On This Columbus Day, Let's Celebrate the Dagos in Baseball

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I don't care how many Martinezes and Rodriguezes you have on your team, you simply cannot succeed in baseball without a talented guinea somewhere on your roster, even if it's just Sal Fasano as your bullpen catcher. That's why today, on this most sacred Columbus Day holiday, we celebrate the dagos in Major League Baseball history, from the Tony Conigliarios of yesteryear to the Jarrod Saltalamacchias of today, from the Dom DiMaggios of days gone by to the Jason Giambis currently fighting for their postseason lives.

Even most of the managers who take their teams to the promised land are of Italian-American descent! Look at who gets to celebrate their victories and commiserate their losses over a nice bowl of pasta fagioli and some spicy soppressata: Angels skipper Mike Scioscia, Cardinals consigliere Tony La Russa, Dodgers manager Joe Torre, Yankees head honcho Joe Girardi and even Red Sox capo Terry "Finocchio" Francona.

The Italians have a saying, "A tavola, non s'invecchia" which means "At the table, we do not age." It's true, just look at frequent patron of the pasta plate Tommy Lasorda. He hasn't aged a bit since 1985.


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All these kids on the bus calling each other dago. Dago, this. Dago, that. You know what would happen if I called em that? Mayhem. Absolute mayhem.

On date nights with his lady friend (not---I repeat: NOT---his special lady), Ron Gardenhire pours Busch Light from a can wrapped in a wicker basket into a souvenir stadium cup.

I've got $0.52 to whomever can identify all the players in that tableau.

The guy in the upper right is Rico Brogna

Spaghetti and Meatballs, Leaning Tower of Pizza, Yogi Berra, some wop, Sal Fasano, some other wop, Rico Brogna.

I'll take my 0.52 in a check please.

Also, I was gonna write a rap song about Sal Fasano but I couldn't thin kof any better rhyme than Poblano.

A Voi Tutti Salute!

I only know Berra and Brogna.

Oh, wait. One dude is Steve Balboni.

Sal Fasano gave me mono. I'm a poet, didn't know it.

I recognize that spaghetti from my favorite authentic Italian restaurant: Sbarro.

The lower right is Nick Punto

Don't you mean Ray Barbone

Top row: what I had for lunch, the leaning tower, a worthless baseball card

Bottom row: Steve Balboni, Yogi, Fasano, and RIVERA recipient Nick Punto

Steve Balboni, Yogi Berra, Sal Fasano, Nick Punto, Rico Barogna

You can send me the $.52 when you send the T-shirt for the thrid place contest.

Also, Cookie Lavagetto sends his regards. He wants to know if you called your brother Tony lately. He was a good kid, that Tony. Ehhh, so he made a couple bad moves when he was young. What, you gotta bust his stones every day now? Come on, do right by him. For once.

Holy Cow! How did someone not mention The Scooter?!

Post Season is not the same without a Phil Rizzuto first pitch, or his Jeter tribute flip.

Too late, sucka. That $.52 is all mine. Seriously, Rob, you gotta send it. See, I already spent it, and now I got this guy who's asking questions.

I'll celebrate a wop who isn't in baseball: my future mother-in-law. She babysat Moe for the weekend then stuffed me full of lamb piazzola and risotto when I picked him up last night. Go team Guinea!

Also, Yogi Berra's childhood friend, Joe Garagiola grew up on the Hill in St. Louis where they waited at Ruggeri's together.

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