Peter Schmuck talks about the Orioles final day of spring training before the Grapefruit League Exhibition season. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun video)
SARASOTA, FLA. — Players union chief Tony Clark said Thursday that he believes the World Baseball Classic will continue beyond 2017 and doesn't yet see a practical way for major league players to take part in the Olympic Games.
Clark briefed reporters after meeting with the Orioles players as part of the Major League Baseball Players Association's annual informational tour of spring training camps in Florida and Arizona.
Here are some highlights...
On the WBC
"I see no reason at this point why it wouldn't [continue]. I'm hopeful it continues, understanding that the world we live in four years from now may be different from the one we're in now."
On MLB players in the 2020 Olympics
"There are challenges with the schedule, and there are challenges with major leaguers being involved. It doesn't mean that we are not continuing to have dialogue. We have going back. We will going forward. Where we land, I don't know. One of the things we were able to discuss during this round of bargaining were some additional flexibility in the schedule moving forward. Maybe there are some opportunities for a broader discussion than there had been a year ago. We'll have to wait and see. We haven't had that kind of substantive sit down yet.
On the likelihood that more rules changes will be approved before next season
"I can't sit here and say in June there's going to be a formal agreement. I can suggest that there's not a likelihood something is going to change midstream. I don't know that that makes a whole lot of sense. That dialogue will continue. It may lend itself to agreement in some areas. It may lend itself in some areas that haven't been discussed yet. ... Where we land, I don't know. One of the things we were able to discuss during this round of bargaining were some additional flexibility in the schedule moving forward. Maybe there are some opportunities for a broader discussion than there have been a year ago. We'll have to wait and see. We haven't had that kind of substantive sit down yet.
On whether the union shares Commissioner Rob Manfred's sense of urgency when in comes to shortening the average time of game
"I think there's an understanding as to game length, and there's an appreciation for game pace. In our game, more than any other, it's hard to dictate a particular game time ending. The guys understand the conversation that is being had."