Baseball beef is a special kind of beef because, good lord, can baseball players hold a grudge. Think about Hunter Strickland throwing at Bryce Harper two years after he felt like Harper had shown him up. Think about CC Sabathia vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, whose beef should be a TV show because it comes in seasons.
Todd Frazier and Adam Eaton may be rewriting the record book on baseball players holding onto petty beefs — and it’s reaching delicious, “Real Housewives” type levels.
Frazier, now with the New York Mets, and Eaton, now with the Washington Nationals, used to be teammates on the 2016 Chicago White Sox, a team that’s just ripe for a 30-for-30 one day. It was the White Sox team that exiled young Drake LaRoche from the clubhouse. And the White Sox team that caused Chris Sale to cut up his throwback jersey and get sent home.
Somehow the Frazier-Eaton beef has outlived both of those things — and heck, Drake LaRoche might be able to vote by now. Frazier and Eaton had to be separated during Monday night’s Mets-Nats game in NYC.
After the game, Frazier said it was “nothing,” but Eaton made it clear there was some serious lingering baseball beef. Most of it revolves around who is more of a man and who is more childish — each guy, of course, is saying they’re the real man and the other is childish.
Via Yahoo Sports’ Mike Mazzeo, Eaton said specifically:
“He’s very childish. I’m walking with my head down, the play’s over, I’m walking away, I hear him a couple of times. I’m a 30-year-old man with two kids, I got a mortgage and everything. He wants to loud talk as he’s running off the field. At the end of the day I got to be a man about it. I tried to stay patient with the childishness. It is what it is. I got to stand up to it eventually.”
That was just the warm-up for Tuesday. Before the second game of the series, both players were asked to elaborate on their issues. This time, Frazier struck first.
He explained their beef goes back to their days with the White Sox, and that if you asked all the players on that team, they’d side with Frazier. He didn’t say what the issue was, but proceeded to talk about how men don’t talk about these things, they handle it on the field. Here’s the clip:
Todd Frazier has responded. He called Adam Eaton immature, alluding to an incident when they were teammates with the White Sox.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 21, 2019
Frazier also offered some advice for Eaton: "Pay off your mortgage." pic.twitter.com/TueTLtJVAp
Maybe it’s the Jersey accent, but come on, that sounds exactly like something from a “Real Housewives” reunion show. Give Frazier credit, he connected with an uppercut here:
“Pay off your mortgage, I don’t know what to tell ya.”
That’s going on a T-shirt!
Eaton then had to reassure everyone that he does not, in fact, have a mortgage. (He’s making $8.4 million this season, it would have been confusing if he did.) Eaton says he said that only to show some humility, another area he has Frazier beat.
Can't believe I'm tweeting about mortgages:— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) May 21, 2019
Eaton: “I have more humility than he does, I don’t actually have a mortgage, we all make a lot of $, but I’m trying to have humility, he must not have much of that. I threw out there trying to be a human being, but I don’t have (one)"
Come on, somebody call up Andy Cohen, put these two on a soundstage somewhere, bring in a bunch of old White Sox teammates and let’s bet on who slaps the other first.
Oh, but wait. We’re not not yet. You think the back-and-forth through the media is petty? Wait until you hear the supposed backstory.
According to Dan Bernstein at 670 The Score in Chicago, this is all because Eaton tried to be a leader of those White Sox and Frazier wasn’t having it. Bernstein writes:
It should be noted that this was after Eaton had appeared on 670 The Score to lament bizarrely that the team had "lost a leader in Drake" when the boy was removed, and plenty of members of the White Sox organization were listening.
Frazier, who just happened to have the locker next door, called out Eaton for being a phony and made it clear that he lacked the standing in that room to be taken seriously as a leader.
So then Eaton's locker was moved well away from Frazier's shortly thereafter, and there was symbolic significance when the team gave that spot instead to top prospect Tim Anderson. Perhaps the best part is that Eaton claimed that he had actually wanted to move lockers the whole time, because its proximity to the doorway to the dugout tunnel made him "too cold."
Yes, it's this stupid.
By the time the game was about to start Tuesday, we were getting updates about Eaton and Frazier interacting with each other. They didn’t fight, but they didn’t fully make up either.
As we just showed on MASN, Adam Eaton and Todd Frazier talked face-to-face on the field during their respective pregame stretching. Chatted for about 90 seconds. Separated without shaking hands, but hopefully with some clarity on Eaton’s mortgage situation or lack thereof.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) May 21, 2019
It gets no more reality TV than this, folks. It’s silly, petty, ridiculous — and to be honest — we can’t wait to see what happens next.
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