The Silver Bullet

An opinion in popular sports

YOU’RE OUT!!!

Were you crushed by the poor overall performance of the USA baseball team in the Olympics this year? Well don’t worry, because I garuntee there will not be a repeat performance by the team in the 2012 London Olympics, I’m 100% sure of it!!!

In 2005 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted on weather baseball should be admitted in the 2012 Games. The news has only become highly publicized because of the Beiging Games, but by a vote of 46 to 42 the IOC decided to exclude baseball from the London Games. Also excluded from the London Games, by a vote of 47 to 43, was softball. Despite the similarity of the two sports, and the fact they are both out in 2012, the reasons for the two sports dismissal are quite different.

The main reason for baseball’s ousted,the IOC says, there is not proper representation of the worlds finest athletes in the Olympics. The main culprit for this…drum-roll…Major League Baseball (MLB)! The IOC claims that because the MLB has such a diverse group of of the sports talent, that the league should suspend play so the world can be better represented during the Olympics. The Japanese baseball league, also known as Nippon Professional Baseball, is already suspending its play for the Olympics so why not MLB??? I will tell you why…$$$, and who can blame them.

Remember the 2006 World Baseball Classic? Major League Baseball finally let its players participate in a international baseball tournament because the tourney took place just prior to its pre-season (the Baseball World Cup has been going on since 1938 and MLB players have never been permitted to play) . Do you remember what happen afterthat tourney? Major league players started the season on the disabled list. Pitchers came into camp with thrown-out arms and bum-shoulders, and some field players were already complaining of bumps and bruises. If I am a baseball owner and am spending $20 million dollars for a player like Alex Rodriguez, I want him playing FOR ME! And if he does get hurt it better be while busting his hide in winning my team win a championship!

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for representing your country and all, but if I have that much money invested in anything, I am going to protect my investment. You might be saying; “Well what about the NBA, they let their players play in the Olympics?” Well, their season is just concluding, the players bodies are already battle ready and if injured they have a lot of time to heal before the start of next season. An injured baseball player would have to go back to potential playoff race!!!

Softball was dismissed for a totally different reason then baseball. The IOC deemed that the rest of the world was not competitive enough with a select few countries, the USA being one of them. Softball has been a sport in the Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games and the United States and Australia have won a medal in every game since (USA has always won gold).

Even though the reasons for the veto of these sports seem legitimate, many reports suggest a European influence within the IOC might also be to blame. The two sport are primarilyplayed in the Americas and Asia and the two sports were invented in the USA.

Baseball was introduced in the 1984 Los Angeles Games and became a medaling event in 1992. The Beijing Games hosted 28 events and the London Games intended to do the same. Some of the events listed to fill-in are golf, karate, rugby, squash and roller sports (whatever those are).

Baseball and softball can be reinstated into the 2016 games and will be voted on by the IOC in 2009.

-Shawn.

Dan’s take:

The NHL always allows for an Olympic Break and I think it’s a nice change of pace every four years. I will say that Hockey has a different talent pool than Baseball or Softball, but the players genuinely WANT to play for their countries.  I like the idea of the league itself giving the players the time to take part in some national pride.

While there’s no doubt the big business of baseball in the States controls this decision, I don’t think it’s that big a risk. The players could just as easily injure themselves in the ten games they’re playing on their respective MLB club.

Equally as frustrating is the lack of exposure baseball is getting at the games. I find it very hard to find a game to watch, and many times not at the time or place that NBC lists them. Softball is getting better props and getting live coverage everyday. San Francisco Giant Nate Schierholtz deserves more.

-Dan.

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August 17, 2008 - Posted by | Baseball, Blogroll, College Baseball, MLB, Olympic Games, shawncamilleri, Softball, Sports, thesilverbullet

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