The new baseball rules for the 2008 Beijing Olympics has team Japan manager Senichi Hoshino very upset. The new rules state that during the 11th inning, each team will begin with a runner on first and second base. This was done to prevent long drawn out games. The Olympic Committee issued this announcement on their site,
The upcoming Beijing Olympic competition may be our last unless we are successful in adding the sport back to the Olympic program for the 2016 Games. We must demonstrate to the international Olympic Committee not only does our sport belongs alongside the other great sports of the world, but our sport is manageable from a television and operational standpoint.
Japan’s complaint is a valid one to me. Baseball should be played by the traditional rules if you are competing for the best in the world. However, I do see the Olympic Committees point of view. Baseball games have the potential to last for hours, and while the fans may enjoy the drawn out game, the Olympics have to follow strict schedules.