Olympic Baseball/Softball Beyond 2008

Last night (August 18th, 2008), Bob Costas reported from the NBC studios in Beijing, the IOC’s (International Olympic Committee) reasoning behind the removal of the sports of Baseball and softball from future Olympics (a minimum of the 2012 games in London). Here is what he reported:

Baseball

According to Costas, the reason why baseball has been nixed is due to a lack of star power. Due to the interruption to the MLB regular season, MLB players are not permitted to play in the Olympics. The IOC wants bigger names from the US, Dominican, etc. national teams, hence the sport has been pulled from the London games and beyond until a new agreement can be reached.

Softball

Again, according to Costas, the reason why softball has been nixed is due to the utter dominance of Team USA. In the past two Olympics, only one team (Canada) has been able to score off them and that one run was unearned. This, in my opinion, is unfair to penalize the whole sport because of one country’s dominance. They never did this in Hockey with the Russian dominance or in Basketball with the US men’s dominance, etc. Shouldn’t the other countries be scrutinized rather than pull the whole sport from the Olympics?

Past Reports

In the past, I had heard (or read) that the reason had more to do with the black eye on the face of Major League Baseball from the whole Steroids/Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) scandal. We all know how serious the IOC is about their drug policy, so this idea does make sense. Although, the move that MLB made back in January to join forces with the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) concerning strengthening their drug policy might have derailed the public face of this debate. Click HERE for a previous link on Baseball Reflections about this joint action.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

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