Baseball officials still trying to lure MLB to Olympics
After the World Baseball Softball Confederation was unceremoniously shot down by MLB commissioner Bud Selig, who said he won’t stop his season for the Games, the governing body is giving one last ditch effort to earn a spot in the Olympics before the IOC votes on its fate.
Members of the WBSC met with the MLB and MLBPA again recently to discuss the possibility of Major Leaguers being released by the league for just the semifinals and finals of the Olympic tournament. Or really anything at all.
“We would limit the overall number of games, down to six days of competition, so there would be a minimal number of days away from their teams.” Federation co-president Don Porter told USA Today Sports. “There’s been a real positive discussion with the players association and other representatives from Major League Baseball to work towards something.”
The WBSC is also considering limiting Olympic tournament games to seven innings, as opposed to nine, as well as growing the sport internationally by building training centers in Muslim countries.
“We’re keeping an open mind to put together something that’s not the same ol’, same ol’,” Porter said.
Baseball and softball were both voted out of the Olympics by the IOC back in 2005, and were last seen at the Beijing Games in 2008. The absence of MLB players was particularly damning to baseball during the decision, so inking a deal with the Majors and international leagues before the IOC’s next vote May 29 in St. Petersburg would go a long way in earning the sport its spot back.