Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A guy named Sean learns about Israel baseball

News of the cancellation of all plans for professional baseball in Israel travels slowly. We first predicted it back on January 2nd, and nailed down the exclusive confirmation by Our Man Elli in Israel on April 14th, but people are still playing catch-up on the news. One of the funniest shows up today on a blog called Sean's Ramblings: Thoughts and comments by a guy named Sean, in which the writer, who according to his profile is some guy in northern Virginia, goes through an entire cycle of discovery in a single post, finding out that there's no baseball in Israel this summer, realizing the news isn't new, noticing the Israel baseball movie-- apparently researching the subject and finding out the latest news from our site as he writes-- until at the end of the post, he finds our Baseball in Israel archive!

Here it is:

The End of Israeli Baseball?

It’s a sad day. Actually, it was a sad day several weeks ago when Haim Katz, president of the Israel Association of Baseball, told The Jerusalem Post that the Israel Baseball League has been cancelled for 2008 and its future is in jeopardy. I just learned about this recently through Walk Off Walk.

Anyway, there seems to be a disconnect between the Israel Baseball League and its website. The IBL website still has a countdown to opening day featuring a rematch of last year’s championship game between the Modi'in Miracle and the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox on June 29, 2008. I hope that they are not still selling tickets! (Update: When I originally drafted this post, the countdown was active; it is not anymore.)

I was actually very excited about the league and briefly wrote about it last year. Although it was essentially another minor league, the fact that it started from scratch and included players from all over the world was unique. It seems that the league was more than just a gimmick based on the fact that last season’s co-MVP, Eladio Rodriguez, was playing at the New York Yankees’ AAA team in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, although it now appears that he’s back at AA Trenton.

As a side note, I also just learned that there was a movie made about the league called "Holy Land Hardball." The film debuts at the Silverdocs AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival on Thursday in Silver Spring...You can also read... Express’ interview with the filmmakers. Of course, you may want to disregard this portion of the interview (that disconnect thing again):

» EXPRESS: I saw on the Israeli league site that it looks like they will try a second season after all. Are you surprised able to get it going again and do you think it will be long-term success?

» KESTEN: That's a very hard question to answer...

Finally, I found a great blog dedicated to Baseball in Israel.


Sean said...

Thank you very much for the link. Yes, I was extremely late in learning that the league was cancelled for 2008. (I just found out about three weeks ago.) I delayed posting my entry because I was hoping to interview a former player (a Facebook message went unanswered) and also to try to promote the movie, which debuts tomorrow in the DC area. I live just outside Washington DC and many people who read my blog (or like most people, find it accidentally) are also in the DC area. Oh, I also read Express every day during my commute, so I saw a portion of the interview with the filmmakers in print before going to the Baseball in Israel site.

What are the chances for a 2009 season?

Thanks again and keep up the great work on your site!


Anonymous said...

June 19 2008 what a date to remember