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Bud Selig is not gonna kowtow to the IOC to get baseball back into the Olympics

May 7, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

Bud Selig AP

Good for Bud:

Any chance that baseball had to get back in the Olympics for 2020 likely was scuttled when commissioner Bud Seligsaid Major League Baseball wouldn’t put its season on pause to enable the best players to compete.

“Look, we can’t stop our season in August,” Selig said last month. “We just can’t.”

That won’t fly with the International Olympic Committee, which isn’t going to hold a tournament for horsehide retirees and minor leaguers when the NBA and NHL send their best to Olympus.

Good for Bud for two reasons: (a) for noting that the regular baseball season is more important than an international competition which doesn’t really give a hoot about baseball; and (b) for not playing ball with the same IOC which thinks that wrestling shouldn’t be in the Olympics anymore when it’s ONE OF THE ORIGINAL FREAKING OLYMPIC SPORTS.

But really: with professional leagues in multiple countries and an international tournament already in existence in the form of the WBC, does baseball in the Olympics serve any real purpose?

  1. danaking - May 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Oh. My. God. I agree with Bud Selig. The end must be near.

    • Ben - May 7, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      Right? Weird. On the other hand, I’d like to see them kill the All Star Game every fourth year, stretch the All Star Break out a week, and play the WBC mid-season. Never happen, but a fella can dream.

    • apmn - May 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      A first for me, too.

      The IOC is just awful. They might be worse than Congress.

      • Kevin S. - May 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        They make the NCAA look like paragons of integrity.

      • mybrunoblog - May 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        The congress is pretty crummy but the executive branch is weak like the Ukraine.

      • badintent - May 8, 2013 at 2:26 AM

        HBT post of the week !

  2. historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    I’ll say again that I wish they’d put baseball back in but use amateurs so we can see who’s coming up.

    (Cue paperlions to give me a lesson on all the ways I can track up-and-comers now in my “spare time.”)

    • blacksables - May 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      I agree, I want it back in. And keep the WBC as well.

      Who actually plays should be up to the national federations, just like in any other sports.

    • cktai - May 7, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Did you watch baseball when it was on the Olympic program before?

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        What I could of it.

      • blacksables - May 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        When I could, but it was difficult, as I was in the Army and not always in places I could watch it, or wasn’t awake at the times it was on.

        I watch a lot of different types of baseball, as well as play, coach, and umpire when I can. MLB is not the only game in town, its just one of them.

    • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      Olympic baseball = zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        Booooo!!!

        /throws Olympics t-shirts

    • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      …and if you really want to know, you could start with:

      fangraphs (they have a dedicated prospect guy)
      minorleagueball
      keith law of espn
      MLB has a guy that does prospect stuff
      Baseball America (pay site, some free content)

      There may even be a good blog focused on the Tigers system.

      All better options that whatever they trot out for the Olympics, most of which was just non-prospect college guys.

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        paper, I love you…STFU. lol

      • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        Well….I figured that, on the off chance, you really WERE interested, I should provide you with some options to explore your new found interest in prospects, the draft, and player development. :-D

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        I am interested. I just don’t have that much time, so it’s easy to catch the Olympics and WBC every few years and call it good. I can’t give much more than that. I have like 2 1/2 jobs.

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        PS I don’t want to just read about it. I like to watch for myself.

      • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        Well, then. Here is the product for you: http://www.milb.com/milb/multimedia/milbtv.jsp

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Is that homework? I go to local MiLB games, you know. I got to see Pudge and Sosa and more recently Tulo coming up. It’s a lot easier to see everyone at once in a tourney though. Pbbblt!

    • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      Here is the roster from the last Olympics:

      40 Brett Anderson
      34 Jake Arrieta
      30 Trevor Cahill *
      47 R.A. Dickey *
      45 Brian Duensing *
      39 Jonathon Niese *
      15 Brandon Knight
      21 Mike Koplove
      49 Blaine Neal
      37 Jeff Stevens
      29 Stephen Strasburg *
      35 Casey Weathers
      6 Lou Marson
      19 Taylor Teagarden *
      18 Brian Barden *
      17 Matthew Brown *
      2 Jason Donald
      10 Mike Hessman
      3 Jayson Nix *
      26 Terry Tiffee
      24 Dexter Fowler *
      7 John Gall
      44 Matthew LaPorta
      14 Nate Schierholtz *

      Exciting!

      • Kevin S. - May 7, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        That staff was effing loaded.

      • dluxxx - May 7, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        Wow. Terry Tiffee. There’s a blast from the past. Him and Dunsing were both from the Twins at that point, I believe… For all I know, Dickey might have been with the club that year too. Hard to remember and too lazy to look it up. Besides, I’m at work… ;)

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 6:30 PM

        Brett Anderson is from Oklahoma. (Stillwater — like Holliday)

      • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        ANDERSON! just doesn’t have the same ring to it as KOZMA!

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        Maybe that’s why he plays for Oakland.

  3. El Bravo - May 7, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    No. The WBC will gain in popularity (and has already) and will be more popular than olympic baseball would ever be. Let them have their PED-infused badminton players and baseball can have it’s own international tourney a la soccer and the World Cup.

    • cktai - May 7, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      Except that soccer is in the Olympics as well.

      • El Bravo - May 7, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        This is true, but no one cares.

      • Kevin S. - May 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        And soccer fans don’t care about the Olympics nearly as much as they care about the World Cup. Heck, the FIBA basketball championship is considered more prestigious than the Olympics by the international basketball community. Why should MLB eff up their season for a second-rate tournament?

      • cktai - May 7, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        That is true for most of the Olympics though. Either they are sports no-one cares about, or there are more prestigious tournaments elsewhere. Never stopped any of those sports from being included.

      • Kevin S. - May 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        Basketball is in its offseason during the summer. Soccer has a long tradition of multiple competitions going on simultaneously (and I think summer is also the offseason for European club soccer). Hockey probably gains in visibility by stopping its season and sending its players to the Olympics. What does baseball gain?

      • thefrenchyconnection - May 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        The main reason that fans don’t hold Olympic football in the same regard as the FIFA World Cup is because of the cap on the number of over 23 players allowed. If you don’t allow the best players to participate interest is never going to be as high as it could be.

      • cktai - May 7, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        The European football season starts around early August, depending on the country. That means that at least during the last 5 Olympic tournaments the football season had already started.

        On top of that, the Olympics are in the same summer as the more prestigious European Championship, which means that not even the best U23 players participate in the Olympics.. For Great Britain, Martin Kelly, Jordan Henderson, Andy Carroll, Phil Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Danny Welbeck were all left out of the Olympic squad because of an agreement with the FA not to select players who had participated in Euro 2012

    • Joe - May 7, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      ^^This^^

      The Olympic approach to soccer is essentially the same as the old approach to baseball. You’re not getting the best of the best, so deal with it. Perhaps the age cap can be implemented for baseball, too, to keep it from being a bunch of once-weres. I’d have no problem whatsoever with that.

  4. dluxxx - May 7, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    They’re droping wrestling for the same reasons. It’s because CM Punk, John Cena and the rest of the WWE are not willing to participate. All the other sports are sending their professionals. Why not wrestling???

    /s

    • realgone2 - May 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Pssssh. too bad they couldn’t send in Demoltion, Haku, and Big Van Vader.

    • apmn - May 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Can you imagine the American WWE All-stars versus Japan’s Sumo team or Mexico’s Luche Libre squad? I might actually watch that.

  5. rbj1 - May 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Feels weird agreeing with Bud Selig. Kind of dirty, and not in a good way, too.
    The problem with putting the regular season on hold and releasing the players to play for their home country is that Mariano Rivera would be closing for Panama. I do not want him pitching for anyone but the Yankees.

    Not to mention dropping to a 150 game schedule every four years will impact everyone chasing a record.

  6. realgone2 - May 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    The olympics are a joke.

  7. rcali - May 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    My grandmother watches the Olympics.

  8. cktai - May 7, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Did you ever watch the wrestling though Craig? Because I sure as hell didn’t. I’ve watched fencing, archery, and curling during previous Olympics, but wrestling is just a bridge too far.

  9. billyboots - May 7, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Aren’t the Olympics the place where amateurs were supposed to show off their skills? Shouldn’t the best collegiate baseball players be playing in the Olympics, not the millionaires? I seem to remember Jim Thorpe being stripped of his Olympic medals after it came out he had made a few hundred bucks playing semi-pro football. The Olympics today are joke, nothing like the founders envisioned a century ago.

  10. chadjones27 - May 7, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Play it during the Winter Olympics… indoors… Okay, that sounded dumb. But, really, if they want baseball in the Olympics it would either have to be in the winter or a bunch of college kids. Actually, that probably wouldn’t work either with the NCAA rules about students not getting paid.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 7, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      College kids would be fine, but you’d have to get the NCAA to agree to it. Which means they’d probably want ($) something ($) in return ($) for allowing ($) this to happen ($). Also, would it be like previous olympics where the US players were amateurs and other countries weren’t?

      • chadjones27 - May 7, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        I just remember a story a couple years ago when The Eagles drafted Jeremy Bloom for punt return duties, who while in college had to drop out of the football program because he was training for the Olympics and was getting sponsorships. So, the NCAA wouldn’t let him do both.

      • Kevin S. - May 7, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        The NCAA is rather erratic regarding professionalism in one sport affecting amateur standing in another. For example, drafted baseball players who sign are apparently still eligible to play football, such as when Russell Wilson signed with the Rockies but then still played two more seasons in the NCAA.

  11. connormyboy - May 7, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    I would like to see the minor league guys play in the Olympics.Unlike basketball they don’t need an all star team. Would like to see how team usa basketball would do if it was only college players that played.

  12. thefrenchyconnection - May 7, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    You could stop the season in August for 2-3 weeks every year if you shortened and balanced the schedule.

    This would allow for short tournaments (regional or international) in non-olympic years or a decent all-star break before the final push to playoffs.

  13. forsch31 - May 7, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    >>>”…(b) for not playing ball with the same IOC which thinks that wrestling shouldn’t be in the Olympics anymore when it’s ONE OF THE ORIGINAL FREAKING OLYMPIC SPORTS.”

    Seriously. What’s next, the marathon? ‘Cause, I mean, who wants to watch a bunch of skinny guys run…and run…and run….and run….for two friggin’ hours?

    Should be noted that baseball’s bid to be brought back into the Olympics is a combined bid with softball. So, if Bud’s stance keeps baseball out of the Olympics, it also keeps out softball, which probably needs the Games more.

  14. onbucky96 - May 7, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    The WBC is useless. It makes the Olympics on NBC seem like great television!

  15. 13arod - May 7, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    we need oympics back to baseball

  16. ultim8entertainment - May 7, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    The WBC is a joke compared to the Olympics. Anybody notice how players line up for the chance to for their country in the Olympics like in Hockey and Basketball? Those games are great! If the WBC really meant something you would see players dying to play for their country instead of declining the invite like many did this past year.

    Th first game the Buffalo Sabres played after the Olympics a few years ago was on the road and the fans for the opposing team gave Ryan Miller a standing ovation while chanting his name. Don’t think I have ever even heard about anything similar from the WBC!

  17. scoocha - May 8, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Word is Selig is trying to realign the countries, switching Argentina from South America to Africa.

  18. nbjays - May 8, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Love the picture of Bud. First there was “Smug Bud”, this one seems more like “Get Off My Lawn Bud”.

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