ROME (AP) ― Baseball and softball’s joint bid for Olympic reinstatement is still lacking a guarantee that major league stars would be available to play ahead of a key presentation to the IOC next month.
International Baseball Federation President Riccardo Fraccari is holding out hope that Major League Baseball will commit its players for at least the semifinals and finals of the proposed Olympic tournament, but he told the Associated Press on Wednesday that “we have to be realistic.”
Baseball and softball have been out of the Olympics since 2008 and merged in a bid to return for the 2020 Games.
They are competing against seven other sports for a single spot on the program.
On May 29 in St. Petersburg, Russia, the International Olympic Committee board will select one or more sports to submit for final consideration to the IOC general assembly in September.
“We need the utmost support from MLB to get past May,” Fraccari said. “We’re still negotiating.
“If we make it past this step there are a lot more cards to play. There are a lot of IOC members from Latin America who support baseball. The executive committee is one thing, the congress is another.”