The Czech Republic has won the Italian Baseball week. The team clinched the title on Monday, with one more day to play. Eventually the team finished the tournament with a 3-1 record. The Czechs beat Italy 2-1 in the first confrontation between the two countries. In the previous game of the Czechs vs Spain, they unleashed their offense as they beat the Spaniards 11-0. In their third game, the Czech Republic beat Spain again, this time 3-1.
Only their fourth and final game, was lost. Italy got some revenge as they did not win a game yet. The Italians won this game 9-1.
The performance of the Czechs is very remarkable as Spain’s team contains a lot of Central American and South American players with professional experience from AAA through A Advanced. The same can be said of team Italy, even though the most players of that team are playing in the IBL. On paper that team should be stronger than the Czech Republic.
Perhaps it says a lot about the problems that Italian manager Marco Mazzieri had with forming a competitive team in the past months. But despite the three losses, Italy remains a dangerous opponent. The 9-1 victory over the Czechs may say a lot. According to Mazzieri, the Italians played the first three games without receiving signs from the dugout, so the players did their own thing. Only in the last game, the team was really managed according to Mazzieri.
The Czech team mainly contains players from the Czech Extra League.The sole Czech born player that currently plays in the minors, Martin Cervenka, likely will be added to the roster. Perhaps American born with Czech roots, John Straka will be added to the roster as well. The minor league season is over and his club, the New Hampshire FisherCats did not make the play offs. Perhaps the same can be said about Mike Cervenak. The American born played for the Czechs in this year’s Qualifier of the WBC. His club has been eliminated from playing play offs as well. Since the team now won the Italian Baseball week and the team has beaten the Netherlands in 2012 during the European Cup, team Kingdom of the Netherlands should be warned as the Czechs are in the same group as the Dutch. When the aforementioned players with MiLB experience will be added, the team can only get stronger.