Frank Robinson among those honored
Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was part of a celebration today at Oriole Park at Camden Yards commemorating the 40th anniversary of Baltimore's 1970 World Series championship team, and he took some time out of his busy day to talk briefly about his relationship with the Nationals, whom he managed in 2005 and '06 before departing on acrimonious terms.
"My situation with the ballclub now is better than it was," said Robinson, who is the only player to win the MVP in both the American and National leagues. "The organization for awhile there, I didn't want to be there. I think as a matter of fact they had a restraining order against me from coming to the ballpark, being allowed in the ballpark."
Robinson attended a Nationals game earlier this season for only the second time since he was let go as their manager. He was at that game in his relatively new role with the commissioner's office, charged with advancing diversity on the baseball side.
The relationship between Robinson and the Nationals grew strained when team president Stan Kasten said he would not be offered a position in the front office. That slight left Robinson feeling betrayed and believing the Nationals misrepresented their intentions about finding him a role within the organization. At that time, he indicated he would have nothing to do with franchise.
"It is relaxed a little bit more now," Robinson said of his current relationship with the Nationals. "It's more cordial I would say than it was."
Robinson said he watches the Nationals quite a bit these days and sees a bright future for the team that resides in last place in the NL East, 10 games behind division-leading Atlanta.
"I think they're headed in the right direction now," he said. "They seem to be drafting correctly, getting talented kids and signing them and putting them in the minor leagues and having them prepared for the big leagues and allowing them to grow at the major league level. They're an exciting ballclub, and I think if they can stay on track, they're going to be successful in a real short period of time."
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