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.