Thursday, June 19, 2008
New face for Israel Baseball League as attorney Berger is traded for player Rootenberg; Baras hides
The Israel Baseball League that announced a four-team, 20-game three-week season to begin July 27th is cosmetically different than the one that fled the country with more than a million dollars in debts and bounced payer checks left behind. Its website displays a new executive lineup:
Israel Baseball League player Dan Rootenberg (outfielder for the Netanya Tigers) has replaced controversial Miami attorney Martin L. Berger as league president. Rootenberg's IBL player bio says the New Yorker "had a stellar college career at Binghamton University where he led the team in many offensive stats and was a perennial Conference All-Star... was named to the College Baseball Jewish All-American Team in 1994... played baseball in Europe for seven years for the Zurich Barracudas... was a member of Switzerland’s entry into the European Cup in 1999 and 2004... has also developed a very successful physical therapy and state of the art training center in New York City... his father served in the six day war... his aunt currently writes a popular column in Haifa called “Rinunim”.
Berger is now "director of operations," under "director" Gary Woolf. The Boston consultant who formerly headed the sports management agency founded by his late father, "superagent Bob Woolf" is at the head of the executive list, out to attract sponsors, media partners, and make nice with with US Major League Baseball and Israeli officials.
Former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette is the league's "director of baseball operations."
Ami Baran, head coach of Israel's Men’s and Women’s National Softball Teams, is the new "director of Israeli operations."
League founder Larry Baras remains in hiding from the media.
New England-based Geller Sport, Inc. is in charge of "field engineering."