The post in which I cheap shot Frank Robinson and the Nationals again
by Bob Timmermann
An unnamed AP writer on Foxsports.com sat down for a "Golly, gee whiz, Mr. Robinson you're so smart" interview with Washington manager Frank Robinson. It's headlined "Pearls of wisdom from a Hall of Famer". Ugh.
It starts out bad. Thirty minutes a day with Frank Robinson. All baseball fans should be so lucky.
Later on: On the decline of the stolen base, Robinson doesn't buy the excuse that swiping second exacts too much wear and tear on the body: "Well, for 100 years guys did it. I don't know why all of a sudden now that affects you."
Last time I checked, players stopped stealing bases because they've learned its a lot easier to score when you get four bases at a time on one of them fancy home runs that you hit over the fence. Perhaps the esteemed Mr. Robinson missed out on baseball from the 1920s through the 1950s. Not a huge amount of stolen bases then either.
On "true leadoff hitters": "They're becoming extinct. We've got to protect them, like some of these animals out there in the woods. ... We don't groom people in the minor leagues to be true leadoff hitters."
OK, explain what that means.
Robinson said leadoff hitters should aim for 100 walks and 100 runs. No Nationals player achieved either last season.
You know how many leadoff hitters in the majors had 100 walks and 100 runs scored last year? Hmm. Zero. There were only six players with more than 100 walks last season. But basically, Robinson thinks all leadoff hitters should be Rickey Henderson, who went 100-100 seven times. Lou Brock never walked 100 times in a season. Neither did Maury Wills. How about Tim Raines? He must have done it. Nope. Babe Ruth did do it 13 times and Barry Bonds has done it 11 times.
Or does he want the return of Eddie Yost (who had seven 100 walk-100 run seasons). Eddie Stanky had six.
So essentially, Robinson wants all leadoff men to be Rickey Henderson or Barry Bonds. Who wouldn't?
Said Robinson: "It's not like I don't want to act like an old throwback, because I'm very proud of the era that I played in, but a lot of these guys get turned off by that. ... The worst phrase I hear people say is 'Well, when I played ...' or 'This is the way I did it' or 'This is the way it used to be done."'
Yet some of his players wish Robinson would talk about those old days every now and then.
"You think we would get more stories than we did," pitcher John Patterson said. "The amount of experience he's got, there's maybe a couple of people on earth who knows what he knows."
John, there may be a couple of people who know what Frank Robinson knows, but I really don't want to know them.
I hope the reporter got all of his Frank Robinson baseball cards signed after the interview.