Frazier finding fatherhood suits him just fine
Blake Brian Frazier cannot read.
That should come as no surprise, since he's only 11 weeks old.
Right now, Blake will have to settle for devouring books about dinosaurs -- and Curious George, Dad's personal favorite -- with the help of his dad.
You may have heard of him. His name is Todd. Todd Frazier.
In addition to being Blake's dad, Todd also happens to play third base for the Cincinnati Reds.
So, if little Blake could read, what kinds of things might he learn about his dad?
Well, he could start with the call-to-action columns written by local sports reporters urging fans to pencil Daddy in at third base on the All-Star roster.
Oh yeah, Blake, your dad is leading all NL third basemen in home runs (known affectionately on Twitter as #BlakeBlasts). (He hit one for you for Father's Day, along with a two-run double!)
Actually, Blake, lots of people think you're the reason your dad is crushing the ball this year.
One bold tweeter even put forth the theory that your parents ought to have kids more often.
"If that was the case I would have 45 babies then, at least," Frazier said, laughing. "So that would be pretty cool. But I don't think my wife would be able to handle that. We'll take it slow now and we'll start working [on it] in a couple more years, hopefully."
Has the birth of his son changed Todd's on-field performance?
"My priorities, yes," Frazier explained. "How I play the game, no. I play the game the same. Family always comes first, especially with a son now."
Frazier involves his family in his career in other ways.
Every offseason, he writes a letter outlining his goals for the year. He seals it up and sends it along to his brothers, Charlie and Jeff, both of whom have played for big league teams, with instructions not to open the letter until the season is over.
And the goals are always ambitious, mind you.
"It's something I always do," Frazier said. "I always set my goals really high. My high school coach always told me, 'Set your goals high.'"
That way, even coming up short looks good.
Ever the team player, Frazier tries not to dwell on those individual goals in midseason.
"I think during the year right now we need to win," he said. "We work on those team goals and that's winning and helping each other out. You don't have to worry about those individual goals, they will take care of themselves.
"I think we got to look ourselves in the mirror and understand, you know, look at yourself and how you think you are playing so far this year. You know yourself. You can't lie to yourself when we're talking about your job individually and team-wise."
So, what does he see when he looks in the mirror?
"I see somebody that's doing pretty good," Frazier said modestly. "I think I could do a little better. There's always room for improvement. The individual stuff, I think, is good, but that team stuff -- you have to worry about that first, and right now we're not where we want to be. But we're almost 100 percent healthy and I think we'll be where we want to be pretty soon."
Meggie Zahneis, winner of the 2011 Breaking Barriers essay contest, earned the job of youth correspondent for MLB.com in the fall of '11. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.