TOMS RIVER-In 2015, the Cincinnati Reds finished the season in Major League Baseball’s baseball as a team in decline and this off-season Reds brass have decided to enter a rebuilding stage. That’s what prompted the club, once worthy of the title, “Big Red Machine”, now just a shadow of their former glory, to trade fan favorite Todd Frazier.
The Reds ended their season 64-98, 36 games out of first place. Just north, in Chicago, the White Sox are a team on the upswing. Although they finished 10 games under .500, the franchise is eyeing a possible playoff opportunity in 2016. That is what brought Todd Frazier to Chicago. He fills a much needed gap at the plate and in the field in Chicago.
Frazier, along with veteran Joey Votto were the franchise faces of the Reds. Today, fans have lost a friendly face and a player many were hope to build future success around.
“This is why there will NEVER be another “BIG RED MACHINE.” The Reds can’t keep a good team together,” said Suzanne Nichols, a Reds fan.
Other fans chimed in on the disappointing news unleashed by the team on Wednesday on their Facebook page.
“This was like trading Santa the week before Christmas. My 13-year old daughter is in tears over this,” said [former] Reds fan Scott Uzzel. “Todd Frazier is the epitome of what being a big leaguer should be, on and off the field. I won’t be be buying any Reds tickets this year. I’ll be spending too much money taking my family on a couple of road trips to Chicago to watch our favorite player.”
“Todd Frazier deserves better than the trainwreck the Reds have become,” said Paul Stelzer. “So I wish him the best in Chicago. But it’s becoming more and more difficult to believe in the Reds.”
” I am done with the Reds. That was s terrible trade,” said Sandy Smith. “One of your best players and a man that made Ohio proud. A great gentlemen and ambassador for Cincinnati.”
3,000 Facebook posts later, it was more of the same from heartbroken Reds fans. Many saying they will follow Frazier to Chicago, while others claiming they will just drop their affection for the Reds all-together. Others meanwhile, many hardcore fans felt if it was what was best for Frazier, they accept it, because, “He deserves better than the treatment the Reds gave him.”
Meanwhile in Chicago, Christmas came early for many fans of the White Sox. While Reds fans were full of doom and gloom, ChiSox fans think Frazier is the player to get the team over the hump in 2016.
“We have an all star 3rd baseman! Whoa!! Haven’t said that in a while,” said Crystal Raygoza.
“Great acquisition and first class guy,” responded Andres Mota.
“He’s going to raise the Sox firework budget this season for sure,” said Wayne Douma, referring to Frazier’s home run production.
Many fans felt the price for Frazier was a bit steep, with three of the club’s top prospects, but those worries could become distant memories the first time Frazier steps in the box and goes long.
Todd had mixed emotions over the trade. He is excited to move to a new organization, but said he will miss the fans in Cincinnati who have been behind him, even at times when the team’s front office and manager were not.
“First off I’d like to thank the Reds fans for their support over the last five years you guys will always have a special place in my heart,” he said. “I can’t wait to start my next chapter with the chi White Sox. Can’t wait to represent the south side. It’s going to be a fun season.”
Locally, in Todd’s hometown in Toms River, his fans generally wished him well, but were shocked that the Reds would have so easily let go a major league baseball player of his caliber both off the field and on the field. Frazier, remains active in our local communities. Just last week, he worked with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to participate in an anti-drug campaign. Frazier and his brothers, Jeff and Charlie, operate Frazier Baseball, the area’s top youth baseball training center. It’s not uncommon for Todd to show up randomly at youth baseball games and mingle with the young players.
Regardless of where Frazier plays, here in Ocean County, he will always be a fan favorite, even if he’s not in a Mets or Yankees uniform.