Tampa Bay Sports Day

Women, Baseball, The IBAF, Politics, Committees & The Olympics

I’ve written in the past about Jen Liu, a femme fatale from Chicago who is also part of a professional women’s baseball league.  Read the background HERE so I don’t have to recap the whole thing.  Trust me.  She’s great and played in Hong Kong this past winter and is a very large (in stature, not physical size) proponent of women’s baseball.  She’s such a big proponent that she was part of a challenge on Facebook to get 10,000 people to sign up to include women’s baseball in the International Baseball Federation’s petition to have the International Olympic Committee reinstate baseball for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

What?

Let me ’splain, Lucy.  Right now, baseball – men’s & women’s – isn’t going to be part of the 2016 Summer Olympics.  It’s just not.  And folks like Jennifer Liu and members of the Internatiional Baseball Federation are trying to get that changed.  With that in mind, the IBAF (that’s the short way of writing International BAseball Federation, but not short enough or understandable enough since I had to not just write International BAseball Federation twice in these parenthesis but also a whole lotta extra words to make you understand what IBAF stands for and how much time we’ve all saved by using that fantastical acronym) hired a lady today, or recently they hired a lady and just announced it today, to help formulate the plan to include baseball, and women’s baseball, into the 2016 Summer Olympics.  The lady has a name, and it’s Donna Lopiano.  No, her ancestors did not invent pianos for the vertically impaired.  That’s just her name.  And, if she’s married and took her husband’s name, she really has nothing to do with the name besides including it on her driver’s license after standing in front of a room of well-dressed folks and declaring to one and all that she loves and will always love Mr. Lopiano, he of the vertically challenged keyboard instruments.

She also throws a mean splitter, so that’s another reason why she’s now in the IBAF.

Here’s what concerns me.  On April 6th, the IBAF announced the formation of “a committee to oversee the growth of the women’s discipline.”

What does that mean, to form a committee?  This is where American business, politics, and MLB team front offices go wrong at times.  Sometimes there’s just a right and a wrong.  If I’m in the IBAF, I either include women into our efforts or I don’t.  It’s pretty cut & dried.  Form a committee?  What will they do on this committee?  The hyphenated word “think-tank” comes to mind when I hear of a committee like this being formed.  But really, what’s there to think about?  Just do it.  Include the ladies and tell the International Olympic Committee that baseball is a multi-billion dollar business in the US of A alone.  Did these Olympic pansies see the World Baseball Classic, emphasis on “World”?  Do they see the fans who come out every year for the Caribbean World Series?  Have they heard Bobby Valentine’s Kermit the Frog imitation in Japan as he manages the Chiba Lotte Marines?  Asia.  North America.  Central America.  Israel.  Europe.  Baseball’s big, man.  Real big.  To pull it in the first place must have been some big political act of egotistic stupidity on some man’s part, or the man & his cronies who like soccer but call it “football.”  Or, this man and his cronies, all fat with power by being part of some big “International” organization, formed a committee to “study” whether or not to pull baseball.  The outcome was to drop America’s pastime, probably because they didn’t get something they really wanted.  Like season tiks to the new Yankee Stadium.

Here’s my proposal.  Let’s drop all of the studies and politics and committees.  Want to settle this once and for all?  We’ll have our committee challenge the Olympic committee to a game of baseball in my backyard.  The big oak tree can be home plate and we can find some sticks for bases.  From some kid in the Dominican, we’ll borrow a ball, which is really a rock, and use milk cartons for gloves.  The worst committee members can congregate in right field and pray the rock doesn’t get hit to them.  And on the mound for the IBAF, the one and only Jennifer Liu, our favorite women’s professional baseball player.  Donna Lopiano can close the game out as the IBAF trounces the International Olympic Committee, 24 to 0.  You see, the Olympic fat cats all played in right field.  The our IBAF?  We spread our hits all over.  That’s what we do.  That’s why we include the ladies.

The Olympic folks?  They never had a chance.

Final note: The miniature organ can be played by the Lopiano Family Band.  (I just had to get that one in.  Please forgive me.)

Now screw this committee crap.  Let’s just play some baseball!

Jimmy Scott is probably the greatest pitcher you’ve never heard of.  Visit Jimmy Scott’s High & Tight to read more from Jimmy.  You’ll also hear a new interview every Monday morning with former MLB players, agents, wives and others; giving new outlooks on this great game we call Baseball.  Go there now to hear Jimmy’s latest interviews with Nelson & Alisa Figueroa, Craig SwanDesi Relaford and MLB Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.  You can follow Jimmy on Twitter or Facebook.