Chances are high that the 2024 Los Angeles Olympics will be held as a “dream team.” The secretariat of the Major League Baseball is considering allowing major leaguers to participate.
Evan Drellich, a reporter for The Athletic in the U.S., said on the 8th, “Can MLB stars be included in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics?” and reported on the discussion of big leaguers participating in the Olympics.
Originally, MLB stars would not be allowed to participate in the Olympics. The secretariat of the MLB and its clubs do not allow players to participate in international competitions except for the World Baseball Classic, which is directly involved in the event’s management. They are sensitive to schedules outside the regular season as there is a risk of injury.마카오토토도메인
For this reason, it was hard to see MLB stars in the Olympics, Premier 12, and Asian Games. Except for some cases such as Choo Shin-soo (SSG Landers) who was allowed to participate in the Korean national baseball team due to his pending military service issue, the Korean national team also rarely participates in international competitions. In the case of the U.S., the nation that dominated baseball, promising players such as Joe Adele (LA Angels) and Shane Baz (Tampa Bay Rays) formed a team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
However, the upcoming LA Olympics in 2028 is different. The venue is mainland U.S. The competition will be held in the summer during the regular season, and it is an advantage that you do not have to worry about the distance you travel. As a secretariat and a club, they may want to keep their pride in that it is a tournament in their own country. This is why some predicted that big leaguers will be allowed to participate early.
The first round of the 2023 World Baseball Classic Group B match between Korea and China took place at Tokyo Dome on the afternoon of March 13, 2016. With the bases loaded with one out in the top of the fifth inning, Korea’s Kim Ha-sung is on the ground after hitting a grand slam. Yonhap News.
So far, the mood has been positive. “MLB owners are increasingly agreeing to allow Major Leaguers to participate in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics,” Drellich said. “The team also came up with a plan to allow participation in the championship without significantly interfering with the regular season schedule.” According to Drellich, the 2023 WBC had a significant positive effect at the MLB owners’ meeting in Orlando, the U.S., and discussions were held that the 2028 Olympics could be held in a minimal format, which will be completed within five to six days with the participation of six to eight countries.
“The owners and general managers were reluctant to send the big leaguers to the Olympics due to the risk of injury and the impact on the regular season schedule. However, if the baseball Olympics schedule does not exceed a week, the fear will be eased,” Drellich said. “The Olympics schedule is scheduled around the mid-July rest period of MLB All-Star. The All-Star Game may be canceled instead of the Olympics, and the games may attract more spectators. The All-Star Game could also be held in LA in conjunction with the Olympics.”
The union has also received a positive response. “The union is willing to accept any official proposal regarding the Olympics,” said Tony Clark, the union’s secretary general. The National Hockey League (NHL) recently agreed to participate in the 2026 Milan Winter Olympics, and it may also be helpful for the Olympic Committee and the federation to provide insurance to the players.
If big leaguers are allowed to participate in the Olympics, chances are high that they will contribute to the popularity of baseball that WBC hit. MLB enjoyed the promotional effect of last year’s WBC finals. Notably, Mike Trout (the Angels), the best star in the U.S., and Shohei Ohtani (the Los Angeles Dodgers), the best star in Japan who participated as captain of the Dream Team, had a showdown in the ninth inning with two outs and succeeded in star marketing.
The effect could be even greater at the Olympics, where fans of other sports around the world can watch. As the games are held in LA, we can also expect a rematch between Ohtani and Trout. The two players who played teammates with the Angels moved to the Dodgers this winter and will meet as enemies in the MLB. Ohtani is currently undergoing elbow rehabilitation, but chances are high that both pitchers and batters will work healthily in 2028, when the Olympics will take place. As both of them are affiliated with LA, chances are high that they will play in the game and have a rematch.
As the number of major leaguers increased, Korea, which had to focus on generational change, is also likely to see major leaguers at the Olympics. Kim Ha-sung (San Diego Padres) and Lee Jung-hoo (San Francisco Giants), who were the main players of the national team until the last WBC, will be able to wear the national flag once again.