Monday, April 20, 2009

Well this makes me a little nervous

The International Baseball Federation is just relentless! Realizing it could not get back into the Olympics on its own merits (or rather because of its many demerits), it cozied up to International Softball in an attempt for a joint bid. It wanted to ride the more clean (i.e., not steroid injected) coattails of its "sister" sport. But softball said no thanks.
Baseball's plan b is to include a women's division. They plan to grow women's baseball. As I have said, "yes, let's grow women's baseball." But the timing, of course, is suspicious given that so much energy has been put into keeping women out of baseball. But now baseball needs women.
And it apparently needs Donna Lopiano to convince everyone of its commitment to women's baseball. Lopiano has been named chair of the International Baseball Federation's Women's Baseball Committee.
Well, they certainly cannot be accused of engaging in a half-hearted attempt. While I certainly do not doubt Dr. Lopiano's intelligence or desire for the project, I remain skeptical of baseball's intentions and worry they are using her as a pawn.
Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe if more women, and girls, get to play baseball I shouldn't care why IBAF is doing this. [I'll have to ask her about it on Wednesday night when I see her speak at Western New England College at 7pm (for those interested).]
In the end, I don't think it's going to matter. I doubt the IOC will view women's baseball as viable enough at this point (remember softball's viability on the international stage has been questioned) to convince them to welcome baseball back with open arms!

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