Ghiroli: The day Frank Robinson cried when he took his catcher out of the game

From Brittany Ghiroli at The Athletic on February 8, 2019:

When​ Matt LeCroy​ thinks back to that moment, there​ was​ no way of​ anticipating its​ significance. No amount​ of​ premonition​​ would help LeCroy fathom the magnitude of that fateful Nationals game on May 25, 2006. Yet, here he is, dissecting a day almost 13 years ago, an afternoon contest with the Astros at RFK Stadium that was one of the most memorable managerial moments of Frank Robinson’s career.

Robinson, who died Thursday at the age of 83, takes with him an unbelievable baseball career that started at age 17 and continued until he was past 70. He was a once-in-a-lifetime player, then the rare player-manager before finishing out his career in various executive roles for Major League Baseball.

Robinson was an icon. LeCroy was a 30-year-old catcher with bad knees and a bum arm. When he signed with the Nationals in February 2006, it was Robinson who bluntly told him “You won’t play much.” Robinson believed in playing starters as much as possible. LeCroy, who had spent the previous six seasons with the Twins, wasn’t upset about the comment. He was impressed by Robinson’s honesty.

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Originally published: February 11, 2019. Last Updated: February 11, 2019.