The New York Yankees‘ Todd Frazier isn’t afraid to embrace the hate.
Wednesday, two nights after his three-run homer at Citi Field was greeted by a fan putting his thumbs down, Frazier adopted the gesture as his own.
With the Yankees the visiting team against the Tampa Bay Rays in a game relocated to Flushing Meadows by Hurricane Irma’s impact on Florida, Frazier and his Yankees teammates have adopted the negative salute the Mets fan flashed Frazier at Citi Field and taken to inverting their digits to celebrate each offensive breakout.
“Seeing that fan that did that, it was pretty comical, so I thought it’d be a good thing for Fraz to do, and it kind of caught on with the whole team,” Aaron Judge said after hitting a pair of three-run homers for a career-best six RBIs during a 13-5 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
Frazier was greeted by the thumbs-down from New York’s entire dugout after his three-run homer that chased Wade Miley with one out in a six-run first inning. He then gave the bench the same signal after he doubled in the third.
“It’s funny. I didn’t even know we were doing it until I saw it happening in the first inning,” Didi Gregorius said.
The thumbs-down fan was sitting in the second row behind the visitor’s dugout at Citi Field when a television camera caught him making the gesture after Frazier’s homer against Tampa Bay. NJ Advance Media identified the fan as Gary Dunaier, a Queens resident who owns Mets season tickets.
Frazier and his teammates think the gesture fits perfectly on a team known for its hand gestures to teammates in the dugout after getting a hit.
“I saw it right, like right after the game. My buddy texted me about it. He said, ‘This guy didn’t really like your three-run homer.’ And then it kind of blew up online,” Frazier said Thursday, according to the New York Daily News. “And Aaron Judge was telling me, he’s like, ‘Man, you’ve got to do this every time you get a hit.’ So I guess it’s going to be part of my new thing.
“I told [Rays first baseman]? Logan Morrison, I said, ‘Don’t take it serious because I’m not putting my thumbs down to show you guys up.’ And he said, ‘No, I saw it yesterday too.’ So we had a good laugh. But it’s something funny. If it happened to any other Joe Schmo, but the guy had overalls on and put this little pouty face on like he’d just lost his dog or something.”
In an era when the focus is on going digital, Frazier embraced the expression.
“Usually we point at…