Diamonds and Ice

UNI baseball has a donation Web site
February 27, 2009, 11:15 pm
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The Northern Iowa baseball team has created a Web site to help raise money to save its program. The school announced earlier this week the baseball program would be cut unless $1.2 million was raised by the end of March.

As of Friday afternoon, the donation total was $45,295, including a single $10,000 donation by someone anonymous. Rumors ran rampant late Friday afternoon that a single donation of $1 million had been given, but that was not confirmed.

Here’s a link to the UNI baseball donation Web site:

Good luck, guys.


Cardinals fail to show Kurt Warner the money
February 27, 2009, 4:27 am
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Contract talks broke down between the Arizona Cardinals and the representative for quarterback Kurt Warner, making the C.R. native a free agent, as of midnight Eastern time.

The Arizona Republic reported the Cardinals were offering a two-year deal worth $20 million. ESPN said Warner wants “top five quarterback” cash of between $14 and $16 million a season.

All the “experts” I heard and read last night said the odds are Warner and the Cards will eventually come to some sort of agreement. Warner has said if he doesn’t sign a deal with Arizona, he will retire.

Don’t bet on that happening.

Here’s a link to the Arizona Republic story:



Every Metro boys’ hoops team still alive
Linn-Mar's Nate Hutcheson

Linn-Mar's Nate Hutcheson

As of Thursday night, every Metro boys’ basketball team was still kicking in the postseason. Marion played a 3A district final Thursday night against Williamsburg.

In Class 4A, all six Metro schools and both Iowa City’s schools have advanced into the substate semifinal round. That list will be pared starting Friday, considering there are some head-to-head matchups:

No. 2 Linn-Mar (19-2) hosts Cedar Rapids Xavier (7-14)
Cedar Rapids Washington (15-6) hosts Cedar Rapids Jefferson (11-10)

In other games Friday, No. 4 Cedar Rapids Kennedy (20-1) hosts Waterloo East (11-10). It’s Cedar Rapids Prairie (3-18) playing at sixth-ranked Iowa City High (16-5). Iowa City West (9-12) hosts Burlington (7-15).

It’s the Wash-Jeff winner facing the Linn-Mar/Xavier winner in a substate final at the U.S. Cellular Center on Tuesday night (8 p.m. tip). The City High-Prairie winner plays either West or Burlington in a 6:30 game at The Cell that same night.

Kennedy or East will play the winner of Friday night’s Marshalltown (ranked ninth)-Cedar Falls game in a Tuesday substate final at UNI’s McLeod Center.

So who will emerge out of all this to play in the state tournament in Des Moines in a couple of weeks?

A-Roid, A-Roid, A-Roid
February 26, 2009, 12:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Alex Rodriguez homered in his spring training debut Wednesday. He was booed lustily by much of the crowd in Dunedin, Fla.

He should have been booed after the game. Apparently A-Roid took off in an SUV with his cousin. You remember Yuri Sucart, right? He’s the guy who supposedly got Rodriguez his steroids in the Dominican Republic and needled him up.

“It was nice, just nice to play baseball,” Rodriguez said after the spring training game against Toronto. “That’s what I do, that’s what I get paid for.

“Fans were okay, I would like to invite a bunch of them to Fenway Park. They were pretty nice. Hope this is the start of a successful year for all of us. Thought today was very mild, thought fans were great.”

Oh, by the way. This New York Post headline never gets old.


Former RoughRider Purcell back to NHL

Red Wings Kings Hockey

Former Cedar Rapids RoughRider Teddy Purcell was recalled from the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs to the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. He’s playing in L.A.’s game tonight at Minnesota.

It sounds like it’s only a temporary recall, however, as he is replacing standout winger Dustin Brown in the lineup because Brown’s wife just delivered a child.

“Brownie is a special kind of player with his skill and grit and physical play he has, so you’re not going to have one guy step in and fill that,” Purcell said on the Kings’ official Web site. “He was our all-star representative for a reason. It sounds cliché but you need a collective effort from everyone else just to pick it up a little bit and make up for losing him. We’re playing a Minnesota team that hasn’t had (Marian) Gaborik pretty much all year so every team goes through it and it’s the ones that seem to respond when certain guys are out of the lineup that seem to do the best.”

Purcell had a goal and six assists in 17 games earlier this season for the Kings. He made his NHL debut last season. He had 16 goals and 22 assists in 38 games this season for Manchester.

He’s expected to play on a forward line with Jarret Stoll and Kyle Calder.

“It’s always nice to come up and go in with a line that has had some success lately,” Purcell told the Kings’ Web site. “It’s unfortunate that Brown couldn’t be here because that has been one of the top lines and has been effective so hopefully I can come in and not slow those guys down at all and get those guys the puck and continue some of the success they’ve been having.

“When I first came up here and got my first taste, I was almost afraid to shoot I always wanted to pass to those guys and try to make them happy but I think as I got more comfortable here and more confidence here I think I can fit more that shooter role. Down in Manchester, I’ve been able to do both so hopefully I can carry that up here and get open for those guys and find some goals.”

Purcell also had this to say about his recall:

“With the new coaching staff, it is really big on defense and that checking part of the game and that is one of the areas I need to work on and when I was up here last time, I felt I got more comfortable with that and did a better job of being consistent but I went down and worked on some of those things and I’m being rewarded again up here. I think they know that I’m an offensive player I just have to go out and do the checking side of the game and be good in my own zone and the offense will take care of itself.”

A chat with new Kernels skipper Bill Mosiello

Bill Mosiello

Bill Mosiello

Was able to catch up with 2009 Cedar Rapids Kernels Manager Bill Mosiello via phone Monday afternoon. Seems like a very good guy, which continues the string of “good guy” managers the Kernels have had in recent seasons.

Here’s a short story on Mosiello that’ll run sometime in the newspaper this week:

By Jeff Johnson
The Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS – He had an offer on the table from the Colorado Rockies. Then the Los Angeles Angels called Bill Mosiello that same day, and his summer destination was clear … Cedar Rapids.
“God’s a great man, and he has done some great things for me in my life,” the 2009 Cedar Rapids Kernels Manager said. “When that happened, it was a no-brainer.”
Mosiello, 44, takes over a Kernels club that was originally supposed to be led by 2008 manager Keith Johnson. But longtime minor-league field coordinator Bruce Hines left the Angels in early January to take a major league job with Seattle, causing a ripple effect of moves, with Johnson being promoted to high-Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Having pro experience as a manager and hitting coach in the New York Yankees system, Mosiello was hired by the Angels in late January. He had been an assistant coach at Auburn University, with assistant’s experience at other powerhouse programs such as Arizona State, Southern California, Cal State-Fullerton and Tennessee.
“When I decided to maybe get back into (pro ball), my wife was all for it,” Mosiello said. “But it just had to be the right place. The Angels are a special organization top to bottom.
“What I believe in and what I do (instructing) is exactly the way the Angels teach. They think the way I think. It was a perfect fit.”
Mosiello is in big-league spring training with the Angels and said he hasn’t gotten much of a chance to ask about the possible makeup of his Kernels team. Cedar Rapids made the Midwest League playoffs last season, losing to eventual champion Burlington in the second round.
Mosiello has experience in the Midwest League, managing 109 games for Battle Creek in 2004. He took over early in the season after former Kernels manager Mitch Seaone was let go by the Yankees.
He also managed low-A Charleston of the South Atlantic League for two seasons before heading back to the college game.
“Ballparks are what you care about,” Mosiello said. “I know Grand Rapids is a beautiful ballpark. Dayton is such a special place, I’d love to play there 30 games a season.
“I remember Cedar Rapids being a really neat place, too, when we were playing there. I played with Ever Magallanes and coached Bobby Magallanes (former Kernels managers), and they both had nothing but good things to say about being in Cedar Rapids. I’m looking forward to getting there.”
Minor-league pitchers and catchers report for spring training March 8 and 9, Mosiello said, with position players reporting the following week. The Kernels’ 2009 season opens April 9 at home against Beloit.

Quad City Flames could be extinguished

A story in the Quad City Times this weekend said the future of the Quad City Flames of the Triple-A-level American Hockey League is in serious doubt.

The two-year-old franchise has incurred debt of about $2.6 million. The club ranks 28th out of 29 clubs in the AHL in attendance (2,810 per game), which is amazing considering the popularity of the preceding Quad City Mallards, which was a vastly inferior level of minor-league hockey.

Owners of the QC Flames said they have not made a final decision as of yet and are looking for an investor to help them out. Abbotsford, British Columbia apparently has been courting the parent Calgary Flames to move the team there, though that move might not be OKed by the AHL because of its geographic footprint (i.e., there are no West Coast teams).

Been to about six or seven QC Flames games this season and four or five last year. The iWireless Center is a great facility and the hockey is fantastic. The prices aren’t too bad, either. It’d be a shame to see the team go away.