Monday, August 8, 2016

Baseball to Return to Olympics in 2020 - What Should MLB do?

Check out my last entry on the Phillies rebuild. Unfortunately, they're back to being more out of contention than in and this inconsistency led to no major moves at MLB's trade deadline. Now to the Olympics...

It was recently announced that baseball and softball have returned to the Olympics from 2020 on. - my favorite Phillies blog - has posted a Writers' Roundtable Discussion on it here. I offered my comments, which are a mix of some of theirs. I expand on those here:

Americans - myself included - hardly watch the All-Star Game (ASG) and barely tune into the World Baseball Classic (WBC). I do not mind following a World Championships-Olympics-NHL model:
  • Quadrennial Olympic Games in 2020, 2024, 2028, etc. - in lieu of ASG like the NHL
  • ASG follows in 2021, 2025, 2029, etc.
  • Quadrennial WBC in 2022, 2026, 2030, etc. - similar schedule to World Championships
  • ASG follows in 2023, 2027, 2031, etc.
I know the WBC could continue to take place in the Spring but due to the ASG's unpopularity, having the WBC in July in lieu of the ASG at various location throughout the mid-Northern hemisphere is preferred. I know it is a bad argument given the WBC's unpopularity with Americans... however, this diversity might give me, along with many other Americans, the motivation to tune into all 3 events.

One thing is for sure... the decision-making process by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred (scheduling these events) will be intriguing to follow.

Speaking of Manfred, I also like the changes he suggests in which the strike zone is decreased by ~2" at the bottom. Those balls are harder to hit and the result of that change will be two-fold: more balls in play along with possibly quicker walks. I also like the quicker IBB suggestion, too. This, to me, certainly seems to be a creative way to speed up games. There's obviously more work needed on pace of play, along with the anti-collisions rules and, in a much smaller part, replay. So far so good!

Back to the Olympics, what are your thoughts on this? Feel free to leave a comment on this post. See ya!