For an IU grad like myself, it’s been a cool week at Spring Training. On the first day of camp, Don Mattingly got asked about Bob Knight and spent a bunch of time talking about his respect for the Hoosiers’ former coach.
Then today, the late John Wooden’s name came up in the media session, as Donnie has read a lot of his books. Coach Wooden hailed from Martinsville, Indiana, which is near Bloomington.
Clearly those two are legends of the game, so it will be decades before Don could even potentially accomplish what they did as a manager/coach, but it’s still pretty neat to hear so much talk about Indiana.
Tack on Evansville’s Jamey Carroll and there’s no shortage of ties to the Hoosier state around here. Among the most well known Dodgers born there are Gil Hodges, Carl Erskine and Tommy John in addition to more recent Dodgers Eric Stults and Cory Wade.
Why is this relevant? Well, it’s not really. But hearing Donnie talk so much today about Wooden and Indiana made it somewhat noteworthy.
As for the only U.S. President from Indiana…well, that would be Benjamin Harrison, who was actually born in Ohio but spent most of his time in Indiana.
And with that, Happy President’s Day…
Eric Stults takes the mound today in place of Kuroda and while it’s obviously a bummer that Hiroki hurt his side, I’m glad that our medical department is smart enough to try and nip this in the bud now before it gets to be a bigger issue.
Here’s hoping that good things continue to happen to good people, as Stults is one of the nicest guys in the game. Every so often, I like to escape my job in the press box and watch the game from some place in the stands so that we can see the Dodger Stadium experience from a fan’s perspective. Well, last year I did that with one of my front office counterparts at a June game and it turned out to be the day Stults pitched a complete-game shutout. I was so happy for him because of how hard he’s worked over the years. Plus, with the recent passing of his mother, you’ve got to be pulling for this guy.
He may go on to have long MLB career and he may continue to go back and forth to the Majors, but he’ll always be able to point to that game against the Sox as the day he dominated in the bigs. Let’s hope there are a lot more of those in his left arm.
Here’s today’s lineup: