Ok, so let’s be honest… most of us have forgotten the contributions of Frank. He did win the Rookie of the Year Award in 1956. He also won the MVP in both leagues, the first player to do so, and won the second one after the Reds thought he was washed up with 33 homeruns and a .296 batting average in 1965. The next year, he “rebounded” by hitting 49 home runs, 122 RBIs, and .316 for a batting average. If that wasn’t enough, he scored 122 times as well. For a career of accomplishments, he went over 1.000 4 times when it came to OPS. Definitely, he was doing more than just hitting those 586 home runs.
Now that Alex Rodriguez has passed Mark McGwire on the all time home run list, Robinson is next to fall. By the end of May / early June, he will be over 600 home runs and looking to put Sammy Sosa in his rearview mirror. Someday in 2011 or early 2012 if age and more bad girlfriends or the memory of Madonna comes into play, he will pass Willie Mays on the all time list. Barring injuries, there’s really no stopping him from passing Barry Bonds either.
I’ve never liked Alex Rodriguez. It’s not his “good” looks. Frankly, I’m not impressed by his blue lips, but I guess I’m not a Hollywood starlet that has to worry about being impressed. It’s not his bitch slap of Bronson Arroyo in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. I hated the man long before then. I also don’t feel jilted that he didn’t sign with Boston. There was a point where I wanted it to happen to get over the speculation and just do it, but alas, the early shipping out of Nomar wasn’t to be (or the shipping in of Magglio Ordonez). Hell, that wouldn’t have had to happen since he stepped to third to allow Jeter to continue to play. All of the problems ever would have been solved by letting Texas eat most of his salary (as they did) and coming across to a big market to do poorly in the playoffs until he had to go up against wishy washy types like Joe Nathan in the 2009 ALDS. Let’s be honest. If my mom wore a Yankees jersey against Joe Nathan, she could fence a ball, too (and she’s 60).
It’s not really any of that.
Simply, it’s the air of pretentiousness that seems to exude from every pore of his body ever since the days in Seattle.
And maybe that’s the same reason that I never liked or cared to know the greatness of Frank Robinson. He has simply become a man with an enormous chip on his shoulder in all of the appearances that he’s been brought out for. I understand the struggling against racism. I understand the accomplishment of being the first African American manager (in both leagues). I know what he’s done for the game, and I appreciate that.
But that doesn’t mean that I have to like the man.