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Baseball might be America’s favorite pastime, but Italian players are making the game their own.
Currently, national teams are duking it out in the World Baseball Classic, and the Italian team was spotted with—what else?—an espresso machine in their dugout. The coffee setup was noted by the Twitter account Growing Up Italian, and it’s been reported on by USA Today and the coffee-news website Sprudge, among others.
“Coffee is like water in Italy,” said the team’s head coach, Mike Piazza. (Readers in the United States may know him better as the former catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets.) He added that if he could have a barista in the dugout too, he would most certainly have one pulling shots and steaming milk for the team, according to the MLB reporter Matt Monagan.
The Italian team appears to be serving up Nespresso, a ruby red Essenza Mini to be exact, with a number of sweetener options pictured to the side of the machine. Unfortunately, they seem limited to using office-grade paper cups, rather than the proper espresso mugs that coffee connoisseurs would probably prefer.
This isn’t the first time baseball players have brought some rather unconventional food and drink options into the dugout. During last year’s MLB season, the Toronto Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was spotted making a fruit cocktail during a game (some diced fruit mixed with both apple juice and orange juice). It may not have been as sophisticated as the Italians’ espresso, but it seems like it would be a better thirst-quencher for sure.
And while the Italians are most definitely living up to their brand, we’re not sure how well advised it is to be drinking dehydrating coffee in the middle of a professional sports game. When the espresso machine was first noticed, the Italian team was playing Taipei, and they ended up losing 11–7. They were still able to sneak into the quarterfinals, but were finally ousted by Japan on Thursday.
On the bright side, that means the Italian players can go home and partake in a more relaxed cup of espresso, perhaps with a nice biscotti or pastry on the side.