Online MLB betting fans are currently enjoying the World Baseball Classic, and it’s undeniable that seeing the best players in the world compete on the biggest stage is extremely appealing to sportsbook players and regular fans alike. But the latest comments by the MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, indicate that seeing this type of global competition might become a seldom event.
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Like the World Cup, the World Baseball Classic is quadrennial; a word which here means “an event that recurs every four years”. Even though baseball betting sites would prefer to see said event more often, there’s no denying that the rarity of the occasion adds to the drama. However, soccer fans are treated to some enticing action when the Olympics roll around, so instead of seeing national teams compete every four years, soccer fans get to witness global competition every two years.
Granted, Olympic soccer teams are usually made up of sub-23 players, with only three slots available for players of any age. For the World Cup, FIFA will stop their domestic league play, but refrains from doing so for the Olympics. So, sportsbook players can understand why clubs would like to hang onto their best players instead of sending them off to compete. Manfred’s latest statements reveal that the MLB may soon be adopting a similar approach, if not barring their players from competing in the Olympics all together.
“The skepticism that you’ve heard from some relates to; no matter how you put the event together there would be a significant amount of major league players who would be away from their teams.” Manfred told Jason Coskrey, a reporter for the Japan Times (Manfred is currently in Japan for the World Baseball Classic).
“It would alter the competition in our everyday game. I do not believe our owners would support some sort of a break in our season. Continuity is really important in our competition.”
Manfred’s comments aren’t exactly a promise that players won’t be allowed to compete in the Olympics, but it certainly seems that way to sportsbook players. To be fair, since baseball won’t be featured at the Olympics until 2020, Manfred and MLB owners have plenty of time to figure out the situation.
Baseball and softball were dropped by the Olympics – much to the disdain of online MLB betting fans – after the 2008 games in order to make room for golf and ruby sevens. However, both were voted back into Olympic competition in 2014.
“I am more than prepared to hear what the event is going to look like,” Manfred continued. “Describe to our owners what our options are with respect to participation in that type of event, and we’ll make a decision from there.”
Overall, it sounds like the commissioner is open to having MLB players compete at the Olympics, but has his doubts about the owners. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for the league to adopt a similar approach to FIFA, allowing a handful of players to represent their country, just as long as the online MLB betting owners are willing.