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Dallas Green, Nick Swisher, Jeff Wilpon, Francisco Rodriguez and Albert Pujols

You know it's a busy day when Albert Pujols is the fifth item we're addressing in the afternoon post. By the way, have I mentioned yet how gorgeous it is down here? 

--This morning, I went to Phillies camp because Dallas Green wanted to address the media for the first time as a group (he spoke to the Chicago Tribune in late January) since his granddaughter, Christina Taylor Green, was killed in the Jan. 8 shootings in Tucson.

It was, predictably, heart-wrenching. Green spoke for a little less than 20 minutes, and I found myself having to collect myself a couple of times as Green opened his heart about his pain, that of his family and how he feels about the usage of Glocks.

Green wanted to do this to thank the many media people who knew him, who had reached out to him during his mourning. The Phillies moved the media session from their dining room (where the starting rotation spoke on Monday) to outside so that it felt like a press briefing and more like a conversation for Green. Also, that made it more natural for Green to wear sunglasses, to hide his eyes, although we all could see how choked up he became.

Profound stuff. Terrible stuff. I'll be writing more for tomorrow about Green and his anguish.

--Once Green finished, I drove back over to Yankees camp, at which the doings were much more mundane. First, I stopped by the minor-league complex and chatted with Nick Swisher, who said he just arrived in town last night.

Perhaps you saw that Swisher got married over the offseason. He told me that he has moved full-time to Los Angeles - his wife, Joanna Garcia, is an actress in "Better With You" (which, believe it or not, I haven't seen) - and he confirmed that he has switched agents from the Ohio-based Joe Bick to the L.A.-based Dan Lozano.

"I love Joe Bick," Swisher told me. "He’s an amazing man. We just kind of grew apart a little bit. No hard feelings either way. It’s just business."

I called Bick to alert him to Swisher's comments and to see if he wanted to add anything. Here's what Bick said: "Really? That’s interesting. I haven’t changed."

Yeah, with his new wife, new life and increased fame, Swisher has cut ties with some people from his past. He has gone Hollywood, literally. If he matches his performances from his first two Yankees seasons, then the team can deal with his personality. But it's something on which we should keep an eye.

--Jeff Wilpon arrived in Port St. Lucie and said that controlling interest of the Mets is "not on the table," and that his family "will come out victorious in the end." He also indicated the club has plenty of nibbles to buy about 25 percent of the Mets.

Very strong words. Alas, at this point, it's pretty much impossible to believe anything the Wilpons say. We'll just have to wait for events to play out longer.

--Francisco Rodriguez also showed up at Mets camp, and he at least said the right things. His saga will be particularly intriguing to watch, both because of his crime last year and because of the $17.5 million vesting option for 2012 that becomes reality if K-Rod finishes 55 games.

--The Pujols deadline passed without a deal, and now talks will be tabled until the completion of the Cardinals' season. There has been much chatter in the yakosphere (copyright Neil Best) about how this deadline is meaningless, and how an extension can easily be hammered out in a week or a month or at the All-Star break.

Technically, yes, this deadline is meaningless. Pujols and the Cardinals can keep chatting, if they so desire. But I don't expect that to happen. I honestly believe that talks will cease until the Cardinals are done.

Of course, I honestly believed CC Sabathia last year when he said he wouldn't opt out of his contract.

--This is crazy: Dodgers reliever Ronald Bellisario might miss the entire season because of undisclosed issues that have resulted in an inability to secure a visa. Thanks, Twitter, for the heads-up on this one. 

--Have a great night.

 

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