Jim’s Journal February 15th, 2024

We’re going to have a lot happening over the coming few days sports-wise…

As baseball’s spring training gets geared up in Arizona, the Reds have plenty of fresh hope for their upcoming season.  The pitchers and catchers are already at the facility in Goodyear, holding their first workouts Wednesday.  Position players arrive Sunday, and full-squad work is on tap Monday.  From there, they’ll be right into it, the first spring game against the Guardians set for Saturday the 24th.  That’ll lead into a fast and furious schedule–  30 spring training games before the regular campaign begins March 28th against the Nationals at Great American.

One of the few things coming out pretty firmly from the start is manager David Bell saying 22-year-old Elly De La Cruz is expected to get the great majority of starts at shortstop this year.  While there may overall be a surplus of infielders, not enough spots for everyone to regularly play the same one, De La Cruz is pretty much locked in.

The Reds do say there’s something new this year–  their 4-day Spring Breakout, highlighting top minor-league stars.  That’s March 14th thru the 17th.  Cincy’s best prospects face those of the Rangers on the 14th, and the Guardians on the 16th.

More news came down from the Reds in the wee hours overnight…  please see below.


Remember Saturday, it’s girls’ semi-state basketball, at 10:00 in the morning!  21 & 5 Jac-Cen-Del, up against 26 & 1 Lanesville, the defending state champs.  The winner plays again that night for the right to go into the next weekend’s title game, and we have Saturday’s action for you live, starting about 9:40 that morning, right here at WRBIRadio.com, on 103.9 FM, and on the new WRBI app.


There’ve been ripples in the pool at Greensburg in recent days-  the Pirate boys earning several first-place finishes in a triangular meet against Indian Creek and Edgewood.  Greensburg beat IC 89 to 40, and topped Edgewood 87 to 57.  Christopher Mains, Jake Hawkins, Tyler Williams, and Joe Hawkins combined to win the 200-yard medley relay…  Mains and Williams sprinting to first and 2nd in the 50 freestyle, each setting a personal best in that event.  Then Mains and Joe Hawkins went 1-2 in the 500 free.  That was the last regular season meet for the Pirates.  They’re in the sectional 17 preliminaries at Columbus North today, sectional finals on tap Saturday.


8th-grade girls hoops this week–  North Decatur beat Edinburgh 44 to 16, then it was South Ripley over North Decatur, 33 to 21.  And Batesville smoked Waldron, 26  to 7.  The Bulldogs face South Dearborn today.


Men’s college basketball Wednesday night saw Seton Hall beat Xavier, 88 to 70  .Coming up tonight, a Big 10 clash between Minnesota’s Golden Gophers and the Boilers of 2nd-ranked Purdue, in West Lafayette.


In the NBA, the Pacers went to Toronto last night, winning a narrow one over the Raptors, 127 to 125.


And it was a sad note from the Reds.  One of their legendary athletes, left-handed pitcher Don Gullett, who played on 4 consecutive World Series champion teams in the 1970’s, died Wednesday at 73.  The cause wasn’t immediately made public, but the Reds said he’d had recent health issues.  Gullett went 109 & 50 with a 3.11 ERA over 9 seasons with the Reds and Yankees.  And before he got called up to Cincy, I got to see him play several times when I was a child in the late 60’s-early 70’s, watching the Reds’ old Single-A team back in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He retired as a player in 1978, and went on to coach in the Reds’ organization, spending 24 years total with the club.  He was enshrined in the Reds’ Hall of Fame in 2002.  Don Gullett, gone at 73.