One can never count out what a manager does with his ball club and the influence that he has on his own group of guys, because the way that his team plays the game is a direct reflection on the decisions that are made from the moment that the lineup card is presented. A modest Doriano Bindi, a manager with a spectacular track record, and the winner of the Italian Baseball Series for the third consecutive year (his 4th overall) had this to say about his group of guys, “It wasn’t me, it was this collective unit of guys that deserve all the credit. Each and every single one played a role this year, from first man to the last man on the roster. I’m extremely proud to say the least..” This year’s club had to deal with more adversity then any of the three previous champs. An injury stricken 2013 campaign just barley saw T&A reached the postseason after they were labeled as one of the favorites before things got started back in April. For them the be able to punch their postseason ticket hey needed to win three of their last four against the top two regular season clubs (Bologna and Rimini), and they did so in dramatic fashion with three tight wins.
The 2013 San Marino ball club was without a doubt a never say die group of individuals. Winning the championship in comeback fashion the way that they did after dropping the first two games of the best of five finals at home was the way that it had to be… a fitting end to a season full of seemingly impossible obstacles. “This run would have been impossible without a few individuals being able to carry the team on their backs at the end, beginning with the Italian Baseball Series MVP, Jim Magrane.” (Bindi) The American, Jim Magrane was responsible for two of the three wins over this past weekend, as he started two games in a mater of 48 hours. Magrane racked up 14 plus innings of work and threw roughly 230 pitches between his two starts on Friday and Sunday, as he absolutely dominated the leagues best offense allowing only 1 run to a team that scored a collective 257 runs in 36 games played. “On the offensive side of the ball our club struggled in games one and two, our main guys that carried most of the load up until this point were basically handled by Rimini’s pitchers, but that’s when the likes of Jairo Ramos and Joe Mazzuca stepped up to the plate in a big way. Ramos’s first hit in the series gave us a chance, his three run ‘oppo’ shot in game three put us in the lead, a lead that we didn’t surrender for the rest of the series. As for Joe, well ya he had some big hits and some big RBI’s, but it was also the fire that he played with that set the rhythm for the rest of the ball club.” (Bindi)
In the end this 2013 edition of the Italian Baseball Series will now go down in the history books as one of the best comebacks since the playoffs were implemented back in 86. It seemed as if Rimini had it all wrapped up after winning the first two games on the road in San Marino. One win was all they needed, and on their home field, in front of their hometown crowd, but a lack of offense ended up sinking the ship of the Rimini Pirates. Three runs in three games just doesn’t get it done, especially when your opponent is T&A San Marino, the now back-to-back-to-back IBL Champs.