Mike Piazza is a name that elicits a wide range of feelings for Dodgers fans. For some, he remains their favorite player, for more he forever remains the one that got away. For another sect of fandom, he’s forever tainted after an issue with legendary broadcaster Vin Scully helped lead to his exile in Dodger lore.
Whatever your stance on the Hall-of-Fame catcher, one thing is certain — he’s set to manage Team Italy for the 2021 World Baseball Classic. The 51 year-old made the announcement on Twitter this week.
Excited to announce I have reached an agreement to manage the Italian National Baseball team. This will include a European Tournament next year and the 2021 @WBCBaseball Classic.#MLB #Italia
— Mike Piazza (@mikepiazza31) November 13, 2019
Moreover, Piazza will also manage the team for a European Tournament in 2020. After the announcement, he joined up with MLB Tonight to talk about it.
I’m really excited about it. I’ve always been excited about trying to grow the game world wide, and with the success of the games in London this year — and hopefully continuing to expand in Europe, this is a natural step for me. I’m excited to be back on the field, and… it’s gonna be a lot of work because I know we’re not going to sneak up on anybody anymore.
Piazza has volunteered as a coach for Team Italy in years past, so the opportunity to be at the helm seemed to be a natural fit.
The World Baseball Classic is set to return in 2021, with more details to come.