Saturday, August 16, 2008

Alan Gardner sounds off on IBL show fest

Israel Baseball League veteran and elder statesman Alan Gardner, a New York City attorney and one of the prime movers in the rival Israel Professional Baseball League that never quite got off the ground, comments on our interview with fellow vet and player activist Justin Cardinal, and slams the IBL's elusive executives on the eve of its five-day show festival featuring a handful of IBL “All-Stars” versus a pickup team of Israeli nationals:

“Justin definitely did start leaning on the ball as the season progressed. Just ask my forehead. And in addition to spraying line drives about during bp, he also dropped one or two over the fence at the Geez.

“Was a tough outfield to crack, what with Rees, Slaughter and Lyons out there. Not a soul can argue with the prowess of those guys, defensively, at the plate and on the base paths. Would have been nice if he could have got a bit of late inning PT when games were already decided or the more occasional start. But hey, guess that's just baseball.

“What really sucks is that this solid, generally unassuming, soft-spoken young man dropped a G out of his own pocket to get to the Miami tryouts, made it, went to Israel and has now been stiffed out of $1,500 plus whatever fees his bank has charged him for the bad checks and any checks he may have written on his account thinking the checks were good. I wonder how much the IBL spent for a round trip ticket for the ‘festival.’ A good rate these days is about... $1,500.

“And how many other guys that have been stiffed could have been paid out of funds used for this sad excuse for a professional baseball tournament?

“Or maybe they're doing the travel the good old IBL way... buying the tix on credit and then stiffing the travel agency, too.

“Or did everyone forget that last summer's travel agent threatened to pull all of our return trip tickets because the IBL owed them LOTS of money? That's right, apparently if Baras had not been lucky enough to persuade at least one of the investors to loan him something like $40G to make the travel agent happy, we all might still be in Israel working off the IBL debt at the Kfar Hayarok and getting our meals at the gas station...

“Most importantly, good luck to our mate Justin in Ottawa. I think he's going to have a stellar career at the university level.”

"This is going to be the Dominican Republic of the Middle East... Our players are going over to put on a show!"
--IBL's new "in-coming president" Solomont


Anonymous said...

You are right on as always!

J said...

Alan, I miss that gas station you speak of. I would have lost more than 10 pounds if I couldn't get my "pesto and yellow cheese" thingamajig every day.

Anonymous said...

"Where's that money, you silly stupid old fool? Where's that money? Do you realize what this means? It means bankruptcy and scandal and prison. That's what it means. One of us is going to jail -well, it's not gonna be me." -- George Bailey, yelling at Uncle Billy, "It's a Wonderful Life"

Anonymous said...

Please vote as often as you want
Candidates for jail
1)Larry Baras
2)David Solomont
3)Martin Berger
4)Russel Robinson
5)All of the above

The Night Al said...

This "silly stupid old fool" has been paid. And has tried to help others try to make sure they got paid, or at least did not have another IBL check bounce on them. And has tried to right the direction of our beloved sport in Israel together with some bright, well-intentioned, thoughtful and driven people. Unfortunately, folks didn't (and for some reason, some still don't) read the writing on the IBL wall. Lines got drawn in the Judean Desert sand that needn't have been drawn, but that's how it went and it's done.
You mention bankruptcy. Bankruptcy requires a voluntary move by the IBL (not happening...would involve self-imposed scrutiny of their "books and records", which we all seem to get the idea at this point, do not really exist); or a group forcing them into bankruptcy... I've been paid, so I can't be a part of a group from last year that puts that into play.
Prison? Well, I'll take that as suggesting a criminal investigation without passing on a potential sentence. But folks have to realize that they have actually been ripped off and stolen from, decide they're mad as hell and ain't gonna take it anymore, band together, get up off the hardwood and try to do something about it.
Full count, anyone wanna step to the plate on anything...any leaders out there in the large group of folks that have been hosed...and continue to allow our sport to be made a mockery of in the land we tried to bring it to? or am I just to expect some more anonymous, ridiculous criticisms...at this point...nothing surprises me anymore.