One of the first things that popped into my head in thinking about Robinson when I head he’d passed was the memory of the big, tough, fearsome guy in tears after a Nats game in 2006. He’d had to play backup catcher Matt Lecroy against the Astros, and LeCroy simply couldn’t throw. The Astros stole seven bases in half a game, and LeCroy aided them by sailing a couple of throws into the outfield. With two men on late in the game, and the Astros looking like they were going to run wild again, Robinson pulled the rare move of subbing out LeCroy in the middle of an inning, bringing in an emergency catcher.
Frank knew how that looked. And he knew how LeCroy must’ve been feeling. And as he explained the decision, he got emotional, and I remember being struck by the empathy and humanity of the guy. (For his part, LeCroy said after the game “Hell, if my daddy had been managing the team, he’d have taken me out too.”)