The 2020 Olympics will be bringing baseball and softball back as voted by the Olympic Committee executive board last summer. According to Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports, there have been recent talks about more than just amateur players being able to participate.
That’s right, major leaguers may be able to play on the Olympic team in Tokyo.
Riccardo Fraccari, president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation recently said he is confident that he can strike a deal with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball which “will allow big leaguers to play in the Tokyo games.”
“I am confident that we can find a positive solution with the MLB,” he said. “But I need to have more details.”
“We have to finalize the format first,” he said, noting that the MLB was awaiting information about the format and scheduling for the next phase of discussions.
Last month, Manfred seemed “pessimistic” about being able to release the big leaguers for the 2020 Olympics. But that mentality, according to Fraccari, changed once he spoke to MLB.
This will be an interesting discussion to have, especially if Manfred wants to listen to the public. There were already many comments made surrounding the World Baseball Classic in regards to injuries and the timing about how it was executed. We can only imagine what fans would think this of this scenario.
Still, who doesn’t want to watch our favorite baseball players representing their home country? There were around 1 million fans that came out to support the WBC, and we can’t deny the energy and excitement that it brought to a sport that desperately needs it.