05.27.06

Steele Showers Praise On Bawling Robbie

Posted in Baseball at 12:55 pm by

Calling Frank Robinson, “a man who respects the game and its players as much as anyone who has ever suited up in the majors,” The Baltimore Sun’s David Steele, though impressed by the Nats manager getting teary while discussing Matt LeCroy’s Adventures In Catching, isn’t surprised.

It would stand to reason that when Robinson had to make the exceedingly rare change of a position player, particularly a catcher, in mid-inning, he would truly be empathetic to LeCroy, sympathetic to his feelings, and deeply concerned about how it would reflect on the player, on him and on the organization.

With all of that in mind, how coldhearted would a manager be if he didn’t shed a tear while explaining it publicly.

Most managers in Robinson’s position would have pulled an Adam Morrison long ago – or would have been gone, figuring a major league manager’s job wasn’t worth this.

Instead, Robinson has stuck around, and now weeps for his players.

They, and all of us, should be weeping for him.

Though The Blue Jays prospered with Troy Glaus playing shortstop last night against Chicago, the Toronto Star’s Richard Griffin claims the gambit “smacked of a little bit of desperation and lack of foresight.”

Yes, Ted Lilly was pitching and Lilly is a fly-ball pitcher. Yes, Lilly has allowed 10 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings over his last three starts and an extra bat in the lineup was probably more important than an extra glove.

But the Jays knew for a week that the fly-ball guy, Lilly, was pitching last night. If they wanted a bat and were not worried about the glove at short, why not keep Russ Adams around until today and then ship him out, instead of risking a Glaus injury in an unfamiliar position?

In describing the significance of the out-of-position start for the former World Series MVP, GM J.P. Ricciardi said, “Troy is the Ultimate Warrior.” Let’s see. In terms of WWE equivalency, does that make Bengie Molina The Big Show?

While the Cubs can ruminate over Ryan Dempster and Neifi Perez’ conspiracy to hand yesterday’s game to the Braves, the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers has some advice for how catcher Michael Barrett can spend his 10 day suspension for punching A.J. Pierzynski.

I would recommend: A) Therapy, B) Neurological exams, or C) A retreat to a quiet Caribbean island. It is clear the Cubs’ starting catcher isn’t thinking clearly, which won’t help them get their season turned around.

Since popping his cork at home plate, Barrett has tried to rationalize his behavior with explanations that have made him seem increasingly deluded. He initially said it appeared Pierzynski was walking at him, even though Pierzynski’s explanation about wanting to retrieve his batting helmet seems totally plausible.

Pierzynski wasn’t just happy after foiling Barrett’s attempt to block the plate. He was delighted. He wasn’t looking for trouble. But the more Barrett talked, the sillier his explanations sounded.

“Like I said, I don’t like hitting another grown man, but something had to be done there in my opinion,” Barrett said, adding that he probably should have just pushed Pierzynski away.

Yes, that would have been better. But Barrett’s brain apparently isn’t wired that way.

This afternoon at Wrigley, the Cubs manufactured a run after a Juan Pierre infield single, as Chicago leads Atlanta, 1-0.

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