Olympic baseball, aka the China Summer League

Some people get all worked up about the Olympics; I can't say I'm one of them, at least not since I was a kid.  I couldn't tell you the first thing about the history of Olympic baseball, although I do know that after this month, Olympic baseball is history.  So my main interest in these games is as a showcase for a few Indians prospects who are participating.

Team USA features Akron OF/1B Matt LaPorta, 23, centerpiece of last month's Sabathia trade and arguably the Indians' top propsect, period.  Team USA also includes Buffalo reliever Jeff Stevens, not quite 25, notorious fruit of the Brandon Phillips trade (not that there's anything wrong with being notorious fruit).  Stevens electrified Indians prospect watchers by striking out 102 in 83 innings last season, earning a spot on the 40-man roster, and he continued at that pace in Akron this season before slowing down somewhat upon his promotion to Buffalo.

Team Canada features Kinston OF Nick Weglarz, 20, an excellent slugger prospect having a fine season against older competition in the Carolina League, probably one of our best five prospects at this point.  Joining Weglarz is Akron reliever T.J. Burton, 25, more of an organizational solider than a serious prospect at this point.

Like the other Olympic sports, baseball will be broadcast sporadically across NBC's confusing network of networks, and many other events are being streamed online at nbcolympics.com in surprisingly high quality.  Here's the schedule of games being broadcast or streamed, featuring Team USA and/or Team Canada:

Date Time (EST)
Matchup Where
Tues Aug 12 11:30 p.m. China vs. Canada online
Wed Aug 13 6:00 a.m. South Korea vs. USA (live) online
1:00 p.m. South Korea vs. USA (replay) MSNBC
10:30 p.m. Netherlands vs. USA (live) online
Thurs Aug 14 2:00 a.m. Netherlands vs. USA (replay) USA
6:00 a.m. Cuba vs. Canada online
11:30 p.m. USA vs. Cuba (live) online
Fri Aug 15 2:00 a.m. USA vs. Cuba (replay) USA
6:00 a.m. Canada vs. South Korea online
10:30 p.m. USA vs. Canada (live) online
Sat Aug 16 12:30 p.m. USA vs. Canada (replay) MSNBC
Date Time (EST)
Matchup Where
Sun Aug 17 10:30 p.m. Canada vs. Japan online
Mon Aug 18 7:00 a.m. USA vs. China (live) online
12:00 noon USA vs. China (replay) MSNBC
Tues Aug 19 7:00 a.m. USA vs. Taiwan (live) online
12:00 noon USA vs. Taiwan (replay) MSNBC
Wed Aug 20 6:00 a.m. Canada vs. Taiwan online
7:00 a.m. Japan vs. USA (live) online
11:00 a.m. Japan vs. USA (replay) MSNBC
Date Time (EST)
Matchup Where
Thurs Aug 21 10:30 p.m.
Medal semifinal A (live)
Fri Aug 22 midnight Medal semifinal A (replay)
6:00 a.m. Medal semifinal B (live) online
2:00 p.m. Medal semifinal B (replay) MSNBC
10:30 p.m. Bronze Medal Game (live)
Sat Aug 23 2:00 a.m. Bronze Medal Game (replay)
6:00 a.m. Gold Medal Game (live) online
6:00 a.m. Gold Medal Game (live)

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