WBSC, MLB Consider Condensed Olympic Schedule, Shortening Games
World Baseball Softball Confederation co-President Don Porter said that WBSC and MLBPA officials met two weeks ago to "discuss a condensed Olympic schedule that could allow major league players to participate in the Games," according to Kelly Whiteside of USA TODAY. Porter said, "We would limit the overall number of games, down to six days of competition, so there would be a minimal number of days away from their teams." Porter added that it is also "possible" MLB players "could be released just for the semifinals and final." Nationals manager Davey Johnson, who managed the U.S. Olympic baseball team in '08, said, "I think the World Baseball Classic in MLB's mind has replaced the Olympics because the Olympics come in the summer." Porter said that baseball was "considering going from nine to seven innings for Olympic competition to shorten game time." Whiteside notes the absence of MLB players in the Olympics was "a major factor in the IOC's decision to drop baseball" from the Games (USA TODAY, 5/16).