As soon as it was clear that the Israel Baseball League's show festival was not going to happen, so began the spin that the well-intentioned executives of the IBl were stopped from playing by the Israel Association of Baseball, the sport's governing body that had withdrawn the IBL's certification and canceled its contracts back in January because of the massive debts it had left behind from the first season.
We went directly to IAB president Haim Katz, who replies to our questions this morning:
TABLOID BABY: Why did the IBL cancel opening day of its festival? Did the IAB stop them?
HAIM KATZ: You'll have to ask the IBL. The IAB was not involved in their planning of this festival. As you stated correctly, if some tourist show up and want to play a pickup game, it's not for the IAB to stop them. The IBL sent these guys over here without any coordination with us, no insurance and didn't arrange to have a team for them to play.
It's not surprising that they had to cancel their game.
We've heard that IAB won't let them play until all the debts from last season are paid. Is this true?
HAIM KATZ: While the IAB is recognized by the Israel Sport's authority as the governing body for baseball in Israel, that doesn't mean that anyone who wants to pick up a bat and hit balls to his kid needs our permission. This authority refers to those who want to run an organized program.
They did, however, very belatedly request our assistance with this event. For this assistance they need to fulfill certain requirements which they state they will fulfill, but to date have not.
Will the "show" go on at all?
HAIM KATZ: While Israel is the land of prophets, to my knowledge none have been spotted for several millenniums.