Ok, perhaps he’s not ruining the College World Series, but Michael Phelps’s rise to popularity is now affecting the series. While scanning through cstv’s pathetic excuse for a once vibrant college baseball page, I came across a month old article about a change to the 2010 CWS. The city of Omaha is trying to host both the CWS and the USA Swim Olympic Qualifying races that June. According to the article,
The CWS will start Friday, June 15, and end no later than Tuesday, June 26.
Omaha Sports Commission president Harold Cliff said the Trials probably would run June 27-July 4 if a deal is finished with USA Swimming.
Omaha officials are worried that the mass popularity seen in the 2008 games will lead to a mass migration to their fine city. Since when did swimming garner such large audiences? I understand this is a fairly big deal, but big enough to worry about one potential day of overlap? Big enough to broker a deal with the NCAA and ESPN to move the games up one day? This seems a bit crazy.
So what does two- time bronze medalist Michael Phelps have to do with this? His explosion in the main stream media had the city of Omaha expecting the massive crowds. Now with the recent dramatics surrounding Michael Phelps. Phelps has now indicated may not even be competing in the Trials, much less the Olympics ever again.
The moving up of the date may have some influence on the course of the CWS games, but likely will not. Teams who make it to the Series will still be able to rest their ace pitcher for four days (assuming they go on Friday in the Super Regionals) instead of their normal five. Relief pitchers will still get two days, which should be sufficent for most short relievers. With today’s style closers who go two to three innings in the postseason, there may be some affects. It may be worth noting when it comes June 15th, 2010. Somebody make sure to remind me.