Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Will there be Two Tribes of Israel Baseball in 2008? Our Man Elli provides some expert analysis

First Israel's baseball dream was a reality. Then it was in shambles. Now there may be too much baseball ahead in 2008! In wake of this morning's announcement that the Israel Professional Baseball League is moving forward to replace the Israel Baseball League in the hearts of Israelis (and a polite "no comment yet" from IPBL honchos), we asked Our Man Elli in Israel to sort it out for us.

Tabloid Baby: So Elli, is there room for two leagues in Israel?

Our Man Elli: You're asking me? So far, we still don't know if there's room for one league in Israel. The IBL's first season wasn't marketed to Israelis, so no Israelis showed up. No professional league can survive here unless it is run professionally. But in answer to your specific question: No. I don't think there's room in Israel for two professional baseball leagues.

Do you know what cities the Israel Professional Baseball League plans to represent?

Look, this isn't the States. It's not even Anaheim. The names of the cities on the front of the Israeli uniforms are really immaterial, because the teams don't play in those cities anyway. The IBL picked cities because of their sizes and sizeable Anglo populations. I don't like to assume, but it's probable that the IPBLwill choose similar names for the same reasons. Though there are certainly some nicely-named cities with Anglo populations that could be included-- like Rehovot and Tzfat.


No. "Tzfat."

Where will the IBL play?

At the moment, there are only the two fields used last summer that are even playable. Those are Gezer and Baptist Village. I mean, it's possible they could convert some soccer fields in the next six months. But it's getting late.

The IPBL announced its season today. Are they really looking to merge with the IBL?

No. Not now they're not. There's no love lost between the two league organizers. but a lot could happen between now and June.

The Hatfields and the Mc-Oys.

Funny. (not laughing) Right now, the people behind the two leagues won't be working together. But, should there be changes within either league's heirachy, anything can happen.

Do two leagues mean there'll be a bidding war or players?

No. The least problem of all the problems any league faces is where to get players. There's no shortage of baseball talent out there. There are outstanding players from around the world, who'd be ecstatic to play in Israel. As we saw last summer. There are players who'd be ecstatic to play in Israel even if they didnt get paid! As we saw last summer.

What about commissioners?

Again, no problem. Neither will get a high-calibre name like Dan Kurtzer to run their league, because there aren't too many former US ambassadors waiting to run a baseball league. But there are certainly competent people in Israel who can be a commissioner of baseball here.

How about Ell--

Don't start.


Anonymous said...


We hear youre a competive eater. So eat this.

We're saving you dumb jocks from getting fucked over next season as well.

We take it personally

Fuck you.

The Tabloid Baby staff.

Anonymous said...

competetive eater line:lol :)

Anonymous said...

The only reason this site keeps reporting on the IBL is because it's the only story that gets comments. STOP COMMENTING-NO MORE IBL REPORTING...the end.

Anonymous said...

leon deserved it.

go get em. tb!

RC said...

I have to say, Elli and Tabloid Baby, you have done something that the IBL was not able to do all summer long. You have created quite a buzz over the past five months and I commend you for it...you are bringing out emotions in people and it's fantastic. For the former players and folks on the other side of the world, this is the best way to find entertainment and keep informed with all the otherwise "covert" operations that are carried on about a league that seemingly no one cared about. Elli and affiliates, I hope you laugh at what you read...some of the material is really halarious! Threats about child prostitution solicitation and explotation of such events and so forth...that is funny material! If the audience is so offended, why do they choose to continue reading? That is a testament to your persuasive writing. It's like McDonald's for a lot of people. You know it's unhealthy, but many still eat it.

I have read about the division of leagues and I look at the situation as being positive. How do strong leagues develop without competition. Remember the ABA? The 1967 American Basketball Association was the predecessor to the NBA. Without it, there's no NBA, just a basketball with alternating red and white on it, playing a 35-game season and the players paint and work in construction on the side.

Competition is what drives success. There's no second chances in baseball, nor business for that matter. I would never let a juicy fastball go because I want to give a pitcher a chance to compete and Wal-Mart would never avoid opening up a chain because "Ma and Pops Corner Store" was there first. No mercy is what rules. The Israeli professional baseball world needs to be more like chess, less like checkers. Play for keeps, play for a title and be rewarded, play for more money, play to be a competitor not a participator.

What both operations are doing is brave and the ingraining of a special delegate with Israeli background and birth, I believe, is what will set them apart. The IPBL already has a vested interest in Israeli basketball, which will offer an edge. I think both organizations should solicit Dan Drori for his ability to understand baseball, his playing experience in the IBL, he is Israeli born and can communicate and interpret his fellow countrymen and North Americans alike. Andy Wilson is also a great kid and a stand-up guy despite what has been said of him. No player can ignore how hard he worked in the summer, and he took a lot censure for things that were out of his control. If he sees a better opportunity in his future, I commend him. Two jobs are available...shovel manure because you know the farmer, and you believe he'll make good on it, or shovel manure for for a farmer that you know will make good on it?You hold the shovel...He's trying to make a life of the baseball business world and it is cut-throat and sometimes you simply cut losses to make gains.

Good luck to both leagues for the start of the 2008 season. I am excited to see what will transpire, as we all are.

Anonymous said...

Well said RC. One of the best, if not the best, postings on this blog.

Both passion and business acumen are needed to make any professional baseball league successful in Israel. There are some real loyalties to the founding IBL, even in light of financial issues and we can't necessarily fault "true believers" for sticking with Berger and Baras. Let's just hope that they work to all contracts are honored. On the other hand, IPBL appears to have both the business and Israel sports experience to put this venture on a solid foundation.

As you say, the competition may be a good thing. It might have been better to ask some of the IBL management to step down (or assume more figurehead positions) so that a more responsible group could take over the business operations. But it could not/would not happean.

In a very short time if something doesn't happen (beyond tryouts) it is unlikely there will be a second season.

Anonymous said...

elli why not sign your name this time! anybody who listens to you is a fool. you are a complete kill joy selfish idiot