Thursday, July 24, 2008

Israel Baseball League's "interim president" now "in-coming president"; instead of season, vets to "put on a show"; Jewish National Fund in cahoots

The Israel Baseball League has made new promises and changes on its website.

David Solomont, who has been referred to as "interim" president, is now the "in-coming president," replacing former player Dan Rootenberg, who backed away from the job earlier this month. The "in-coming" qualifier apparently gives Solomont the option to do the same.

Solomont, also known as El Presidente Solomonte of the Dominican Republic of The Middle East Baseball League because of his promise that Israel would become the Dominican Republic of The Middle East, also figures prominently in a new press release that confirms that the IBL's second season that had been replaced by a four-team, 20-game, three-week, momentum-keeping mini-season will now be replaced by a week-long baseball festival starting on August 14th that will pit an IBL All-Star team against a team made up of premier Israeli players."

The IBL veterans who have confirmed they will play ball were listed by the IBL in this order:

Leon Feingold
Willis Bumphus

Jason Benson

David Kramer

Mike Lyons

Ray Rodriguez

Jason Bonder

Two more and they'll have a team.

Says Solomont: "Our players are going over to put on a show."

The IBL release also says the league is working with the Jewish National Fund, a fundraising group dedicated to bringing trees and water to Israel. Maybe they can bring the ice this time.

Here's the press release:

IBL Summer Baseball Festival to Commence Thursday, August 14th
07/24/2008 9:44 AM

The Israel Baseball League, which inaugurated the first season of professional baseball in Israel last summer, has officially announced its plans for this summer season, a week-long baseball festival starting on August 14th that will pit an IBL All-Star team against a team made up of premier Israeli players.

The baseball festival, which will go from August 14th through August 21st, will take place at the Yarkon Sports Complex at the Baptist Village. The Baptist Village field, Israel’s state-of-the-art baseball and softball facility, is located in Petach Tikva, about seven miles outside of Tel Aviv.

Games will start at 7 p.m. and are scheduled to be played on Thursday night, August 14th, and then each night from Sunday August 17th through Thursday night, August 21st.

“Our players are going over to put on a show. They are going over to run clinics in various communities. They are going to visit hospitals and hand out gifts. And most of all, they are going over to play some baseball,” said David Solomont, who has stepped into the role of president of the IBL. The festival will feature nightly games at the Baptist Village, with other baseball-related activities taking place before the games and in between innings. Like last year, IBL merchandise and memorabilia will be sold at the games and there will be a full food concessions service featuring a menu of barbecue offerings.

“We are very excited about this festival”, said Martin Berger, one of the IBL’s top executives. “First and foremost, we are going to once again offer a high caliber of play, with most of the players being among the best IBL alumni from last season. But we have purposely put together this season in the form of a festival, with an international vs. Israel component, in consideration of the Olympic Games that will be going on in Beijing simultaneously to our tournament. It adds to the connection between what is going on sports-wise in Israel with what is going on internationally.”

The IBL, together with the Jewish National Fund, is engaged in a far-reaching campaign called “Project Baseball” to build more community baseball fields in Israel and foster a grassroots initiative to support amateur participation and interest in baseball and softball. Baseball has long been the favorite sport of the Jewish population in America.

The IBL believes that not only can baseball become the first professional sport in Israel with a cross-section of fans, irrespective of gender or denomination, but that baseball and softball, sports played by men and women alike, offer a new common ground for people to meet and compete in a wholesome environment.

While final rosters are still being formally assembled, among the IBL players who have already committed to returning for this summer’s activities are Leon Feingold, Willis Bumphus, Jason Benson, David Kramer, Mike Lyons, Ray Rodriguez, and Jason Bonder. For the Israelis, former Seattle Mariners pitcher Ari Kafka, who now studies in Jerusalem, has informed the IBL that he is ready to pitch for Israel.

Final roster spots will be determined and announced in the coming days.

The full schedule of events will be announced on the IBL web site shortly.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant stuff!
Get a load of this.
Not all of these players have agreed to play.
They are just trying to see how many turncoat players would go along with this latest scam.
Some of these players said they would play as long as all players got paid.(Which has not happened)
Obviously,these players could give a rats ass for the bus driver, the umps, the Kfar ...)
Martin Berger has emailed these guys that this new plan might not even happen!

Anonymous said...

Turncoats? Some guys just want to play ball. Who would give up a free trip to Israel to play baseball?

Anonymous said...

OMG, the bastards are going to give baseball clinics to kids, and visit hospitals and give out gifts! What a bunch of no good, low down scoundrels. TB lighten up will you and allow some of the good to shine.

Anonymous said...

Pay past debts first
Watch these guys get stranded on a connection flight.
I am sure they are not using the travel agent who got stiffed last year.

Anonymous said...

another IBL player signed in the minors:


Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Solomont just got the cold shoulder from the IAB because his "new" entity has NOT paid off all the debts and has been bouncing checks like he's running a basketball clinic.
It's also worth noting that at least one of the players listed NEVER committed to playing in this "festival" that Berger wants to call a "season". What's gross about that is that he's using this young man's name and good rep to bait other players into thinking that the new IBL is a reputable organization when, by using his name without his permission and mistating the facts proves just how disreputable it is.
Yes, some guys just want to play ball and don't give a shit that they and their buddies from last year were and continue to be shit on by these pieces of garbage. One day maybe they'll grow up and realize that principles mean something more than playing seven games for a bunch of con artists. Anyone with a conscience will tell them they can shove their festival up Berger's butt and find a local team to play some ball with in their hometowns for now.
Feeding the guys the ability to simply publicize their continued existence, however, is simply wrong and bad for baseball in Israel.

Anonymous said...

Read the story in the jerusalem post, it's all there - they're just putting on the show so they won't be in violation of last season's contract. Don't you all see? It's an attempt to continue the scam - on the backs of the players who have not been paid!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone with even half a brain really think that running a rinky-dink 7 day festival (featuring Leon Feingold fielding balls schnitzel baseballsl with his mouth) suffices to honor the IBL's contract to run 2 consecutive SEASONS of baseball in Israel? The joke's on anyone who believes it. Finally, the joke will be on Baras, Berger, Solomont and, unfortunately, Duquette (anyone know why he hangs in there with these mutts?).
And, soon, everyone will wake up to understand that this fictional festival can't honor a contract that no longer exists...ummmm duhhhhh!
So, players who think they are playing in Israel for a week, don't give notice yet on your summer jobs.

Anonymous said...

How can the JNF be a part of this SCAM!!!

This is the story!!!!

There must be some behind the scenes money being given to fat Larry.

It is such a shame that a criminal element has infested such a good idea and that what should be a legitimate organization like the JNF either does not know better (which is extremely hard to believe at this point) or just doen't care.

Anonymous said...

"does not know better (which is extremely hard to believe at this point) or just doen't care." Well, that would be two options. The third, and most likely, is that they are in on the scam, a crooked deal hatched between the IBL and JNF. Sooner or later, someone will have to account for that $480,000 of JNF money. As well as all the rest of the money that Mr. Baras raked in. It's gonna be quite a trial.
Will Fat Mouth Feingold be sitting in the dock as well? Better hope he doesn;t get judged by a jury of his peers, or he will be fucked.

Blue Sox Fan said...

Last line of the article says that the IBL will shortly post on their website the schedule of events for the upcoming festival. I haven't read
anything new. Is the TB posting that says that the festival has been canceled true?