Baseball and Softball will probably be at the 2020 Olympics

Guess what, folks? If a proposal passes next month, baseball and softball will be back in the Olympics, at least occasionally. The proposal, called Agenda 2020, is meant to try and solve some of the big problems facing the IOC, such as the fact that the increasing cost of hosting has made many global cities scared of hosting. For example, the 2022 Winter Games have had all but two candidates more-or-less drop out of the running because of local backlash. And the two candidates that are left are Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, who don’t have to care about public opinion and which are hardly the dropped-out winter wonderlands of Oslo or Stockholm that basically everybody outside of Kazakh and Chinese politicians would prefer.

The agenda includes, for example, allowing joint bids or at least allowing for certain events to be held elsewhere, perhaps even in other countries. But the big thing for baseball and softball in this is this part of the proposal, according to Reuters:

Sports will also not wait seven years from approval to their Olympic first appearance, and instead could be brought in for just one Olympics to maximize the Games’ reach and attraction.

 

In essence, it would allow sports to be added to the Olympics on a temporary basis if it would allow the Olympics to be more desirable in the host country. Now, presumably the sports added on temporary basis still would have to be pretty popular internationally (don’t go expecting to see NFL players marching in the opening ceremonies the next time the Olympics come to the USA, for example), but baseball and softball definitely fit the bill, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee has been heavily calling for them in 2020. So… expect baseball in the 2020 Olympics, and probably anytime in the future where the Olympics are in America, Japan, Korea, etc.

 

 

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Stuff I found in Storage: Sammy Sosa’s Softball Slam

This is something that could just as easily be a Bizarre Baseball Culture. It’s the Sammy Sosa-starring slow-pitch softball, uhm… “classic”:¬† Sammy Sosa Softball Slam.

SammySosaSlamSammySosaSlam2I would have reinstalled this game to do a review, but I decided not to… because I can remember how much it sucked. I have played many horrible games in my day: I flew through freaking hoops in Superman 64 (how can you make a Superman game where the main activity is FLYING THROUGH FREAKING HOOPS!?!?!), I played a horrible Pokemon knock-off masquerading as an adaptation of Animorphs, I think I even played¬†ET The Extraterrestrial for the Atari 2600 once in a museum somewhere.

Sammy Sosa Softball Slam is in that category of horrible. It was, for one thing, hilariously bad an idea. Let’s make a softball game… BUT WITH SAMMY SOSA! Even admitting this was the year 2000, I have to think some type of hallucinogens were involved for such a bizarre idea to happen.

The game itself wasn’t that much better. It was easy no matter what mode you were doing, the players involved (with the exception of Sammy himself) were ridiculously nondescript (compare this to the colorful cast of the great Backyard Baseball series), the graphics were bad even for their day, the announcer was annoying (he’d call Sammy “the man, the myth, the legend” basically every other time he came to the plate) and, oh, right, it was still a softball game starring Sammy Sosa. By the way, I remember that Sammy’s statistics were maxed out in the game, and that there was also a button on the player editing screen that would allow you to transform any player into Sammy Sosa- even if the player was a woman! Yes, with just the tap of a button, you could change anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender, into Sammy Sosa circa-2000… to play slow-pitch softball.

Think about the horrible implications of that.

Yeah, scary.

Oh, and this was the “thrilling” opening to the game. Although this is from the Playstation version and not the PC version, I seem to recall it being very similar:

(Shivers)

Baseball’s children

In a bid to combine their powers and increase the chances of returning to the Olympics, baseball and softball’s international federations (the equivalent to soccer’s FIFA or basketball’s FIBA) recently decided to merge. How well this will or won’t work, as well as what effect this might have on things like women’s baseball or men’s softball, remains to be seen. However, it does give a good excuse to look at some of the “children” born from baseball. See after the jump.

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