Sunday, October 01, 2006

Frank takes a bow today

For 51 years, there has always been a Frank Robinson in baseball.

Today is the last day for that:


Robinson's bio

Nationals season statistics

Major League standings

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals officially announced on Saturday afternoon that Frank Robinson will not be back as their manager in 2007. It comes two days after general manager Jim Bowden and team president Stan Kasten told Robinson of their decision in separate meetings.

Robinson will manage the final game against the Mets on Sunday and he said he will not seek another managerial job. It also could mean that Sunday could be Robinson's last day in Major League Baseball.

Robinson's contract expires on Oct. 31, and he waited for weeks to learn his fate. He was hoping to manage the Nationals for another three years, but a second-half collapse in 2005 -- after being in first place before the All-Star break -- and a subpar season in 2006 made him fall out of favor with the front office.

Robinson and Bowden were at the podium and both had tears welled in their eyes as their voices cracked with emotion. In fact, Bowden said it was the toughest decision he ever had to make in terms of relieving a manager of his duties. Robinson becomes the second Hall of Famer Bowden has dismissed. Tony Perez was the first in 1993.

"It's the most difficult because of who Frank Robinson is and what he means to the game of baseball, not just in Washington, not in Baltimore, not just in Cincinnati, for all of baseball. Frank represents playing the game the way it's supposed to be played," Bowden said.

Robinson is currently in his 51st season in baseball, 16 of them as a manager, and it has not been determined if Robinson will remain with the Nationals in some capacity. Bowden said the organization will talk to Robinson after the season.

"It has been a good ride for me. It has been 51 years. The old saying is, when you take a manager's job, you stay around long enough and you are going to be fired," Robinson said. "I have no bitter feelings about the situation. It has happened before and it would happen again if I was going to manage again. I never walk away from anything when I'm hired to do a job. I try to do the best I can, as long as I can."


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