Yankees prospect denies asking to wear Mickey Mantle’s number

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Clint Frazier has been criticized for not understanding how the Yankees do things, but the highly regarded prospect insisted Wednesday that he knows better than to ask for a jersey with No. 7 on it. In fact, Frazier claimed that he had gotten an apology from the longtime Yankees radio analyst who claimed that he had made a pitch for the number retired in honor of Mickey Mantle.

“I appreciate Suzyn [Waldman] reaching out and I accept her apology. I would never ask for a legend’s number,” Frazier said on .

The 22-year-old outfielder, who came to the Yankees’ organization last year in a that sent reliever Andrew Miller to the Indians, , “I care more about the front of the jersey than the back.”

Waldman, who has covered or been a broadcaster of Yankees games for three decades, had told the story about Frazier in an appearance Wednesday on New York’s , the team’s flagship station. In a discussion of some of the high numbers a few young Yankees are wearing, such as Aaron Judge’s No. 99 and Ronald Torreyes’s No. 74, Waldman asked if the hosts had heard the tale.

Frazier “actually asked the Yankees if they ever un-retire numbers,” Waldman said, adding, “He wanted No. 7,” to a reaction of disbelief. Co-host Joe Benigno asked, “Did he even know who Mickey Mantle was?”

Waldman replied with a laugh, “I have no idea; I didn’t ask him. Somebody told me that, and I went, ‘Oh, really?’ ”

Apparently, Waldman may have gotten some misinformation, because Yankees officials subsequently denied that Frazier had made such a request.

If the Frazier story sounded credible to Waldman, it likely was because of his hair (really). The fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, Frazier has been reluctant to trim his flowing red locks, but he has had to bow to the Yankees’ long-standing rules on players’ appearance.

“It had become somewhat of a distraction,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said in March (via ), “and I didn’t want that in here and he didn’t want that, and he made a choice.”

“I think he made a wise decision,” Girardi added, “because he’s realizing that … he wants the focus to be on how he plays, not how he looks.”

“Clint Frazier needs some serious growing up,” Waldman said Wednesday. “That whole thing with the hair — he didn’t come over here yesterday, he knew where he was traded last year, he was traded to the Yankees.”


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