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Green Be Gone
All we know about Dallas Green is what we read in the newspapers, but we read enough to get the idea that to say he has a prickly personality is like saying that Rocky Balboa is a fighter. He is a self-styled yeller and cusser, and his legendary confrontational style has led to difficult relationships with sensitive ballplayers. It has been written that his success in making a champion of a team that Danny Ozark could never quite push to the top, was achieved because of the hatred (strong emotions here) he inspired from the players who drove themselves to show the bleeping manager what they could do. Green presumably would be pleased to accept that assessment.
What this has to do with the 1982 season is simply that following the 1981 season, Dallas Green received an offer he could not refuse. In Chicago the Wrigley family had sold the Cubs to the Chicago Tribune Company, and they were looking for someone to lead the Cubs out of the losing wilderness of recent years. Dallas Green was their man. Following the 1981 season, Green stepped down as Phillies’ field manager to become Executive Vice President and General manager of the Chicago Cubs. Green knew who in the Phillies’ organization most suited his style and moved quickly to get Lee Elia, John Vukovich, Keith Moreland, and Dickie Noles for his team. He then pulled off one of the most unbalanced trades in Phillies’ history, sending shortstop Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for Larry Bowa and Ryne Sandberg.
Somebody had to manage the Phillies. It would be 41-year-old Pat Corrales. Remember him? He played 63 games as a catcher for the 1965 Phillies. He hit .224. More recently he had managed the American League Texas Rangers in 1979 and 1980 with limited success. So what were the tools Paul Owens handed to Corrales?
It was a far different team than the 1980 World’s Champions, though Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt, the two main pieces were still in place. Schmidt was 31 years old, and at the top of his game. Carlton, on the books, was 37, but strong from a well-publicized physical conditioning program.
In April, the St. Louis Cardinals, sparked by ex-Phillie Lonnie Smith, Keith Hernandez, and Ozzie Smith, won nine more games than the Phillies, who spent the rest of the season trying to catch up. They made it close, entering September just 2 ½ games behind. But the Cardinals refused to fold and won the NL East by three games over the Phillies. Dallas Green’s Cubs were fifth, 19 games back.By max blue