Responses to readers
Thanks for all the comments and questions. A few quick responses:
Stephen — I will talk about November in the blog tonight, but there are logistical and broadcast issues that make it difficult. I think we can look at dates going forward, and will, but November will be hard. On the Olympics, we worked very hard to keep baseball in. Three weeks before Singapore, Paul Archey and I traveled to Lausanne with Aldo Notari, President of the IBAF, and with John Moores and Sandy Alderson of the Padres to meet with Dr. Rogge on this subject. After our presentation designed to meet their concerns, he told us we had no concerns about any vote to eliminate baseball. Three weeks later … out of the blue, the vote was taken. Since that time we have had numerous meetings with Peter Ueberroth, and left the World Series for a meeting in Geneva. We lobbied worldwide for the votes to reinstate, but I think the problem was the reconsideration came too close to the original vote. We’ll keep working to get baseball and softball reinstated. The idea that baseball is not more important globally than some of the sports currently in the Games is preposterous.
Dave — Thanks. I think we have a virtual sellout on Sunday and the crowd will be enthusiastic, I am sure. These two teams have a real rivalry, with Korea still being thought of as the "new kid on the block."
Dominicana — We tried to balance the pools and have geographic rivalries that made sense in Round 1 for fan interest and for travel considerations. There are newer teams in each pool — China over here, Italy in Orlando, South Africa in Phoenix, and the Netherlands in Puerto Rico. And my guess is if they all advance, the USA will not think playing Korea and Japan in Round 2 is an easy road to the finals.
Yeoj — Remember, this was a new event for the broadcasters, too. We are really pleased that all games are being televised on ESPN Deportes. Many of the later-round games will be on ESPN or ESPN2 or ESPN Classic. The schedule is posted on mlb.com and ESPN.com.
GopherHockey — You are entirely correct. Much of the money here is going to the federations for grass roots development and some of it will go to the IBAF for the non-participating countries. Until we get back in the Olympics, we will have to make sure that interested countries continue to get the resources to grow the game. Our funding of Jim Lefevbre a couple of years ago to work with China is a prime example.