The episode seems to have passed - Clint Frazier did NOT do the unthinkable, and request to wear Mickey Mantle's number - but I'm still WTFing over a fake news story, which sounds like something hatched by Vlad Putin's teen strike force in Macedonia.
Suzyn Waldman - of all people - told radio listeners a rumor so toxic that it could have basically killed Frazier's chances in New York. It sounded like Ian Kennedy times ten. (Remember how Kennedy, as a rookie, supposedly pissed off the Empire by not humbling himself enough after a bad outing? His trade ticket was punched.) Nobody - not even Bryce Harper - could come to NYC and demand number seven without setting off a firestorm. And if you suggest that an unproven rookie did such a thing - yeesh, you're stabbing him in the back.
Add to it that Frazier already had dipped a toe across the line with his long red hair, which the Yankees demanded he cut. This would have been a knockout blow to his chances of ever being cheered in New York.
So the question is simple: Who stabbed this kid in the back, and why? Somebody told Suzyn that volatile falsehood (she has since apologized.) And why did she go public with it? This didn't come from a beat reporter. It was Suzyn - who treats every Yankee like a son - and she surely understood the implications:
You don't compare yourself to Mickey Mantle. You don't ask for Mickey Mantle's number. You don't tangle with the memory of Mickey Mantle. And yet she spread the rumor on the radio. Wow.
It was on Deadspin within two hours.
So what happened here? Are the Yankees institutionally unwilling to accept a brash, confident - perhaps arrogant - rookie? Because Frazier won't be the only one. And of three young pitchers that we once had - Ian Kennedy was the one most worth keeping.