Team Italy workout impresses pitching coach and player development director Bobby Cramer

Team Italy workout impresses pitching coach and player development director Bobby Cramer
04/05/2022
Immediately following the first workout for Team Italy pitchers, catchers and position players at Serravalle Stadium in San Marino on May 3, 2022, elite pitching coach and player development director Bobby Cramer shared his first impressions of the Azzurri baseball squad

At the conclusion of the first Team Italy Senior baseball workout for pitchers, catchers and position players at Serravalle Stadium in San Marino on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, elite pitching coach and player development director Bobby Cramer was kind enough to share his first impressions of the Azzurri squad. He said, "I am incredibly impressed with the intent the guys showed up with today. No doubt the older players are good and are professionals. They know what they are doing. It's hard to show up and give them something they don't already know. The big mistake I can make is assuming these guys have my experience. What I trying to do is bring my experience to them and add to it. I felt that they responded to me. They are like sponges and eager to learn. Even though they are grown men. I see their youthful desire to learn and get better every day. And you can't teach that. To see that as a whole group with these guys is really impressive."

Entering the world of European baseball for the first time after serving as an MLB international ambassador pitching instructor for the past six years, the former Big Leaguer knows how important pitching is to in order for a team to be successful. Bobby Cramer said, "We are never going to be 100%. It's always going to be a process in motion. We are in a great position to build off of. We have a great group of guys here, a good core, to put together a winning team. When you look at every champion team, they have a stacked pitching staff. You can't be a top team in the world without horses to ride to the finish line. I'm seeing some horses here. I know we are planning on invite other guys that might be able to make it. But I am ready to go to bat with these guys we have right now. It's just about getting these guys together to bond.".

The MLB veteran believes the Azzurri players he met in San Marino possess the necessary components to coalesce into a winning baseball family. Bobby Cramer said, "We got the right elements here. It's just about getting the bonding agents like workouts like these. It's going to be having a meal together, riding on the bus together, or watching a ballgame at the hotel with each other. Getting to know the other players' families on a personal level. That's the finishing touch. These guys know how to play ball. We have to make sure they play together like brothers and feel like a team that has been playing together for years. Not just a group of guys that just meet once or twice a month."

With the bar set high with National Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Piazza serving as Team Italy manager, Bobby Cramer is in it to win with a group effort. He said, "The most important goal for me right now is to set expectations. What do I expect from these guys? What do I expect from them at workout or practices? What do I expect when we go to a tournament? How do they conduct themselves off the field? Letting them know what I expect to see helps me to watch and see if these guys are able to do what I want. What we are trying to build here is a selfless team that puts Italy before themselves and that has all one common goal in mind. In order to do that, it's really about getting them to buy into this identity. I believe that's a goal that all coaches share."

Bobby Cramer is realistic and realizes that character and determination is just as important as talent. He concluded, "It's not always the best team that wins. It's the team that is most prepared and wants it the most. Teams with heart, teams that fight their adversity. I'm trying to build that type of value system in our players right now. Every time we meet and we talk, I am really trying to set the expectations and let these guys know what it is going to take to win. It's not going to take a perfect game or three home runs and 11 runs but instead a group of guys that want to win it badly." Forza #Italia!.

by Marco Landi and Roberto Angotti

Read also: Team Italy Senior baseball squad holds workout in San Marino on May 3, 2022

(Photo of Team Italy elite pitching coach and player development director Bobby Cramer at the first compete team workout at Serravale Stadium in San Marino on May 4, 2022 by PhotoBass)