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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Bryan Kalbrosky

Italy’s dugout at the World Baseball Classic has an espresso machine, and it’s so perfectly Italian

Nothing gets your heart pumping quite like competitive international baseball. Except, of course, for a strong shot of espresso.

Team Italy, coached by New York Mets legend Mike Piazza, has a unique advantage if and when they get tired while competing at the World Baseball Classic. Their dugout has an espresso machine, with to-go coffee cups and everything, ready for use at any given moment.

While it’s not exactly a performance-enhancing drug, it’s a strategy that was popularized by former NBA forward Boris Diaw. The “Borista” installed a tiny espresso machine in his locker and even brought it with him to the Grand Canyon.

Italy is in the midst of pool play at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, in Taiwan to earn one of two spots for a chance to advance to the quarterfinal round. Their team is competing against Chinese Taipei, Cuba, the Netherlands and Panama.

They won their first game against Cuba in extra innings on Thursday. But even with a potential caffeine advantage coursing through their veins, they fell to Chinese Taipei (who have incredible fans!) on Friday.

Despite the loss, the Italian team also has perhaps the best celebration in the tournament. After big moments, they pinch their fingers to represent the ma che vuoi? gesture. It is favolosa:

Their roster includes MLB players Nicky Lopez and Vinnie Pasquantino from the Royals. Team Italy also has American-born players on the roster including David Fletcher from the Angels and former All-Star Matt Harvey.

If you’re feeling inspired by the espresso machine, you can buy one of Team Italy’s World Baseball Classic hats to show off your support. Meanwhile, if you want to follow Team USA, we have you covered with their roster and full schedule.

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