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September 6, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Alex Liddi hoping to do Italy proud after big league promotion

Alex Liddi had already been getting some media attention in his native Italy just prior to being called up by the Mariners. A reporter from one Italian outlet had already been dispatched to Class AAA Tacoma in anticipation of Liddi being called up.
Liddi arrived here today and was clearly excited at what this opportunity means. He becomes the first Italian born and bred player ever to reach the majors. Also, the first Italian native to play in the bigs since Reno Bertoia (who moved to Canada with his family at age 1) almost 50 years ago.
“For sure, it’s an honor, something special,” Liddi said. “I think I represent all of my friends, all of the people in Italy who didn’t have this chance that I have. So, it’s going to be for me, for my family and for all of the people in Italy who love this game. Even if it’s not a lot, there are people in Italy who love this game and it’s going to be something special.”


Liddi has been to this stadium before. He took a tour here with members of the Class A High Desert Mavericks two years ago this week.
He also played here in the Futures Game a year ago as part of All-Star Game festivities.
But it was a little different this time. When he got to the clubhouse, saw the players and the manager, he knew he’d arrived.
There were times early on this year when he had his doubts.
“I had a really rough start to the season,” he said. “I thought it was going to be a tough season, but I picked it up a bit.”
An adjustment suggested to him by hitting coach Alonzo Powell helped him pull out of the slump. The adjustment was a mental one, with Powell suggesting Liddi do more to understand the situation of at-bats and the point in a game itself.
Liddi took the advice.
“I started to know the game better,” he said. “I had a chance to play with a lot of veteran guys who had experience in the big leagues. That helped me to understand the situation, how they’re going to pitch to you. What they’re trying to do with you. And that’s how you make adjustments.”
Liddi’s parents were with him when he got the news, but couldn’t make the flight out here in time. They’re going to stay behind in Seattle and wait to see him when the team returns from the road trip tomorrow.
As for playing time, Liddi won’t see a ton of action. He’s here for the experience of being a big leaguer. He should get in some games at third, but Kyle Seager will still get the bulk of playing time from here on in.

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