16 December, 2005

Give that man a donut

From eager young ballplayer to curmudgeonly old geezer in two posts.

News this week that the Nats resigned Frank Robinson as manager for 2006.

"After thinking about this thing [Wednesday] night, I said, 'Why drag this thing out and hang people out [to dry]?'" Robinson told MLB.com. "I told [general manager Jim Bowden] that I would agree to terms to manage this ballclub."

Well, thanks a lot Bodes. There is this theory that, as the newest Nats blogger in town comments, Frank was one of the most underrated players ever. I do seem to recall when I was growing up on Long Island that F-Rob was one of the bats the Metsies feared in that classic '69 World Series. Then again, he did play in small-ish markets and that Balmer team was stuffed with greats at several positions.

As a manager, Frank has had mixed results including a truly horrid spell in Baltimore. I don't need to tell you much about this year. The Natosphere has been all over the Frank Senior moments. Frank was touched by an Angel, which was fun. Otherwise, his grumpiness belong on the golf course.

Of course, you could say that in-game management is only going to make the difference of a couple of games either way over the season. So, what's wrong with bunting and the hit-and-run especially when you've got a poor hitting side? I don't want to pontificate on that point, but there is plenty of evidence of those tactics running the Nats out of a handful of games through the season.

What's damaging about Robinson is his uneven man-management. Frank trusts veterans, hates pitchers and ignores rookies. In other words, he has a 1950s view of management. Players may not be as tough as they were in his day, but treat them with respect and they sure will perform.

Of course none of this shit would happen if the ownership mess had been sorted out. Heck, it's a national disgrace.

Ok, there are exceptions in modern sports management like Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. But, even with the reputation at not taking shit from players, as a rule Ferguson will fiercely defend them unless they challenge his authority - see Roy Keane.Donut

Unfortunately for Frank, he doesn't quite have the record that Ferguson has.

Have a donut, Frank. I'm sure your 70 year old teeth can handle it.


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