Great So Far
By Will Lingo
As Team USAs manager, Tommy Lasordas ultimate Olympic legacy wont be determined until the games are played in September.
But hes been a boon for USA Baseball so far, generating lots of publicity and good feelings about Olympic baseball as one of Americas most recognizable baseball personalities.
"The reaction from fans, media and baseball people has been overwhelmingly positive," said David Fanucchi, USA Baseballs director of communications. "Weve heard nothing but the best about the selection."
USA Baseball announced the selection of Lasorda, 72, in early May, generating broadcast and print coverage across the nation and jump-starting the efforts to spur interest in the Olympic baseball tournament in Sydney.
Lasorda has helped those efforts, speaking passionately about how much managing Team USA means to him. He also attended a press event sponsored by the U.S. Olympic Committee to generate publicity for all Olympic sports.
"I stood in front of the dugout many, many times listening to the national anthem, thinking how lucky I was to be born in the greatest country in the world," Lasorda said. "Now to be able to represent our country, that is something."
Fanucchi said Lasordas enthusiasm will rub off on fans and players.
"The enthusiasm hes shown for the job has been incredible," he said. "Hes done anything and everything weve asked, and more."
Lasorda will continue to serve as an ambassador for the team more than anything else until the team is named late in the summer. He will not be directly involved in selecting players.
"Its like were two months from spring training," Fanucchi said. "He puts a face on the team, a lot more than the steering committee or USA Baseball."
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