Last week Francisco Rodriguez switched agents, going from Paul Kinzer to Scott Boras, and a few days later he was traded to the Brewers. Today David Waldstein has a report in the New York Times in which he says that Kinzer never submitted a no-trade list to the Mets, with the suggestion that (a) Kinzer screwed up; and (b) the trade to the Brewers had to happen quickly to keep K-Rod from blocking it.
Which, I’m hearing, is kind of misleading.
I’m hearing that there may be a potential dispute about the timing and form of the no-trade list, but that Kinzer submitted one. However, and much more importantly, whether it was good enough to get the job done is a moot point and had no bearing on the trade to Milwaukee, because K-Rod would not have blocked a trade to Milwaukee. To the contrary, both he and Boras thought Milwaukee was a great destination. K-Rod made absolutely no objection to the trade when it happened and is eager to go there. Even if there was a no-trade issue, K-Rod has willingly and eagerly waived it.
And of course, given what we’re hearing about how K-Rod may even get to close for the Brewers, one gets the distinct sense that Milwaukee and Boras have something cooking about that big option of his. Because Doug Melvin isn’t suicidal. He would not allow K-Rod to close if it meant $14.5 million bucks next year. No, Boras and K-Rod are quite pleased about Milwaukee and are likely finding that they can work quite well with the Brewers. With “well” meaning, K-Rod gets to pump up his closer stats and hit free agency this winter without fear of his old contract keeping him down. An old contract, by the way, that would have meant a commission to Kinzer, not Boras, if it were triggered.
So why might Waldstein’s report have the swipe at Kinzer in it? This is just speculation on my part, but Kinzer and Boras are heavy competitors. If you had a chance to kick a little dirt on a competitor, would you take the opportunity, even if there was no effective substance to the charge? Wait — don’t answer that. Just answer whether you think Scott Boras would.
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 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.