CBS and the Washington Post run videos of old “Face the Nation” clips. Today’s flashback choice is from 1974, when newly-hired Cleveland Indians manager Frank Robinson — the first black manager in baseball history — was a guest. The video is here. It’s not long. It features Robinson’s comments about how it seemed that, before his hiring, no one would consider blacks for skipper jobs.
The video is interesting enough, but the real value of it is the image. Photos from this same era, I’m assuming, are all the rage among Robinson’s children and grandchildren when they really want to make him feel old. We do the same thing to my dad, who rocked a pretty similar jacket back then. Maybe that’s not nice of us but our kids and grandchildren will do the same to us with bad, baggy three-button suits with monochrome shirt-tie combos from the late 90s.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.
Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.
The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.