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Olympic baseball qualifying rescheduled

Olympics Day 15 - Baseball

BEIJING - AUGUST 23: Players from the United States are congratulated by players from Japan after team USA won their men’s bronze medal baseball game 8-4 at Wukesong Baseball Field on Day 15 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 23, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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The U.S. men’s baseball team will play in June to determine if it qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics, the first Olympic baseball tournament since 2008.

An Olympic qualifying tournament for North and South America, postponed from last March, is now expected to be held in early June in Florida, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced Tuesday.

Only the winner of that tournament qualifies for the Olympics. The second- and third-place nations advance to the last-chance global qualifier from June 16-20 in Taichung, also a winner-to-Tokyo event.

The U.S., ranked second in the world, is to compete with seven other nations for one Olympic spot in the Americas qualifier -- Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Canada and Nicaragua.

The U.S. roster is expected to be made up of minor leaguers. Active MLB players have never participated in the Olympics.

In November 2019, the U.S. lost to Mexico in its first Olympic qualifying opportunity, using a roster of mostly double-A and triple-A caliber players.

Japan, Israel, Mexico and South Korea took the first four of six Olympic spots as baseball returns to the program for the first time since the 2008 Beijing Games. It is not on the Paris 2024 program but could be added back for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Scott Brosius, the 1998 World Series MVP with the New York Yankees, was named U.S. manager in October 2019, replacing Joe Girardi, who became the Philadelphia Phillies manager.

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