LOS ANGELES — And the Academy Award for best acting by a baseball player goes to … Todd Frazier.
The Mets third baseman on Wednesday recounted his fake catch from two nights earlier, when he leaped into the stands at Dodger Stadium for Alex Verdugo’s popup and convinced umpire Mark Wegner he had made the catch.
Frazier was actually holding a rubber ball in his glove that he had found near him.
“It is Hollywood, so sometimes you have to act out a little bit,” Frazier said before the Mets played their series finale against the Dodgers.
“Basically I caught the ball going in the stands and as I came down the ball came out. After seeing the replay there was another ball there and the first ball I saw I picked up and raised my hand up and [Wegner] called him out. It was just one of those things where I thought real quick, I had a split-second, and if there wasn’t a ball there I didn’t have a shot to get him out.”
But the story gets better: Frazier said he actually thought the ball in his glove was the real one. It wasn’t until he reached into the glove that he realized he had a rubber ball.
“At the end of the day I had another decision to make, whether to give Jacob [deGrom] the ball or throw it in the stands and that was the only thing I could think of,” said Frazier, who tossed the ball to the crowd.
“I saw somebody pointing to the right ball and said, ‘I am just going to have to play this off.’ I was flabbergasted I got away with it.”
Frazier was unapologetic for the act.
“It was one of those things where I think any third baseman or any player trying to win would do it,” Frazier said. “If there is a ball in front of you, play it out. You do it with your dad or mom or buddy down the street.”
If Frazier could have changed anything, he might have thrown the ball in to deGrom or at least the Mets dugout to get teammates’ reactions.
“I was thinking of handing it to [deGrom], ‘You do what you want with this,’ ” Frazier said. “It might make a different noise off the bat. It would be an easy out, too.”