Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BD Spring Training Report: It’s Just A Game | Baseball Digest

BD Spring Training Report: It’s Just A Game | Baseball Digest

Anyone who has followed Dallas Green’s managerial career knows he’s tough, that he doesn’t mince words, and he isn’t afraid to let his feelings be known to the media. This morning Dallas Green should have been enjoying the annual rite of spring training, of watching players stretch and play catch and take batting practice. But Dallas Green is still grieving a loss much more meaningful than any baseball game.

By now you all know that Green’s granddaughter, Christina-Taylor Green, died along with five others at the hands of a mentally ill individual last month in Arizona. A 9-yr old girl who was just beginning to learn of the wonders of the world. A girl who had big hopes and dreams; dreams and memories are all that are left now for her family.

Dallas Green spoke to the media for 20 minutes this morning at the Phillies’ Clearwater, Florida complex. In doing so he showed far more courage than making any crucial World Series decision could ever come close to.

“Obviously, dealing with something like this is difficult enough for me and my wife, but it’s been a terrible thing on John and Roxanna and Little D (referring to his son, daughter-in-law and grandson, Dallas Jr.).

“You all know what has happened with Christina. I don’t think Sylvia (Dallas Green’s wife) nor I, in our wildest dreams as we were flying out to Tucson, realized that it would hit the nation and the community as hard as it did. We thought it was just our family and our neighborhood out in Tucson. But that little girl woke an awful lot of people up. We just miss the hell out of her.

“Obviously, I’m prejudiced, because she was my granddaughter. But she has become known to an awful lot of people in the country. Most of what has been written about her or said about her obviously is very true. She was really a special young lady, probably older than her years. She and her brother were very, very close. Christina was kind of the mom, as much as Roxanna was, to little Dallas. Made sure he got on the bus right, made sure he got to the karate classes on time. I was really blessed, John and Roxanna and Christina and Dallas came down to Providenciales (where the elder Greens have a winter home in the Caribbean) for Christmas, and we had some great quality time down there. She loved the water, she loved just being down in Providenciales with her Nana and Poppa. We had a great time.”

Green also spoke about the remarkable response the nation has had towards the tragedy and to his family in particular.

“It hit everybody,” he said. “The way it happened and the fact she was only nine years old obviously hit a lot of people hard. It brought up the gun business and the craziness the country seems to be going through at times. But she embodied what’s good about kids and what’s good about growing up in the United States.She wanted desperately just to be a little girl that loved doing what she did. Obviously her interest in politics and going to that function and being in the wrong place at the wrong time hit an awful lot of people hard.”

Green also praised the woman who had taken Christina to the event and then was wounded by three bullets as she tried to protect her. You can read those comments and more by checking out Larry Stone’s column in the Seattle Times.

News and Notes

Albert Pujols deadline has come and gone with no contract. If Prince Albert sticks to his guns there will be no further negotiations until after the 2011 season is completed.

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