Game On…with Rob Kriete! – JULY 28

I finally figured out what it’s all about. It begins with your left foot, and you have to put it in. But then you take that left foot out. Then you put the left foot back in; however, now you shake it all about. You do that hokey-pokey, and you turn yourself around. And that is what it’s all about!

This is exactly how the Olympics have treated baseball through the years. It has been played at Olympic games as early as 1904, according to what I can find. But from then until now, it has been included and not included in the global competitions. I understand why the Olympic committee would consist of one of the most unique games played, but I also know that in many parts of the world, it isn’t played at all. However, the “hokey-pokey” with baseball is difficult to understand, and I would wager there are more politics than logic applied there.

Alas, during the 2020 Olympics played in 2021, baseball is back. Team USA will be managed by long-time manager and former catcher Mike Scioscia and will consist of former MLB players and minor league players. Fourteen members of the Olympic Team have logged time in Major League Baseball, including two World Series champions in Edwin Jackson and David Robertson. Collectively, the squad holds seven All-Star Game appearances, led by Scott Kazmir and one of my favorites, hard-nose player Todd Frazier. Frazier also won the Home Run Derby in 2015. Of course, beyond the hitting, pitching, and fielding, the chemistry of a team is integral to their success. I like the mixture of MLB and minor league veterans to understand this as well, and expect this team to shine!

Team USA opens the Olympic Games baseball tournament on Friday, July 30, against Israel, joining the Dominican Republic, Japan, Korea, and Mexico in the six-team field. I love the Olympic games, and I love baseball. I will indeed be watching and rooting for Team USA!

USA!  USA!  USA!

Be safe, everyone!