The Futures Game will have a twist this year, as Major League Baseball announced today that the 2008 Team USA Olympic trial team will form the USA roster.
"This year’s event will be particularly special as our fans will have the opportunity to get a first look at many of the players who will make up Team USA and represent our country in August at the Beijing Olympics," MLB’s President and Chief Operating Officer Bob DuPuy said in a press release.
The USA roster will be managed by Davey Johnson, who will also manage the Olympic team. Tino Martinez will manage the World team. Players on the USA roster for the Futures Game will not necessarily play on the team that USA Baseball sends to the Olympics, but it will draw from that pool of players to help form the Olympic team. The final roster for the Olympic team is expected to be announced shortly after the Futures Game.
“It’s going to be a team of exceptional young players who are part of a larger pool of athletes that we are looking at very closely for the Olympic baseball team," said Paul Seiler, the executive director and CEO of USA Baseball. "Watching them compete in the Futures Game is part of the overall scouting process that will help us better identify which players give us the best shot at gold in Beijing.”
The other change to the Futures Game, which is Sunday, July 13, is that the contest will last nine innings. In previous years, the game was a seven-inning event, except in 2000 when the game went nine innings.