After our meeting at Major League Baseball headquarters in New York between MLB’s International Development Office and FIBS, we took the opportunity to sit and talk with the office director Chris Haydock at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida.
FIBS: What were you first impressions of the traveling Italian baseball delegation?
Chris Haydock: Meeting FIBS president Andrea Marcon, vice president Fabrizio De Robbio and Team Italy manager Gilberto Gerali has been very productive. We are always in favor of taking any chance to be together in the same room and talk of development.
FIBS: What is the position of MLB towards the Italian Federation and the Italian movement?
Chris Haydock: Of course we fully recognize the long history of baseball in Italy. MLB is proud partner in the elite development Academy in Tirrenia, and we want to build on this success. Last Cadet Camp was exactly in this line, and our 2018 European development plan already provides for two potential events in Italy.
FIBS: What do you think of the present situation, in terms of development?
Chris Haydock: We were at the Cadet Camp in July, and our staff was impressed by the talent they saw. This is why MLB continues to support the youth programs through the Academy, the Cadet Camp, and also a number of scouts that are always present at the main events in Italy. We cannot forget the World Baseball Classic which greatly aids in the development of the game. We want to expand global development by continuing our proud tradition of international events. And Italy is very much a part of that.
FIBS: Is the reinstatement of baseball in the Olympics going to change somehow your plans?
Chris Haydock: MLB is thrilled by baseball being back in the Olympics and would like to acknowledge the efforts of the World Baseball Softball Confederation in making this happen. We will help the National Federations to build the best possible teams. We are very happy that the Italian Federation made this trip to meet in New York and then to be at the Winter Meetings... not many Federations do this. Your initiative and the Italian American Baseball Foundation event in New York is also very special to us. We think that it is wise for FIBS to be where the best players are, and this effort is very appreciated by MLB and our clubs.”
FIBS: We want to thank you because we couldn’t think of a better welcome than you have given us.
Chris Haydock: The MLB International office will be back in Italy many times in 2018 to continue this closer cooperation.
FIBS would like to thank Chris Haydock and the MLB International office for taking time out to speak with us. #LetsMakeItHappen #2020Olympics
by Marco Landi and Roberto Angotti