Results tagged ‘ Dallas Green ’

Watch Those Tricycles, Charlie!

Charlie Manuel occasionally reminds people he has been in baseball 50 years.

In other words, he has seen almost everything.

But it took until this afternoon for a grown man pedaling a tricycle to crash into him on the field. The Houston Astros had a mid-inning tricycle race between two men, who pedaled from the Astros dugout down the third-base line past the Phillies dugout down the first-base line. One of the contestants steered his tricycle smack into Manuel, who was seated on the warning track between pitching coach Rich Dubee and catching coach Mick Billmeyer.

Billmeyer and Dubee nearly collapsed from laughing.

Manuel chuckled a bit, too.

“That three-wheeler got me,” Manuel said after the 7-1 victory at Osceola County Stadium. “I saw him, man. I thought, ‘He better get over.’ He got me. He ran over me with a three-wheeler. Dubee was supposed to stop him there, isn’t he? He’s supposed to save me. He let me get run over. He said, ‘Go ahead, hit him.’ He ran over my toes too, man.”

Years from now nobody will remember the details of this game. But everyone will remember the time some dude rolled over Manuel’s foot on a trike.

“Watch those tricycles, Charlie!” Phillies front office advisor Dallas Green said afterward.


Green Likes Phillies, But Kids Need to Step Up

Dallas Green, Charlie ManuelIt’s always interesting to get Dallas Green‘s take on the Phillies. He has spent a lifetime in baseball, spending the recent past working in the Phillies’ front office as an adviser. The man has his opinions.

I wanted to talk to him yesterday about the past and if he sees any relation to the Phillies’ future. The Phillies won three consecutive National League East championships from 1976-78 before stumbling badly in 1979. Players knew entering the 1980 season they basically needed to get things turned around or the front office would make some big changes. Of course, they won the World Series. I asked Green if he thought there were any comparisons between the 1979-80 and the 2012-13 teams.

Read that story here.

But Green also offered his take on the current Phillies. Here is some of what he said:

Q: Can this team compete?
A: It’s a good club. The age business in baseball isn’t as stark as other sports in my mind. There are ways to rest guys. There are ways to take care of themselves, even though 162 is a hell of a grind. But our guys are very experienced. Jimmy (Rollins) knows how. Unfortunately he shows it too many times running to first, but Pete (Rose) never let age get to him. He didn’t have a great year in ’80, but he played his ass off. And experience carried him. Boonie (Bob Boone) was starting to show some age. Bull (Greg Luzinski) was breaking down a little bit too often. Smitty (Mike Schmidt) was still sound, but he was in his 30s. (Manny) Trillo, same way. Bake (McBride), same way. (Larry) Bowa, same way. There are a lot of similarities.

Q: Do you like the moves the Phillies made in the offseason?
A: I love Michael Young. I think he epitomizes what Chase (Utley) brings: the team value, the work ethic that’s important to a club like this. I mean, we lived on natural talent for so long. We really did. We could out-talent a lot of teams. We can’t do that anymore. You cannot go out there and just bang guys around and say, ‘We’re the Phillies.’ Now you’ve got to respect the other guys and figure out a way to win the game. And that takes some thought process in game situations. Those are very, very important. Game situation baseball is what I preach and what I live by. You can’t always hit a home run. You can’t always out-talent guys. You can’t always have good days. So you’re going to have a bad day, where you say, ‘If we can just get a run.’ That hurts pitching when you can’t.

Q: Would it surprise you if this team made the playoffs?
A: Oh, no. It wouldn’t surprise me. It really is expected. Again, there’s ifs. God damn, you’ve got to stay healthy. And we’ve got to have a couple of the young guys come through here. Whether it’s (Domonic) Brown or (Darin) Ruf or whoever. Somebody has to step forward and play baseball. Somebody has to. Even in the pitching. We’ve got a young bullpen. (Mike) Adams obviously is a big fit for us. And of course we’ve got (Jonathan) Papelbon. He’s one of the best. And then (Antonio) Bastardo, one day he’s good the next we don’t know what we have. And the rest of them are young. And they’re the guys that have to come forward. At least keep us in the god damn game in the sixth and seventh inning so if we can mount comebacks we can mount comebacks.

Q: You had some young guys step up in ’80. This team does need some young guys to step up this year.
A: It’s the same old thing. If you’re a prospect eventually you’ve got to put numbers up. You’ve got to put numbers up. I’ve always felt that in the Minor Leagues. I said how in the hell can I bring a guy hitting .220 over 140 games to the big leagues and expect him to be a big production guy? You can’t do it. Sooner or later in the Minor Leagues you’ve got to put some numbers up. And that gives you enough confidence to put you out here. It’s like Ruf. A couple years ago probably half of us didn’t think he could play. But he worked at his game, he got himself in better shape and he started popping the ball. That’s his style. He’s a home run hitter. He isn’t going to win a Gold Glove. You’re not getting a Gold Glove. And Brownie. I love the guy. I really do. Brownie has to step up. I read about opportunity. Gene Mauch used to tell us, ‘Here’s your opportunity. When I give you the baseball, go get an out. When I tell you to pinch-hit get a hit.’ That’s the opportunity. I’ve always impressed guys — that’s your opportunity. You couldn’t ask for more opportunities than he’s had for the production he’s given us. Opportunity is opportunity. ‘What’s my role? What’s my role?’ The role is if you make the 25 (man roster), if you’re asked to do something do it.

The Mad Dog Sushi Roll

You know you’ve made it when you’re a sandwich or a sushi roll.

Sadly, I’m not either, but Ryan Madson is a sushi roll at Zama.

(Been to Zama. It’s good.)

A part of the proceeds go to a children’s charity.

If I had a sushi roll, I might put grouper on top. There was a place on Clearwater Beach that had garlic grouper on top of a California roll. It was very, very good. Sadly, it has closed and is now a hot dog joint. Now that I think about it, maybe it wasn’t so good.


Dallas Green is being enshrined tonight in the Delaware Legends Basketball Hall of Fame.


Crossing Broad has a look at last night’s episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which featured cameos from Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. … Yes, still plugging my book signings tonight and tomorrow. Come one, come all! … I’ve got a new Facebook page, where I’ll post stories, blogs, thoughts, etc. Check it out here. (If you’re a friend on my other Facebook page make sure to switch over because the other one is closing its doors soon. … Follow me on Twitter.

A Look Back at the Sandberg Trade

sandberg phillies.jpgThe Phillies just announced they have hired Ryne Sandberg as Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager.

I’m sure you know the Phillies traded Sandberg and Larry Bowa to the Cubs in January 1982 for Ivan DeJesus. It’s considered one of the worst trades in franchise history, but it might not even be the worst trade the Phillies made with the Cubs. They also sent Grover Cleveland Alexander and Ferguson Jenkins to the Cubs in regrettable trades.

I wrote about the Sandberg fiasco in my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.”

Here’s an excerpt:

We have to have Sandberg to make this trade.

You have to have him?

Yeah, we have to have him.

Well, OK then.

The Phillies traded Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs on January 27, 1982, not because they wanted to trade him, but because they wanted to trade Larry Bowa. They just needed to include Sandberg to make it happen. It turned out to be one of the worst trades in history. The Phillies got Ivan DeJesus. The Cubs got Bowa and Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman.

Bowa had become embroiled in a bitter contract dispute with the new Phillies president Bill Giles. Bowa, who had just turned 36, wanted the three-year contract extension that owner Ruly Carpenter had promised him before he had sold the team. Giles had no plans to sign an aging shortstop to a contract extension, especially because the Phillies had top prospect Julio Franco coming through their farm system. So Bowa called Giles a liar. He said the organization had no class.


This Will Not Be Easy

kendrick 0719 2010.jpgBefore the 2004 season, I remember asking Dallas Green what he thought about the Phillies’ chances to win the World Series. They had retained Kevin Milwood and acquired Billy Wagner, Eric Milton and Tim Worrell to boost a pitching staff many thought would compliment an already talented offense.

Green loved the improvements, but he made one thing clear: It’s hard to win a championship. He said if it were easy, he would not be the only manager in Phillies history to have a ring on his finger.

It’s hard to win a World Series. It’s even harder to play in three consecutive World Series. The Phillies are trying to become the first NL team to do that since the 1942-44 Cardinals.

Maybe this just isn’t the Phillies’ year.

“Oh, I’ve thought that,” Jimmy Rollins said after last night’s 8-4 loss to the Cardinals. “I’m sure all of us in here have thought that. Like, man, it can’t be this tough. There’s no way it can be this tough. You go out there it’s like, ‘We’re going to make sure that it’s not this tough,’ and you come back like, ‘It’s a little tougher than I thought it was going to be.'”

It is mentioned that maybe there is a reason why the ’42-’44 Cardinals are the last three-peaters in the NL.

“It’s not over,” Rollins said. “You can write it like it’s over. But the guys with the bats and the balls they control what the pen says. … We’ve still got time. We either make it more time or less time. Six games (behind Atlanta). If we catch fire all of a sudden and do what the Chicago White Sox did (a 26-5 stretch from June 9 – July 15) then you can say we have a lot of time. We can make it a lot of time or a little time.”

Rollins has seen it happen before. The Phillies held a fire sale in July 2006 only to turn things around and become buyers in August. They made baseball history in 2007, overcoming a seven-game deficit with 17 games to play to win the NL East. They overcame a 3 -game deficit with 16 games to play in 2008 to win their second consecutive division title.

Can they do it again? Sure, it’s possible. But Charlie Manuel knows the Phillies need to show life quickly. They have lost four of their first five games after the All-Star break and have just 11 games to play before the trade deadline. The offense has been inconsistent much of the season. The rotation has a 5.09 ERA without Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. They’re without Chase Utley for another month. Players say they have noticed a different feel in the clubhouse. If the Phillies fall too far behind the Braves and further out of the NL wild card race, Ruben Amaro Jr. could trade Jayson Werth — and it’s tough to see them winning without a big right-handed bat in the lineup.

They need to get going quickly this week against the Cardinals and Rockies, or more time will turn into less time. 


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!