RIO DE JANEIRO -- The best baseball news this past week -- outside of the Yankees basically abandoning their postseason chances, of course -- was Wednesdays long expected announcement that the sport will return to the Olympics in 2020.There will be only six teams in those Olympics, which isnt great, but at least they will be played in Tokyo, which is very good. Japan is passionate about baseball, making those Olympics a much better location for the sports return than when the IOC decided to bring back golf beginning with the Games in Rio, where the sport is not widely played and an expensive new course had to be built, adding to financial woes.Which brings up an important issue. While baseball is returning for the 2020 Olympics, there is no guarantee it will continue in the 2024 Games because the host city could replace it with another sport. If the 2024 Olympics are awarded to Los Angeles, its a good bet baseball will be there. But if one of the other three candidates -- Paris, Rome and Budapest -- get the Games, then it becomes less likely.One reason is the cost of constructing baseball and softball stadiums in cities where the sports are not played very much. That is one of the reasons the IOC dropped the two sports after the 2008 Olympics. Many host cities simply would never use those ballparks again, though the 1992 Olympic baseball stadium was still being used in Barcelona when I visited there a couple of years ago.Another reason is that the IOC wants baseball to send its very best major leaguers, as do most other sports, such as basketball. That, however, is not easy for baseball since the Summer Olympics, unlike the NBA season, come smack in the middle of the major league season. Hockey interrupts its season for the Olympics (which the players love, but the NHL team owners dont) as does the WNBA. Japans baseball league did the same thing in 2008. But dont expect the major leagues to do so when so much is at stake, particularly money. That limits many countries from sending their best players.Of course, not sending the best players isnt considered a major issue in mens soccer where age rules greatly reduce the number of top stars from competing. But the IOC doesnt seem to care about that because soccer is so globally popular.The IOC needs to get over that. Baseball is an international sport. There are current major leaguers from all across the globe, including Japan, Australia, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, South Korea and Germany as well as America. Heck, there was a player from Lithuania in the Futures Game last month. Aside from Antarctica, Africa is the only continent without a major leaguer, though there are rising prospects from there who might crack the majors soon.Baseball also is much more popular than most events at the Olympics. Does anyone really care about the modern pentathlon? Or sailing? Or trampoline?As former Olympian R.A. Dickey told me last year: If you want to get the greatest athletes in the world together, why not baseball?Even without major leaguers, baseball has sent top prospects to the Olympics. Among them have been Jake Arrieta (2008), Stephen Strasburg (2008), Dickey (1996) and Nomar Garciaparra (1992), plus Tino Martinez (1988), Jim Abbott (1988), Barry Larkin (1984), Mark McGwire (1984) and Will Clark (1984) when it was a demonstration sport. And thats just the U.S. teams.The problem is that those players were generally just prospects and so not very well-known at the time, especially not outside America. How then can the majors get bigger names into the Olympics?One possibility is sending a few recently retired players to the Olympics. They clearly will not be at their peak but they definitely will attract attention and ratings. Imagine the passion if Ichiro is playing for Japan in Tokyo -- if he actually retires by then, since he will be only 46 and has said he doesnt plan to retire until age 50.Another move is for baseball to establish the Olympic team early and then heavily publicize it. Make it clear to fans who the players are and that they are likely to become All-Stars. Have them play exhibitions against major league teams in the leadup to the Olympics. That will give them attention and great experience.Whoever goes, baseball should stay in the Olympics beyond 2020. It is one of the biggest sports in the world and it certainly deserves to be in the Olympics every bit as much as synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics. Wholesale NBA Jerseys . Louis Blues. Shane Hnidy joins Brian Munz for the broadcast on TSN 1290 Radio at 7pm ct. Cheap Jerseys Store . 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LOUIS -- A one-run loss to the Milwaukee Brewers left Kolten Wong and the St. Louis Cardinals frustrated.Ryan Braun hit a solo home run in the ninth inning, leading the Brewers to a 2-1 win Sunday and dropped the Cardinals back in the NL wild-card race. They are a half-game behind the Mets for the second wild-card slot.I think every one in this clubhouse is leaving here mad today, Wong said. We know this is what we play this game for. This is where the excitement comes and its either show up or go home.In Saturdays 5-1 win, the Cardinals scored five runs in the eighth to win the game. It didnt work out that way Sunday.St. Louis had tied it in the eighth when Matt Carpenter doubled and scored on Stephen Piscottys sacrifice fly off Tyler Thornburg (6-5).But Braun gave Milwaukee the lead in the ninth. Thornburg struck out three in the ninth to give the Cardinals the loss.Its always disappointing after getting it tied up, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. In these close games, you feel like you got a real shot and theyre always hard to swallow this time of year.Cardinals rookie Luke Weaver allowed three hits in six innings. He struck out eight with one walk.I learned a lot today, Weaver said. I went with the fastball and trusted it and mixed some off-speed pitches in early and it worked out. I got some ground balls and just attacked.The Brewers run off Weaver came in the first on singles by Scooter Gennett and Braun and a sacrifice fly from Chris Carter.Milwaukee had just four hits in the game, with Braun getting the only one after the fifth inning.We know how good this team is this year and every year, Braun said about St.dddddddddddd Louis. They compete. They are so good fundamentally. When they get a runner in scoring position, you know theyll probably get him in. They did that there in the eighth but it wasnt like last night. We stopped them.TRAINERS ROOMCardinals: RHP Michael Wacha, who has missed 29 games with shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday. He threw one Friday.ACTIVATEDThe Cardinals activated All-Star shortstop Aledmys Diaz from the disabled list. Diaz, 26, had missed 36 games since he broke his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch from the Marlins Andrew Cashner. At the time he was injured, Diaz was hitting a team-leading .312 with 14 homers and 57 RBI in 96 games.ATTENDANCEThe Cardinals eclipsed the 3 million mark in attendance for the 13th consecutive year and joined the Los Angeles Dodgers as the second team to pass the figure this season. It is the 20th time overall St. Louis has passed the 3 million total.UP NEXTBrewers: Wiley Peralta (6-9) will face Cincinnatis Keyvius Sampson(0-1). Peralta, the opening day starter, earned a win in his last start Sept. 6 in a 12-5 victory over the Cubs.Cardinals: Mike Leake (9-9) will face Chicagos Kyle Hendricks (14-7) on Monday night at Busch Stadium. It will be Leakes 199th career start. He was activated from 15-day DL (shingles) before his last start on Sept. 7 and allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings for no-decision in a 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh. Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale NFL Womens Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Cheap Jerseys Stitched Jerseys Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Throwback Discount Jerseys Youth NFL Jerseys China Stitched Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Throwback Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale ' ' '