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Todd Frazier is on the move again following his release by the Pittsburgh Pirates.  While his new landing spot might surprise many it fulfills a goal he told me about back in the winter and that was to win an Olympic gold medal.

After spending a few days home in Toms River the 35-year old Frazier is now in Florida where he’s joined the roster of Team USA as they try quality for a berth in the field for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan (July 28-August 7).  Frazier knew that joining the Professional National Team was an option if things did not work out with a major league team this season and he made a final decision over the weekend.

The two-time All-Star is expected to be the starting third baseman on a team that will be managed by former Angels skipper Mike Scioscia who won a World Series in Anaheim as part of a 19-year tenure with the team.  Among the coaches is 42-year old Darren Fenster, a former standout at Middletown South who like Frazier had an outstanding career at Rutgers University before a knee injury ended his pro career.

Team USA will begin practice on Tuesday through May 24 and will then play three exhibition games (May 25-27).  While they head into qualification as the top ranked country in the event and #2 in the current world rankings there is little margin for error.  They begin Group A play on Memorial Day (May 31) against Nicaragua at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie and will then face the Dominican Republic (June 1, West Palm Beach) and Puerto Rico (June 2, Port St. Lucie).

Following the opening round the top two teams in Group A and Group B (Canada, Columbia, Cuba and Venezuela) will advance to the Super Round with records carrying over.  The team with the best record at the end of the tournament will be declared the winner and join Japan, Korea, Mexico & Israel in the six-team Olympic field.  The last spot will go to the winner of a final qualifier which will take place in Taiwan later in June although Team USA hopes that it does not come down to that.

I will be setting up a zoom interview with Frazier in the next couple of days to get more information on what it will be like to wear the red, white and blue while representing the USA.

 

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