Former major league right-hander, manager and executive Dallas Green passed away Wednesday at the age of 82. The Phillies and Mets were among the teams for which Green played during his career from 1960-67, and he later managed those clubs and the Yankees. Most of his success as a manager came in Philadelphia, where he went 169-130 from 1979-81 and helped the franchise to its first World Series title in 1980. Green also served as the Cubs’ general manager from 1982-87.
“The game lost a great baseball man today,” stated Phillies chairman David Montgomery. “Dallas held many different positions in baseball and his passion and love for the game was evident in every role he played. He was a big man with a big heart and a bigger-than-life personality. Having known Dallas since 1971, he was one of my first phone calls upon becoming Phillies president because of his perspective and advice. All of us at the Phillies had tremendous respect for Dallas as a baseball man and friend. We will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Sylvia, and his children, Dana, John, Kim and Doug.”
MLBTR joins the Phillies and the rest of the baseball world in sending our condolences to those close to Green.
- Greg Bird has earned the Yankees starting first base job, manager Joe Girardi told reporters including ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchand (Twitter link). That’s not terribly surprising given his torrid spring — he hit two more bombs today following the news — and the equally subpar performance thus far from Chris Carter (.118/.231/.206). While it’s never wise to put too much stock in Spring Training stat lines, and Carter is far the more established MLB player, the Yanks have long believed in Bird’s talent and will gladly give him a chance to lock down as large a role as he proves capable of handling. The righty-swinging Carter will no doubt still find himself in the lineup against quite a few lefties; Bird was far more impressive with the platoon advantage in his strong (albeit brief) 2015 MLB debut and has shown rather wide splits in the upper minors.
- The stress fracture Nationals ace Max Scherzer suffered in his right ring finger over the winter won’t cause him to miss any turns in the team’s season-opening rotation. While Scherzer won’t start on Opening Day, the reigning NL Cy Young winner is on track for the Nats’ third game of the season, according to skipper Dusty Baker (via Eddie Matz of ESPN.com). Wednesday was a notable test for Scherzer, who faced major league hitters for the first time this spring. The right-hander tossed 73 pitches against the Cardinals and hit 95 mph on the radar gun, per Matz. Scherzer was encouraged afterward, saying: “I’m getting through that injury. It’s behind me now.”
- Manager Buck Showalter says the Orioles are focused on roster flexibility in shaping their bullpen, as Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun reports. With questions throughout the starting rotation and the inevitable need to fill gaps that arise during the season, Showalter stressed the organization’s improved set of optionable, upper-level pitchers. It’s still a wide-open competition to fill in for Chris Tillman in the rotation and settle on a long reliever in setting the Opening Day roster, and Meoli breaks down the hard-to-prognosticate state of play as camp enters its final phase.