Getty Images

Justin Morneau nixes Olympic baseball qualifying return

Leave a comment

Justin Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP with the Minnesota Twins, was taken off Canada’s Olympic baseball qualifying roster before he would have played his first competitive game in more than two years.

Morneau, 38, experienced an unspecified setback in training and was replaced on Canada’s roster for next month’s Premier12. The global tournament marks the first opportunity for many world baseball powers to qualify for the sport’s return to the Olympics.

Morneau never played in the Olympics before baseball was cut from the Games after 2008; active MLB players have never competed in the Games. But he was on Canada’s roster at all four World Baseball Classics from 2006 through 2017.

At November’s Premier12, the top nation from North and South America will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Japan and Israel are already qualified. Those that do not qualify will get another chance next year.

Morneau could become the second Major League Baseball MVP to play Olympic baseball as a medal sport. The other was Jason Giambi, who made the U.S. team in 1992, the same summer he was drafted in the second round by the Oakland Athletics.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Joe Girardi replaced as U.S. baseball manager by World Series champion

Scott Brosius to take USA Baseball managerial job, replacing Joe Girardi

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Just one month before the Premier 12, a tournament giving the U.S. baseball team an opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, USA Baseball has announced a managerial switch.

USA Baseball executive Scott Brosius, who won three World Series with the New York Yankees from 1998 to 2000 and had a slugging percentage of .529 in four World Series appearances, will take over in place of Joe Girardi. USA Baseball said Girardi has stepped down to focus on opportunities in Major League Baseball.

Brosius was previously named to serve as the team’s bench coach. Several other coaches have been reshuffled, with Willie Randolph moving to bench coach, Ernie Young moving to third base and 2000 gold medalist Anthony Sanders joining the staff to coach at first base. Left unchanged: hitting coach Phil Plantier, pitching coach Bryan Price and bullpen coach Roly de Armas.

The U.S. team will play the Netherlands, host Mexico and the Dominican Republic, starting Nov. 2. The top two teams from the group will advance to the six-team Super Round in Japan.

The top finisher from the Americas region and the top finisher from Asia/Oceania (except Japan, which has an automatic bid as host) will qualify for the Olympic baseball tournament. The U.S. will have two more opportunities to qualify after that.

The U.S. won silver in the first Premier 12 tournament in 2015. As in 2015, the U.S. will not use players on MLB 40-man rosters.

PREMIER 12: Roster

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

U.S. baseball roster set for first Olympic qualifying tournament

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The U.S. tapped 28 players not on MLB 40-man rosters for its first Olympic qualifying tournament in baseball, next month’s Premier 12.

The team does include MLB veterans, including pitcher Clayton Richard and 39-year-old catcher Erik Kratz, the oldest player. It also includes seven of the MLB Pipeline top-100 prospects, led by Los Angeles Angels outfield prospect Jo Adell.

At Premier 12, the top North or South American finisher qualifies for the Tokyo Games. The other North and South American teams can still qualify in early 2020.

The U.S. was the second-most-decorated baseball nation behind Cuba when baseball was part of the Olympics from 1992 through 2008, earning three medals, including gold in 2000.

Joe Girardi was previously named the U.S. manager.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: AL MVP out of retirement to play for Canada in Olympic qualifying

USA Baseball Premier12™ Roster
(Name; Position; Hometown; 2019 Organization)
Jo Adell; OF; Louisville, Ky.; Los Angeles Angels
Clayton Andrews; LHP; Petaluma, Calif.; Milwaukee Brewers
Alec Bohm; INF; Omaha, Neb.; Philadelphia Phillies
C.J. Chatham; INF; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Boston Red Sox
Jake Cronenworth; INF; St. Clair, Mich.; Tampa Bay Rays
*^Bobby Dalbec; INF; Seattle, Wash.; Boston Red Sox
Brandon Dickson; RHP; Montgomery, Ala.; Orix Buffaloes
Parker Dunshee; RHP; Zionsville, Ind.; Oakland Athletics
Xavier Edwards; INF; Mineola, N.Y.; San Diego Padres
J.P Feyereisen; RHP; River Falls, Wis.; Milwaukee Brewers
Brian Flynn; LHP; Tulsa, Okla.; Kansas City Royals
Taylor Gushue; C; Boca Raton, Fla.; Washington Nationals
*Tanner Houck; RHP; Collinsville, Ill.; Boston Red Sox
Spencer Howard; RHP; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Philadelphia Phillies
*Tyler Johnson; RHP; Midlothian, Va.; Chicago White Sox
*Erik Kratz; C; Telford, Pa.; New York Yankees
Wyatt Mills; RHP; Spokane, Wash.; Seattle Mariners
Mark Payton; OF; Orland Park, Ill.; Oakland Athletics
*Brooks Pounders; RHP; Riverside, Calif.; New York Mets
Clayton Richard; LHP; Lafayette, Ind.; Toronto Blue Jays
Brent Rooker; OF; Germantown, Tenn.; Minnesota Twins
Connor Seabold; RHP; Laguna Hills, Calif.; Philadelphia Phillies
Noah Song; RHP; Pomona, Calif.; Boston Red Sox
Caleb Thielbar; LHP; Northfield, Minn.; Atlanta Braves
Daniel Tillo; LHP; Sioux City, Iowa; Kansas City Royals
Daulton Varsho; C/OF; Chili, Wisc.; Arizona Diamondbacks
*^Andrew Vaughn; IF; Santa Rosa, Calif.; Chicago White Sox
Drew Waters; OF; Woodstock, Ga.; Atlanta Braves
*Denotes National Team alumnus
^Denotes National Team development Program participant