Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Big questions about Israel Baseball League 2008

With the announcement of plans to charge full speed ahead with a second season of the Israel Baseball League, president Martin I. Berger has once again done a brilliant job of changing the headline while ignoring the fury and controversy that swirls around the league. The IBL even managed to pull off a team move to Jerusalem with the backing of the nonprofit Jerusalem Foundation (but be advised, the Foundation says it "provides full accountability and open reporting to its donors by maintaining ongoing contact with and supervision of all its projects"-- something the IBL apparently did not).

Miami attorney Berger has proven himself adept setting his own agenda despite the flames around him, as he showed on Novermber 15th on when, an hour after we posted the exclusive story on the resignations of the IBL 10, he posted a comment on this site that the resignations "will have no effect on the incredible things going on right now with the League."

The president has also done a fine job of keeping embattled IBL founder Larry Baras out of the spotlight. The news on the IBL website yesterday made no mention of the IBL-related fraud lawsuit against league founder Lawrence Baras, nor the complaints from players and vendors thatthey have not been paid for the the 2007.

So is the announcement of the IBL 2008 season the real thing? Many questions, incuding the ones below, remain:

What players will return for a second season?

Will the IBL cover the debts from 2007?

Will Larry Baras continue to be involved with the league?

Will there be an advisory board consisting of American sports-related bigshots?

And, in the interest of keping things clean in '08... will Our Man Elli in Israel be offered the job of league commissioner?

We've got our calls out, seeking comments. Answers, please!


Anonymous said...

I cant wait to play for the IBL for Martin and Larry so they can screw me again. This time they are going to get screwed

Anonymous said...

Gardner - It's about time you got screwed by someone!

Anonymous said...


I trust that everyone had a great Holiday weekend. I am sending this out from myself-I have not been prodded by anyone to do this,but being one of the senior members of the league(age wise) I wanted to share my feelings with you on some of the things, rumors etc.

When starting a business, there are many speed bumps thrown at you, many things that come up that are just un-foreseen, I myself started a company in 2000 that did not exist. Knowing what I know now, I may not have done it-My balls were to the wall for the first 9 months. Not knowing if I would be able to pay my mortgage or bills, but in my heart knowing I was trying my best. That was in my backyard. The IBL was created and executed in a foreign land with many obstacles that were un-foreseen until they were right in front of their faces. Promises made with good intentions and I believe in my heart that no one started this thing with the intention to hurt or screw anyone.

The management of the league was understaffed to say the least-I remember seeing Larry picking up garbage at Gezer prior to a game. That was just ridiculous to me. Yet-He did whatever he needed to do. At the end of the day, We Played 130 Baseball games in a land that had never had 1 Professional game-Had an All-Star game and Awarded a Champion. A full day does not go by without me thinking of something that may have happened on the field, dealing with Blomberg or spending a day off on the beach with friends. There were so many Great things and relationships that were made over these 63 days in a foreign land.

Many of the players have been signed to Independent ball contracts and as you all know Rees and Rodriguez have Minor league deals with the Yankees. I still cannot believe that. I am not sure how many of you are still owed money, but I know that Martin and Larry are fighting everydayto try and secure financing to make good on old debt and go forward with season 2. I myself am owed money(don't know if that will make you feel better or worse) but I am trying to look at the big picture and I am giving them every benefit to try and resolve these matters.

For some of you younger guys, I know it is Black and white-Where's my money?? and I cannot argue that-It is not my place to even try.

It just upsets me as I have seen in business over the last 22 years that there are Vultures that try to pick off the last pieces of meat off of a carcass and to me that is exactly what is going on with this whole IPBL nonsense. These guys busted their balls for years to get this thing off the ground, and now a "New Leadership Group" is going to swoop in and just take over???? You can look yourself in the mirror and that may be O.K. for you, but for me I could not have allegiance to Vultures. I would personally have to have Martin/Larry & Dan Duquette exhaust every last opportunity in righting the wrongs before I would even consider thinking about anything else.

Now again, I will be 42 in a couple of weeks, and I may look at things a little differently than some of the younger guys, but I need to live with myself and
to me this is not Just about Business!! This is about guys busting their asses for years to get us to Israel and get games played.

In life it is always easier to pick apart what someone did wrong(Monday morning quarterback) Like this Elli guy from Israel who could be the lowest level of Human Life in a reporter that I have ever seen, rather than to Look at the Positives and try to recover from them. I myself have always prided myself on being a Glass Half-Full Guy but again -That is Me!

I wish everyone a Phenomenal Holiday season to you and your families, and I miss you all!!!!!



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Eric, what you said is all true and I want you to know that you have the support of the Rubenstein family in agreeing with your well written view of Summer 2007. While some things could have been handled better, that was unavoidable in such a vast undertaking. Yes, Ruby is still owed the money of his last check and we are disappointed in the slow process and infrequent communication, we all still realize the enormity of the task at hand for 2008 to proceed.

The Rubenstein's are all maintaining positive attitudes that the hurdles will be overcome. When you get right down to it we completely believe that this league was put together by well meaning and honorable people. If we had any doubt about that we would be extremely upset and impatient. The league was run by such wonderful people that are now having problems. How can those of us that benefited so much by their deeds leave them when times are tough? What would that say about us?

Eric, we think of you as a fine man, one that has demonstrated a maturity many on this board have not had. You are a credit to the League and your words speak the feelings many of us have for what has gone on. We thank you for your time and efforts. Good people deserve our respect and admiration because it has been earned. Many people associated with the IBL have earned my respect, in fact, most IBL people have shown themselves to be fine individuals and did so right from the start. Management, coaches, and players are people I am proud to know and have my respect for their honest efforts to do the right things. You keep up the good work and good things will happen.

The Rubenstein family

Anonymous said...

hey did you all hear the news!!

Alan Gardner supposedly has had a fight with Rollhaus and Jeffrosen has backed off from the IPBL

well iguess that's that!!