BEYOND THE BOXSCORE … GETTING TO KNOW SAN DIEGO PADRES P WILL INMAN
I confess I became especially intrigued by Padres pitching prospect Will Inman for reasons other than just his impressive numbers in his first four years. I mean, the not-yet-22-year-old right-hander, acquired from Milwaukee down the stretch in 2007 for veteran reliever Scott Linebrink, has put up some pretty damned good numbers in his time.
He also has a pretty awesome website of his own with a great blog as well!
Originally drafted out of high school in Danville, Va., in the third round of 2005, Inman tore it up for the West Virginia Power in his first full season, 2006, going 10-2 with a 1.71 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings. You know that Power superfan “The Toastman” had to work overtime making the burnt toast for Inman’s K victims that summer.
We at MiLB.com had a lot of fun waiting for Inman to go head-to-head with fellow Sally League ace Josh Outman, who was at the time pitching for the Phillies organization at Lakewood. The two never faced each other, nor did they square off the next summer when Inman was at Brevard County in the Florida State League at Outman was at Clearwater.
But both ended up moving in trades, with Inman heading to San Diego and Outman to Oakland, which saw them both land in the Texas League this year, Inman at San Antonio and Outman at Midland. Still, we have yet to have a boxscore featuring Inman vs. Outman, though we can dream can’t we? Maybe this summer, when Portland faces Sacramento in the PCL?
Anyway, I happened to be channel surfing one night and stumbled upon the epic tearjerker of Civil War doomed love, “Cold Mountain,” based on an award-winning novel by Charles Frazier.
You know the movie. A gorgeously-scruffy Jude Law falls in love with strong-willed belle Nicole Kidman during the early days of the Civil War, down in western North Carolina. They share a night of love. He leaves to join the Confederate Army and spends the rest of the war trying to work his way back to his love while she fights off cranky Yankees (no, not A-Rod or Jeter) waiting for her paramour to return.
Being a tearjerker, he dies about four yards from her door. Hope I didn’t just spoil that for you. But anyway … point being. Kidman, as Ada Monroe, never refers to her love by his first name but, simply by his last name: Inman.
If you read the 1997 National Book Award Winner, reveals that indeed the character does have a first name (and no, smarty pants, it’s not O-S-C-A-R). It’s William. AND he’s based on a real person, William Inman, who may or may not be a distant relative of the author Frazier.
And the book takes place in that area of western North Carolina/eastern Tennessee and even a bit of southwest Virginia that isn’t that far from our Will Inman’s own hometown of Danville, Va. In fact, Inman was even a patient in an army hospital in Danville while recovering from one of his war wounds before he headed – or tried to – home to Ada.
But the coincidence ends there (well, almost there – Inman’s brother who was with him in the Confederate Army was named Lewis, and Inman’s middle name is Luis). Inman (the pitcher) tells me that as far as he knows he is not a descendant of the other William Inman. Which means at this point, anyway, the odds of Jude Law playing pitcher Will Inman when they make HIS life story may have just gone down a tiny bit. *sigh*
So instead we move on, and we don’t ask Inman who he’d want to play himself when they DO make a movie about his lifestory. (But Jude, we know where to find you).
GotMiLB: Of what accomplishment, on or off the field, in your life are you the proudest?
Inman: Probably when I got my scholarship to attend Auburn. It was just a relief. And just knowing that my parents were so proud made me feel great!
GotMiLB: What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Inman: I would have to say pitching in Yankee Stadium this past season in the Futures Game!
GotMiLB: What do you think you’d be doing now if you weren’t playing baseball?
Inman: Oh boy! There is no doubt in my mind that I would be trying to or playing in the MLG: the Major League Gaming system. I’m addicted to all of the Halo games. And for some reason (I’m thinking because I play so much) I’m actually really good.
GotMiLB: Do you have other hobbies or creative outlets aside from baseball?
Inman: That goes with my answer from before. I’m either playing baseball, eating, at the gym, or playing Halo.
GotMiLB: What one item have you found you cannot live without on the road?
Inman: The IPhone! In my eyes it’s the best thing ever made besides a Xbox.
GotMiLB: Everyone has a “hidden talent.” What’s yours?
Inman: Aside from dominating video games, it would be just how I tend to pitch without looking at the plate until the last second sometimes.
GotMiLB: Complete this sentence: It would surprise people to know that I …
Inman: … reallllly like grapefruit juice?
GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors do you find to be the biggest challenge and why?
Inman: Without a doubt, just the traveling. The 12-hour bus trips. Leaving at 12 a.m., getting in at 12 p.m. and playing at 7 p.m.
GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors has surprised you the most, in
comparison to what you might have imagined before you turned pro?
Inman: Just how laid back everything really is. I mean there are times when, yes, you really need to be serious but, for the most part it is just a very relaxed easy come easy go type of deal.
GotMiLB: Who is the most unusual character you’ve met in your pro baseball career?
Inman: Probably just my buddy Steve Garrison. I have never seen someone that is liked by more people than him.
GotMiLB: Which coach/manager have you had that you think should be in the big leagues?
Inman: John Curtis. He’s a great man and I think that he puts everything he has in to the people around him. And he’s a baller!
GotMiLB: What is the one question you hope you never hear again?
Inman: From people in my hometown. “Where do you go to college at?”
GotMiLB: Where have you played in the Minors?
Inman: As far as home fields. Helena, Montana, Charleston, WV, Hunsville, Alabama, San Antonio, Texas, and Bevard County Florida.
GotMiLB: On your current or most recent club, what was your favorite thing about playing there? And is there anything you would change?
Inman: It was San Antonio. And my favorite thing would probably be the deals we got at the golf courses! And I would definitely change every piece of carpet in the stadium. Ewww, that smell!