Archive for the 'Olympics' Category

Israel Olympic Team to Tune up with Games in the United States

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

Israel was the first team to qualify for the Olympics by winning the European qualification championships. It has been a long time since they have gotten together to play games. Soon those Zoom conference calls will turn into games, scheduled to be played against teams in the United States.

They will practice at the Palisades Credit Union Park, the home of the New York Boulders of the Frontier League. They will then play a couple of exhibition games against the Boulders. The first of those games will be played July 12.

The team also plans on playing exhibition games against teams in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland. Ian Kinsler is planning on playing for Team Israel. Kinsler also played for the Team USA team when they won the gold medal at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. With a win at the Olympics he will become the first player to win a World Series, a World Baseball Classic championship and an Olympics.

Olympic Qualifiers Set for Florida and Taiwan in June

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

The Olympics will have six countries playing baseball for the first time since the Beijing Olympics. Half of them will win medals. But qualifying for the Olympics is an arduous task. Three have qualified by winning or coming in second in qualifiers - Israel, Mexico and Korea. The other qualifying team is the host Japan, but they are ranked number one in the world in baseball.

Now the last two countries will compete for the two remaining spots in the Olympics. The first qualifier will be held in Florida sometime in early June, with dates and locations to be announced. Below are the pools:

Group A - United States, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua

Group B - Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia

The second and last qualifier will be held in Taichung, Taiwan on June 16-20. The pool for that qualifier will be announced when the Florida qualifier is completed. The countries that will compete are Taiwan, Australia, Netherlands, China and the second and third place finishers from the Florida qualifier.

Final Qualifiers for Olympics Scheduled for June

Saturday, December 19th, 2020

Before the corona virus postponed many athletic events, there were still two Olympic qualifiers that were not played in the United States and Taiwan to establish the final two teams to play in the event. It appears the first qualifier will be played in the United States in early June. The second qualifier will be played in Taichung City, Taiwan from June 16 to June 20.

The final qualifier will feature Taiwan, China, Australia, Netherlands and the second and third place team from the United States event. The United States qualifier had Puerto Rico, United States, Dominican Republic, Nicaraugua, Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia. It is still unclear of all those teams will choose to participate.

The teams that have qualified for the Olympics are Japan (host), Israel, Mexico and South Korea.

No Baseball in 2024 Olympics

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

The International Olympic Committee has officially announced that there will be no baseball at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. However, there will be break dancing, surfing and rock climbing.

What those three events have over baseball is that they are individual events and not team events. Team events require the accommodation of more than one person, which takes up hotel space and adds up costs. It is more than just the need to hand out 15 medals to just one. It is also providing rooms, meals and just space for those 15. So in the Olympics team sports get the short end of the stick.

Europe is also not a big supporter of baseball. But I suspect the attendance for break dancing, surfing and rock climbing will not be far better. It will be easier to accommodate.

With the 2028 Olympics expected to be in Los Angeles, expect the return of baseball then.

World Baseball Classics and Olympics Could Clash in 2021

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

With the corona virus playing havoc on the world stage the Olympics being held in Tokyo, Japan moved to 2021. While the World Baseball Classic (WBC) will be held in March 2021 and the Olympics in June of 2021 there are still some issues.

Many of the Asian countries postpone their season to compete in the Olympics, if their teams qualify. Japan, the host of the Olympics is one team that has qualified. Korea, Mexico and Israel are the three other qualifying countries. Two additional Olympic qualifiers need to be played to determine the other participants for a total of six countries competing. Dates for those events have not been set yet, with the last qualifier dependent on the date of the next to last qualifier.

The WBC was hoping to expand to four additional countries, increasing the number of countries competing to 20. Two qualifiers were supposed to be played in March to identify those additional four countries. They had to be postponed because of the corona virus and no new dates have been established.

Because Japan will be starting early to make up for the days in their season lost to the Olympics, their season will begin in March. Just like the major leagues, they have their best compete in the WBC. But unlike the major leagues, they also have their best compete in the Olympics. So they may either have to send college or industrial league players to compete in the WBC in March or NPB teams will have to sacrifice doing without during the NPB season those players selected to the WBC roster. Just like the major league owners, I doubt the NPB owners will allow their players to compete in the WBC during the season.

While the WBC is organized by the major leagues, they rely heavily on the advertising money Japan sponsors contribute to the event. If the Japan professionals are not playing in this event, the advertising money will not be as great. As we all know, money talks. And since Japan is hosting the Olympics, that will take priority over the WBC even though in the past Japan has hosted many of the events at the WBC. There has always been some rancor over their lack of influence in the WBC.

One challenge for Japan and their hosting WBC games is those games are played at NPB stadiums. If those stadiums are not available it will become difficult for them to host games. That would either involve major scheduling revisions, which they are already doing for the Olympics, or playing at stadiums that normally do not have NPB games.

Another issue facing the WBC is at what point do they identify the other four teams to compete. The 16 they have already identified were easy to select since they did not eliminate any country from the previous WBC. To identify the new participants they will have to conduct these tournaments in November if they want to have teams eligible for March, and the major leagues has never been fond of holding events in November, especially this year if the major and minor league season need to be extended.

The other complicating issue is again the corona virus. Teams have not been able to practice. There is still a lot of uncertainty about when this pandemic will end. Many are of the view that organized sports may not be able to begin until November. This will make it difficult for teams to prepare for a qualifier for the WBC if those time frames prove realistic.

It is also still not clear what kind of team Korea will bring if they move their season openers in 2021 to March to accommodate the Olympics. They are another country that plays on postponing their professional season for the Olympics. Since they are not hosting the Olympics they may still be willing to send their best to the WBC and either shorten their season or extend the season into November. With the corona virus issues they have already been talking of extending the 2020 season and having playoff games at neutral sites at baseball parks with domed stadiums. Doing it again in 2021 may not be attractive if they had issues in 2020.

Not that myworld has any influence, but it might be wise for the WBC to push their event back to 2022.

The World is Closed Because of Corona Virus

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

It appears every sport organization has cancelled their events for the spring. Makes me wonder if it is safe to go out. If one can’t be at a sporting event then a super market or restaurant is just as bad. So my world will have to wait until sanity prevails. We’ll hunker in our basement and live on bread and toilet paper.

The college baseball World Series has been cancelled since most colleges have cancelled all sporting events, including baseball. That will have a huge revenue impact on Nebraska. It also leaves scouts with a lot of down time since there will not be any high school or college ball games to watch for a long time, like next year. Wonder how that will impact the draft?

The NCAA has already put an end to March madness by cancelling their basketball tournament. What will the work force do without any basketball pools to join. Oh. There is no work force since everyone has been forced home to work at home or quarantine.

Myworld wonders how I’m going to eat if all the restaurants close or shut down because no one is leaving their house. Could have to stock up on beans and spam, or whatever is left at the grocery stores. I did go to the store to buy some Haagen-Das ice cream and noticed a lot of empty shelves, especially where the toilet paper should be.

The America’s Olympic qualifier was postponed. If they want to get six teams to Tokyo they can not postpone it for too long. The second and third place team still has to travel to Taiwan in June for the last qualifier. Perhaps they will just pull the last two teams from out of a hat.

The World Baseball Classic has also been postponed. Since the event was going to start tomorrow many teams had already flown from Europe and Asia to participate in the event. Tucson was expecting three weeks of activity, but the reality of the World Baseball Classic qualifiers and the Olympic qualifiers is that attendance is usually sparse. If held to a 250 crowd standard they could have gotten most of their games in, or played without fans in attendance.

So myworld will wait until the world opens again. We’ll find some things to write about, but with nothing going on it will seem pretty empty.

Final Olympic Qualifier Postponed Until June

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

The corona virus has forced the postponement of the final Olympic qualifier for baseball from April until June 17-21. The teams expected to play in that are Taiwan, Australia, China, the Netherlands the second and third place finisher from the Americas Baseball qualifier in Surprise and Tempe Arizona on March 22-26.

The winner of this final qualifier would be the sixth and last team to qualify for the Olympics in baseball. The four countries that have qualified include the host Japan, Israel, Korea and Mexico.

As far as their baseball season myworld has not heard about any postponements or special conditions concerning their exhibition seasons. Japan is playing their exhibition season in empty stadiums while Korea has cancelled it exhibition season.

2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

Major league baseball did announce that they would be holding the World Baseball Classic in 2021. That is one year after the Olympics, where two remaining teams are still undecided to be one of the six competitors for the Olympics. One of those Olympic qualifiers is to be scheduled in Arizona from March 22-26.

It could be a busy time for baseball in Arizona in March. With spring training and the Olympic qualifiers and now also the two World Baseball Classic qualifiers to be held in Arizona. Where will they find all the fields?

Baseball Reference.com shows that there will be two World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Arizona. The first will be held from March 12-17 and the second from March 18-26. Below are the teams that will be participating in those qualifiers.

March 12-17

Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Philippines and South Africa

March 18-26

Czech Republic, France, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Panama and Spain.

The top two teams from each of these pools will advance to the World Baseball Classic for 2021.

What got me interested in this was an article appearing in baseballasia.org that talked about the rise in baseball in the Philippines. The Philippine Amateur Baseball Association President talked about participating in the WBC qualifiers in March 18-25, which are different dates from what the Philippines appears to be scheduled in according to Baseball Reference.com. They also talk about adding Tim Tebow, who was born in the Philippines to their roster. Tim Tebow has recently been invited to the New York Mets spring training tryouts and they train in Florida.

So there is not a lot of publicity being issued on these qualifiers but they appear to be happening some time in March. That could be a good time to travel to Arizona to watch some International baseball. Poor Nicaragua appears to be scheduled to play in both the Olympic Qualifiers in Arizona and the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Arizona. Good way to save on travel costs, provided the tournaments are not scheduled during the same week.

WBSC America’s Qualifier Pool

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

The United States failed to qualify for the Olympics in the Premier 12. Their Southern neighbor Mexico qualified, as well as Korea. This leaves four of six countries qualified for the Olympics, Japan (host), Israel (European/Africa qualifier), Korea and Mexico (both from Premier 12). The Americas qualifier is the next to last opportunity countries have to qualify for the Olympics. The second and third place finishers become eligible for the final qualifier in Taiwan, to be held in April..

Below are the pools:

Pool A

United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Pool B

Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia

The United States has been fielding a team of minor league prospects. While these players have been competitive they have yet to qualify the United States team for the Olympics. The same prospect heave team is expected for the Americas qualifying round to be held from March 22-26.

The final qualifier will be held in Taiwan from April 1-5.

Baseball America’s Qualifier

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

The America’s is another opportunity for the United States to qualify for the Olympics in Japan in 2020. The next to last qualifier will be played in Arizona from March 22 -26. The last qualifier will be played in Taiwan. The second and third place teams from the America’s qualifying round will be eligible to participate in Taiwan. Below are the pools from that group.

Group A

United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Group B

Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia

The United States would be the favored team in this group.