Why Not Play Baseball in the Winter Olympics, Eh?

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Are you enjoying your nightly dosage of tape-delayed snowy Olympic events? Good, you don't mind watching sports that need to have the rules explained to you by Al Trautwig twenty times an hour. Still, wouldn't you rather be watching some competitive baseball right about now? Ever since the IOC eliminated baseball from the Summer Games, folks have been trying to figure out how to get it back in. But why pigeonhole baseball as a warm-weather sport? Why can't baseball be an event in the Winter Olympics?

The most important argument in favor of this unorthodox plan is the possible inclusion of real live professional baseball players in the Olympics. Part of the reason the IOC kicked baseball to the curb from the Summer Olympics is the mere fact that Herr Selig and the ownership cabal refused to allow their MLB players to participate. And can you blame them? Professional baseball doesn't need a mid-year gimmick that interrupts a perfectly good season and screws up pennant races. This isn't hockey, people.

But in a way, maybe baseball needs to take a cue from hockey, which made a huge splash by switching things up and playing an annual outdoors game (in baseball parks, natch). Baseball is adaptable nowadays. You can play it in a dome. There are indoor stadiums all over the developed world. We don't need sunshine and clear skies to play baseball in modern times. And scientifically smart turf developments have made indoor play a lot safer and closer to outdoor play. Well, not everywhere.

True, the duration of Winter Olympic competition collides directly with the onset of Spring Training, but let that not stop veteran players like Derek Jeter or Ichiro from donning their countries' colors to knock the baseball around for a couple weeks. Infielders and outfielders with experience can strap on their gear and get right in the game with not too much effort.

But what about arm problems for pitchers who have yet to go through spring training? Simply put, there's no reason MLB or the NPB or any professional teams need sacrifice their brightest and youngest and tenderest pitching talent for a quadrennial international exhibition. We've seen already the dangers of allowing them to participate in triennial competition, so why not recruit some of our more recent retirees to get back on the mound for one more go?

Yes, this all seems quite anachronistic and downright silly to play baseball in the cold climes. But c'mon, they already have a winter sport (basketball) in the summer games, why not put a summer sport (baseball) in the winter? Let's not be bogged down by traditional season-sport relationships. Modernity allows us to play any sport at any time of year we wish; after all, folks are skiing and skating in Vancouver and Whistler right now even with the balmy seasonal temperatures.

Besides, it'd be a great opportunity for J.T. Snow.


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14 Comments

I think the World Baseball Classic is enough. Besides, why subject baseball to international money grubbing bureaucrats at the IOC, when we can have a tournament that benefits money grubbing bureaucrats at MLB? Keep American cash grabs in America.

This idear of mine would eliminate the WBC, which, of course, I neglected to mention.

WORST IDEA EVER!!!

The winter olympics, not the getting rid of the WBC

Who needs a dome? If we can play outside in Minneapolis in April, then we can do it in Canada in February.

Playing baseball outside in MN would just be crazy. It's not like they have every done it before. http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/past/MetropolitanStadium.htm

No other ML city has cooler temps in April

http://www.baseballdailydigest.com/2010/01/07/target-field-wont-be-abnormally-cold-quit-your-whining/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

BC, if I'm not allowed to grab at the low-hanging fruit, I am likely to starve.

Also, they may play baseball in those cities in April, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a solid idea.

Playing a few games in less than ideal weather is better than playing 81 games under a teflon sky.

Baseball in northern cities in April isn't a solid idea, but baseball in northern cities in November isn't a good idea either. If MLB didn't play in April, where would those games go?

I just wish all that global warming stuff was real. Then we wouldn't have to worry about all of this.

Clearly, all signs point to contraction and relocation, where we are left with a Southern-based league that doesn't go north of Kentucky. If fanbases like those in Miami, Tampa, and Arlington have shown us anything, it's that the south is baseball-crazy.

"Ladies and gentlemen, here is the starting lineup for your Memphis Red Sox!"

@Nick
They tried that contraction thing once before. It didn't work. SUCK IT SELIG!!!!!

Screw the Olympics. I've already had enough of all the Eurotrash. Didn't we fight a revolution to rid ourelves of that scum? More WBC, please!

Winter Olympics is not really a good idea to include baseball. This kind of game is very professional and as mentioned above, there's no need to interrupt a perfectly good season and screws up other sports performed by other races. Millionaire Mind Intensive

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