Chip Caray fisted out of TBS booth

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In a rather surprising development, TBS has opted to part ways with lead baseball voice Chip Caray, even though he had time remaining on his contract.
Caray received a great deal of criticism for his work in October. Most notable was his botched call in AL Central tiebreaker game between the Twins and Tigers, where a potentially decisive liner to left field was initially called a hit by the bumbling Caray.
The call, as repeated by the New York Times:
“Line drive. Base hit. Caught out there. The runner tags. Throw to the plate. On target. And in time! A double play!”
Caray’s lack of knowledge about the teams he was covering was also obvious. Though he’s been doing the Sunday game of the week for TBS the last two years, he wasn’t very familiar with the AL teams he was talking about. TBS should certainly be able to do better in regards to their postseason coverage. Caray, though, is also losing his Braves gig on Peachtree TV.
The Braves had already lost the late Skip Caray and the retired Pete Van Wieren in 2008 and Jon Sciambi to ESPN after last season. They’ll be on the lookout for some new talent now.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.