Jun 7, 2013, 3:18 PM EST
The IOC’s decision to put baseball/softball on its shortlist of candidate sports for the 2020 Games seemed to be a stay of execution for the pair of former Olympics disciplines, as the World Baseball Softball Confederation tried to convince the MLB to allow its players to compete in the Games.
But that reality seems more unlikely by the day, so leaders of the WBSC need to find new ways to convince IOC members that they’re more worthy of the lone available spot than wrestling or squash.
“I don’t see the ability for us to change that basic model of moving major league players out of competition and into the Olympics,” Arizona Diamondbacks exec Ken Kendrick told USA Today. “The only way to do it is to interrupt the season.”
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig already shot that down, so the new plan is for the two sports to create the same “footprint” on the Olympics, according to Paul Seiler, executive director and CEO of USA Baseball. That means the two sports would play at different times, play fewer games, use the same venues (with some minor field adjustments), and take up the same rooms at Olympic Village.
“It sounds cliché, but you get two [sports] for the price of one,” Seiler explained. “I’ve heard the term ‘marriage of convenience.’ I’m not sure I buy that. It’s an intelligent partnership, that’s what it is.”
It’s definitely a workable model for the Games, especially with about seven years to prepare. But most think the IOC won’t give baseball/softball the spot without some All-Stars to back the bid, and that doesn’t even seem like a conversation the pros are willing to have anymore, according to Seiler:
“If the only option from the IOC’s perspective is that we need a Dream Team, then that’s a challenge.”
- Evan Lysacek will not compete at Sochi Olympics (video) 0
- Ted Ligety, Bode Miller go 1-2 in Beaver Creek giant slalom (video) 1
- Lindsey Vonn says she’s ready for Sochi after best comeback result (video) 1
- Jesse Owens’ gold medal goes for $1.4 million in auction 1
- Lindsey Vonn stronger in second comeback race (video) 3
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (54)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (45)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (29)
- Vladimir Putin tells critics of Russia at World University Games to ‘try some Viagra’ (18)
- IOC convinced there will be no discrimination at Sochi Olympics (16)