November 07, 2003

You're Out!: Mexico's baseball team elimated the defending champion US team from next year's Olympics with home run in the top of the ninth for a 2-1 win.

posted by kirkaracha to baseball at 09:00 PM - 10 comments

How come USA Basketball is comprised of NBA pro athletes and USA Hockey is comprised of NHL pros, but MLB doesn't go Olympic?

posted by jerseygirl at 10:40 PM on November 07, 2003

jerseygirl - NBAers can play in the Olympics because it always occurs during their offseason. MLB would have to either stop its season or play shorthanded during the olympics, which they are not willing to do. The NHL, on the other hand, does stop its season to allow pros to play in the Winter Olympics. The reason is probably money. Many hockey fans are Olympic fans first and NHL fans second. It's a great way to get exposure for the game and attract more international athletes.

posted by Prince Valium at 01:18 AM on November 08, 2003

I imagine some of their reluctance to shut down stems from pitching. You will have 10-12 guys that make teams USA still pitching for those 2 weeks. And you will have 300 or so, other pitchers doing nothing for 2 weeks. Yeah they could throw on the side for 2 weeks but its not the same. And it takes time to get arms back into shape, even after 2 weeks off. Ok who am I kidding, Prince is right, its about money.

posted by Fluxcore at 10:26 AM on November 08, 2003

Valium nailed it. Does this elimination lead to a change in MLB/USOC policy, like when the Basketball team lost and the following games the Dream Team was formed? How much national pride and identity is associated with the game?

posted by garfield at 10:59 AM on November 08, 2003

Valium is right, and while I don't think we'll see any notable pros in the 2008 qualifying I bet there's a ton of pressure to upgrade the quality of the minor leaguers 'assigned' to the team. After the US came out of the 1992 games without a medal there was a huge push to allow pro's on to the squad - which they were finally able to do in 2000. This has to be an even bigger blow.

posted by kloeprich at 12:04 PM on November 08, 2003

Poor Clemens. First no final world series ring, and now this. My heart is freakin' breaking for him. /sarcasm Maybe this is God throwing me a bone after the bosox loss. Not the same, but I'll take it.

posted by justgary at 07:25 PM on November 08, 2003

Doesn't anybody else think the following quote was pretty offensive? "I can't believe it!" said Tom Lasorda, who managed the 2000 U.S. team to the gold in Sydney. "It's a shock and a disgrace that the Americans won't be represented in the Olympics." "Baseball is America's game," he said. "It doesn't belong to the Japanese or the Cubans or the Koreans or the Italians. This is sad, very sad."

posted by salmacis at 06:40 AM on November 09, 2003

offensive, yes, but unsurprising??

posted by smithers at 10:14 AM on November 09, 2003

when i initially read that lasorda quote the other day i was taken aback also. but you what, regardless of whether it's offensive or not, it's a true statement. if anthing it should illecit all sorts of respones, but mainly it still comes back to: why haven't the US faired well in int'l competition? there's no focus on it. similar to the way the US basketball hasn't taken int'l competition seriously. the US should buck up and make it a pirority to do well in the olympics and other int'l comp. as far as the quote, if an aussie rules football legend said something in a similar vein i probably wouldn't even blink. i suspect other countries don't even care what lasorda said. if anything what he said was directed toward americans not japan, cuba and others.

posted by oliver_crunk at 11:47 AM on November 09, 2003

Yeah, but Oliver, there's a crucial difference between Aussie Rules and baseball. One is a sport invented and played solely in one country. The other is considered international enough to qualify as an Olympic sport.

posted by salmacis at 06:17 PM on November 10, 2003

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