After a successful launch last week with special guest Frank Catalanotto, the Italian American Baseball Foundation (IABF) Spaghetti & Baseballs Facebook Livestream hosts Chris Colabello and Natalie Spedaliere welcome Chicago Cubs coaches Mike Napoli and Anthony Iapoce on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 2 pm (EDT). Mike Napoli has been a friend of the IABF since being featured in last year's IABF All-Star Weekend Round Table Discussion in Cleveland, Ohio and also serving as the IABF guest of honor at the Miami Marlins Italian Heritage Celebration on June 14, 2019.
When the Chicago Cubs hired David Ross to be their new manager in 2020 after the departure of Joe Maddon last season, he immediately began reaching out to the team's coaches as well as external candidates to assemble his staff. Mike Napoli, who interviewed for a position on the Cubs' coaching staff in 2019, was brought in as quality assurance coach to replace the vacancy left behind by former Team Italy player Chris Denorfia. It also marks the reunion of Mike Napoli, a 12-year MLB veteran who played in three World Series in his career, and David Ross, who was his teammate on the Boston Red Sox. Considering the Chicago Cubs wish to enhance the level of accountability in the clubhouse, Mike Napoli is a perfect fit because during the course of his playing career he earned the respect of being a clubhouse leader.
At his introductory press conference, David Ross said it was important to surround himself with experienced coaches to ease his transition as the new Cubs' skipper. Anthony Iapoce returns as the Chicago hitting coach for his second season after a three-year stint in the same capacity with the Texas Rangers. Prior to heading south to the Ballpark at Arlington, Anthony Iapoce oversaw the Cubs' Minor League hitting program. He has a history with many of the Cubs' sluggers way back from their Minor League days. In fact, Anthony Iapoce is credited for the strong 2019 comebacks by Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant. Learn more about Mike Napoli and Anthony Iapoce when IABF Spaghetti & Baseballs hosts Chris Colabello and Natalie Spedaliere interview the dynamic duo from the Chicago Cubs coaching staff on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 2 pm (EDT). Watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking HERE. Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti