Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Basballs last chance

Apparently, baseball and softball have one more chance to get reinstated as Olympic sports. Not sure I really care all that much. Simply, because after watching womens hockey this weekend, it became obvious to me that it's not that interesting to watch one team (read: Canada) destroy everyone. Although, baseball has become increasingly more competitive over the years softball is pretty much a joke.

While I am at it, I have a couple other thoughts on the winter Olympics. In particular I find watching the halfpipe snowboard competition obtuse. Here are the official rules. Not that they help explain anything. Basicially, it's simple. Get as much air as you can, turn a lot in the air, grab your board, and don't fall. I am not trying to take anything away from these athletes. Last weekend I went skiing and tried one of these jumps and could barely get off the ground. It is impressive that they can get so much height. The problem I have is that it's too difficult for the average person to understand what makes a good performance. Same could be said for luge. Other than the insanity of flying down an ice tunnel at 80 miles an hour, I don't have a good understanding of how difficult it is.

(Finally, I made a post like Earl with tons of links)


  1. 1. I really hope softball gets added back.

    2. 16-0 is not a hockey score in my reality. There's only 273 women who play college-level-ish hockey in Italy. Why couldn't Italy do what they do for baseball and grab Americans and Canadians with Italian grandparents? According to Italian law, they have Italian citizenship if they request it, and the IOC accepts that.

  2. I can nderstand ,somehow, reasons why baseball was eliminated from the competition, but women's softball? How anti-American biased can it get? People with the power, get your heads out of your butts and smell the roses. Take a shower first, though.

  3. Interesting logic. 21-0 isn't a sotball score in my reality.

  4. Well the womens softball is dominated by the US (for now), but the baseball has been interesting even if it is not the best in the world that have participated.

    Peter - to suggest that the elimination of these sports is a result of anti-US bias. In fact they are saying softball has a better chance of being reinstated than baseball. Besides the US is the IOC's bread and butter, why would they want to piss them off.

    One need look no further than the current olympiad and see such events as half pipe and aerial skiing. Basically US invented sports and then NBC goes on and on about how 2002 was our best team ever because we won 30+ medals. Well, duh. Add 20 more sports and we may win 50 medals.

    Although my favorite part was watching Bryant Gumbel on Real Sports preach how he won't watch the winter OLY and neither should we, because "you won't find a person of color anywhere near them."

    Nice. Imagine if, say, Bob Costas, said he wouldn't watch the smmer olympics because there are no caucasian sprinters.

  5. Man, I had no idea that this topic could spark such a variety of responses. I am just glad I figured out a way to write about the olympics on a baseball blog!

    X, you raise an interesting point about the winter Olympics and the "limited" audience. I've noticed an almost complete uninterest from my roommate (who is from Gabon). That is when I realized that most of these sports are limited to a very specific geographic region.

    Here are some interesting facts:

    There are 9 southern hemisphere countries represented (out of a total of 85; two of which are Australia and New Zealand).

    There are a total of 69 athletes from these countries (versus a total of 8,600 or 0.8%). If you remove Australia and New Zealand it's 33 athletes or 0.3%.

    Anyway, I don't really have a point. Just interesting to run the numbers. It would probably be more interesting to do this analysis based on countries that actually have mountains with snow at some point during the year, but that's too hard.

    My final question is, how did this guy learn how to sled? And more importantly, does he juice?