Friday, February 24, 2006

Team Italia

A while back I commented on the weirdness that was Italy's WBC team; since a player could be on the team if his parents were born in or were citizens of the country, there would be a mix of major leaguers who were Born in the USA and don't speak Italian, and actual, real-life native Italians. Since then, it's actually gotten weirder. The WBCI has expanded - or possibly just clarified - the eligibility requirements, adding this clause to the eligibility FAQ:
Additionally, if a player is qualified for citizenship or to hold a passport under the laws of a nation represented by a team, but has not been granted citizenship or been issued a passport, then the player may be made eligible by WBCI upon petition by the player or team.
So actually all you need is eligibility to hold a passport in the given country. For an Italian passport, that's apparently not difficult: according to this article, "Tony Giarratano - a shortstop in Tigers camp who was not part of the first practice, but is on the roster - had great-grandparents who came over from Italy, but he said that he had to prove that one of them had a child before becoming a U.S. citizen." (By those rules, I think I'm actually eligible to play for Italy. Awesome.) Apparently it was a real mess trying to prove who was eligible; I can only imagine someone spent a lot of time trying to figure out Barry Zito's and Mike Mussina's genealogies.

Meanwhile, a few players we had mentioned who had Italian-sounding names but weren't on the initial roster, including Ron Villone, Jason Simontacchi, Marco Scutaro, and Boston's own Lenny DiNardo, are now on the current roster for Italy.

Speaking of DiNardo, there is now a blog devoted only to him. And I thought our Ben Grieve obsession was weird...


  1. Awesome names on their 60-man roster include: Maximiliano De Biase, Giovanni Pantaleoni, Claudio Liverziani, Giuseppe Mazzanti, Valentino Pascucci, and Kasey Oldenberger. (Kasey Oldenberger?)

    David Dellucci has bowed out. Lucky, Dustin Delucchi is available to replace him in the outfield.

  2. Didn't we have a post earlier about some of the potential players for Italy. Like, even though he is actually Dominican, Roman Colon should be playing for Italy.

    Also, I read where T-Graf is actually not eligible now because he could not locate one of his grandparents birth certificates. sounds a little suscpicious to me - I thought all you actually needed as proof was a note from Bud Selig or Gene Orza.

  3. Yeah, our list can be found by clicking on the first link. I had missed that about the Graff; the article is here.