As we reported this morning, today, March 1st, was considered by all involved to be the drop dead deadline decision day on whether professional baseball will be played in Israel in the Summer of 2008. The deadline has come and gone. And so, apparently, has the dream.
Our Man Elli in Israel checked in as soon as Shabbos ended:
"Well, March 1st is here and gone, and so is baseball in Israel.
"Not officially yet, as the IPBL continues to scramble to try to make it happen. But it's obvious that there will be no baseball in Israel in 2008. And it's not even just a matter of squaring the debts of the IBL. It also has to do with the simple task of forming a baseball league. That task takes money, lots of money, and there isn't enough of it. Not that the IPBL's Jeff Rosen doesn't have the money himself, if he wants to go out and create the league. But he wants other people to put up some money as well, and right now his game plan has investors losing for the first four to five seasons.
"And with all the bad publicity generated by Larry Baras and the IBL, potential investors are gunshy. And understandably so.
"In short, it's over. Now, and perhaps forever. And that is very sad."