<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Matt LeCroy was on the phone from South Carolina, m & # 39; apologizing for not phoning earlier, explained the five children and coached basketball and the beginnings of spring training, all with a sneer on the speed of a dead season. was in the doctor's office a few days ago, when he had received news. his former manager was deaddata-reactid = "16"> Matt LeCroy was on the phone from South Carolina, apologizing for not phoning earlier, explained the five kids and coached basketball and spring training. He was in the doctor's office a few days ago, when he had learned that his former director was dead, so he took it with him too.

"A good man," he said. "Maybe a little salty. But he was who he was. Just a sad moment. The guy was a good man. "

LeCroy was himself a manager for most of the decade, trying to turn the minor leagues into big ones, turning mounds of talent and direction into something more presentable, more complete. They all go through Harrisburg, Double-A for the Washington Nationals, and they may know it and maybe they do not know it, but they also leave with a bit of Frank Robinson.

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LeCroy played half a season for the Nationals. In 2006, Robinson's last season in the D.C. LeCroy category was part of the training that day, in May, when Robinson pulled out his distressed midfielder, considered heartless in the baseball culture. Robinson had acted to rescue the receiver from his own failing body, at least as much as he had acted to save the team from a defeat, and the right decision was still tearing him at the end of the match. Matt LeCroy was this receiver and hated it to be done. He ended up loving the man who had done it.

"What's crazy about all this, when I signed with Washington in the spring, I did not know anyone," he said about this season with the Nationals and Robinson. "I did not play a lot in the spring and I went to Frank and I said," I just want to know if I can get more batters. "And he said," You're going to have to get used to that. because you are not going to have a lot of bats. "

Well, that's pretty much what stands out, because if Frank Robinson was determined to keep what he promised, he was not very promising to promise what he would not do or could not do. not to do.

Former Washington Nationals receiver Matt LeCroy had an infamous time with the late Frank Robinson in 2006. (Getty Images)

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Towards the end of his career and making the most of it, LeCroy shook his head and went on to what was going to happen to the Nationals, Frank Robinson and him. To his surprise, LeCroy played six games in the season against the Houston Astros and Andy Pettitte. Alfonso Soriano opened the scoring with a double in the second run. Later, LeCroy spent four shots trying to only move Soriano to third base. The fifth, he failed. Soriano stayed on the spot.

Robinson met LeCroy in the dugout canoe and said, "I appreciate it."

Three words that still stick to LeCroy, which he discovers that he uses more often as a result.

"He was so happy," recalled LeCroy. "He recognized it, even though I did not do the work."

And, then, when it was time for LeCroy to visit in the middle of the summer, Robinson called him at the early baseball stadium to explain to him that he would be released, grateful that LeCroy had fired everything he could about what he had left. Robinson also thanked him, because that's about all one guy can ask another. They spoke for 90 minutes, some happy, some not, and Robinson encouraged LeCroy to consider becoming a coach. They shook hands.

"He seemed tough, but he cared about us," he said. "During the season, it was weird, it was very open to me. He did not do it very much. When all this happened, when he took me out, people did not understand the real story. He did not want to play against me because I was in pain. That day he said he needed me and I was not going to refuse him. I would not refuse it.

Frank Robinson, the great old Frank Robinson, cried the day he had to fetch Matt LeCroy. (Getty Images)

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The story continues

"He wanted to win a match. But he cared for the person first. So, he and I had a unique relationship. When I think of Frank, I think about it. I think of him taking Soriano for not having thrown a ball. Soriano was our superstar. But Frank treated everybody the same way, whether you earned $ 15 million or $ 200,000. He did not care.

So, yes, Frank Robinson, the big bad Frank Robinson, cried the day he had to fetch Matt LeCroy, to escort him to the dugout, because the baseball players know when it is done or almost, and they know how bad it is. The hope is that the end is not so painful, that when someone comes for the uniform, he did it with dignity, with sympathy. Frank Robinson came with empathy.

"Frank was a superstar," LeCroy said. "He spent a lot of time in this box. And he always cared about you.

"He did not miss anything. And he cared for me when he did not have to. Yes, I will miss him.

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