Olympic Baseball finds the United States in a mammoth struggle to thwart the emerging dominance of Japan and Cuba for baseball supremacy around the globe.
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The XXIXth Olympiad of the Modern Era of the Olympic Baseball 2008 Games may let the curtain fall on the game of baseball.
The IOC meeting on 11th of July 2005 softball and baseball have been voted out of the 2012 London summer Olympics; the first sport to be voted out of the Olympics since 1936 in which Polo was eliminated.
The Buzz or talk of the town from henceforth until October 2009 meeting of the IOC will be centered on allowing Baseball back into the Olympic games.
Boy howdy! does the United States Major League Baseball Team Owners have its plate full on this one. Major League Baseball has its pitchfork loaded with items stuck on every prong of the fork.
(1) They own Major League Baseball of the United States,
(2) They instituted the formation of the World Baseball Classic and its renewal starting 2009,
(3) They have a time and distance as well as scheduling conflict USA baseball and the Olympics,
(4) They are faced with losing control of the Money stream,
(5) They are being held hostage by words being published from the lips of the President of the IOC.
The next twelve (12) months will be very interesting for the game of baseball. George would probably ask the question, “What is the Golden Rule?”
Although little was recorded, Olympic baseball first appeared in 1904 St. Louis. Eight years later in 1912 Stockholm, an United States team played against host Sweden, winning 13-3. In 1936 Berlin, two United States teams played each other. The 1952 Helsinki event was a modified form of the sport, Finnish baseball, played by two Finnish teams. Australia played a one-game exhibition against the United States in 1956 Melbourne and Japan did the same in 1964 Tokyo. With a crowd of nearly 114,000 spectators, this game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground held the record for the highest attended baseball game ever until a 2008 American exhibition game in Los Angeles.
After a twenty-year hiatus, Olympic baseball (labeled an exhibition sport/event by the IOC) returned but with tournament formatting (1984 Los Angeles). In 1988 Seoul, it was termed a demonstration sport. Japan defeated the United States in the inaugural tournament finale in 1984. However, in 1988, the United States won over Japan.
Baseball became an official sport at the 1992 Summer Olympics, with the familiar eight team tournament. Players were required to be amateurs. The tournament consisted of a round-robin, in which teams played each of the other teams, followed by semifinals and finals. The format of the competition has remained the same since then, with the only major change being that starting in 2000 players were not required to be amateurs.
Because the Olympics are played during the Major League Baseball season, the players on the Olympic baseball team are generally top minor-league prospects who have not made it stayed and played extensively in the major leagues yet during their playing careers.
Olympic Games Baseball Medalists:
- Year Games Gold Silver Bronze
- 1992 Barcelona Cuba Chinese Taipei Japan
- 1996 Atlanta Cuba Japan USA
- 2000 Sydney USA Cuba South Korea
- 2004 Athens Cuba Australia Japan
- 2008 Beijing South Korea Cuba USA
- Baseball competition has been discontinued for future Olympic Games with the conclusion of the 2008 games until further notice.
Cuba is the current reigning champion by winning the baseball crown at the 2004 Olympic games. Japan is the “odds-on-favorite” to take this 2008 coveted baseball championship during this XXIXth Olympiad of the Modern Era.
(Special Note: South Korea took the Gold from Cuba)
Cuba has nevertheless won three of the four Olympic Baseball gold medals since baseball became a medal sport in 1992 — settling for silver only in 2000, when it was upset by the United States.
Especially significant is that Americas game of baseball once proudly hailed as Americas Pastime has relegated the United States as a contender during the Olympic Baseball 2008 games as opposed to being the dominant team to beat.
The Olympic baseball 2008 Competition Schedule preview shows scheduling for the baseball games from Wednesday August 13, through Saturday August 23, 2008.
Scheduled coverage for the games must take into account time zone differences. Beijing is 13 hours ahead of Central time in the United States.
A very unique/strange and controversial rule has been inserted in the rules for the Olympic Baseball 2008 baseball games.
The new baseball rules for the 2008 Beijing Olympics has team Japan manager Senichi Hoshino very upset. The new rules state that during the 11th inning, each team will begin with a runner on first and second base. This was done to prevent long drawn out games.
Olympic Baseball 2008 USA team events schedule: Date and opponent is shown below.
- Aug. 13 Korea Wukesong Baseball Stadium Beijing, China 6:00 a.m. USA lost 8-7
- Aug. 13 Netherlands Wukesong Baseball Stadium Beijing, China 10:30 p.m. USA Won 7-0
- Aug. 14 Cuba Wukesong Baseball Stadium Beijing, China 11:30 p.m. USA lost 5-4 The game used the new Olympic game rule whereby two runners are put on base to help scoring to shorten long playing tied games. American player Jayson Nix of Dallas, Texas was seriously injured while attempting a bunt when he fouled the ball off and it hit him in the face about the eye.
- Aug. 15 Canada Wukesong Baseball Stadium Beijing, China 10:30 p.m. USA Won 5-4
- Aug. 18 China Wukesong Baseball Stadium Beijing, China 7:00 a.m. USA Won 9-1 Game turned a litle rough with hit batters and collisions at home plate. Umpire called managers to the plate for conference trying to quell the rough and nasty contest.
- Aug. 19 Chinese Taipei Wukesong Baseball Stadium Beijing, China 7:00 a.m. USA Won 4-2
- Aug. 20 Japan Wukesong Baseball Stadium Beijing, China 7:00 a.m. USA Won 4-2
- Aug. 22 Olympic Semifinals Wukesong Baseball Stadium Beijing, China USA Lost To Cuba 10-2
- Aug. 23 Olympic Medal Round Wukesong Baseball Stadium Beijing, China USA Won 8-4 beating Japan and finished third in the 2008 Oympic Games and brings home the Bronze medal. South Korea Won 3-2 beating Cuba for the Gold medal in baseball for the XXIXth Olympiad of the modern era. The Olympic Baseball Games of 2008 sees the elimination of Baseball from the Olympic Games. however, the consensus of public opinion is that Baseball competition will be reinstated sometime in the future for inclusion back into the Olympic Games. South Korea Won the Gold 3-2 over Cuba—thus dethroning Cuba as the reigning previous Gold Medalist Team. South Korea is now the Olympic 2008 Gold Medal Winner.
The USA Baseball Team roster for Olympic Baseball 2008:
Pitchers: Brett Anderson, Jake Arrieta, Trevor Cahill, Geno Espineli, Kevin Jepsen, Brandon Knight, Mike Koplove, Blaine Neal, Clayton Richard, Jeff Stevens, Stephen Strasburg, Casey Weathers
Infielders: Brian Barden, Matthew Brown, Jason Donald, Mike Hessman, Terry Tiffee
Outfielders: Dexter Fowler, John Gall, Matt LaPorta, Colby Rasmus
Catchers: Lou Marson, Taylor Teagarden
2008 Olympic Baseball 2008 Team Coaches:
Name Pos Birthplace
- Johnson, Davey Manager Orlando, FL
- Smith, Reggie Batting Coach Shreveport, LA
- Lachemann, Marcel Pitching Coach Los Angeles, CA
- Eckstein, Rick Third Base Coach Sanford, FL
- de Armas, Rolando Coach New York, NY
- Cooke, Dick Coach Davidson, NC
Batter Up—-Let’s Play Ball….