by Riccardo Schiroli
The Italian Baseball League‘s postseason is on the way. Starting Wednesday August 6th a new format of competition will qualify two teams for the Italian Baseball Series, that will start on Friday August 29th.
The new format will substitute the classic semi finals best of seven series. Each of the four top teams of the IBL will play nine games (each team will play the other contenders three times, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays) and at the end the best two teams will advance, while the other two will compete for a spot in the next European Cup.
Fortitudo Bologna and Danesi Nettuno are the clear favorites. They have been the best teams in the 42 game ‘regular season’ and they have proved they can beat the other two contenders. They are very different teams and, from what we have seen so far, Bologna may be the better one, if being the better means being the most regular and the one that commits less errors. If with “the best team” we mean the one that can play at the highest level, than we will have to consider Danesi Nettuno. But how often can Nettuno play at their best?
Bologna has by far the best pitching staff amongst the top four. Each of the three starters has a pitcher who can match his value and even considering these six pitchers, we still miss a few relievers. One of them, lefty Fabio Milano, if healthy can be the best in the League.
Nettuno has a lot of talent and experience amongst their starter. Both Nelson Cruz and Giovanni Carrara have played in the Big Leagues in the US and Carlo Richetti can easily pitch in the low 90ies. But when we consider Nettuno’s relievers, the situation slightly changes.
Montepaschi Grosseto and T&A San Marino will play their chances to make it to the Italian Baseball Series, but both have huge problems with the pitching rotation when it gets to players of the ‘Italian School of Baseball’ (ASI).
On Wednesday Bologna will visit San Marino and Nettuno will visit Grosseto. The game will be televised live via satellite on the Grosseto Channel Tele Maremma, visible to all subscribers to Sky Italia (channel 914). FIBS will produce three more games (Friday August 8th, Wednesday August 13th and Saturday August 23rd) that will be streamed live on www.fibs.it.