Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh, ok Donna Lopiano

So it turns out I was not the only one who was a little concerned about Donna Lopiano's new position as head of the Women's Baseball Committee for the International Baseball Federation. She told me last night (well me and the rest of the audience at her talk) that Sue Enquist (former UCLA softball coach) and sports writer Christine Brennan had called her up, a little incredulous themselves. Their worries were slightly different: that Lopiano was going to be hurting softball's chances of getting back into the Olympics.
But she's pretty confident that that's not likely to happen. There's no way women's baseball can grow quickly enough to be viable for the 2016 Olympics.
Her acceptance of the position made sense, especially after I was reminded of her story of her Little League baseball experience: she was "drafted" first in tryouts as a pitcher and was told she could not play because Little League rules banned girls.
So her goal is to bring baseball to more girls. And it seems she has an awareness of the potential pawn-ness of her position.
She also believes that softball will make it back in. That its dismissal was a mistake born out of confusion.
Let's just hope that the growth of women's baseball which she is now promoting, doesn't create some more confusion among all those (mostly) old, white men on the IOC about the differences of softball and baseball

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