Tag Archive | "Frank Robinson"

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Twelve Orioles thoughts following 8-4 loss to Yankees in home opener

Posted on 04 April 2019 by Luke Jones

With the Orioles falling 8-4 to the New York Yankees for their first loss in a home opener since 2015, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. A rebuilding club deserves credit for a winning week, but the Orioles bullpen entered Thursday ranked 13th in the AL in ERA before allowing six runs in 3 1/3 innings to squander a sixth-inning lead. The bullpen ERA currently sits at 6.32. It hasn’t been pretty even in the wins.

2. I’ll have more on Chris Davis this weekend, but a smattering of boos during introductions steadily grew with three strikeouts before he was replaced by Hanser Alberto, who was put on waivers four times this offseason and received a loud ovation before singling. This situation is uncomfortable on multiple levels.

3. Watching Mike Wright give up the go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth, I couldn’t help but think of Earl Weaver famously saying he gave Mike Cuellar more chances than he gave his first wife. Wright flashes occasionally, but the 29-year-old now has 95 career appearances in the majors.

4. Coming off the injured list, Alex Cobb certainly had a more successful season debut than he did last year after signing with the Orioles so late in the spring. He deserved a better outcome despite giving up a Gary Sanchez solo homer on his final pitch of the day.

5. The effectiveness of his split-changeup was evident as Cobb induced 10 swinging strikes out of the 32 times he threw it. His 12 swinging strikes tied his third-highest total in a start all last year. He needs that pitch to be able to miss enough bats to be successful.

6. With the Yankees currently missing Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, and Troy Tulowitzki, it must be nice to be able to lean more heavily on a young talent like middle infielder Gleyber Torres to collect four hits and two home runs, including the go-ahead shot.

7. Dwight Smith Jr. has collected at least one hit in each of the first seven games as he continues to take advantage of playing time. You expect offense from Trey Mancini and Jonathan Villar — who led off the first with a home run — but Smith has contributed nicely.

8. Renato Nunez entered Thursday just 2-for-15 before collecting two hits and a run batted in. He sports an average exit velocity of 95.5 miles per hour so far this season, so it’s not as though he hasn’t been making good contact.

9. Yankees starter James Paxton regrouped enough to receive the win, but I don’t recall too many times seeing a pitcher give up two runs on a balk and a wild pitch in a matter of seconds.

10. Much was made about the empty seats, but the lower deck was mostly full except for the right-center bleachers and the overall crowd looked more respectable by the fourth inning. The many complaints about entry lines and ballpark amenities on Twitter were a different story, however.

11. Brandon Hyde managed to run down the orange carpet without incident and received a loud ovation from the home crowd during introductions. Despite the tough loss, a post-game question about that response brought a warm smile to the manager’s face.

12. With the Orioles remembering the late Frank Robinson with a video tribute and a moment of silence, seeing Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, and Boog Powell at the ballpark was comforting. Those men and the memories attached mean even more when you lose one.

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Twelve Orioles thoughts on Mussina’s Hall of Fame election

Posted on 23 January 2019 by Luke Jones

With former Orioles great Mike Mussina finally being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. My only memory of Jim Palmer’s career was his short-lived comeback attempt in 1991, but nights when Mussina pitched inspired as much confidence about winning as you could have. Since Mussina’s 47.8 wins above replacement accumulated in Baltimore, the best Orioles pitcher WAR has been Jeremy Guthrie at 16.2.

2. I remember Mussina’s debut like it was yesterday as he lost 1-0 to the White Sox despite allowing only one run in 7 2/3 innings. That came on a homer by Frank Thomas, who wore out the right-hander throughout his career. You could tell Mussina was going to be good.

3. I rushed home from my own baseball game to watch the final innings of his near-perfect game against Cleveland in 1997 before Sandy Alomar singled with one out in the ninth. Four years later, thoughts were more conflicted as he was a strike away from perfection before falling short again.

4. Anyone who followed Mussina’s final few years in Baltimore couldn’t objectively fault him for leaving after being low-balled by Peter Angelos, but that didn’t make it any easier watching him pitch for the hated Yankees in the following years. To still hold a grudge, however, seems silly to me.

5. The debate over which cap Mussina should wear on his plaque makes for spirited discussion, but it shouldn’t impact how the Orioles honor him. That would be as weird as the tradition of there never being a unanimous Hall of Fame selection until Mariano Rivera on Tuesday.

6. Had Mussina won a World Series with the Yankees, it would have been tough not to compare his career path to that of Frank Robinson, who spent 10 seasons with Cincinnati before winning two championships and two other pennants with the Orioles. I’ll predict a blank cap for Mussina’s plaque.

7. Deciding how to honor Mussina is tricky since he never returned like Eddie Murray and didn’t win a World Series here. My preference would be the Orioles retiring his No. 35 while saving statues for Hall of Famers who also won a championship. It’s awkward, but still a distinct honor.

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8. In addition to his pitching excellence, Mussina won seven Gold Gloves, which is tied for fifth most among pitchers. He was also very good controlling the running game as 39 percent of base stealers were gunned down compared to the league average of 31 percent during his career.

9. It’s pretty remarkable that Mussina will be inducted in the same year as three former teammates: Rivera, Lee Smith, and Harold Baines. I can’t imagine that’s happened too often over the years.

10. I honestly wasn’t as sure about Mussina deserving to be in Cooperstown until I began embracing analytics and context-based statistics several years ago. As others have said, his election is a win for sabermetrics after he hovered below 25 percent of the vote in his first two years of eligibility.

11. Growing up, I spent countless afternoons in the backyard trying to throw Mussina’s knuckle-curve and imitate the pronounced way he’d bend at the waist from the stretch. Needless to say, I wasn’t very successful, but he was a treat to watch for a long time.

12. If the Baseball Hall of Fame had a sense of humor, Cito Gaston would be asked to introduce Mussina and would instead announce Duane Ward. Still too soon? No matter the circumstances, Mussina not pitching in the 1993 All-Star Game at Camden Yards was just wrong.

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Frank Robinson named senior advisor and AL honorary president

Posted on 02 February 2015 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced today that he has named Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, currently Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President for Baseball Development, as Senior Advisor and the new Honorary President of the American League.

As Senior Advisor, Robinson will be available to assist Manfred on issues related to on-field operations, MLB’s annual Civil Rights Game, youth participation and diversity. Robinson succeeds Jackie Autry, a longtime member of the Angels franchise, as Honorary A.L. President. Autry had served as Honorary A.L. President since its inception in 2001 until recently stepping down. Robinson joins Philadelphia Phillies Chairman Emeritus Bill Giles, the Honorary President of the National League. As Honorary A.L. President, Robinson will represent the League at the All-Star Game, during the Postseason and for other special events and baseball milestones.

Robinson served as MLB’s EVP, Baseball Development since June 2012. In that role, Robinson led the management and construction of the league’s network of Urban Youth Academies as well as overseeing the Civil Rights Game, the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and other youth-focused efforts.

Robinson assembled a Hall of Fame playing career with the Cincinnati Reds, the Baltimore Orioles, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the California Angels and the Cleveland Indians, amassing 586 career home runs, which rank ninth on the all-time list. The Oakland native batted a lifetime .294 with a .389 on-base percentage and a .537 slugging percentage. He remains the only player in history to win Most Valuable Player honors in both the American and National Leagues (1961 w/ CIN, 1966 w/ BAL). He was a part of two World Series Championship teams with the Orioles (1966 and 1970), and his memorable ’66 season (.316, 49 HR, 122 RBI) included both the A.L. Triple Crown and World Series MVP.

Robinson has served as field manager of the Indians, the San Francisco Giants, the Orioles, the Montreal Expos and the Washington Nationals. In 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. The Xavier University product also was the Orioles’ assistant general manager for five years. Robinson, 79, has worked for the Commissioner’s Office in several capacities. He was Vice President of On-Field Operations from 2000 to 2002; Special Advisor to the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations from 2007-2009; Special Assistant to the Commissioner from 2009-2010 and again from 2011-2012; and Senior Vice President for Major League Operations from 2010-2011.

Commissioner Manfred said: “Frank Robinson’s many accomplishments as a player and as a groundbreaking manager and executive are well known to baseball fans. I am glad that this dual role will allow him to continue to contribute to a game that he has served well throughout his Hall of Fame career.”

Robinson said: “I am looking forward to supporting Rob’s vision as Commissioner and becoming Honorary American League President. We have the best game in the world and a particularly promising future. I appreciate the chance to represent the American League, in which I gained some of my fondest memories as a player and a manager.”

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