Not his fault. Jacques Rogge was born in Belgium. And everyone knows: in Europe, baseball is a sport that doesn’t draws crowds. Unlike football (or “soccer” as they call it in the U.S.).
The International Olympic Committee president prefers other sports for the summer Olympics. In London, 2012, baseball has already been eliminated. Many hope that by 2016, this injustice is remedied.
But no. Although it is passion in the Americas, Japan and South Korea, Rogge hates baseball. In a terse statement, the Belgian has said that baseball is a long and tedious game. He has a point. In part because it can last up to four hours, it is not cost effective for television.
But he could have taken steps to expedite the games. Not everything can be about money. Because more than 500 million people on the planet love baseball. And I’m pretty sure, it is more popular than dressage or sailing.
For the 2016 Olympics, whose location was expected to be announced on Friday October 2nd in Copenhagen, the phlegmatic Rogge seeks to introduce three new sports to the Olympic program: golf, rugby or football, and bowling. At a stroke, the Belgian eliminated baseball, thanks to the small support given by the administrators of the Major Leagues in the United States.
The IOC president had already passed sentence: if the best baseball players didn’t attend the summer games, it would disappear. To the powerful men who lead the Big Leagues, this went in one ear and out the other. To the barons of the Big Show, the only thing they care about is their local seasons.
To hell with the Olympics! Whose calendar also coincides with the prime months of the baseball season. And they, of course, would not change or stop the tournament so that starts like Derek Jeter or Alex Rodríguez could take part in the Olympic Games. This disinterest handed the solution to the Belgian on a silver platter, the Belgian who neither understands nor likes baseball. And he took it out of the Olympic lineup.
Perhaps for the stuck-up suit-wearing Jacques Rogge, it is healthier to see a female boxing match than to watch some guys hammering away at a hard little ball with seams. He has his motives. But what is not in doubt is that this orthopedic surgeon hates sports with balls and strikes.