Diamonds and Ice

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.

World Baseball Classic Fever ….. Catch It!!

China pitcher and Yankees prospect Liu Kai

China pitcher and Yankees prospect Liu Kai

If you didn’t realize it, the 2009 World Baseball Classic is a little over two weeks from starting. OK, we know you didn’t realize it.

China, Japan, Chinese Taipei and Korea are in a four-country pod that plays first-round games in Tokyo. In Mexico City, you have Mexico, Cuba, Australia and South Africa.

Toronto will host a four-country group that consists of Canada, the United States, Italy and Venezuela. San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be the site of games between Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Netherlands and Panama.

The top two teams in each pod will move on to the second round, which is March 15-19 in San Diego and Miami. The semifinals and finals are March 21-23 in Los Angeles.

ESPN and the MLB Network will broadcast the games. If you haven’t seen the newly created MLB Network, it’s pretty cool.

Now the big question is what will each country’s roster look like. MLB teams have put the kibosh on some of their players participating in the event. Some players have simply said no all on their own.

That’s the shame about the timing of the World Baseball Classic. MLB teams have millions and millions of dollars invested in players and want them ready for their season. That means going to spring training with them, not playing in the Classic.

All right, now for the predictions. I’m going out on a limb here and picking China to win it all. I hear a lot of good things about the 1-2 pitching punch of Bu Tao and Shi Dong. Shi’s brother, Chunhua Dong is an up-and-coming catcher, and outfielder Yi Feng has been tearing it up for the Guangdong Leopards this season.

In all seriousness, pitcher Liu Kai and catcher Zhang Zhenwang are in the New York Yankees farm system. Infielder Ray Chang played in the Midwest League with Fort Wayne a couple years back and is in the Pirates organization.


Here’s a link to the 2009 WBC game schedule:

Who do you think will win?

What did you think of A-Rod’s press conference?
February 18, 2009, 12:08 am
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New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez addressed the media today to discuss testing positive for steroids when he was with the Texas Rangers in 2003.

What did all of you think of the press conference? How did A-Roid come off in it?

Here’s a sample of the press conference. Let me know your thoughts.


He’s not A-Fraud, he’s A-Roid

So Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003. Surprised? Don’t know why you would be.

There should be no baseball player’s name that truly shocks you when it comes to performance-enhancing drug use. There was/is big money involved in baseball, there was no true MLB drug policy with any teeth.

My question is why Alex Rodriguez felt the need to juice in the first place? He already was a player with immense talent and an immense long-term contract with the Texas Rangers. Then again, guys with huge egos …

The thing that really bothered me about the whole A-Roid “scandal” is that a promiment member of the MLB Players’ Association supposedly tipped off Rodriguez a year or so later that he was about to get steroid tested again.

So you are more concerned about one of your most prominent union members getting busted again instead of making sure he’s not juicing anymore? It’s things like this, that money over everything mentality, that has long bothered me about the MLBPA.

And while we’re at it, what is it with the New York Yankees and performance-enhancing drugs? A-Roid, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield (always rumored but never proven) …

They’re not the Bronx Bombers, but the Bronx BALCOs. They’re not the New York Yankees, but the New York Needles.