MINNEAPOLIS -- Manager Robin Ventura no longer has a share of the record for most home runs hit by a White Sox third baseman in a single season.
His total of 34 reached in 1996 was broken on Friday night by Todd Frazier with a two-run blast to center field during the third inning of an 11-4 victory over the Twins at Target Field. But the 431-foot drive, according to Statcast™, wasn't nearly as entertaining as the encounter between the two following the connection.
Frazier slapped hands with third-base coach Joe McEwing as he rounded the base and quickly looked into the visitors' dugout. There was no reaction from his boss.
Once the new record-holder reached the dugout, he offered his hand to Ventura. That handshake was met with playful silence from the manager.
"Everybody wanted me to freeze him out. So I froze him out as long as I could," a smiling Ventura said. "He's been playing with it for quite a while. Everybody wanted me to freeze him. I think I did my part."
"It was great. It was perfect. They said it was on TV as well. A good little memory, and hopefully we can still be friends," Frazier said. "I was trying to find him, but I think he was hiding in there. He played it off well. It made for a good little story."
When Frazier reached 31 home runs on Aug. 9, he heard about Ventura's mark and started bringing it to his manager's attention. Then Frazier hit a 14-game homerless drought, broken by knocking out four since Aug. 26.
"He told me he was going to take me out the other day and not let me play for the rest of the season. There was going to be some trouble there, but it was all in fun," Frazier said. "Couldn't have happened to a better guy.
"That was one of my goals halfway through the year, that I wanted to get him. It's nice to have something to look on at the end of the year and something to build on too, as well."
Not only did Frazier top Ventura, while also matching his single-season career-high, but he also moved into a seven-way tie for 75th on the all-time franchise home run list with 35. He joins such dignitaries as Nellie Fox, Oscar Gamble and teammate Avisail Garcia among that group. If Frazier reaches 40 home runs this season, he'll have 63rd place all too himself.
But this particular night was about Frazier and Ventura and the bond formed between a player and a manager who players want to play for and respect.
"When you understand the game and you make it fun like that, it's great to play behind," Frazier said. "It's great to play for. It's just unfortunate we couldn't get something going this year to take care of business. As great of a manager he is, it would have been nice for him."