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Bud Selig won’t stop his season for the Olympics

Apr 26, 2013, 9:19 AM EDT


Bud Selig strikes again. Despite the fact that allowing MLB players to participate in the Olympics would boost the sport’s possibility of getting readmitted in 2020, and grow baseball worldwide, Selig pounded a nail in that coffin Thursday.

“We can’t stop our season in August,” Selig told the Associated Press sports editors. “Do I wish I could? Yes. But is it practical? No.”

Baseball, which was last competed in Beijing, has done what it can to help gain some momentum heading into May’s IOC vote, including merging with the international softball federation to form a joint bid that looks more attractive to the IOC.

But IOC President Jacques Rogge said baseball should allow top athletes to compete, much like hockey and basketball have over the last couple decades, and it’s probably in baseball’s best interest to oblige.

We get where Selig is coming from: Where do you get the two weeks back? We already have snowed-out games in late-April, and having the World Series in mid-November would raise the same issues.

And quite honestly, NBA commissioner David Stern has always hated sending his players due to the stress an extra month or two of play puts on them in the summer. And NHL commissioner Gary Bettman despises stopping his season for the Olympics every four years. But both men know what it means to growing their sports internationally. Just look at basketball since the Dream Team.

If Selig wants to sell jerseys from Kalamazoo to Timbuktu, he would do well to follow their lead.

  1. wallio - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Never thought I’d say this, but way to go Bud. The Olympics are for AMATEURS!!! Not pros. Thankfully its looking like the NHL is going to pull out of Sochi, so maybe the Olympics will go back to their mission.

  2. bikingscr016 - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    So Usain Bolt, Phelps/Lochte, Kobe/LeBron, etc. are amateurs? Do you hear yourself?

  3. shrshot - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Selling is a turd. That is all

  4. clevelandschronic2 - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Like it matters baseball is garbage plain and simple. Lets watch a bunch of men stand around grabbing themselves, spitting every2 sec. Baseball is beyond boring to watch hence why the olympics dont want this trash. Look at the WBC how many average people were interested in watching that. Not too many if i recall. Move on baseball your done in the olympics. Enjoy your insanely overpaid players first league where balanced teams and good competition are non existant.

  5. wallio - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    No they’re not sadly, but the Olympics is going back to its roots, little by little. The gymnasts, wrestlers, shooters, fencers, lifters, boxers, etc are all amateurs and so is baseball/softball. Hockey looks to be going back that way. Basketball sadly will always have pros because the NBA is a greedy organization. And really the numbers of swimmers and track stars that can make a living off of it isn’t that high. Hopefully in 20-25 years, the Olympics will be all amateur again, the way it should be.

  6. barbeaux - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    Baseball has too long of a season. As does hockey and the NBA. Do you want to know why people get so crazed about the NFL? It’s because there are so few games and the sense of urgency is way higher….supply and demand.

  7. gbar22 - Apr 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    As a baseball fan I’d never want to see my teams pitchers playing in the Olympics. Pitchers are already to fragile and it really isn’t worth it. Baseball is big enough in the states and it has a fairly large international base in Japan and South America. It’s no different than football nobody would want their star QB playing. I’m sad about hockey if Bettman does follow through in hockey and takes the players out. Hockey is a lot like soccer and basketball in the sense that those players can keep on going and if it were just baseball hitters they could go play too but I have feeling the players will get their way and go. The hockey fans enjoy the Olympics too much as well.

  8. Jeff - Apr 27, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Yeah, I agree with Wallio.
    I’m glad Selig said no. Amateurs in the Olympics is the way to go.
    The baseball season is ridiculously long. There’s no reason to make it longer. Too many snowed out games already.

  9. bayafan - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    At the ones who think the Olympics should only be for armatures don’t understand that’s not what the majority want to see and it’s why more sports are being eliminated from the Olympics. Plus NBCs coverage is done poorly.

    • Matthew Kitchen - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      I mean, that last part about NBC didn’t seem totally necessary.

  10. thestatsishere - May 23, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    If he wasn’t retiring so soon, I’d be wishing he’d get dementia. It’s ONCE every FOUR years for crimedy sakes. NBA does it, so why can’t MLB do it?

  11. sfrunning - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Well, baseball dragged softball out of the Olympics by being childish and full of drugs. Both got in there with the influence of the USA, while really not having enough participating countries to qualify as a world sport. Two weeks aren’t the only problem for Sellig and MLB, I am afraid that a quadrennial drug cleanse is not OK to baseball, and certainly not to the Olympics. Both baseball and softball should just accept they aren’t big enough, often adult enough, and clean enough to be in the Olympics.

    No great loss, baseball and softball, really. Instead, we will have rugby, which will be a huge hit when it gets in, and in its seven-a-side version, a vastly more universal sport, not to mention, practiced by a whole lot fitter athletes.

  12. bellerophon30 - Aug 24, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    A few problems here:

    This entire issue is essentially mooted by the fact that even if MLB stops in mid-season……no GM or manager that wants to keep their jobs are going allow any decent starting pitcher to go to Rio, or any subsequent Olympic site, to play for free and at the very least put more wear and tear on their arms. The WBC is one thing, since it’s in spring training, and even then they clearly don’t like it.

    Also, baseball’s exposure would be limited by the fact that few non-American television networks would prioritize their games, as a slow paced three hour contest isn’t what they have in mind, when other ‘traditional’ Olympic sports allow for easy live look-ins.

    Then you’ve got Bud Selig, who has little credibility with his players, even less with the American sports media, and something tells me that the international sports community knows this. He’s a corporate shill, period.

    And oh dear Lord please stop with the “Return the Olympics to the amateurs” garbage. The toothpaste is out of the tube folks……besides which, no other country will abide by it! Remember that before the 90’s, the rule for hockey and basketball was that you were a professional if you had played in the NHL or NBA only. If you played for pay anywhere else you were still an amateur. Just how is that fair? Boxing, I get why they don’t allow pros, and FIFA is just too powerful to buck…..but everything else should be the best athletes available who want to compete.

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