I’ve long been of the opinion that only boring people like athletes and teams just because they’re good. If you’re going to spend precious words praising Mike Trout, come up with something better than “He’s the best player in the game.” Praise him for the joie de vivre with which he plays. Praise him for his exciting brand of baseball — that unique combination of power, speed, and defense. Praise him for having a neck that is thicker than his head. Whatever. But if the best reason you can come up with for liking a player is that he’s good, well, that shows a startling lack of imagination.
Thursday night, professional baseball will welcome into its ranks the next generation of potential stars and the next generation of homegrown players that fans will overrate and annoy the bejesus out of Keith Law on social media by arguing about. But again, just talking about how good these players are or will be isn’t that much fun. So let’s find some nontraditional reasons to like some of the players who might go in the first round.
Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville High School, Ginger
A couple weeks back, Jerry Crasnick wrote a cover story for Baseball America on why there are so few redheads in baseball. In his story, Crasnick explored, with great aplomb and a straighter face than I could manage in his situation, whether there was anything to the idea that redheads are ill-suited for professional sports. It’s a bizarre claim that was made not only about Frazier but about then-TCU quarterback Andy Dalton, and in a triumph of Occam’s Razor, Crasnick offered the theory that redheads are rare in American sports because they are rare in the American population.
You should read that story, because it’s a fun and interesting read. Then you should go watch A Christmas Story, because it’s an indispensable piece of Americana. Then you should cheer enthusiastically for Clint Frazier, because he looks like Scut Farkus.