George Dallas Green (born August 4, 1934) is a former pitcher, manager, and executive in Major League Baseball. After playing for the Phillies and three other teams, he went on to manage the Phillies, the New York Yankees, and the New York Mets, and managed the Phillies when they won their only World Series title in franchise history in 1980. Green had a losing record both as a pitcher and as a manager. He achieved notoriety for his blunt manner. Currently, he is a Senior Advisor to the General Manager for the Phillies.
An example of the way that Dallas Green had of speaking to the press about ballplayers was his comment about Scott Rolen in 2001: “Scotty’s satisfied with being a so-so player. I think he can be greater, but his personality won’t let him.” Rolen has since been elected to the All Star team 4 times.
After the Tribune Company bought the Chicago Cubs from the Wrigley family in , the company hired Green away from the Phillies after the 1981 season as executive vice president and general manager. His presence was quickly felt in the organization, as his slogan "Building a New Tradition" was a jab at the Cubs' history of losing. He hired a number of coaches and scouts away from the Phillies, such as Lee Elia (Green's first manager and college roommate at Delaware), John Vukovich (who remained on the Cubs' staff throughout Green's tenure), and Gordon Goldsberry (the team's director of player development). Green also made some trades with the Phillies, acquiring players such as Keith Moreland, Dan Larson, and Dickie Noles. His best trade came during that first offseason when Green sent Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for shortstop Larry Bowa and a minor league infielder named Ryne Sandberg. It proved to be one of the most one-sided trades in baseball history. Bowa was the Cubs starting shortstop for three seasons, and Sandberg blossomed into a star, being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
Green continued to build the Cubs during the 1982 and 1983 seasons. After acquiring left fielder Gary Matthews and center fielder Bob Dernier from Philadelphia before the 1984 season, Green's Cubs became serious contenders for the first time in more than a decade. During the 1984 season, Green made a few more moves, most notably acquiring right-handed pitcher Dennis Eckersley from the Boston Red Sox for popular first baseman Bill Buckner in late May, and sending Cubs' prospects Mel Hall and Joe Carter to the Cleveland Indians for relief pitcher George Frazier, backup catcher Ron Hassey and right-handed pitcher Rick Sutcliffe in mid-June. Sutcliffe went 16-1 with the Cubs that season to lead the Cubs to the National League East title--their first postseason appearance of any kind since the 1945 World Series. Because Green neglected to renew waivers on Hall and Carter, the status of the trade was in doubt for a while, and the two did not play for a week. Green's first-year manager Jim Frey (who managed the Kansas City Royals against Green in 1980) won NL Manager of the Year, Sutcliffe won the NL Cy Young Award, and Sandberg won the NL Most Valuable Player Award. Green captured Executive of the Year honors. The Cubs' strong season was enough for Green to win a power struggle within the Cubs front office; he was promoted to team president, replacing Jim Finks, who resigned to take a job with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League.
The Cubs struggled in 1985 and 1986. It finished last in 1987. In 1987, Green fired manager Gene Michael over Labor Day weekend, blasted his team for quitting in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, and then resigned as general manager and president of the Cubs in October 1987 citing "philosophical differences" with Tribune Company executives.
Green was the first Cubs executive to clash with the City of Chicago over lights in Wrigley Field. Green was a strong proponent of lights from the start of his tenure, but a city ordinance prohibited the Cubs from installing lights in the residential Lakeview neighborhood, where Wrigley Field was located. As Green saw it, the issue wasn't lights or no lights, but Wrigley Field or move to the suburbs. Bluntly stating that "if there are no lights in Wrigley Field, there will be no Wrigley Field," he threatened to move the Cubs to a new stadium in northwest suburban Schaumburg or Arlington Heights. He also seriously considered shutting down Wrigley Field for a year and playing at Comiskey Park as tenants of the White Sox, in hopes that the loss of revenue would temper or eliminate neighborhood opposition. Green's stance changed the context of the debate, as even the staunchest opponents of installing lights did not want to be held responsible for the Cubs leaving town. Shortly before Green's departure, the Chicago City Council and Mayor Harold Washington (who died a week later) approved a change to the ordinance, allowing the Cubs to install lights in 1988.
With the Phillies (1979–81), he was over .500 with a record of 169–130. He inherited a team that had come in first in the division for 3 of the prior 4 years under Danny Ozark. They continued their winning ways under Green at first, winning the World Series in 1980. But some felt that it was his players' shared hatred toward Green, who criticized them in the press, that propelled the Phillies to their World Series title. By 1981 the team fell to the 3rd best record in the division. Pat Corrales took over the next year, steering the team to a 2nd place finish, and then reasserting the team as division leader the next year.
With the Mets (1993–96), he was under .500 at 229–283 (.447). While the Mets had been 18 games under .500 prior to Green taking the helm, in 1993 they fell to 32 games under Green -- in the portion of the season (124 games) that he managed them. They remained under .500 until Bobby Valentine took over the team in 1997.
With the Yankees (1989), he was also under .500 at 56–65 (.463). The team had finished 9 games over .500 the prior year, but fell to 9 games under .500 during Green's tenure. Green had also insulted George Steinbrenner by referring to him as "Manager George."