Diamonds and Ice

What will the Angels do?
June 24, 2008, 4:15 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Mike Hlas’ column on Zach Johnson in Tuesday’s Gazette was another good one. Mike wrote about Johnson planning to raise flood-relief funds for his beloved hometown. He called upon other famous former Cedar Rapidians to match Johnson’s efforts, specifically calling out actor Ashton Kutcher.

That got me thinking a little bit. If you’re the Los Angeles Angels, why aren’t you contributing something to a community you have been partnered with since 1993? I have been disappointed in the Angels’ seeming lack of response to this city’s biggest natural disaster. There hasn’t been one word about it on the team’s Website, not one press release statement through the Cedar Rapids Kernels about how the organization wishes the city its best. That would seem to be the least that could be done.

Kernels General Manager Jack Roeder said he has received phone calls from Angels General Manager Tony Reagins and said the Angels plan to do something for the city. Let’s hope so.

Owner Arte Moreno has more money than God, as the old saying goes, and would seem to be able to afford to write a check of some sort to the Red Cross. Or maybe the Angels could pass around a hat in their clubhouse and ask for some donations from players who used to play in Cedar Rapids. There are plenty of them right now. 

It’s certainly not for anyone in this city – or myself – to go begging anyone for money. That’s just not proper. But the Kernels have stuck with the Angels through thick and thin (a lot more of the latter, win-loss wise). Certain members of the Kernels front office and board of directors continually talk about what a great relationship the two sides have and how important it is because of that to stay loyal to Los Angeles.

It would be very nice if the Angels could show that loyalty isn’t a one-way deal.


Words of encouragement
June 17, 2008, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Former Cedar Rapids Kernels manager Ever Magallanes and former Cedar Rapids Kernels players now with Rancho Cucamonga in the California League have made a video of support for the people of Cedar Rapids as we go through this horrible flooding event. You can access the video at mms:// or via Stephen Smith’s Los Angeles Angels minor-league website

Also received a voice mail from former Kernels manager Bobby Magallanes (Ever’s brother), who wanted everyone in the community to know that he is sending his thoughts and prayers to our community.

The Kernels’ eight-game homestand that begins Thursday is on. The club got the blessings of City Manager Jim Prosser and Mayor Kay Halloran on Tuesday to play the games, which stretch through June 26. That also goes for the kids’ camps that run Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

The club also has teamed with the Freedom From Hunger Food Drive. Fans are asked to donate non-perishable food items when they come to games during the homestand that will be distributed through local food pantries to aid in flood relief efforts.

In a personal note, God bless everyone affected by these floods. We will overcome this!!



Things aren’t a poppin’
June 10, 2008, 8:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you watch KCRG-TV sports much, you’ve invariably heard anchor John Campbell refer to Veterans Memorial Stadium as “The Popper.” It’s in reference to the Cedar Rapids Kernels, obviously, and the fact that the playing field at the stadium has been named Dale and Thomas Popcorn Field after a New Jersey popcorn company that shelled out a few bucks to have its name publicized locally.

The thing is there isn’t much popcorn being popped at the old ballpark. Try and come up with another nickname, JC.

As part of the agreement with Dale and Thomas, the Kernels have agreed to only sell D&T products. In other words, if you’re looking for fresh corn, don’t come to the stadium. The only place you’ll get any is if you’re in a group that has the left-field picnic pavillion rented. And rumor has it, that’ll come to an end perhaps as soon as next season.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of Dale and Thomas’ products are OK. The barbecue flavor isn’t too bad, and the chocolate and caramel gets the job done. But it ain’t popcorn, folks. It’s pre-packaged stuff, and you could argue the chocolate and caramel flavor is more candy than popcorn.

Whoever heard of going to a professional baseball game and not being able to eat fresh popcorn? What’s next, Kernels? No peanuts or hot dogs at the stadium?

What do you all think?     

RoughRiders 2008-09 Roster
June 2, 2008, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Due to an inadvertent mixup, the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders’ 2008-09 initial roster didn’t make it into Monday’s paper. So here it is:


(Previous Team In Parentheses)



Troy Grosenick (Team Illinois AAA)

Mike Johnson (St. Louis Bandits/NAHL)



Brock Carlston (Mona Shores, Mich., High School)

Matt Donovan (RoughRiders)

Nate Jensen (Minnetonka, Minn., High School)

Derik Johnson (P.F. Changs AAA)

Doug Leaverton (RoughRiders)

Paul Phillips (RoughRiders)

Darren Rowe (Springfield Jr. Blues/NAHL)

Matthew Tennyson (Texas Tornado/NAHL)



Robin Bergman (RoughRiders/Notre Dame)

Greg Burke (New Hampshire Monarchs/EHJL)

Dean Chelios (RoughRiders)

Jeff Costello (Madison, Wis., Memorial High School)

Kyle Flanagan (RoughRiders)

Brett Gensler (St. Louis Jr. Blues AAA)

Zach Lehrke (Park Rapids, Minn., High School)

Ben Lynch (RoughRiders)

Vince Mihalek (RoughRiders)

Cody Murphy (Team Illinois AAA)

Tobias Nilsson-Roos (Malmo Redhawks/Sweden)

Nick Oddo (RoughRiders)

Jared Rickord (Springfield Jr. Blues/NAHL)

Eric Robinson (South Shore Kings/EJHL)

Mike Seidel (RoughRiders)

Scott Winkler (Russell Stover AAA)



Eric Johnson, Defenseman (Madison Capitols)

Matthew Stoff, Goaltender (Pittsburgh Hornets)

Frankie Simonelli, Defenseman (Team Illinois AAA)

Zach Vierling, Forward (Coon Rapids, Minn., High School)