2011 IBL Champion - San Marino
2009 IBL Champion - Bologna
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2011
Since the Italian Baseball League moved to the 8 team format a few years ago, there has been a clear division between the top six teams (Parma, Bologna, Rimini, San Marino, Grosseto, Nettuno), and the bottom two teams have generally struggled.
More specifically, none of the bottom two teams have won more than 10 games (including the 6 times the bottom two play head to head) or finished closer than seven games behind sixth place. Godo has been joined in the bottom by Redipuglia, Reggio Emilia, and Catania in the last three seasons, but now that there is no longer relegation or promotion between the IBL and the Serie A, the bottom teams would be fixed in theory.
But this off season, rumors circulated that both Godo and Catania would leave the IBL, and a number of Serie A teams were asked if they would be interested in taking their places. In the end, Godo was able to stick around for at least another year through their partnership with Verona, while Catania has returned to the serie A leaving an opening which will be filled by Novara.
Without the risk of relegation, Novara so far seems focused on their core team from the second division last year, and would appear destined to win very few games and remain at the bottom. But the goal of the franchise seems to be to patiently bring top level baseball back to the Milan area, something that Catania failed to do in Sicily for a variety of reasons, but most notably problems with the ballpark.
Posted At 02:02 PM
FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2009
Rimini dropped their first game of the season against Parma to open the series, in a close foreigner game decided in the 8th and 9th innings as each team's relievers struggled. Rimini rebounded to take the next two games in the series and stay on top, and slugger Rios continued with his power display to emerge as an early favorite for the leagues top player.
Nettuno dropped two games to Bologna, and the loss of Richetti emerged as a potentially major issue for the preseason favorite as Giovanni Carrera struggled, and after a series opening win, Nettuno was dominated in the final two games of the series. Bologna showed some life and a strong and balanced team, despite losing some key players from last season's first place finishing team.
San Marino was shocked twice by Godo. After dominating the foreigner game when Godo's only foreign pitcher was scratched with an injury, the defending champions wasted a strong performance from Da Silva with an 8th inning bullpen melt down, and then dropped game 3 as well as the Italian pitching rotation appeared to be the team's weak spot as it was throughout their 2008 championship run.
Grosseto rebounded from their tough opening week behind strong pitching to keep Reggio Emilia without a win this year. Juan Figeroa was brilliant in handing Abe Alvarez his second straight 1-0 loss, and the Reggio offense was unable to put together anything all weekend, scoring only twice. Reggio has been very competitive in each of their six losses, and if the ball starts bouncing their way could be much more dangerous than their current record indicates.
Week 3 should provide even more clarity for the season, as the top two teams meet in a historical rematch between Rimini and Nettuno, while the bottom two teams Godo and Reggio Emilia meet with the loser being in a tough position. San Marino and Bolonga square off and Grosseto hosts Parma in a week that could see significant movement in the standings.
Posted At 07:04 AMby Michael
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