A year on from London 2012 and there still seem to be plenty of Olympic baseball caps around. Even though the baseball cap has long since outgrown baseball, it still seems somewhat ironic that the former is one of the most popular pieces of Olympic merchandise, while the latter was taken out of the Olympic Games for 2012 and beyond. Then again, maybe baseball is better off out of the corporate clusterf**k that is the modern Olympics (please tell me again about how it “brought the whole country together”… for the bargain sum of £9 billion). Did I mention that I hate Sebastian Coe?
Among IOC chief Jacque Rogge’s criteria for baseball to get back into the Olympics are to get the “top athletes” (i.e. major leaguers) involved. Yet if you look at (say) the football squads for London 2012, there seems to be a double standard in operation. Most of the players were aged under 23 and you could not by any stretch call it a showcase of the world’s best footballers (that is what the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup are for). Rogge also said that baseball needs to be in strict compliance with WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, so it seems strange that cycling, with all of its doping problems of the last few years, has not been jettisoned from the games as well. And I say that as a long-time fan of the Tour de France.
Maybe baseball will get back to the Olympics one day, but if it means pandering to the IOC and disrupting the MLB season, I don’t think it would be worth it.