Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Israel's baseball fantasy league boss Rosen says, "So long, summer 2008! Hello, Israel basketball!"

The Israel Professional Baseball League has finally removed all promise and mention of a 2008 season from its webpage.

The removal comes more than a week after league frontman, Miami millionaire Magnetix maven Jeffrey Rosen and his Triangle Financial Services, backers of the IPBL, were accused of bait-and-switch tactics because it was advertising for sponsors for a 2008 season, and then leading prospective buyers to its Israel basketball team.

Tonight, the only mention on the Triangle Financial IPBl page are calls for players, contributors and sponsors-- and the line:

For more information regarding the league,
please call 305-933-8308.

In related news, Rosen, who’s had as hard a time finding investors for his Israel Professional Baseball League as he’s had finding time to be straightforward with the news media about the state of his operation, is back to talking basketball.

Rosen bought the Haifa Maccabi team last July while he was an investor for the IBL— but months before he broke away to start a competing league after Our Man Elli in Israel revealed the financial disarray and federal securities fraud lawsuit the IBL's Baras was hiding.

Now, Haaretz reports that Rosen is placing his attentions and millions on the hardwood:

"The next big thing, if one is to believe the hype, is Maccabi Haifa, the newly promoted team from the second tier owned by Miami-based Jewish-American billionaire, Jeff Rosen.

"Maccabi Haifa was one of the original eight teams that formed the basketball premier league in the 1953/1954 season… But in 1992/1993 was relegated to the second tier… two years later to the third… bounced back to the premier league but… participated in the final four twice before… it was disbanded.

"Club officials decided to reform… the new team qualified for the first league in its first season and was then purchased by Rosen.

"Rosen immediately announced his intention to transform Maccabi Haifa into a top team in Israeli and European basketball. Haifa's budget was the biggest in the second tier but its hopes were almost lost after it lost six times in the first 9 rounds.

"…Haifa finished fourth and went on to beat its rivals in the playoffs in front of 3,500 fans. Therein lies the real cause for celebration, the return of the fans.

"On top of regular ticket sales, this season Haifa sold 150 regular and 70 VIP season tickets, a large amount for a second tier team…

"Indeed, Haifa plans on maintaining its following by becoming a force to reckon with in the premier league next season. 'We want to be in the final four,' Rosen has said, and allocated funds that will give the team a budget of 2.5 million dollars, one of the biggest in the top tier."

One other note: the Israel press keeps referring to Rosen as a “billionaire,” not millionaire. In that case, we can’t fault the guy for telling us lowly journos to bugger off!

On a sadder note, we’ll need to come with a new alliterative title to replace Millionaire Miami Magnetix maven.

Billionaire Boca basketball barimer?

Any suggestions?

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