David Montgomery on Dallas Green: 'There are few people more synonymous with the Phillies'

David Montgomery on Dallas Green: 'There are few people more synonymous with the Phillies'

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- David Montgomery had a few tears in his eyes as he spoke about Dallas Green on Wednesday.

Everyone did.

"There are very few people who were more synonymous with the Phillies than Dallas," said Montgomery, who joined the Phillies ticket office in 1971 and rose to become club president, part owner and now chairman.

"For me, growing up watching this guy pitch, and then the first time you meet him, I mean, what a presence. There's no other way to describe it. He filled the room with his presence.

"I can remember people coming back from spring training in '71, and I'm working in the ticket office, then all of a sudden you meet Dallas Green. You have to step back a little bit when you meet Dallas Green -- his size and his personality and his voice. What a thrill. And you know what? That never died."

Green, who managed the Phillies to their first World Series title in 1980, died Wednesday after a long battle with kidney disease. He was 82 (see story).

After his playing career ended, Green, an imposing man of 6-foot-5 with a square jaw, wide shoulders and booming voice, joined the Phillies player development staff and in the early 1970s helped groom one of the best collections of talent the organization has ever known. When that group of talent couldn't get over the hump and win a World Series, Green was asked by general manager Paul Owens to become manager late in the 1979 season. Owens thought that team had grown complacent and needed Green's tough, demanding in-your-face style.

"I was a contemporary of some of the players. I knew some of them," Montgomery said. "They asked, 'Why do we have this guy? We like Danny (Ozark).'

"But it turned out that Dallas was what some of them needed. We owe 1980 to that.

"I think Dallas enjoyed his size and his presence to back people away. But when you get to the core of the man, he was a lot more loveable."

Green left the Phillies in 1982. He ran the Chicago Cubs and later managed the Yankees and Mets before finding his way back to Philadelphia as a front-office man.

Forty-six of his 62 years in pro ball were spent with the Phillies.

"Thankfully he came back to us," Montgomery said. "We had the pleasure of being with him for the last 20 years."

Mets promote Tim Tebow to high Class A St. Lucie

Mets promote Tim Tebow to high Class A St. Lucie

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Tim Tebow is moving up and heading south -- to some very familiar territory.

Tebow has been promoted to the New York Mets' high Class A affiliate in St. Lucie, Florida. The 29-year-old Tebow led the University of Florida to two national championships in football and won the 2007 Heisman Trophy during his stellar career with the Gators.

"I'm not sure how much of an additional challenge it will be," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Sunday in San Francisco. "Clearly it's a step up. I certainly think he can handle it."

Tebow began his first pro baseball season with Class A Columbia, drawing huge crowds at home and wherever the Fireflies went in the South Atlantic League. He entered his final Fireflies game batting .222 with three home runs and 23 RBIs.

"I wouldn't say he has excelled there, but at the same time, what he's done there -- given all the circumstances -- justified the promotion to Port St. Lucie," Alderson said.

Phillies play wait-and-see game with Jerad Eickhoff and Howie Kendrick

Phillies play wait-and-see game with Jerad Eickhoff and Howie Kendrick

PHOENIX -- Jerad Eickhoff and Howie Kendrick both tested their achy body parts on Sunday.

Eickhoff, on the disabled list with an upper back strain, threw two 15-pitch "innings" in the bullpen and was pleased with the results.

"It felt good, no sense of pulling," he said. "We'll see how it feels tomorrow."

Eickhoff's turn in the rotation will come up Wednesday in Seattle. If he can't make the start, Mark Leiter Jr. will. Leiter pitched six shutout innings in his first big-league start on Friday night.

As for Kendrick, who is battling left hamstring tightness, he was not in the starting lineup for a fourth straight game on Sunday. He did run some sprints under the watchful eye of head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan before the game.

"He still feels it, but he's available to pinch-hit," manager Pete Mackanin said.

Is this getting close to being a situation that would require a trip to the disabled list?

"Hopefully not," Mackanin said. "Hopefully he's better tomorrow. If not, I'm hoping he can at least DH in Seattle (on Tuesday). He's one of our best hitters and I want to get him in there. But I've got to be cautious."

Kendrick already spent six weeks on the disabled list with an abdominal injury earlier this season. He's played well when healthy, hitting .355 (43 for 121) with a .414 on-base percentage in 31 games.

The Phillies need to be certain that Kendrick is healthy when they turn him loose because he could hold some trade value in the month of July and a full-blown injury would hurt that.