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Baseball campaigns to return to Olympics

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“Many times when people approach me, they talk as if it’s an American sport,” he said. “It’s not true.”

It's like denying that Sumo is Japanese...Anyway, i shall vote for 'no return' to Olympics.

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Lol. Baseball is a global sport allright, but all countries are merely farm teams for the Major Leagues.

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Why should baseball be excluded? There are many, many sports in Summer and Winter Olympics that America performs poorly in. I don't America lobbies to get rid of them.

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I think a better question is why should it be included? It's popular in a handful of countries and isn't a global sport in the same way that many other sports are. Just because it's popular in America doesn't give it the right to be an Olympic sport.

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How is it not a global sport? Latin America, Asia, and even some European countries such as Netherlands field good teams. I hate to say that there is an anti-American bias here.

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"Lol. Baseball is a global sport allright, but all countries are merely farm teams for the Major Leagues." Yeah but look at a global sport like soccer/football. The world is basically a farm team for three leagues in England, Spain and Italy.

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I hope baseball gets back in. Jumping on the trampoline is an Olympic Sport, for cryin' out loud and not baseball? I think the beauty of the sport of baseball is enough for it to be included, but I'm biased.

Taka

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I think one of the problems that they had with baseball previously were the mediocre teams that the US kept fielding.

The US were supposed to help spearhead the popularity of the sport for the Olympics, but the top MLB players kept staying home.

Didn't the Olympic committee feel that the large number of players per team wasn't worth having considering its low popularity in the Olympics?

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Anti American bias? You must be joking.

In America it's a huge sport, on a global level it's a very, very small sport. How big is it in the countries you mention? US, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea..? Any others?

That's hardly what you'd call a global sport. And if it is, then surely it's time for cricket to be added as well. And other 'relatively' minor sports.

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And incidentally, what country has won the last two World Baseball Classics? Just asking.

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Get rid of it. Or make cricket an olympic sport too.

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it's popular in a handful of countries and isn't a global sport

you mean like curling, bobsledding, cross country skiing, water polo... wait, those ARE olympic sports. hmmm

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I would like to remove pointless games and add more competitative cheap cost games to the olympics.]]]]] IN RUGBY, SURFING, SPITBALL CAPTURE THE FLAG GAME , BANANA TOSSING, BASEBALL, DOG & FRISBEE THROWING , JOUSTING,

OUT GYMNASTICS, WATER POLO, PING PONG, SOCCER, POTATO THROWING, HORSE & RIDER OBSTACLE COMPETITION

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Good point. Curling, bobsledding and cross country skiing aren't popular in much of south america, africa and any where near the equator and should be banned from the summer olympics.

As for water polo, I have no idea where it's popular or where it's not popular, however it seems the majority of people involved in the Olympics see it as an Olympic sport so perhaps it should stay. It makes no difference to me.

However I bet if you asked a water polo player what their career highlight was they would say 'winning an olympic medal'. That certainly wouldn't be the case for baseball players (or footballers for that matter but that's a different argument).

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I think the beauty of the sport of baseball is enough for it to be included

...and the beauty is?? I'm afraid I have NO clue. It's boring, long and over-rated, the same goes for American Football. Yawn.

I'm against including baseball and softball in the olympics. If they do, put in darts and snooker too, oh and Canadian Football.

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archery, ice hockey, basketball, wrestling, JUDO!!! these are all sports globally popular accross the world???

Judo? I think baseball should be there over judo at least. sheesh let's make the criteria a little more clear.

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Sports with huge money-spinning leagues or syndicates - baseball, football, cricket, horseracing, etc., should all be dropped from the Olympics. Give the little people in little sports the chance for their day in the limelight, give us the chance to see sports that don't clog up the TV channels for the whole four years in between Games.

As for baseball having the potential to be big in Europe....I don't see that happening. It looks far too much like rounders - a game for little girls, that I thought boring and pointless even when I was a little girl - to drum up the hype and atmosphere it appears to have in the US, and in Japan.

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Sports with huge money should all be dropped from the Olympics.

are you going to drop speed skating? that is big money in the netherlands. are you going to drop ping-pong? that is big money in asia.

The argument to drop baseball is the lack of international appeal, so to that I ask what about judo and badmitten? ... no answer...

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I also think those team sports that already have large wealthy pro leagues or world tournaments i.e. soccer, baseball, basketball are proving to be unpopular in the Olympics since a lot of media attention is paid to them EVERY year.

The more popular sports i.e. track and field, swimming etc. tend have a bigger focus on individual athletes and less media exposure outside of the Olympic years.

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I don´t know why the article and some comments say it is popular in Latin America. Maybe in Central America, but all South America (excluding Venezuela)does not practice, watch or even understand about baseball.

It would be stupid to compare it with more traditional "sports" as archery, as they have always been part of the Olympics and they only take about 60 people to each meeting, including players and coaches.

I agree with the comment above: a 3-4 hour game is a hard sell for people who do not understand anything about baseball

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The argument to drop baseball is that when the vote came to drop a certain number of sports, baseball didn't get enough to stay there. The argument as to why it wasn't reincluded is because when the vote was held for sports to be included, it didn't get enough votes.

When you consider that the Olympics NEEDS sponsorship money, yet it STILL didn't get enough votes it should suggest that it just isn't that popular an Olympic sport.

There are numerous sports that are in the olympics that I couldn't give a &&&* about, however they're included because they have global appeal. Whether you get that or not is irrelevant but the powers that be clearly deem that baseball doesn't have enough global appeal.

And if it does, then surely so would cricket.

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i say get rid of soccer, that's about the most boring sport i've ever seen.

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Heda: We're not arguing about cricket here. And although there might be valid arguments as to the merits of olympic baseball, I think that some of the comments here indicate a bias against it( boring, too long, hard to understand) Anyone could make that argument against quite a few other sports.

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But cricket has a similar global appeal. Played at a high level in a handful of countries (8 or 9), played at a lesser extent at many more. Exceptionally popular in India, played in Japan at a very low level, not so popular in Brazil (I presume) etc. But it certainly shouldn't be considered as an Olympic sport.

As I said from my point of view baseball shouldn't be there, neither should basketball, football, tennis or any sport where the highlight of the athletes career isn't winning a gold medal at the olympics.

Debucho: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judo_at_the_2004_Summer_Olympics

Check out the number of different nations that won medals. And then ask again about the 'global appeal' of the sport.

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Problem is: baseball doesn't look like a sport at all to most people, because it doesn't have a clear target, an objective, like direct points, or a goal. It is quite confusing you are not born playing it. Plus, it's not easy to understand the score. Even archery can be more exciting to watch: you see clearly what the archer has to do in order to gain points, you can easily feel his tension and pull for him. Curling, cricket, water polo are more popular than baseball because they're direct, no frills. This is something baseball people should realize and change it, if they really want baseball to be popular. I associate Japanese baseball with the same excitement you feel when using an abacus. US baseball with guys saying "whassup" every 5 seconds and making poses for the TV, then swinging the bat and againg "whassup" and more posing. Change if you want to be globally popular. And, oh, that ball can really break your fingers - it doesn't help at all.

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LostinNagoya: I get the feeling that you've never, ever watched a baseball game.

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Baseball had its chance and failed on the Olympic stage. Despite the efforts of a great number of people, having baseball at the Olympics failed to expand the sport into new markets. If the IOC is thinking about further expanding the Olympic schedule, I believe there are a lot more deserving sports than baseball.

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LostinNagoya, Throw, hit..run. Touch home base...1 "point". Still confused? "whassup"..huh?

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paulinusa: you're partially right. I have never, ever watched a baseball game TILL the end. But, ask any non-US/Japan person how he/she sees baseball and you'll have exactly what I wrote above. There are other sports that have changed their rules, scoring system to be more palatable to digest, and they've been succesfull. Volleyball is one of them, for instance. Baseball is not easy to watch or understand. Why do you think it was dropped from the Olympics, while handball is there?

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Of course the decision rests with the Olympic committee, but, to be honest, if I wanted to see men leaping about in tights I'd go to the ballet. And if baseball is accepted into The Games, then by the same token so should cricket be, though their duds are a tad more manly and the action can be even more stagnant. Why not have lawn bowling and croquet as well then? Break for tea? Rounders for grown-up chaps, indeed, not that there's anything slightly amiss with that.

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Debucho, you are SO wrong. Judo is indeed an international sport. The International Judo Federation has 175 member nations and is the largest international sports federation in the IOC. It is one of the most widely practiced sports in the world. Can the same be said of baseball?

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Keep baseball out and add surfing and body boarding.

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I place baseball in the same category as cricket. These sports are hugely popular in certain countries and in others they are non-existant. I say that if there is a demand then let these sports be part of the Olympics. What they should do is cut down on the number of events for certain events such as 100m, 200m, 400m, hurdles, etc for sports like track & field, short-track speedskating, and swimming. It's kind of silly how some athletes can win more than 4 medals in their respective sports.

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Rugby, cricket, and other sports are FAR more international than baseball. I agree that if baseball wants to survive as an Olympic sport (or be brought back, I should say), it needs to become more international, but that's not going to happen, methinks... That and they are STILL trying to add more independent 'international' baseball tournaments.

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Besides, why should they bring the sport back? When South Korea won Olympic gold the Japanese team in particular kept complaining about how the Olympic medal has no meaning, and the REAL champion is the winner of the WBC. So, why have both?

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I think Australian Rules Football should be considered for the next Olympics. Also Formula One, Golf and Polo.

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Baseball should be brought back since there are a lot more competitive teams (U.S., Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Venezuela, Australia, Puerto Rico, Cuba) than a sport like women's ice hockey (U.S., Canada, and ummmm USA). In addition, the amount of players from foreign countries playing in MLB has steadily been increasing, with the bulk coming from latin american countries, but many others coming from countries such as Australia, Japan, Canada, Taiwan, etc. Besides, I would much rather see baseball in the Olympics, than something so boring like racewalking, or trampoline. Who needs to see someone walking, or simply bouncing up and down.

It is also incredibly slow and agonisingly dull,

Yes, it can be slow, but I wouldn't say it is dull, since there is strategy involved, and more often than not, you get close games rather than the blowouts you often see in sports like basketball. Again, it is a lot more exciting than racewalking, trampoline, equestrian, archery, pistol shooting, bobsled (which is just a bunch of people going really fast), weightlifting (people simply lifting heavy weights), and all those "see-how-far-you-can-throw-an-object" events (discus, hammer, shotput, javelin). Maybe turd-throwing might be more interesting.

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In addition, even though only about 20 nations regularly send baseball teams to world competitions, it doesn't mean there are not other countries that have either a minor league type of system, or play it as a form of recreation. In fact, there are over 100 countries that play baseball in some form or manner. Countries like Bulgaria, Israel, and Greece have their own little league or rec clubs with people of all ages playing and following it earnestly. For more info you can check out this website:

http://internationalbaseball.org/

From this website, you can follow the links in various countries about their following of the sport of baseball.

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Hotbox08: Haven't seen you in a while! The thing is, while certain countries dominate in women's ice hockey (I notice you didn't mention "men's ice hockey", but chose to single out a specific gender in one sport and compare it to both or just the opposite gender of another sport), it is still played in far more countries than baseball (men AND women's). You can talk about how one sided the Canadian women's/men's medals were all you like, it doesn't change the fact that most people around the world don't even know what baseball is.

Way back when, when I was in university, I worked as a part-timer for the ESL community, and even volunteered to coach a baseball team of foreigners in a league that was otherwise composed of faculties (ie. Biology, phys-ed, etc.). My doctors later said it was an angina attack, not an actual heart attack. Kidding... but what I am serious about is that while I was very impressed with the enthusiasm of the Europeans and South Americans that joined the team, I was very chagrined by the fact that they knew NOTHING about the sport. Why should they? (some SA countries aside). When the German guy hit the ball and stood smugly at the plate while I screamed at him to run, only to watch him run to third base first as he wanted a triple; to see the Polish girl in the outfield point and watch the ball bounce past her and clap; it was a great experience given that we shaped it into a decent team in the end, but the point is that all of these kids joined because they had no clue what baseball was.

Now, you could argue from that that it's a perfect tool for this kind of event, but we are talking the OLYMPICS, when you need to start from childhood. This is yet another attempt by the few countries who want medals to get others who cannot possibly win them to vote the event into play.

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If the best of the best won't participate cut it from the Olympics. Simple test of a sport's appeal, will the cream turn up. Personally Baseball is a big yawn fest full of pompous shouting semi-athletes who need to sit down after just a few minutes of standing up.

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Smithinjapan: Nice hearing from you.

I notice you didn't mention "men's ice hockey",

That's because I'm fully aware that men's hockey has a huge following and unlike women's ice hockey, is played around the world. Men's ice hockey deserves to be in the Olympics, and it wouldn't be fair for the women to simply ride the coattails of the men's side, since quite frankly, it doesn't belong.

On the other hand, baseball enjoys a following and is often played in over 100 countries around the world. To add, it's popularity is growing in many European countries like Bulgaria, Greece, Belgium, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovenia, etc., South American countries such as Argentinia and Chile, and even in countries such as Iran and Israel. They all have men's leagues playing as well as some form of little leagues for kids. Granted many of the programs are quite small, but their skill levels are growing, as is the interest in baseball itself. The international level is much like how it was in basketball about 10 years ago.

This is yet another attempt by the few countries who want medals to get others who cannot possibly win them to vote the event into play.

Well if you are talking about 20-30 countries a few, then you would be correct, since I can count that many that would be interested in seeing baseball as an Olympic sport (U.S., Canada, Japan, Chinese Taipei, China, South Korea, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba, Italy, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, Thailand, Philippines, just to name those that are ranked in the top 20 that regularly send teams to qualifying tournaments, as well as others who play it enough to send a team, such as Israel and Iran.). That would be more interest than a lot of sports which are in the Olympics already.

but we are talking the OLYMPICS, when you need to start from childhood.

I would have to disagree, since many people use the Olympics as simply a way to be on a big stage. Many countries send athletes that just don't belong in it in the first place. It simply makes for really touching stories. Do you really think an Ethiopian runner started cross-country skiing since childhood? I'm sure there would be a number of athletes that are left out of the Olympics that would be far more competitive than those types of athletes.

Way back when, when I was in university,

I can understand that it must have been a frustrating experience, but then again, that was "way back then". Nowadays, the world is catching up. More people in the world know about baseball. Heck, there was a time when I didn't know what cricket and rugby were, but now I do and have developed a greater appreciation for those sports.

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"Baseball needs to shed its image as a mainly American sport"

Gosh, I thought it was mainly a Japanese sport!

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Who are the bozos who decided to drop baseball and softball from the Olympics?

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Who are the bozos who decided to drop baseball and softball from the Olympics?

Sarge, I agree 100%. I'm not a big baseball/softball fan, however I remember that these were some of the most exciting sports to watch during olympics.

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Who are the bozos who decided to drop baseball and softball from the Olympics?

Most of the IOC countries, apparantly. Let's all admit it - baseball and softball are yawnfests.

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baseball and softball are yawnfests.

yeah, the cross country and judo events are REAL screamers are they not??

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baseball and softball are yawnfests.

I can name a whole lot of so-called "yawnfests" in the Olympics: racewalking, equestrian, pistol shooting, archery, shotput, weightlifting, diving, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, marathon running, and other long distance running events like the 10k run and steeplechase. Even long distance swimming events can be boring since all they do is go back and forth in a pool many times. I also don't like watching "sports" that I find much more exciting playing it myself (e.g. badminton and table tennis).

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