Piazza Named New Manager for Italian National Team

After being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016, Mike Piazza is not taking it easy. He will take over from Gilberto Gerali as manager of the Italian national baseball team. In previous tournaments he has acted as hitting coach. This information was reported by Mister Baseball.

Italy has been struggling to make a mark on the international baseball scene. They are currently ranked 16th in the international baseball rankings, which did not allow them to participate in the Premier 12. They lost the European championship to the Netherlands in 2019, but that is not a surprise. The big shock was the heartbreaking performance in the European/Africa Olympic qualifier.

Despite hosting the tournament, Italy lost three games in the qualifier, not even coming close to qualifying for the one European Olympic spot. They lost their last game to Spain and then had a brawl on the field after the game was finished. Israel ended up qualifying for the Olympic games with a 4-1 record, winning a tie breaker over Netherlands, which was also 4-1. Israel is ranked 19th in the international rankings.

Perhaps the hiring of Piazza will provide a shot in the arm to Italy’s baseball program. It does appear to be on a bit of decline in the International Baseball rankings so Piazza is not taking over a program that is at the top of its game.

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