The hometown paper is The Jewish Advocate of Boston where Baras lives and works. Reporter Rachel Axelbank allows Baras to address the issues raised in Our Man Eli's article-- without acknowledging that it was Elli Wohlgelernter who alone researched and wrote the story in which the charges were levelled.
Nor does Rachel hold Baras to task for his answers and challenge the spin:
“On one hand, it has been tremendous to get the thousands of e-mails and all the good wishes that I’ve received,” (Baras) added. “But it’s been tainted a bit by my witnessing the ability of people to find something wrong even with the concept of baseball in Israel.”Rachel writes of her "surprise" at the revealed underbelly of the league and admits she was "charmed" by a game she attended in Tel Aviv-- but then adds that the game she attended included the infamous Ryan Crotin incident (seen in the clip above)-- which was followed by Crotin's public complaints.
Baras may be correct, but the criticisms put forth in the recent articles are not ones to be dismissed quickly. Complaints of ill-constructed – and thus dangerous – playing fields, no ice for muscle therapy, severe equipment shortages and paycheck delays are hardly the kind of frivolous kvetching heard from American pros.
While Baras did not comment specifically on the problems, the reasons for them or potential solutions, he did speak to the difficulty of conducting the league’s business...
“In Israel, last summer was the summer of the Lebanon War. The previous summer was the summer of disengagement. The previous three were about the Intifada. For so many people, this summer was the summer of baseball.”
We'll leave it to Elli to address the spin.