Baseball’s Joe Frazier: 1922-2011

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A lot of folks may not remember Joe Frazier.  He played for the Indians, Reds, Cardinals and Orioles organizations in the late 40s through the 50s. His highest profile job in baseball was as manager of the Mets, but he only had the job for a short period of time.  He took over for the 1976 season and was fired 45 games into 1977.

His firing was sort of symbolic of what was about to happen with the Mets. A still competitive and respectable team in ’76 — they won 86 games that year — in ’77 they started horribly before Frazier was replaced by player/manager Joe Torre.  Two weeks later the Mets traded Tom Seaver and Dave Kingman on the same day in what came to be known as the “Saturday Night Massacre.”  The franchise was competitively moribund and generally dreary on the eyes of the fan base for several years afterwards. It was only when Strawberry and Gooden showed up that fortunes began to change.

In later years Frazier managed in the minors and held various jobs in and around baseball.  He retired to his home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma where he lived with his wife until yesterday, when he died of a massive heart attack.

Good travels, Joe Frazier.

Video: Ramon Torres hits little league home run in first at-bat of season

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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The Royals recalled infielder Ramon Torres from Triple-A Omaha on Saturday. He didn’t get into a game until starting Thursday night’s game against the Rangers, batting ninth.

In the top of the second inning, facing Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Torres laced a single up the middle. Center fielder Delino DeShields charged in on it, attempting to keep Ryan Goins at second base, but the ball went right past his glove, through his legs, and nearly trickled all the way to the warning track. Goins scored easily and Torres was waved home, too. He managed to narrowly beat the throw, touching home plate with his left hand on a head-first slide.

The play was officially scored a single and a three-base error. Torres wasn’t credited with an RBI on the play. But at least the Royals got two runs out of it.