1978 March

6th  The Reds trade P Jack Billingham to the Tigers for 2 minor league players.

15th  The A’s trade Vida Blue to the Giants for 7 players and an estimated $390,000 in cash.

17th  For the St. Patrick’s Day exhibition game, the Reds don green uniforms, rather than their traditional red, starting an annual ritual that will last a few seasons. The good luck works and the Reds beat the Yankees, 9–2. The Cardinals will be the next to follow suit.

21st  The Padres fire manager Alvin Dark, replacing him with pitching coach Roger Craig. Dark becomes the only manager besides the Cubs Phil Cavarretta in 1954 to be fired during spring training. The firing comes in the aftermath of a player revolt over charges of his over-managing, not delegating enough authority to his coaches, banning beer on team flights, and instituting bible-study classes.

27th  A’s owner Charley Finley cancels the deal that would have sent the A’s to Denver, under the sponsorship of oilman Marvin Davis. Objecting to some of the details, Finley decides to call off negotiations.

28th  The A’s release Dick Allen, ending his stormy 15-year career which produced 351 HRs, 1,119 RBI, a .292 batting average, and a .534 slugging mark.

29th  The Orioles release reliever Ed Farmer, who will reemerge with the White Sox.

30th  A bad day for Eckersley. The Red Sox trade C Bo Diaz, 3B Ted Cox, and pitchers Rick Wise and Mike Paxton to the Indians for C Fred Kendall and the 23-year-old Dennis Eckersley. In addition to being traded today, Eck is told by his wife Denise that she doesn’t love him any more and is not going with him to Boston. In June, Eckersley finds out that Denise and Cleveland teammate Rick Manning have been having an affair. The two will eventually marry.  Eckersley will win 20 for Boston this year, while Cox will never live up to the potential he showed in 1977 when he reached base his first 7 times up (6 hits and a walk) and hit .354 in 13 September games. After two mediocre seasons in Cleveland, he’ll be traded to Seattle. The veteran Wise will lose an AL-high 19 games for the Tribe.