If you were lucky enough to catch a broadcast, or find an on-line source with video that actually works, you witnessed a near miracle today. Team Japan took Team USA to a scoreless tie through 8 innings. Team USA finally won in the 9th by a score of 4 - 1. They will gain advance to the Gold Medal Game.
Enjoy this. It will be the last time. After this year, baseball and softball will no longer be part of the Olympic Games. As to why, well, your guess is as good as mine.
Common consensus on the Internet seems to be that its because Team USA is simply too dominant. In short, they have won themselves literally out of existence. Personally, I believe that is a bunch of crud. Team USA Women's Basketball is well on their way to their 4th consecutive gold medal. The great 'Dream Team' has all appearances of a return to former glory, yet I haven't seen where basketball is being canceled. May-Trainor/Walsh haven't lost a volleyball match in how many games? (Something like 107, and counting) Yet I don't see that on the cutting board. And Team USA men's baseball hasn't been exactly dominant in the past Olympics, winning, what, 1 gold in the past 3 or 4? No, I just don't see one teams current dominance as reason to ax a sport.
That Team USA has been dominant is unquestionable. 4 golds in 4 tries. Not bad. Between Athens and Beijing they have allowed a grand total of 3 runs, one of those unearned. And they have scored around 100. That's dominance! Yet, in three games this Olympics, they showed signs of cracking. They only beat Australia by 3 (as of this writing, Australia is leading Canada 7 - 5 in their semifinal, so we may see Australia - US for the gold) Did I say see? As softball barely even rates a mention on ESPN, and NBC almost never talks about it, we will hear about the game only by going on-line. And Canada actually had a lead in a rained out/delayed game. Then today, Japan held them scoreless through 8 1/2 innings. Point is that nothing last forever.
No, in my own humble opinion, I think the fact that MLB refuses to let its players compete in the Olympics has more to do with this than meets the eye. I believe the IOC is looking for serious star power. And with MLB holding the players back, they are not getting it. So they get rid of the sport. Softball is a by product of that.
Today I got my first glimpse of the new Olympic sport, BMX. Watching those large men race an undersized bike, I just shook my head and said "You have got to be kidding!" Hey, I have no problem with BMX. It is a very physically demanding sport. But Olympics? Not if we have to give up baseball and softball! Want a real race? put motors on them, and have Olympic Moto-Cross. And Hey! What about a Grand Prix type auto race? Those, I could watch! But again, not at the expense of Baseball & Softball. What a huge letdown!!
What a disappointment!!