Even before Scott Rolen retired, the Reds made it clear that Frazier would be their primary third baseman this season.
“I went into spring training last year and put a little pressure on myself because you want to be ‘that guy’ and get up to the big leagues,” Frazier told me. “But for me this year, everything is good. I’m happy and I’m more comfortable understanding that I do have that job. It feels good to even hear that come out of people’s voices. I can’t wait – it’s going to be fun.”
Frazier’s expanded role with the team goes beyond the field as he’s been named the captain of the Reds Heads Kids Club featuring autograph sessions and other members-only experiences for fans that are 14-and-younger.
“I remember when I was young, I sent letters to famous people and tried to get as many autographs as I could and I know how it feels,” said Frazier. “I might have sent out about 15 to 20 letters. I had this book that had everybody’s name and address in it. It was pretty silly to think about it now. I only got one back. I can’t remember all of the people that I sent letters to, but I remember Cal Ripken sending something back.
“I think that giving back to little ballplayers like that is pretty cool. I can’t wait to see them happy and excited and to be the face of the ‘Kid’s Club’ this year is pretty exciting.”
Perhaps he can even get the Reds youngest fans to start listening to Sinatra.
I’d love to hear from you at Dan.Hoard@Bengals.nfl.net
If you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard
And I’m on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dan.hoard.1