If you grow up a baseball-playing Yankees fan in the Greater New York area, there are things you dream about. Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier did, and he gets to check off another box Monday night.
Frazier got to play at Yankee Stadium with the Reds in 2012. He got to wear the pinstripes for the first time July 25 in his first home game as a Yankee after being dealt from the White Sox a week earlier. And he got to play in a Yankees-Red Sox series this past weekend.
Now he will take the field in a Subway Series when the Yankees host the Mets on Monday night.
“It’s going to be awesome!” said Frazier, from Toms River, New Jersey. “One of my brothers was a Mets fan and one of my brothers was a Yankees fan — it made for some fun times watching the games. Now to be a part of the history and lore? It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Frazier had one live Subway Series experience when he was a kid. He recalled how he and three friends took the ferry from New Jersey to Shea Stadium. He said Cliff Floyd hit a home run that day and the Mets won by a run.
“We had a great day and fun times,” Frazier said. “This time the Subway Series is going to be all business. We have to win these games.”
The teams will begin the four-game series — two at Yankee Stadium followed by two at Citi Field — in very different places. The Yankees are in full-throttle pursuit of a playoff berth. The Mets are out of contention and just sold off a number of veterans.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi doesn’t think that will diminish the intensity of the games.
“I think there will be a ton of excitement in both stadiums,” he said. “Obviously, they are really important games for us. And I’m sure the Mets consider them really important for them because it’s part of the rivalry.”
Said Frazier, “When I was with the White Sox last year [against the Cubs], it was the same thing — we weren’t contenders and it was a packed house at both stadiums. It’s like that big high school rivalry game — no matter where the teams are, all of a sudden, you’re as good as you can be.”
The Yankees have upgraded their roster during the last month. Along the way, they engaged with the Mets in trade talks about several players, including Neil Walker and Jay Bruce. But the teams were unable to consummate a deal, and the Mets ended up trading players to several of the teams trying to keep the Yankees out of the postseason: Addison Reed to the Red Sox, Lucas Duda to the Rays and Bruce to the Indians.
Frazier said it’s hard to tell how tuned in his teammates were to this, but he added: “I’m sure fans in the stands who follow the team noticed.
“Maybe them not making a trade is some sort of New York thing,” he said. “Maybe it could spark it a little bit, but everybody is already trying to beat the other team.”