The 41-year-old former catcher is the hitting coach for the Italian team in the Classic. On Wednesday morning, he was wearing a blue uniform with an "I" on his cap on a back field at Roger Dean Stadium, preparing for a "B" game against the Marlins.
"I'm excited to get on the field a little bit, and the fact they [Italian players] are so eager to learn, and there aren't a lot of egos over there," Piazza said. "It's a good thing. I'm really pumped."
Good for Mike. I always thought he would be a great hitting coach in his life after baseball. Piazza was my favorite player growing up and I always loved watching him hit (not to mention how jealous I was of his awesome facial hair). He had this calm demeanor at the plate and then as soon as the ball reached the plate, he would seamlessly explode towards at the ball. One of the most beautiful and powerful swings I have ever seen. I'm sure the guys on the Italian squad will love working with the legend.
More interesting stuff from this article:
Piazza played for Italy's Classic team in 2006, and coaching is keeping him touch with the game. He is working on doing a little broadcasting when the season starts.
"Nothing is really finalized," he said.
If Piazza becomes a full time broadcaster, I'd be thrilled (is this the man crush talking?). Piazza always seemed a bit timid to me in interviews and with the fans, but I'm sure he would add some valuable insight to the booth. Or at least I hope he would.
I just hope Piazza doesn't coach the catchers at throwing out base stealers...that could get ugly.