Advertisement

Frank Robinson thinks Orioles are 'headed in the right direction'

Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was in town Saturday to take part in a Major League Baseball Players Association event supporting the James Mosher Baseball league in West Baltimore, but he took a moment to talk about the way the Orioles have regained their footing in the American League East.

"It looks like they're starting to right themselves,'' Robinson said. They've got some injured players who have come back. They are settling in. I think they're headed in the right direction. Adam Jones is having a terrific year. The third baseman [Manny Machado] looks like he's going to have the type of year he's capable of having. They've got to get Hardy going the way he's capable of going, but they're a good-looking team."

Advertisement

He's not surprised, since he picked the Orioles, his favorite former team, to win the division before the season.

"I thought at the beginning of the year that they would be the best team in the East, and they still could be,'' he said. "There's still a lot of baseball to be played."

The event also featured MLBPA executive director Tony Clark, senior advisor Omar Minaya and former Orioles Eric Davis and Jeffrey Hammonds, as well as current Orioles Adam Jones and Delmon Young. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young also appeared on a day devoted to lifting up young ballplayers in the wake of the unrest over Freddie Gray's death.

Robinson was asked whether he saw a little of himself in Jones, who has emerged as the Orioles' de facto captain.

"He doesn't remind me of me, but he's doing the things that he should do," Robinson said. "Not only performing on the field, but also off the field and in the dugout during the course of the game, showing the way with his teammates and pointing out mistakes so they can correct them. The manager doesn't have to do it.

"The one thing about it is, he has the respect of his teammates. That's what you have to have to be a leader. You can't just say, 'I'm the leader.' You have to go out on the field, and when you got 0-for-4, you have to play exactly the same way you'd play if you were 4-for-4, and show the way and not have a letdown, and they'll respect you for that."

Advertisement
Advertisement