Mike Scioscia former Los Angeles Angels manager will be managing the 2021 National Team and will be at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (photo from USA Baseball)
USA Baseball Back at the Olympics
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
First Olympic Baseball tournament since 2008 and the United States of America is back after classifying this weekend. Baseball is back after a rule change that allowed the host nation to propose adding additional sports for games.
In 2016 Baseball and Softball were confirmed as Olympic sports (both softball and baseball are very popular in Japan) baseball was confirmed along with karate, skateboarding, sports chiming and surfing. Baseball will not be back in the 2024 Paris Olympics but could be added (more than likely) to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
More on this at the end. US Manager Mike Scioscia’s team qualified in Florida with a 4-2 victory over Venezuela. The US joins Israel, México, South Korea and host Japan. The final (six spot) will go to the winner of a final qualifying tournament later this month.
Dominican Republic and Venezuela with be among those going for the last berth. Cuba, winner of three of the five past gold medals failed to make the Olympics this year and their national team is in disarray as some players that were scheduled to fly from Florida to Mexico to join professional teams in that country defected, including a team physiologist.
The US Olympic team features promising minor leagues, who were allowed by their MLB teams to participate as well as veteran ex-major leaguers like pitchers Edwin Jackson and David Robertson. No current players in Major League clubs are allowed to participate in the Olympics.
The US baseball team has won gold once, in 2000 and bronze twice in 1996 and 2008. The baseball competition of the Tokyo Olympics gets underway on July 27 and concludes on August 7. Manager Mike Scioscia, who won a World Series with the Los Angeles Angels over the San Francisco Giants in 2002 said about his US Olympic team, regarding all his players young and veterans on his team: “Your priority has to be contained to the process to getting to the gold,” Scioscia said. “I think that there is an opportunity for players to get back on the drawing board as far as where their careers might be, but that’s t the primary reason they’re here.”
Good luck to Mike Scioscia and the USA Olympic Baseball team, hope they bring home the gold. Note: I agree with Japan accepting Baseball as an Olympic Sport. As a matter of fact I believe Baseball should be a regular sport at every Olympic.
Think of this; Skateboarding began in the 1950’s when surfers in Southern California wanted something to do when the waves were flat. It was then called “sidewalk surfing”which is now popular in many cities. Yet, baseball a sport that has been around for over a century and it is played in the Americas, Asia, Oceania and some countries in Europe is not?
I understand the French not wanting baseball during the Paris Olympics on 2024. the French would probably have Chess as an Olympic Sport before baseball. Men’s Soccer was first introduced at the Summer Olympics in 1900 in Paris, but the French will probably never accept baseball.
One of my favorite quotes about the French: “France has neither winter nor summer nor morals—apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country.” -Mark Twain.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play radio talent on the Oakland A’s radio network and on flagship station 1010 KIQI LeGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com