Just a few days after former IBAF President Dr. Harvey Schiller talked with Media Daily News, Laura Walden and Keir Radnedge of Sports Features Communications also did a Q&A with him. Besides Olympics television rights and the USOC, Baseball’s future is the main subject.
Will baseball want to try to regain Olympic status after the snub in Copenhagen?
That is for the new administration to decide. My feeling is it is not worth the effort and the cost. The cost should go into developing the game at the grassroots level. If the Olympics wanted baseball – baseball would still be in the Games.
The loss of Olympic funding will have an effect on baseball worldwide. In many ways MLB steps in and does far more good development work than it is given credit for. What do you think will happen to those countries that will be the hardest hit by the lack of Olympic support?
I think it will have some effect but not the huge effect that it will have on other sports. MLB and some of the other professional leagues don’t get the credit for all they have done in the past to fund the growth of baseball around the world on the development side.
The federations benefited more from those monies than from the spend of the local governments, so the focus should be on working to develop cost-efficient programmes in key areas, working with the professional leagues, and to go from there.
Baseball is a multi-billion dollar industry and is a game for all that will continue to grow, and I believe that a good part of that growth will come from emerging countries who now have an interest in the game where they did not before.