Tag Archives: Frank Robinson

Baseball Hall of Fame member and original manager of Washington Nationals. Led 2005 team to 81-81 record, relieved of duties after 71-91 record in 2006. Held a grudge with franchise for several years, seems to be over it though.

Nats: Davey Johnson is 0-2 and I dislike west coast night games

Two games in to the Davey Johnson era, the Washington Nationals are 0-2. Clearly, they blew it when they let John McLaren go. McLaren at least made the most of his era (DC Sports Bog, The Post) Also, Thomas Boswell took the Jim Riggleman mudslinging in stride which was almost disappointing.

I think I might hold a grudge against Walter O’Malley and Horace Stoneham for creating West Coast baseball — I have not been watching the Nats as their games are starting after 10 p.m. since they are at the Anaheim Angels. No, I won’t call them by their “proper” name because it is really redundant, about is geographically indefensible for a baseball team. One of the things I always appreciated about baseball was if a team had a city name in it, they actually resided in that city. Football, hockey and basketball aren’t great about that, but baseball was until the Angels decided to tack on the name of a city 30+ miles away. Also, in the past I was critical of the team renaming itself to Anaheim back in the 1990s, but it has a larger (and growing) population than Pittsburgh or Cincinnati.

Since I haven’t watched the games, I got my fix remembering the last time the Nats were in Anaheim, courtesy of rocket1124 at Capital City Goofballs:

20050614 – Pine Tar and JOSE’S REVENGE! from Rocket 1124 on Vimeo.

Frank Robinson may had his weaknesses as manager, but he was a complete badass.

Tonight’s game is East Coast friendly, 7:05 start. Jordan Zimmermann tries to stop the bleeding and get the Nats back over .500.

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Nats offer arbitration to Adam Dunn and other notes

The Washington Nationals offered arbitration to Adam Dunn. Nationals Journal takes a look at possible outcomes. I expect Dunn to decline arbitration and sign elsewhere, netting the Nats some draft picks.

In other recent Nats news:


Stephen Strasburg told Mike Rizzo
(Nationals Enquirer) he is doing well. Strasburg also did not receive a single vote in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.

OF Josh Willingham won’t be signed to a contract extension (Nationals Journal, The Post) and what it means (Nats Insider)


Ball Wonk
has returned…but for how long? An interview with the Nats solid blue cap is an early highlight.

Frank Robinson is campaigning open to being honored by the Nats – Nationals Journal, The Post.

Nationals Enquirer
is still the best Nats blog out there.

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Why Frank Robinson won’t be in Nats ring of honor

There are have been a couple of blog posts out there supporting Hall of Famer Frank Robinson‘s enshrinement in the Nationals Park Ring of Honor.

Still waiting for Frank Robinson DayNationals Enquirer
THOM LOVERRO – Nationals “Ring of Honor” fails to connect with Washington baseballWTEM 980

It won’t happen because there is already precedent — Ted Williams.

Williams, one of the greatest hitters of all time with the Boston Red Sox, was the last manager of the Washington Senators. In fact, he is the only man to lead a D.C. baseball team to a winning season (86-76 in 1969) in the last 50+ years. That was not enough to get him in the ring of honor, though I’ll point out it makes him more worthy than a couple of former Expos. Robinson, who managed here for 2 seasons, broke even in 2005 and had a losing record in 2006.

There seems to be a consensus that a Frank Robinson Day is in order and the bitter split seems to be a distant memory. Chances are that is because Jim Bowden is not part of the franchise. Perhaps the Hall of Stars can be restarted and moved down from the parking garage to a place that makes more sense. Put Robinson in then, along with several other worthy people. Or combine the ring of honor with the Hall of Stars which was the Ring of Stars at RFK Stadium prior to 2005.

Now, isn’t that better than reading about the latest loss to the freaking Florida Marlins? I can’t stand that team, they have the Nats number, overachieve regularly, play in an empty football stadium, had teal uniforms and somehow won two World Series.

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A Frank Robinson Day?

The timing of this post becomes kind of interesting in light of Manny Acta’s firing yesterday. Hey, I didn’t choose when Wise would write the column.

MIKE WISE – Robinson Deserved BetterThe Post
I certainly don’t disagree that the Nationals handled the dismissal of Frank Robinson very poorly. They should have been up front with him and not strung him along. Any manager deserves that but especially one of the greatest living players. However, I’ve got mixed feelings about a Frank Robinson Day at Nationals Park sometime. He certainly had some highs as manager — the pine tar feud with the Angels and getting the umpires to overturn a home run by the Braves Bryan Jordan on Memorial Day 2005 come to mind. Robinson had some lowlights too — a specific example was yanking John Halama in the middle of an at bat in the first inning of a late season game. I walked out after that, the first time I ever left a sporting event early in disgust.

When it comes down to it, I don’t know that Robinson deserves a day all to himself — his Washington tenure ended with him 10 games under .500. If he does “deserve” his own day, does Manny Acta too? Robinson did not have a lot to work with and get a lot out of it in the first half of 2005, but that was really about it. Perhaps a compromise is in order — have him out for Opening Day 2010, a celebration of the Nationals fifth anniversary, something along those lines. If they want to bring other original Nats around, I’m cool with that too. Granted some of those original Nats are still playing, but guys like Brad Wilkerson and John Patterson are not and I wouldn’t mind seeing them show up.

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RFK memories

As much as I enjoyed finally seeing a hometown team at RFK Stadium, I don’t have much sentimentality about it. More than anything I am happy it was still standing so that MLB could finally come to its senses and put a team in the nation’s capital. There were a lot of highlights though.

  • I think the ultimate highlight was my bachelor party in June 2005. The timing was great, the Nats were never better than that time and it appeared everything was coming together after so long.

  • The first time the Cubs played here in 2005 was a Friday night game that Fritz and I attended proved to be memorable, despite the loss. Early in the game, after moving seats, we saw an eight-year old kid catch a fly ball backhanded in section 503 or so. Pretty impressive. We also met the Bridges which led to a long stint with Metroblogging DC. The game almost ended in perfect fashion, with Jose Guillen coming within ten feet of a walkoff grand slam with two outs in the ninth. That would have been pandamonium.
  • Memorial Day 2005 — The first time my family came with me and Frank Robinson got a home run by Atlanta overturned.
  • Beating the Phillies and Pirates in 2005 with friends who cheered for those teams at the game with me.
  • Rally caps while down 14-1!
  • The last game of 2005.

  • Opening Day 2006
    — exactly two more than I ever expected to see in RFK Stadium. Alfonso Soriano homered for the Nats only run.
  • Going to a season ticketholder open house with Joe Riley in September 2006.
  • Ryan Zimmerman homering on July 4, 2006 to win the game in the ninth. It was actually a sloppy game, but all is well that ends well. We proceeded to get poured on walking back between Pentagon City Metro and our apartment.
  • Grand Reopening in July 2006. We went Friday night and saw the Nats play inspired baseball as they took out the Cubs. We had the first live Presidents Race too.
  • Final game of 2006 — Frank Robinson finally got a sendoff. I biked to the game too.
  • Opening Day 2007 — It was really on Opening Day too. I rode my bike that day as well. The Nats still lost though.
  • Going with my family for my dad’s birthday in July 2007 vs. Rockies. I think they are undefeated when he is there.
  • The final game — a big win over the Phillies.

By my calculations, I went to 32 nationals games at RFK. I will have to see about compiling their record while I was there. I also went to four exhibition games (two Nats, two in the 1990s) and one rained out exhibition between the Mets and Yankees when Frank Howard’s number was “retired” (thanks for taking us out of school Dad!) I also went to the 1996 HFStival and one D.C. United match.

I don’t know if I will ever return since I am not a huge soccer fan. Either way, I hope RFK is a good home for United until they can get a new pitch in the District. Following that, I would like to see this suggestion followed:
0201020083
If the Dan Snyder builds a football stadium there, I may finally adopt the Redskins.

Bring on the new ballpark!

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Boswell on Robinson

THOMAS BOSWELLA Bad BreakThe Post
Boswell is dissapointed that the Nats and Frank Robinson could not find a way to continue working together. He sees the Nats point, but sides with Robinson. USA Today columnist Hal Bodley says Baseball needs Frank Robinson.


Deal should clear the way for stadium artThe Wash. Examiner
From Monday: The murals, paintings, photography and sculpture that will be a part of the Nats ballpark will be funded by D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and not come out of the $611 million allotted to construction.
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D.C. papers catch up on Robinson story

Nats Will Not Offer Robinson a Paid JobThe Post
Both D.C. dailies have caught up to The Free Lance-Star on the Nationals decision to not offer original manager Frank Robinson a meaningful position with the team. Robinson is not happy they waited so long to tell him. He has been invited to spring training, but Robinson does not want to “be a token or a ceremonial-type guy.” Frank Robinson Day is still expected to go on May 20 in a game vs. Baltimore.

The Nats also signed four Dominican teenagers, including three pitchers.

More from The Wash. Times: No paid position for Robinson


Around the Horn: Corner Infieldersnationals.com
Ryan Zimmerman is entrenched at third as is Nick Johnson at first — when healthy.
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Kasten does another Q&A

Q&A with Nats president Stan Kastennationals.com
The Nats president talks about Alphonso Alfonso Soriano, free agency, Manny Acta and even Frank Robinson.


Nationals’ charity sues developer for pledged aidThe Wash. Times
A former bidder for the Nationals, developer Franklin Haney, is being sued by the Washington Nationals Foundation for not coming through on a $400,000 pledge. Mental note to self — don’t make any pledges to the Nats charity.

Have you seen the new ballpark logo yet?

What about the new slogan?

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Nats 2006: What I learned

Like every other Nats blogger, I feel obligated to do a season wrap-up. Unlike every other Nats blogger, I waited two weeks to do it.

  • It is not hard to crash a major press conference. The Lerner announcement was the second I had been too in as many years.
  • Alfonso Soriano was better than I expected and much more entertaining. He had a great individual season and will fleece somebody, possibly Peter Angelo$, in the offseason. He will be like a new car, diminishing returns as soon as the contract is signed. Of course, if the free agent compensation picks are taken away, Soriano’s season will do nothing to help the Nats in long-term. If you look at the standings, it did nothing in the short term.
  • Brad Wilkerson is not as good as I thought. I hope he found a new bank though.
  • Ramon Ortiz is terrified of comebackers and going into the ninth with a no-hitter.
  • Ryan Zimmerman is better than advertised.
  • The briskets, while tasty, are not quite as good as Stan Kasten said they were.
  • Tom Paciorek’s Ray Romano impression horrifies most people.
  • Blogging about a team on the way to a 71-91 season takes its toll on even the most prolific blogger.
  • The Natmosphere is not as “pasty” as I had been led to believe.
  • MissChatter throws (and crashes) the best parties.
  • Nationals Farm Authority may get linked from nationals.com at some time.
  • Fans loved Frank Robinson a lot more than I expected.
  • There is a general manager who is so dumb that Jim Bowden could sneak one past him.
  • Bowden gets beat-up by his girlfriend and might have a drinking problem.
  • Jose Guillen is less bright than I thought — he refused a good contract offer in spring training even though he was hurt. Now, he’ll have to fight for a roster spot with someone in the spring for the league minimum.
  • Fred Malek likes grilled puppy
  • Austin Kearns shops at Harris Teeter in Pentagon City.
  • The much-vaunted soft-serve (still unavailable in a batting helmet) was actually ice-milk at the begining of the season. Did it switch to real ice cream?
  • Biking to RFK was much easier than I expected, though I am still a little skeptical of leaving it in the parking lot.
  • Marc Fisher was right when he said Marion Barry would jump on the bandwagon eventually.

    Things I already knew

  • The ballpark would remain controversal.
  • The Nats would stink
  • Robinson was dead man walking
  • Bowden is a “preening schmo”
  • Everything I ever said about Peter Angelo$ is true
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