In Games, IOC boss wants majors' stars

South Korean players play short toss, heaving manager Kim Kyung Moon after winning the gold medal in dramatic fashion. South Korean players play short toss, heaving manager Kim Kyung Moon after winning the gold medal in dramatic fashion. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
By Janie McCauley
Associated Press / August 24, 2008
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BEIJING - Jacques Rogge would get a real kick out of seeing A-Rod in the Olympics. Probably Dice-K, too.

The International Olympic Committee president said yesterday baseball would do itself a big favor toward getting back on the Olympic program by bringing the best from the major leagues, such as the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez or star Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

"It would do good for baseball, like every sport, to have the stars," Rogge said while watching the United States beat Japan, 8-4, in the bronze medal game.

"We have LeBron James in basketball. We had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Magic Johnson on the Dream Team. That trend has continued in basketball, and we have all the stars of the NHL. So we would love to have as many stars of the major leagues as possible. I'd love to see Rodriguez."

Major League Baseball is committed to getting its sport back in the Olympics for 2016 and will work with the International Baseball Federation toward that goal.

Baseball is off the roster for the London Games and the earliest it could return would be in eight years for the following Olympics. Chicago is among the candidates bidding for those Games.

IBAF president Harvey Schiller hopes major leaguers would be involved in some capacity if baseball does return to the program, and Rogge agrees that's of utmost importance.

The baseball season overlaps with the Olympics, and Schiller points to the possibility of having the big league players participate for only the medal rounds. That way, they would not be away from their teams for an extended period or miss a pennant race. Yet officials realize that would best work if Chicago hosts the 2016 Games. The other candidates are Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.

South Korea captured gold and capped a 9-0 Olympic run with the country's biggest win in international baseball, a 3-2 victory over defending champ Cuba last night.

Lee Seung Yuop put his team ahead on a two-run homer in the first inning and Lee Yong Kyu added an RBI double in the seventh. Cuba (7-2) loaded the bases in the ninth before reliever Chong Tae Hyon got Yuliesky Gourriel to ground into a double play to end the game.

Earlier, Taylor Teagarden hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the fifth and Jason Donald followed with a two-run homer off the left-field foul pole, lifting the US (6-3) to a bronze medal.

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