Spring has sprung, and for the sports world that can mean only one thing: the baseball season is upon us. While much of the US Major League Baseball is deep into spring training at their leagues Cactus and Grapefruit, there is a global tournament currently taking place as well. The World Baseball Classic pits nations against one another in a grand stickball exhibition. And Team Italy, being deeply Italian, has an espresso machine in their dugout.
As reported by USA Today (and brought to Sprudge’s attention by one Brandon Paul Weaver), during a game against Chinese Taipei on Friday, March 10th, an image was captured by Twitter account Growing Up Italian of Team Italy’s dugout. And there it was, next to a stack of bats and blue batting helmets, a red Nespresso machine. And because this is the Italian team we’re talking about here, a spread of sweetener options can be spied next to the espresso maker.
— Growing Up Italian (@GrowingUpItalia) March 10, 2023
The team is skippered by Mike Piazza, who spent the better part of decades behind the plate for the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers—two cities with pretty decent coffee shops. “Coffee is like water in Italy,” Piazza said to MLB reported Matt Monagan, so it makes sense that espresso is the preferred hydration method for the Italian team.
It is yet unknown if the baseball club opts for a cappuccino ahead of a day game or if smoking is allowed in the dugout, at least by the makeshift cafe area.
Unfortunately, the espresso doesn’t seem to be helping out much, as the Italy lost to Chinese Taipei by a final score of 11 to 7. Nonetheless, they were able to rally from a two-game skid to win their final game in the group stage and advance to the quarterfinals. But if they plan on making a deep run, they are going to need to shake things up. Perhaps it’s time to call in a reliever, by which I mean an actual barista with a proper espresso machine to make a decent cup of coffee. Now that’s a real slump buster.