June 11th, 2017

#ThePlusInMetsPlus: Could the top MLB Players play in the Olympics in 2020?

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Baseball is coming back as an Olympic Sport for the 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan, the biggest city in the world.

Baseball is not a new olympic sport, however. The last appearance Baseball had in the Olympics was in 2008, in Beijing. Unfortunately, if things stand like they are today, the best players playing will be college prospects and other amateurs.

Rob Manfred issued this statement on the decision:

“Baseball and softball are global sports that belong in the Olympics,” said Manfred. “We are grateful to the IOC Executive Board, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation for their collective efforts, which will allow fans throughout the world to again enjoy baseball and softball on the Olympic stage.” – Rob Manfred

While this is good news, all of us would like to see the best players in the game play, just like basketball, hockey, soccer and tennis. While many say this will never happen, upon looking at the calendar, it can be done if MLB wants to manipulate their schedule.

By my estimation, 17 days would need to be set aside for the Olympics. The season would have to start on Friday, March 27th, and end on Wednesday, October 7th (nothing crazy, just a few more days than what you see on each end). This would give you 12 extra days. Next, the Thursday of the All-Star Game could be a gameday, which would be the 13th game. Finally, you could trim off four more off-days (or end the season on Sunday, October 9th)

This would only delay the World Series by three days (compared to last years end), and, instead of watching no names, you could watch the best players in the game.

Obviously, this is pure speculation, and there is no concrete evidence that this is a remote possibility. However, the collective bargaining agreement is up this year, and if there was a time to discuss it, now is the time.