1. Do you think the timing of the major league draft can be changed?
MAINIERI: “I hope so. There has been some talk about it. In the spring, they put three college baseball coaches and three executives together to talk about it, what the issues are. I think there’s a chance (it will be moved). They should wait until the College World Series is over.”
2. Will the new ball create more offense in Omaha, as it did during the regular season?
MAINIERI: “I don’t think so. I think the ball has made a little bit of difference. The more determining factor there is you’re going to be up against really good pitching, and the ballpark is still really big. In my opinion, the fences are too far back because of those factors. I’m not sure you’ll see three like there were last year — maybe five or 10 — but I don’t think you’ll see 12, like we hit in 2009.”
3. How much have the 27-man roster limits since the 2010 season affected the game?
MAINIERI: “As big an influence as the bat changes had on the game, no one really gave much lip service to the roster limitations. Kids were going to go to the mid-majors instead of the big powers because you didn’t have room for them on your rosters anymore. Or you had to give them a minimum scholarship. So I had a sense that parity was going to become greater and greater. The traditional powers that make it there are really doing something special to (get to Omaha).”
4. Will the NCAA’s new ‘cost of attendance’ measure help baseball players?
MAINIERI: “A player could get the cost of attendance, but it would have to be added to his scholarship. It really (only) affects the full-scholarship athlete. If you give them cost of attendance and you’re giving him 25 percent (of a scholarship), then you may be giving him 40 percent.”
5. You’ve been to Omaha several times now; do you have a favorite restaurant?
MAINIERI: “Lo Sole Mio. Does that surprise you? Italian food? Great restaurant. But you can’t beat Omaha steaks.”