End of Italian Baseball Stalemate Not in Sight

A few days ago, you could read about T&A San Marino pulling out of the Serie A for the 2023 season. The reason was a disagreement about the setup of the league. According to several Italian newspapers, an end of the stalemate between San Marino and the FIBS is not in sight.

According to owner/chairman Alberto Antolini, the highest Italian baseball league is at a dead end. Antoline claimed that this 32-team championship would be in its third season in 2023 but previous editions have shown it doesn’t work properly. A major example is Macerata, which was dropped preventively, even though the club could have been a competitor.

Antolini wants his San Marino ball club being a part of an elite group of baseball clubs, not a league of thirty-two (now twenty-nine) teams of which four or five are dominating, and most others are fighting to stay alive; a situation Italian baseball has been in for the past ten – fifteen years, if not longer. Several clubs were depending heavily on “owners”, who saw running a baseball club as a nice hobby, but left those clubs with huge debts as soon as they got bored. Fine examples are Novarra, Rimini Pirates and Nettuno BC. All clubs ran aground after one and the same person, Simono Pillisio, left those clubs with big debts, although Nettuno was in disarray before his arrival.

But those three clubs are not the only ones, only the most recent examples.

But in the past, the FIBS (Italian Baseball and Softball Federation) has tried other formats too. More than ten years ago, there was this Italian Baseball League, promoted as a professional baseball league. Also in those days, teams dropped out of the league because owners/sponsors suddenly left. After the IBL days, there was this Serie A1: different name but same results. A few financially sound clubs (also mainly run by owners) and several money strapped clubs that fought for their existence.

So the complaints of San Marino’s owner are justified. If only the FIBS and its chairman Andrea Macron will see or admit that, is the question.

For now, no solution is in sight. But according to RTV San Marino, April 1st, 2023 (no joke) will be the deadline for San Marino to subscribe to a new Serie A season. Alberto Antolini states it is not in his hands.

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