Two years ago the USA baseball team finally won their first World Baseball Classic. Ever since then things have looked more bright for the national team.
With baseball being brought back to the Olympics in 2020, the USA Baseball team looks to be one of the favorites to take gold. Following the year after that, the National team will play in the 2021 World Baseball Classic as defending champions. Of course, the Olympics and the WBC are two totally different tournaments.
In the Olympics, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has already said that MLB players will most likely not play in the summer games. Mike Axisa from CBS Sports put out an article about this situation. This is what the commissioner had to say on this topic.
“There have not been any substantive discussions with the baseball and softball confederation about participation of major league players in the 2020 Olympics,” Manfred said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Tuesday. “I’m sure that those conversations will take place. We have not even been informed about what exactly the format of the event is going to be, how many days would be involved and whatnot.
“Even in the absence of that information, the skepticism that you’ve heard from some relates to, no matter how you put the event together there would be a significant amount of major league players who would be away from their teams. It would alter the competition in our everyday game. I do not believe our owners would support some sort of a break in our season. Continuity is really important to our competition.”
So it looks like come 2020 Major League Baseball will be sending its top minor league players to Tokyo for the summer Olympics.
The WBC is a different story for the USA. The world cup of baseball thankfully takes place during most of spring training and will have plenty of major leaguers playing in the tournament.
Both USAB teams are currently favored to win their respected tournaments. How amazing would it be if the National team was to win gold then the WBC? That would make it three straight championships for the USA. For those that don’t know, the national team won gold at the 2000 Olympics and has won bronze twice.
The players who are projected to highlight the 2020 Olympics are Hunter Greene, Royce Lewis, Jarred Kelenic, and Kyle Tucker. In the WBC we could see guys like Mitch Haniger, Nolan Arenado, and Chris Archer. Things for the National team seem so bright at the moment. It’s been a long time since the USA saw so many highlight players and prospects that will help their team and country fly to new heights.