Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bud is 'hooching the pooch'

Softball has given baseball the figurative kick in the balls. The International Federation of Softball has told baseball they will not be joining them in a combined bid to get back into the Olympics. They will be going their own way. Here is the letter from Dr. Schiller to the IBF:

February 27, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

As most of you know, I met with Don Porter, president of the International Softball Federation on Thursday night in Orlando, Florida to lay out a plan whereby softball and baseball could combine efforts for the Olympics only and present a joint bid to the IOC for inclusion in the 2016 games. We met for over two hours, and I addressed the concerns on their side and made it clear that the IBAF was not interested in combining Federations with softball on a global scale.

The idea was to work together for just the Olympic bid. We left with the thought to continue to talk and see if there was a way to work things out to show solidarity and come up with a solution that benefits all involved.

Early this morning, Friday, I received an email from Mr. Porter thanking me for the meeting and saying that he has spoken to his board members and that softball does not wish to work with baseball on the joint bid.

Although I am surprised by the quickness of the response and am disappointed in the answer, I feel it does not deter us in our efforts to continue to move forward to get baseball back in the Olympics for 2016. The support we have continues to grow on all levels, and with this now behind us, we can focus on a baseball-only bid.

Thank you for your time on this issue and let me know any additional thoughts you may have on how we can continue to improve our standing in getting baseball back in the Olympics and growing the sport globally.


Dr. Harvey W. SchillerPresident,

International Baseball Federation

This is not Dr. Schiller's fault. He, and the IBF, are doing everything they can to get baseball back into the Olympics. They are running the Baseball World Cup, and have been entirely supportive of the WBC. The IBF is doing a great job of promoting baseball at the international level.

This is Bud's fault. He is doing everything he can to keep baseball off the international stage. He refuses to even consider the idea of baseball in the Olympics, won't do anything to make the WBC a success, and isn't bothered that it will overshadow the World Cup, which is being relegated to secondary status in order to help promote the WBC.

So, in order to distance themselves from Bud and his lack of effort, softball will go their own way, instead of trying to present a unified front. And I respect them for that. Baseball and softball are two different games, and should be treated as such. Softball should have a chance to be back in the Olympics, regardless of whether or not Bud wants baseball in. It shouldn't be a package deal, and softball is doing the right thing.

If Bud won't take the international game seriously, why should softball be dragged down also. I know he has a responsibility to the 30 owners to keep their product viable, but I challenge Bud to show me how growing the game on an international level will hurt Major League baseball in any way.

Softball will be fine, and the game will continue to get bigger on the international level. Meanwhile, Bud is refusing to expand the game beyond Japan and Mexico. Is it because he thinks it will cost them money? I don't get that at all. Of course, Bud doesn't even expect his teams to build their own stadiums. Which is funny, because all over the world, local and national governments are spending tax dollars to build stadiums and fund teams. Maybe someone should tell Bud.

Because in my humble opinion, Bud is just hooching the pooch.

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