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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Don’t expect to see players like Mike Trout or Bryce Harper play for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics

Team USA will have access to some significant talent for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but don’t expect to see major-league superstars like Mike Trout or Bryce Harper don the red, white and blue. Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and World Baseball Softball Confederation reached an agreement Friday determining which players will be eligible to represent Team USA in the Olympic games, according to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com.

The agreement allows players on 40-man rosters who are not in the majors to play for Team USA. That’s a confusing way of saying any current major-league player — or any player you expect to make the majors out of spring training — will not be eligible to play in the 2020 Olympics. That means no Harper, no Trout and no Gerrit Cole.

It does, however, open the door to some of the game’s future stars. Top prospects who don’t make the majors out of spring training would technically be available to play for Team USA. That means players like Jo Adell, Casey Mize, Adley Rutschman and Andrew Vaughn could be asked to play for Team USA.

Before you start dreaming about a team of super prospects, there’s another significant catch here. Those top prospects can only play for Team USA if their major-league teams allow them to participate in the Olympics. In order for Adell to roam the outfield for Team USA, the Los Angeles Angels would have to approve it. Considering how much teams like to protect their prospects, that might be a tough ask. The Angels would not be happy if Adell suffered a serious injury playing in the Olympics.

The sort of thing that makes one understand why the IOC is reluctant to have baseball in the Olympics.

 

QLE Posted: February 29, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlb, olympic baseball

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: February 29, 2020 at 05:57 PM (#5927295)
Or the sort of thing that realizees sports that generate multiple billions in revenue are very reluctant to disrupt their seasons to accommodate the Olympics. The NHL does but hockey has a long Olympic tradition and hockey players still seem to have a stronger sense of representing their countries. The NBA does send a dream team but they wouldn't if basketball was in the winter Olympics (which since it's played indoors it could be). Women's soccer does but then the Olympics generates more media/TV coverage than the regular season anyway (and I think a good chunk of the player's pay from USSF is tied to Olympic matches).

For those that don't know, men's soccer sends the national U-23 teams to the Olympics and I doubt any major stars under that age go. (If I understand Wiki right, Euro countries send their U-21 teams.)

In theory, when the summer games are in the S hemisphere, they could be held during baseball's offseason but the Rio games were in Aug and the Sydney games in the 2nd half of Sept (great timing for baseball). The 56 Melbourne games were in Dec (except the equestrian events which were held in Stockholm in June. Per Wiki, apparently the horses would not be let in under Oz quarantine rules (and apparently not willing to waive them?).
   2. Walt Davis Posted: February 29, 2020 at 06:00 PM (#5927297)
Also, I'm not sure Harper would be in the starting lineup anyway. Is Harper still considered a better-known player than Mookie so worthy of headline inclusion? If so, that says something about the terrible PR job MLB does in promoting its stars.
   3. Pirate Joe Posted: February 29, 2020 at 09:17 PM (#5927327)
The NHL does but hockey has a long Olympic tradition and hockey players still seem to have a stronger sense of representing their countries.



The NHL did not participate in 2018 and it looks almost certain at this point that they won't in 2022 either.

   4. puck Posted: February 29, 2020 at 11:54 PM (#5927338)
For those that don't know, men's soccer sends the national U-23 teams to the Olympics and I doubt any major stars under that age go. (If I understand Wiki right, Euro countries send their U-21 teams.)


The Olympics is during most league's offseason but it does risk injury and probably interferes with the preseason (you have to let the Olympians get some rest). I think the reason for the U-23 rule is FIFA. The IOC has no authority over the clubs to release players. FIFA does, but doesn't want the competition from the Olympics.

The rosters are U-23's with 3 over-age exceptions. All the roster choices including the 3 exceptions tend to be limited by clubs releasing players. Brazil was hosting and under a lot of pressure to win so Neymar ended up an Olympian. Apparently Douglas Costa was supposed to go but wasn't released by his club.

In case you were wondering, US men haven't qualified the last two Olympics and 3 out of the last 4, and last made it out the group stage in 2000.
   5. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 01, 2020 at 11:36 AM (#5927365)
The Angels would not be happy if Adell suffered a serious injury playing in the Olympics.


This is just ridiculous. Are players at more injury risk playing in the olympics than in AAA? It's not like he is going to be sitting on his couch wrapped in bubble wrap during the Olympics. He's going to be, wait for it, playing competitive baseball.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: March 01, 2020 at 11:58 AM (#5927367)
More coronavirus risk, perhaps.
   7. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: March 01, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5927377)
Ryan Giggs played for the cobbled together Great Britain team at the 2012 London Olympics. He was towards the end of his career and no longer one of the best players in the Premier League, but he was a really big star still. Maybe something like the US sending Albert Pujols to the Olympics this year would be.

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