Frazier shows respect to pitchers who get him out

Frazier shows respect to pitchers who get him out

CHICAGO -- Those viewers or fans paying close attention to the Rays' 5-3 victory over the White Sox Thursday night might have seen Todd Frazier tip his helmet after Chris Archer struck out him out in the second and the seventh.

Frazier also did the same in a recent at-bat against Josh Tomlin, a battle won by the Cleveland pitcher. It's a simple sign of respect from a veteran who plays the game the right way.

"Be mad in the dugout, not out there," said a smiling Frazier. "I've done that for a lot of guys. When you throw a good pitch, as mad as I am, you got to acknowledge it. Then maybe they don't throw that pitch again. Or maybe they do.

"Usually they acknowledge back. You give credit where it's due. It's a battle. We are both trying to get each other and make a pitch like that and fool me that bad, I'm going to give you a tip of the cap."

This action is something Frazier did in the Minors as well as for the past six years in the Majors. He laughed when asked if pitchers haven't thrown him the same nasty strikeout pitch after the helmet tip, adding maybe it happened once or twice.

In the case of Archer, Frazier has great respect for the Rays right-hander and knows him from their days playing for Team USA.

"You know it's a battle back and forth, and you want to beat him as much as possible," Frazier said "But at the end of the day, when you make a good pitch and make me look that silly, you might as well tip your cap.

"It's baseball, man. We are all professionals and we all play the game the right way, for the most part. Competitors battle, and you battle fouling pitches off and you throw a pitch. Just real quick. Just know that I acknowledge you did a good job."

Entering Friday, Frazier has 40 home runs, 98 RBIs and 15 stolen bases and has played solid defense at third. Frazier stands as the sort of player who works well for a team going for the playoffs or dealing with a rebuild. He's a veteran leader along the lines of Jim Thome or Sean Casey, who adds to the team even if he's not producing.

"He loves to compete, regardless of where you're at. He competes every day," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He puts it on the line every day. He's prepared, he works hard. He's fun. He likes coming out and having fun, but when it's time to play he wants to get after it."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.