"...the resigning members were distressed
that the league's finances and business operations
were not handled in a more professional manner and, in particular, that the league was unwilling
to provide relevant financial information
concerning its operating results.
They also noted significant staffing and
other organizational problems
that have beset the league since inception."
After months of controversy that erupted after a sound, journalistic report by Our Man Elli in Israel (the great journalist Elli Wohlgelernter) that was first published here, and days after Tabloid Baby revealed the details of a federal lawsuit that accused Israel Baseball League founder Larry Baras of fraud in using funds from a failing food company to start up the league, the IBL commissioner Daniel Kurtzer, the former US Ambassador to Israel, has sensationally resigned from the league, and board members-- including New York Yankee-connected PR maven Marty Appel-- also are running from the stink as fast as they can.
Appel himself put out the news release that leaves the future of the Israel Baseball League in serious doubt:
Daniel C. Kurtzer Resigns As Commissioner
of Israel Baseball League;
A Number of Advisory Board Members Also Depart
New York, November 15, 2007: Daniel C. Kurtzer, who served as Commissioner of the Israel Baseball League during its first season, has submitted his resignation to the league's founder, Larry Baras.
In addition, a number of members of the Advisory Board have also resigned, including Martin Abramowitz, Marty Appel, Jeff Goldklang, Marvin Goldklang, Dr. Stuart Hershon, Randy Levine, Gary Rosen, Bob Ruxin, and Andrew Zimbalist, along with others. In addition to serving as advisors, Mr. Rosen handled league marketing, Mr. Abramowitz produced the league's baseball cards, Mr. Ruxin managed ticketing/merchandising and Mr. Appel handled public relations.
In their individual resignation statements, the resigning members noted the historic accomplishment of bringing baseball to the Middle East, completing a full schedule of games, and developing several players who went on to sign pro contracts in the US. The individuals also commended Mr. Baras for having the vision to bring professional baseball to the Israeli people.
However, the resigning members were distressed that the league's finances and business operations were not handled in a more professional manner and, in particular, that the league was unwilling to provide relevant financial information concerning its operating results. They also noted significant staffing and other organizational problems that have beset the league since inception.
All the members felt that the concept of professional baseball in Israel was a noble cause and a workable concept.
(The statements above are not direct quotations and are not attributable to any individual member named in this release. They are meant to provide a summary of the common theme found in the individual statements of resignation. Several advisors did not submit letters of resignation but requested that their names be removed from the Advisory Board).
Kurtzer had previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and then to Israel.
Contact: Marty Appel Public Relations ( Appelpr@aol.com)