The only team which really could challenge the Netherlands in European Championships in the past and having won the title eight times, Italy deeply disappointed in the 2007 tournament, finishing in seventh place in the final standings. They want to get back to the top in Stuttgart, Heidenheim and Neuenburg, being drawn into Group B with Spain, Greece, Great Britain, Sweden and Croatia. Mister-Baseball talked with manager Marco Mazzieri about the upcoming Euros 2010.
Mister-Baseball: What do you expect from your team in Stuttgart, Heidenheim and Neuenburg?
Marco Mazzieri: To perform up to our level and be able to play the final.
MRBB: Can a team challenge defending Champion Netherlands in the 2010 European Championship? Which teams have the best chances of advancing in your group?
MM: I think the tournament will be very competitive and i expect Spain, Germany and us to compete with the Netherlands for the Final.
MRBB: Which team could be the surprise of the tournament?
MRBB: General speaking is the level of play in European Baseball getting better and more balanced since the EC 2007 or is there still a gap between the top teams and the underdogs?
MM: No, I think it is getting a lot better and the results are never so sure.
MRBB: There will be only a few professional players in the tournament. Does this will have an influence and does it hurt some teams more than others?
MM: Well, actually, i don’t know if there will be professionals at all but my opinion is that if some teams are not getting their pro players then nobody else should have them just to make it even for everybody.
MRBB: Looking at the rosters of the other teams, which players could be especially worthy to watch?
MM: I haven’t seen the roster yet.
MRBB: What is your plan for the final days before the Euro 2010? Which exhibition games do you have planned?
MM: We will play the Italian Baseball week along with Spain, Sweden and Cech Republic.
MRBB: Do you already have a starting lineup in place and who will be in your starting rotation?
MM: Not Yet.
Mister-Baseball thanks Marco Mazzieri for answering our questions and wishes good luck in the European Championship.