Baseball: Baseball Suffers Olympic Strike 3

Article excerpt

Byline: By ALAN McKINLAY

CURRENT Major League players have never played in the Olympics, but that did not stop the big leagues from reacting with surprise and disappointment at seeing their sport dropped from the Games.

There will be no baseball or softball at the London Games in 2012, the first time a sport has been cut from the Games since polo in 1936.

"I think they've made a big, big mistake," said Tommy Lasorda, the former Los Angeles Dodgers boss who managed the USA to its only gold medal, at the Sydney Games in 2000.

"Baseball is played by all countries now, and softball, too. I think that's really going to hurt the Olympics. I don't want to knock the other sports, but I think this is a big mistake. I am very disappointed.

"I was fortunate enough to coach the US Olympic team in Australia. The parks were full at all times. How can they take away a sport like that?"

Last year, the US never got out of regional qualifying as Canada and Cuba represented North America in Athens.

Major League Baseball's response could not be better timed. …