Word has spread quickly through Dodger Stadium that John Wooden has passed away. The entire Dodger organization extends our sincere thoughts to his family and friends, which include several members of the team…Vin Scully, Joe Torre and so many others.
My understanding is that Vin will mention Coach Wooden’s passing at the top of the fourth inning on the broadcast and there are few who can do so with such class. For those who were fortunate enough to meet him, it is surely something they’ll never forget.
Many of our then-young prospects, including tonight’s starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, Blake DeWitt and Ramon Troncoso had the good fortunate to meet Coach Wooden during a private dinner one night during our Winter Development program on Jan. 11, 2008.
He will be missed by so many but his teachings and wise words of wisdom will carry forward for generations. There are so many great quotes, but here’s a personal favorite:
“It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit.”
Rest in peace, John Wooden.
The meetings come to a close today and the news out of Indy is that the Nationals took Jamie Hoffmann in the Rule Five draft. Ned told the media today that he’d be comfortable with a healthy Jason Repko as the fourth or fifth outfielder and I know there are a lot of Repko fans in LA, myself included. He’s a great kid with a lot of talent and hopefully he’ll be healthy in 2010.
Back in Los Angeles today, Matt Kemp and Ramon Troncoso are attending our holiday party for local underserved youth, which is a tradition that goes back about a quarter century. I’m bummed to be missing it, as it’s always a very cool thing to see these kids’ faces light up when they might not otherwise get to experience the holidays in this fashion.
My next post will be back when I get to Los Angeles but I wouldn’t worry too much that no moves got made at the meetings. I know how much everyone loves to see their team make moves at this time of year, but in general, it was pretty quiet for many teams. But, a lot of groundwork gets laid here and acted upon in the coming weeks. The important thing to remember, as far as I’m concerned, is that we’re not re-creating a whole team. We’re trying to add a pitcher or two and perhaps a second baseman and we’ll be right back to where we were last season – competing for the division title and hopefully, taking the next step to advance past the NLCS and into the World Series. And as you recall, the second baseman and pitcher that we’re trying to replace were signed in February/March last year, so there’s still plenty of time before the Opening Day roster will be complete.