Baseball notes: Green, who managed Phils to 1980 title, dies –

Green, who managed Phillies to 1980 World Series title, dies

As a big-league pitcher, Dallas Green was pretty mediocre.

“I was a 20-game winner,” he would joke, “it just took me five years to do it.”

Instead, it was in a managerial role in which the imposing, 6-foot-5 Green really made noise.

“When you think of big, with that deep voice, that booming voice, he could hold a team meeting, boy, he could scare you right out of your seat,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

Green, the tough-talking, no-nonsense skipper who in 1980 guided the Philadelphia Phillies to their first World Series championship, died Wednesday in Philadelphia. He was 82 and had been in poor health recently.

Green spent 62 years in baseball as a player, manager, general manager, team president and other roles.

“He was a big man with a big heart and a bigger-than-life personality,” Phillies chairman David Montgomery said.

As a pitcher, Green went just 20-22 in the 1960s. His most notable distinction on the mound might have been giving up the only grand slam launched by career hits leader Pete Rose. In 1980, with Rose playing first base on a team that included future Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, Green guided the Phillies to a very elusive crown, besting Kansas City in six games to end a drought that stretched back nearly a century.

“Baseball world lost a giant,” Rose tweeted. “Dallas was a hell of a guy and a real leader.”

He sure got his team’s attention midway through that championship season. After a loss in Pittsburgh left the Phils around .500, his clubhouse tirade was so loud that writers outside the locker room at Three Rivers Stadium swore they could hear every word.

Green later managed the New York Yankees — where bombastic owner George Steinbrenner liked the idea of someone being able to stand up to him — and the Mets. Green also was the GM and president of the Chicago Cubs and made a shrewd trade to get a young infielder from the Phillies, future great Ryne Sandberg. The deal helped turn a long-dormant franchise into a club that came within one win of reaching the 1984 World Series.

“Dallas Green had an eye for talent. Our fans can credit him for acquiring and drafting several of the most accomplished players to wear a Cubs uniform, including Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux and Ryne Sandberg, as well as All-Stars like Shawon Dunston, Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe,” Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement.

He spent 46 years in the Phillies system and was an adviser to their last four managers, always known for his commanding presence and white hair.

Scherzer back on track • Saying his finger finally feels normal, Nationals ace Max Scherzer proclaimed himself healed following his first Grapefruit League start of the spring, a 6-1 Washington loss Wednesday to the Cardinals.

“It’s behind me now,” he said.

A stress fracture in the knuckle of the ring finger on his pitching hand slowed Scherzer’s development this spring and caused him to grip his fastball with the middle three fingers on to instead of the usual index and middle fingers as a means to avoid pain. Last week, in a minor league game, Scherzer mixed some two-finger fastballs in with the three finger heaters. Against the Cards, all fastballs were of the two-finger variety.

He limited the Cardinals to two runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings, throwing 49 of his 73 pitches for strikes.

“I’m basically on pace to start the regular season on time,” he said.

Scherzer, 32, is set to make two more starts before the regular season begins, but the NL Cy Young award winner won’t be the Nationals’ opening-day starter.

“Right now we’ve kind of got Max slated as the No. 3 starter,” manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s how his turn worked out with giving him more time.”

Cabrera nears return • Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera could soon return to the lineup after being sidelined because of back stiffness that has kept him out since leaving Venezuela’s game Saturday in the World Baseball Classic. Meanwhile, Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez, who sprained his right foot while making a catch Saturday, is scheduled to be re-examined Friday.

Bautista improves • Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista said the back stiffness that prevented him from playing for the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic last weekend no longer is an issue, and he is expected to play Friday in an exhibition game.

“I’m feeling great,” said Bautista, who was slowed by injuries last season and hit .234 with 22 home runs and 69 RBIs.

Twins’ May has surgery • Twins pitcher Trevor May had Tommy John elbow surgery and is out for the season. Minnesota is down to Jose Berrios, Tyler Duffey and Adalberto Mejia in the competition for the fifth spot in the rotation.

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