With the 2008 Smog Olympics having started last night, we are faced with the last year in which baseball is guaranteed to be a part of this worldwide competition.
While popular in the U.S. and perhaps even more so in Japan and the Caribbean, Olympic baseball has never been a high publicity spectacle on the level of gymnastics, swimming, or even boxing. This is mostly due to the almost complete absence of baseball in Europe and Africa. They prefer much more interesting and challenging sports over there, like badminton and synchronized swimming.
Slapping around a birdie and waterproof makeup. Truly gripping stuff.
Anyway, in an effort to do our small part here at GDL, we'll provide updates on the progress of Team USA and, to a lesser extent, other teams around the world. Not only is Olympic baseball an opportunity to get an idea of the universal talent pool, it affords us a first look at players who could be Major League stars in the next few years.
The following is Team USA's schedule. We'll break it down sometime next week. The full baseball schedule can be found here. All times are EDT and games will be shown online at nbcolympics.com.
USA v. South Korea 6 AM
USA v. Netherlands 10:30 PM
USA v. Cuba 11:30 PM
USA v. Canada 10:30 PM
USA v. China 7 AM
USA v. Chinese Taipei 7 AM
USA v. Japan 7 AM