On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee is expected to vote on which sports stay or go for the next Summer Games. Wrestling may be out, rock climbing may be in. But Major League Baseball doesn’t want to take time out of its regular season to play in the Olympics.
Baseball wants a spot on the international stage, but putting the season on hold for 10 days?
“That’s not feasible. I mean that’s not feasible,” says Paul Seiler, executive director of USA Baseball. “If it’s a 10-day break, that’s 150 baseball games that are affected,” he says.
But even if Major League Baseball did tweak its schedule, the sport might still be ignored by the Olympic Committee, says Matthew Robinson, who teaches sport management at the University of Delaware. He says for one thing, baseball is expensive to host: 16 countries, each team with a roster of at least 20 players.
“So now you’re talking about more athletes being in the Olympic Village, more expense for the Olympics,” he says. “So that’s something that gets factored in.”
Another thing? Baseball just isn’t that sexy in places like Europe and Africa. Robinson says the decision to cut wrestling was made, in part, because people didn’t watch it. Beach volleyball on the other hand?
“It’s a great event, they’ve got the music playing during the event. It’s the new aspect of sport,” he says.
Women jumping around in the sand in bikinis? It’s no wonder Robinson says beach volleyball was the hottest ticket at the London Games.