ROME--The two groups of the FIBS Serie A Baseball League will begin their season this weekend. The North Conference will be comprised of 10 teams, while the South Conference will be composed of 9 teams after the Catania Warriors announced their withdrawal from the league.
Defending champion Palfinger Reggio Emilia will have a bye week, thus postponing their season opener until next week. Reggio Emilia have signed Thomas Di Benedetto, son of the very Benedetto who is acquiring AS Roma soccer team.
Eurodifarm Codogno, Redipuglia Rangers and Rebecchi Nordmeccanica Piacenza have all made solid roster moves and enjoyed a successful pre-season.
Ilce Rovigo, which boasted when of the best offenses last year, also appears to be a threat to defending champions Reggio. The young catcher Alberto Mineo, who was signed by the Chicago Cubs last year will be on the Rovigo roster until he leaves for his minor league assignement.
The quality and parity of the Serie A Baseball League appears quite favorable on paper, as Anzio and Arezzo and even Acotel Urbe Roma could all play a strong role in shaping the season.
Squads that will be looking to prove themselves early on will be Farma Crocetta, Sala Baganza, Collecchio, Modena, Heila, Poviglio and the Bologna Athletics.
The following teams will need to overcome some long odds in order to reach the post-season: Bollate, Padova, Ponte di Piave, Juve ‘98 and Messina.
The format for awarding the title of the Federal league last season remains the same: the first two in each group qualify to the best of 3 games cross-conference semifinals, with the winners moving forward to in a best-of-five championship series.
The regular season will have a one off weak during first weekend in July and ends on August 7. The playoffs will start on the first weekend of September, with game 5 (if necessary) slated for September18.
The only change concerns the demotion/regulation. The last place team in the North Conference will be automatically regulated to Serie B, while the 9th place teams of each conference will engage in a best-of-4 playout with the loser pushed down into Serie B.