Sunday, December 30, 2007

From "The 2007 Tabloid Baby Awards"

The Tabloid Baby Person of The Year award has been about as anticipated as Time magazine's copycat honors, but we make it a habit to not necessarily bestow it every twelve months. For us, it all began in 1999, when Steve Dunleavy and Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D. were given the first special Tabloid Baby public service awards, and debate and controversy would follow as honors were handed out in the years to follow. Who could forget the uproar among "serious" journalists when Tabloid Baby alone cited NYPD Blue actress-turned-CNN anchorette Andrea Thompson for her courage and style in the transition from sexy scriptreader to sexy TelePrompter reader and named her Person of The Year in 2001?

And debate still rages after the controversy that erupted when CNN's "anchorman" Anderson Cooper won the honor in 2005 for representing the end of the Hestonian "anchorman" era with his groundbreaking "Brokeback Anchor" style. We saw him as the herald of more than the gay sensibilities of the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com, but the new brand of ironic, unauthoritative newsreaders like Katie Couric and silly, posturing Brian Williams. But neither Katie nor Bri-Bri won the honor for 2007-- not as Tabloid Baby's Person of The Year, nor even its Journalist of The Year for 2007. There are two separate honors this time around. We'll get to them soon enough.

But first... the Tabloid Baby team has come up with others who stood out in the Tabloid Baby universe in 2007 (and notice how we don't make the decisions in November like some people):


OVERLOOKED
INTERNATIONAL NEWS STORY
OF THE YEAR

The Israel Baseball League


The story of the first season of the Israel Baseball League may have been a pleasant footnote in sports history if not for what transpired after the final pitch of the season, when Our Man Elli in Israel (Elli Wohlgelernter to those in the journalism world) wrote an article about what really when on during that season in the sun, uncorking a flood of allegations, outrage, whiles setting off a chain events that included a federal fraud lawsuit against the league’s founder, the resignation of the league’s commissioner and much of its advisory board, the creation of a rival league, and announced plans for a second season in 2008. Remarkably, nearly every step in this incredible international saga of mismanagement, betrayal, intrigue and broken dreams was broken exclusively here, on Tabloidbaby.com, while the mainstream media either followed our lead or ignored the story altogether. While the official spin continues this month with the brief arrival of a IBL booster blog, and a na├»ve, inaccurate Bleacher Report story naming the IBL’s feelgood PR report of the first season as “The Best Sports Story in 2007,” the behind-the-scenes soap opera is far from over.

NY Times: Israel Baseball League $1 million in debt; Baras and league unlikely to return in 2008; Ex-commish leads talks to form new league

It only took six months, but a paid professional sportswriter is doing his job and finally breaking some news in the soap opera saga of the Israel Baseball League. Murray Chass of the New York Times, last heard from back in November when he ran a column on the resignations of the IBL commissioner and advisers-- three days after Our Man Elli in Israel broke the news here (of course he didn't credit Elli or Tabloid Baby)-- brings us up to date on the future of baseball in Israel, along with the revelations that:

* The IBL is a whopping one million dollars in debt;

* Boston bagel baron Larry Baras will most likely not be running baseball in Israel next summer;

* Former US ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer, who quit as IBL commissioner the day after we revealed the federal securities fraud lawsuit against Baras, is working to bring all the sides together to clean up the mess the IBL left behind, and form a new, solid league.

Chass writes:

Seeking Common Ground
It’s an old Jewish joke told by Jews among Jews: Put three Jews on a committee, and they’ll have four different opinions.
That’s where baseball in Israel seems to be right now. There’s last summer’s league, there’s a new league that has been announced, there’s an independent businessman who isn’t thrilled with either one and there’s a group of former advisers to the original league who want to resolve the mess and emerge with one strong, viable league.
The mediators include Dan Kurtzer, a former United States ambassador to Israel and commissioner of the Israel Baseball League; Marvin Goldklang, a limited Yankees partner and owner of several minor league teams; and Andrew Zimbalist, a Smith College economics professor.
They hope to get everyone together for a meeting in New York next month.
“Everybody thought the league was a wonderful concept, but serious divisions developed,” Goldklang said. “We have tried to develop an approach under which those who are interested in continuing the league can come together and support a common approach based on a much sounder business plan.”
The Israel Baseball League is about $1 million in debt. Its founder, Larry Baras, the Boston bagel entrepreneur, isn’t likely to be able to operate the league next summer. Jeffrey Rosen, who was Baras’s first investor, has announced the creation of the Israel Professional Baseball League.
That’s exactly what the Goldklang group wants to avoid, starting a new league without settling the chaos left by the original.
Further muddying matters is the relationship between Rosen and Jeffrey Royer, a Canadian investor in the original league and a general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Royer and Rosen are reluctant to meet for their own reasons.
Along with the Goldklang group, Buddy Lewis, whose Nokona Athletics Goods contributed the league’s equipment last summer, wants to see the problems resolved.
“Everybody believes that the notion of baseball in Israel is fantastic and it can be a reality,” Lewis said. “It only means everybody pulling on one rope.”

Watch this space for more, as Our Man Elli follows up and separates the wheat from the Chass.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Israel Baseball League starts bush league blog


The folks behind the Israel Baseball League have taken their licks these past four months since Our Man Elli In Israel's clear-eyed news report about the first season foibles caused an uproar akin to Osama bin Laden spewing anti-Semitic epiphets while strolling naked down King David Street. There were complaints about bounced paychecks, a federal fraud lawsuit against founder Larry Baras, the resignations of the commissioner and advisory board, the formation of a rival league, and recently, the brazen announcement that the IBL is pushing full speed ahead in 2008.

Through it all, Tabloidbaby.com has become the main source for unbiased news about the IBL plans and scandals, and as a result, the lightning rod for criticism. Many people in power did not like the idea that any negative stories were out there at all.

Now, someone in or around the IBL has taken a Public Relations 101 course and is fighting journalism with fire-- a site that on the surface looks very much like this one-- only dedicated solely to good news about the IBL.

Which is a fine idea. On the surface.

For The Love of The Holyland (sheesh), at the unwieldy "HolyLandesMen.blogspot.com," spins stories like the New York Yankees signing of two IBL players to minor league deals (seen at the time as a publicity stunt engineered by the Yankee brass on the IBL advisory board at the time) into

AWESOME SIGNING OF IBL
SEASON ONE PLAYERS

But there's also a disturbing nasty side to the good news site that popped up on Tuesday. Its very first post is an Apocalyptic, Old Testament-style attack on the characters of the men who saw an alternative to the IBL scandals with a new league:

Wolves. Andrew Wilson, Jeffrey Rosen.
Michael Rollhaus. Alan Gardner

False teachers who come disguised as harmless sheep.
Wolves in Sheep's clothing.
Grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Wolves are attempting to do nothing short of an attempted hostile takeover. It is a time for others to speak. They have tried to smudge the record of a brand new IBL league and people involved, make the chairpersons and affiliated people scamper. Make funding difficult. Start a new league after inflicting damage.

Well it won't work. There are too many people who believe in the goals, the purpose, the sincerity -- and most of all-- the things which could not have gone any more right. The same people who have soiled this league are lightweights compared to the marvelous souls who did everything they could to create this successful first season...

Only egomaniacs-- unbecomingly so-- feel the desire and need to cut the legs off what is around them so that they can do things as they want...

I read about you in the Opening Game program about how baseball and judaisim were like crystals of memory throughout your life. Why didn't you support the IBL rather than assembling troops to oppose and destroy it! Ego and greed...

Puh-leeze. We'd suggest that the Baras Berger boosting baseball boys lighten up. It's only baseball, after all. That kind of rhetoric just clouds debate-- which is probably the purpose. And far from a sacred, holy mission, the idea of baseball in Israel has so far revealed itself to be a business proposition.

Oh yeah-- there's one more sign that "For The Love of The Holyland" is not what it seems... they censor and pre-approve all comments. So for the free flow of ideas, the Knesset of Israel Baseball, you will have to turn here.

Addendum: 29 readers’ comments on Israel Baseball League starts bush league blog

Anonymous said...

How desparate. The IBL is not going to have a second season.

Saturday, December 22, 2007 11:06:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

Good for Larry. He needs to do this now because when he is thrown in jail where he belongs, he will not have access to a computer!

Saturday, December 22, 2007 6:55:00 PM PST


Anonymous IBL Player said...

Why did someone feel the need to personally attack Alan Gardner? He is not the one who is writing the articles about the league. It is also not his fault that we "as players" have not been paid in full.

This is absolutely ridiculous. I feel this website could be used for good. The news that is coming out about the league may be hurting peoples feelings. And you know what? I understand that. But the fact is its true. Players havent been paid, fields havent been paid for, vendors have outstanding debts and there is obviously a lot more....I could go on.

Reality of the situation is the IBL didn't have a good business plan or budget together before beginning there endeavour. And now that they don't have money to pay their debt, a group of people are attempting to try again.

What is wrong with that? Its business. They aren't "wolves or in to underage women", they are simply attempting to start a league that a lot of people feel will work in Israel. This kind of failure and business "take over" happens every day in the business world. And you know what, its apart of life.

I feel terrible for what is happening to Larry Barras and even worse for his family. Its tragic the first year of the IBL didnt work to plan and he had the founder had "the worst summer of his life". The IBL was not ready for the difficulties they faced and it doenst seem like 3 months after the season much has changed.

This is a very unfortunate situation, which a lot of people feel very strongly about. But all in all, both leagues want the same thing. Baseball in Israel. Isn't that what we all want?

I know that there is a majority of players who would love to go back next summer given the opportunity because this past summer was worth all of the aggravation we went through. But now to see 3 months after the season the league hasn't paid us and their board of directors ran for the hills. Doesn't that tell you something about the league. It's time to move on and let someone else try. Why should the dream of baseball in Israel die because the first group that tried it was not financially responsible?

Sunday, December 23, 2007 4:49:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

Well said. And the hard reality is that even if every one, including the vendors, were paid before season 2 the IBL has lost the confidence of future vendors, investors and the banks. This is a business.

The nastiness and vindictiveness must end. The priority for the few that remain in the IBL is to find ways to cover the debt. It is unlikely that they will be able to do much more than that.

And let's hope IPBL can make a second season happen with a well funding business plan.

Monday, December 24, 2007 5:03:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how the tryouts went in Miami on the 23rd? Also, I wonder what was said there about the financial situation and prior obligations (particularly the salary issues) of the league.

Monday, December 24, 2007 6:27:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

Don't talk about censorship and how you produce unbiased news reports, put down the blog relating to the IBL, AND THEN DELETE MY POST!!! TB's blog is much worse than the IBL since at least they have the balls to set their blog so everyone knows their comments must be pre-approved.

You on the other hand make it seem like anything can be posted, but what you don't tell readers is that you delete the posts you don't want others to see. You are a bunch of liars and have become what you say you hate most... a bunch of censors!!! How long before you delete this one!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 9:08:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

There is a huge difference to what you said. There are limits to free speech. You cant just make up whatever you want and post it. What you said is slander.

If you want to make posts, make them productive. Its sad if you want to resort to bashing someone who has no involvement with TB.

And not to mention if you are going to bash someone and want free speech you should at least make your name known.

Its sad that we haven't gotten paid and now we are fighting each other rather than the league.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 12:45:00 PM PST


Blogger tabloidbaby said...

"Don't talk about censorship and how you produce unbiased news reports, put down the blog relating to the IBL, AND THEN DELETE MY POST!!!

"You on the other hand make it seem like anything can be posted, but what you don't tell readers is that you delete the posts you don't want others to see. You are a bunch of liars and have become what you say you hate most... a bunch of censors!!!"

Hey Pally, we'll delete libelous and slanderous posts that we can get sued and or shut down for.

When you call someone a peodophile or go in for other personal attacks that are against the Google guidelines, you get deleted.

Next time sign your name or attach a return address.

You moron. Go delete yourself.

TB

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 1:04:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

Go re-read the email you deleted bozo. It was done in as a joke and was written as humor. No one could call that slanderous, and you idiots do it all the time. I never said I had proof of anything, and if you had even the slightest clue you would know that. Delete myself... bite me you talentless bunch of losers! As for the idiot who keeps claiming that it's such a shame we haven't been paid, well then go do something about it. That's what a court is for, but you would rather bitch and moan than be a man and stand up for yourself. Screw all of you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 5:40:00 PM PST



Anonymous said...

I'll leave a name when you leave a name talentless baby, and TB isn't a name, it's a disease.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 6:12:00 PM PST


Anonymous IBL PLAYER said...

"They censor and pre-approve all comments. So for the free flow of ideas, the Knesset of Israel Baseball, you will have to turn here." Free flow? Who are we kidding here? Posting naked pictures of Heather Mills is O.K., but a post that is clearly satire is deleted? Sounds like you should practice what you preach or is acting as a censor part of your everyday activity at timid baby - so sorry that the post was against google guidelines. We know how much emphasis is put on the truth and good taste on this blog.

Here let me buy you a dictionary:

Satire:

A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit.

Irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack or expose folly, vice, or stupidity.

Speaking of stupidity - I present to you the staff at TB!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 7:50:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

What did I say that was bitching or moaning? I said we havnet gotten paid. Which is a fact. If we sue the league they will without a doubt not be able to have a second season. Not to mention, what assets do they have for us to sue. It is pointless brining it to court. The reason i personally haven't wanted to sue was because i want to give Martin and Larry the benefit of the doubt that they will be getting money soon. But you can't see past that. you just see bitching and moaning. Just like you can't see that your post wasn't funny or humorous. Esepcially about the person you wrote it. Thats why its slander, you moron. I guess you couldn't realize that because you were too busy doing detective work looking up satire in the dictionary. You must have gotten worn out by all that thinking. But its alright.

I just have a couple of question I'm curiouse about, please feel free to answer the ones you want. What has TB lied or been slanderous about? If you were a player last season, have you been paid in full? What do you have against the members of the IPBL? And why do you have so much hate for people giving negative information out about the IBL?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 7:26:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

There is no IPBL. Maybe in 2009, maybe 2010, but not in 2008. If you think a new league is popping up next season you are kidding yourself, and if you want baseball to be played next season there is only one game in town regardless of their performance last season. My guess is you care more about your involvement next season than about baseball succeding in Israel.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 6:48:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

I'd rather no baseball in Israel if it is to be run by unethical management.

The IBL can not get any funding because of their poor business practices.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 7:12:00 PM PST


Anonymous Holy Land Hardball said...

You nailed it: You would rather there be no baseball in Israel because it was never more than a job for you.

Most players would have played for free, but a select few had other agendas. I assume you are one of them, and now you don't see yourself going back. It's easy to blame someone else for your bad experience, but take a good hard look in the mirror.

If your paycheck was the main reason you went, maybe you shouldn't have gone in the first place.

Oh, and the IBL can't get any funding because there are some people out there who would like to run a campaign to put doubt into the heads of investors, and suck the life out of anything good that happened last season.

I'm not an idiot, and I have no idea if or how Larry can fix things for next year, but I do know they are owed the opportunity to correct their mistakes. If they can't by the end of next season, I'll be the first to say good luck to the IPBL!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 8:58:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

To the posting above:

Your assumptions about me are sadly mistaken. I am not a player but there were players for whom the money was important. Not every one had the resources to spend an entire summer without any income... for the sheer pleasure of playing baseball in Israel. As you know some player, especially those from Latin America, needed to send the money home or for their own day to day expenses.

However, what seldom gets mentioned is that the travel agency and numerous vendors are out tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. These business people are in debt because they relied on contracts and the good faith dealings of the IBL. For their sake, I hope that the IBL and Larry/Martin make good on all this debt. And as much as everyone would like to disparage the advisors who left the IBL, these guys were legitimately worried that their reputations would be tarnished by being associated with an organization that was so fiscally irresponsible. In many ways, a good idea like professional baseball in Israel may have been irreparably harmed for years to come.

Thursday, December 27, 2007 5:42:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

I think almost everyone who reads this site or has been involved with the IBL realizes how fiscally irresponsible IBL management has been. But what is troubling me the most is the fact that people are beginning to forget that this was professional baseball. Players were supposed to get paid to play. Fields were supposed to be paid for. Vendors were supposed to be paid for. (the list can go on) But they were not. Whether the players would have played for free or not is irrelevent. THe point is all of people mentioned above signed a contract and should get paid. On that same note, this was a business. Not just some club that grown men put together for fun. They went out and got investors to give their hard earned money to them. And what did they do? They spent it frivolouslly.

So now we are at a crossroad. The IBL has a tremendous amount of debt. Everyone can see that the IBL had good intentions and would like to have a second chance. And I would love to see that happen. But reality is I dont see that happening. Rational investors are not going to throw money into a company where they will not see a return on their investment.

While many people out their may read this and feel that all I care about is money. But that is not the case. I have been thinking long and hard about the situation and realize that this is a business first and fun second.

My main interest, whether its the IBL, IPBL or some other group, is having a league in Israel. I would love to be able to watch and follow the league. I think its a great idea. As long as its run properly. Had proper budgeting been in place, none of these conversations would be happening right now and we would all be looking forward to next season.

Thursday, December 27, 2007 11:01:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

Hey some well written posts!
Thats a first. Who besides the travel agent and players have not gotten paid? did the Miami tryouts boast a great next season?
If only a couple of players and the travel agent did not get paid, bid deal. One small investor can pay the 20-30 thousand they are in debt.

Thursday, December 27, 2007 2:17:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

One area to look at here is how the Miami tryouts were handled on Dec 23rd, did they even come off and if so what was told to the new prospects. It seems to me that this would be valuable information in judging if there will be a second season. WHAT IS KNOWN ABOUT THE MIAMI TRYOUTS LAST WEEK!?

Friday, December 28, 2007 12:15:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the IBL is not dealing with that kind of debt--$30,000. Otherwise it would be well on its way to season 2. It is many times that amount- in the hundreds of thousands. It will not be enough to pay off last year’s debt. The IBL has to raise money for the upcoming year which has got to be several million. As was mentioned in another post investors need to know how this past year’s money was spent and for whatever reason the management has not provided any of this information. It could just be poor record keeping but who knows. Three are a lot of things working against the IBL. I do think that there should be some open and honest communication with the players about what is going. Not just PR postings on the website. Given that there were tryouts in Miami it just begs the question of what is being done to resolve current problems

Saturday, December 29, 2007 8:12:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

I heard it was cancelled
then the field location changed( probably because of non payment to the field) ran by former IBL players with Berger ,Dukette but not Baras

Saturday, December 29, 2007 11:05:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

Well was it cancelled or moved? It can't be both? The fact is the tryout went well, and there were several very talented players who were there and will add to to leagues talent next season. It's interesting that the only people saying that there won't be a league next season are the IPBL guys... guess they couldn't get a field to play on so they hope to short circut this season with more lies and negative comments. Hey it's a good business strategy for the IPBL. It's unethical, but hey - look who's involved! Should we expect anything different?

Sunday, December 30, 2007 6:23:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

the tryouts went well
the New York Times is full of shit
the IBL made a million not lost a million
they have their facts wrong

Sunday, December 30, 2007 9:14:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

made a million????!!!! From what, ticket sales??? Or maybe it was merchandising, or a TV contract? I'm sure the 75 tickets sold per game brought in tons of money...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008 6:53:00 AM PST


Anonymous said...

Oh yeah.. the IBL made $1 million! No one believes that for one minute. So, please explain why the players who were paid a pittance didn't get paid. It could only mean one thing. The money was misappropriated....but the fact is the IBL is deep in debt

Tuesday, January 1, 2008 12:59:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

finally, a few steps foward into some thoughtfulness on this site...and then a a couple of steps backward into nonsense.
the truth is that the tryouts went like crap...there were hardly enough players to even make it worthy of a tryout...Dan Duquette was there but didn't bring any of his people who ran last year's tryouts (probably because he is still owed money); let's not kid ourselves, Martin Berger is not the guy you go to for running a baseball tryout. then the field everyone went to was unable to be used...an excuse was given along the lines of "at the last moment, a player who tried out last year threatened to make a legal claim for an injury (pulled hamstring) he suffered...hardly had the ring of truth, but the invitees then had to shuttle to another field about a half an hour away. the fact of the matter is that the founder of the IBL IS about 1 million in the red with no prospects of raising money for year 2...anyone with half a brain who has been following this can figure out that this has nothing to do with the IPBL guys...who gives money to a company to run its second year when the monies also first have to pay off such significant debts from year 1? no one is the answer, not even the apologists for the IBL that have written their support with their eyes closed to the facts...by now, it has sunk in for most of us...let's support moving forward and keeping baseball alive. murray chass doesn't just write things for the Times to write them. Let's remember that it was his journalism that helped the IBL get going...potential investors saw his article, found Baras and got involved...now he has examined the facts and reported them...not even a Roger Clemens-like refutation letter from Larry Baras or his lawyer. It's pretty clear why Mr. Baras is not quoted in the article.

The original investors then took a serious financial bath and have not been given any answers to where the money went and what for...can anyone really say that it isn't time to move on? and doesn't everyone realize that if a new page isn't turned, there will be no professional baseball in Israel?

Let's keep our eyes on the facts and avoid gratuitous misstatements and arrogant, irresponsible commentary.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008 1:17:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

Wow! Another great posting! What happened to the rival IBL blog?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008 9:15:00 PM PST


Anonymous said...

Yes, this was a well written post. Larry’s bagel business is $1.5 million in debt and the IBL is $1 million in debt. He hasn’t denied any of this. It does seem unlikely that there will be any resolution unless Kurtzer and the other advisors are able to get to the bottom of things (like where the money went) and obtain financing the cover the debt. My guess is that any future investors will want new leadership in place with proven experience. What a mess!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 6:51:00 AM PST

Anonymous said...

The bagel business is $1.5 million in debt? What is happening with lawsuit from Natalie Blacher in Miami? I believe that money will be dolled out in date sequence of lawsuits. Who takes priority? Israel or USA debts? He definitely has assets as other people such as the Pres of the IBL.

Don't think that you wont get paid due to lack of funds.(AS long as a claim is made!) They have money it is just a matter of time before it is uncovered.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 11:20:00 AM PST

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Will there be Two Tribes of Israel Baseball in 2008? Our Man Elli provides some expert analysis

First Israel's baseball dream was a reality. Then it was in shambles. Now there may be too much baseball ahead in 2008! In wake of this morning's announcement that the Israel Professional Baseball League is moving forward to replace the Israel Baseball League in the hearts of Israelis (and a polite "no comment yet" from IPBL honchos), we asked Our Man Elli in Israel to sort it out for us.

Tabloid Baby: So Elli, is there room for two leagues in Israel?

Our Man Elli: You're asking me? So far, we still don't know if there's room for one league in Israel. The IBL's first season wasn't marketed to Israelis, so no Israelis showed up. No professional league can survive here unless it is run professionally. But in answer to your specific question: No. I don't think there's room in Israel for two professional baseball leagues.

Do you know what cities the Israel Professional Baseball League plans to represent?

Look, this isn't the States. It's not even Anaheim. The names of the cities on the front of the Israeli uniforms are really immaterial, because the teams don't play in those cities anyway. The IBL picked cities because of their sizes and sizeable Anglo populations. I don't like to assume, but it's probable that the IPBLwill choose similar names for the same reasons. Though there are certainly some nicely-named cities with Anglo populations that could be included-- like Rehovot and Tzfat.

Tzfat.

No. "Tzfat."

Where will the IBL play?

At the moment, there are only the two fields used last summer that are even playable. Those are Gezer and Baptist Village. I mean, it's possible they could convert some soccer fields in the next six months. But it's getting late.

The IPBL announced its season today. Are they really looking to merge with the IBL?

No. Not now they're not. There's no love lost between the two league organizers. but a lot could happen between now and June.

The Hatfields and the Mc-Oys.

Funny. (not laughing) Right now, the people behind the two leagues won't be working together. But, should there be changes within either league's heirachy, anything can happen.

Do two leagues mean there'll be a bidding war or players?

No. The least problem of all the problems any league faces is where to get players. There's no shortage of baseball talent out there. There are outstanding players from around the world, who'd be ecstatic to play in Israel. As we saw last summer. There are players who'd be ecstatic to play in Israel even if they didnt get paid! As we saw last summer.

What about commissioners?

Again, no problem. Neither will get a high-calibre name like Dan Kurtzer to run their league, because there aren't too many former US ambassadors waiting to run a baseball league. But there are certainly competent people in Israel who can be a commissioner of baseball here.

How about Ell--

Don't start.

EXCLUSIVE! ISRAEL BASEBALL PLAYERS IN SECRET SUMMIT: BREAKING BREAD IN MANHATTAN MEETING OVER RIVAL LEAGUES


Earlier today, we reported exclusively that the Israel Professional Baseball League announced that they're charging full speed ahead with plans for an inaugural 2008 season that would go head-to-head with the embattled Israel Baseball League it sprang from. Now, Our Man Elli in Israel reports exclusively on a high-stakes summit led by two senior players who are vehement rivals on the issue. The meeting is taking place right now:

ELLI WOHLGELERNTER REPORTS:


I have just found out that at this very hour [7P EST], that seven players from the Israel Baseball League are holding a reunion at a bistro in the West Village of Manhattan. Seems a couple of fellas from L.A. are in town: Adam Harwood from the Modi'in Miracle and Josh Eichenstein of the Netanya Tigers. They called others, and everyone's getting together.

What's most interesting is that the gathering includes Eric Holtz and Alan Gardner. Now we know from postings and comments at Tabloid Baby that those two are on opposite sides of the fence: Holtz, the player-coach of the champion Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, is an emphatic, vocal and leading defender of the IBL, despite the league's continued lack of financial transparency, while Gardner-- utility outfielder for the Blue Sox and Manhattan lawyer-- is spearheading the new, rival Israel Professional Baseball League. These two players were among the elders of the league (Holtz turns 42 on wednesday; Gardner turned 46 a month ago) and they have the ear of the younger guys.

The others in attendance are the Blue Sox's Scott Perlman, Tel Aviv Lightning's Nate Fish, and Tiger Leon Feingold. Perlman has just been named director of group ticket sales for the IBL, so it would seem that Gardner will be the player on the hot seat at that table-- when Feingold and Holtz aren't busy throwing barbs my way.

I spoke to Nate Fish before the get-together, and he told me that it wasn't a meeting to explore options of where to play, or even to discuss the ongoing soap opera. "I just want to see the guys," he said. "I hope there’s not too much talk with what’s going on with the league. I just want to reminisce about the good times over the summer, and laugh about it. I'll be happy to avoid too much of the drama of what’s going on right now."

Fish said most of the players he talks with do not discuss the ongoing developments with the IBL or the IPBL, but rather their individual circumstances with the IBL and the money the league still owes them.

"A lot of people are talking about their personal situation in relation to the league," Fish told me. "People aren’t having a dialogue; they are venting their feelings on the league, as opposed to the actual news and the drama."

He said he was caught by surprise to hear about the new IPBL league being formed.

"I can’t believe it," Fish said. "I was shocked that this is happening. The only logical thing is that this new league is not buying the IBL and not merging,-- that it’s an attack on the IBL, to put the IBL out of business.

"At this point there is no room for two leagues."

Fish said he probably wouldn't play for either league, as he's getting on with life, and in fact, he's continuing to write his memoir about the first season of the IBL.

EXCLUSIVE: RIVAL ISRAEL BASEBALL LEAGUE MOVES FORWARD: ANNOUNCES WEBSITE; UNVEILS LOGO; CALLS ITSELF "PREMIER LEAGUE IN ISRAEL"!


What was first reported exclusively on Tabloid Baby is now official: a second professional baseball league in Israel has been formally launched.

Our Man Elli got his hands on this release from the backers of the proposed Israel Professional Baseball League, announcing six teams for a season in the summer of 2008, going up directly against the Israel Baseball League, which announced its second season just last week:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TRIANGLE FINANCIAL SERVICES LAUNCHES
NEW ISRAEL PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL LEAGUE
INFORMATIONAL WEBSITE

AVENTURA, FL., December 4, 2007- Triangle Financial Services, a sports and entertainment investment firm, announced today the launch of the Israel Professional Baseball League (IPBL) informational website ( http://www.trianglefs.com/ipbl.html). The IPBL is the second professional baseball league in the Middle East and will be the premier professional baseball league in the land of Israel. The IPBL will be a six-team league that will begin play in the summer of 2008. The IPBL is a separate league from the Israel Baseball League.

ABOUT TRIANGLE FINANCIAL SERVICES Triangle Financial Services, a sports and entertainment investment firm, has a diverse portfolio of international sports enterprises. The recent acquisition of the Maccabi Haifa professional basketball team in Israel along with the sponsorship of the Dragonflies, a semi-professional baseball team in Hong Kong, China, represents Triangle's continued effort to invest in emerging international sports ventures. For more information on Triangle Financial Services, please visit www.trianglefs.com.

The league's webpage seeks players, contributors and personnel.

The IPBL was first announced last month, the week that the IBL's commissioner and advisory board went running for the hills because of financial problems and questions surrounding league founder Larry Baras-- also reported exclusively here.

Regarding this recent development, Our Man Elli had this comment: "Let the bean-ball war begin!"

(Heading up the new league are Jeffrey Rosen, a major IBL investor and owner of the Maccabi Haifa basketball team; Andrew Wilson, a facilitator on the ground for the IBL who now works for Rosen; Alan Gardner, a New York City attorney who played centerfield for the Beit Shemesh Blue Sox; and Michael Rollhaus, a businessman from Queens and major IBL investor.)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Israel baseball's championship season


While the soap opera called the Israel Baseball League rolls into December and closer to an Opening Day that may or may not materialize, the sport of baseball is thriving in Israel and a dramatic, action-packed championship series is underway and getting more ink in the nation than the infighting, announcements and real news behind the bigshot professional league.

Haaretz reports:

The Tel Aviv Reds were running on all cylinders Wednesday night, pounding out 14 hits on the way to a resounding 13-3 triumph over the Ra'anana Wildfire in the first game of the best-of-three Israel Association of Baseball Senior Fall League championship series.

Ra'anana came into the game as the favorite after having won seven straight games to earn home-team advantage. However, the Spring League champions from Tel Aviv made an emphatic statement in the top of the first inning, scoring six runs on five hits. The biggest blow was a two-run double by player-coach Dan Rothem - the first of his three hits on the night, while veteran hurler George Chityat hit an RBI single.

Having helped his own cause, Chityat then proceeded to shut down the Ra'anana attack through five innings, scattering three hits.

Stellar defensive play by Rothem and centerfielder Omri Modiano nailed two Ra'anana runners at home plate during a wild fifth inning, with catcher Ofir Katz, who also had a three-hit game, successfully applying the tags.

Chityat finally ran out of steam in the sixth, but Ra'anana's three-run rally was squelched by Modiano's sterling shoestring catch to end the inning. Closer Jason Hillman secured the win with two efficient innings of relief.

The win saddled Ra'anana's Daniel Maddy-Weitzman with his first loss of the season, and left Tel Aviv one win away from the championship.

Game 2 is scheduled for 7 P.M. Sunday evening at the Yarkon Sports Complex in Petah Tikva's Baptist Village, with Game 3, if necessary, on Wednesday at the same time and place.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Our Man Elli gives us the 411 on the IBL

Our Man Elli in Israel has been on assignment (baseball's just one of his beats), but he's reached us with his take on the announcement by Israel Baseball League president Martin I. Berger of a second IBL season in 2008.

Elli also addresses the fact that Berger made no mention of the league's debts, financial scandals, players' complaints-- or the status of IBL founder Larry Baras, last heard from in a desperate plea to Our Man Elli.

Tabloid Baby: So where have you been? We were about to run a missing persons story.

Our Man Elli in Israel: Working. When you start paying me, you can start keeping tabs on my whereabouts.

So what does the IBL announcement mean?

It means IBL management is certainly moving forward. But remember, they're still facing enormous financial issues. They're clearly hoping they can find some investors who'll help pay off last summer's debts to players and fields and others. And then they've got to prepare for next summer's cash flow. Players and vendors won't be so forgiving the second time around.

And the recent events certainly haven't helped their cause. I know potential investors who pulled out because of that 'lack of transparency' Dan Kurtzer and the nine other board members cited when they quit. And now I'm chasing down rumours the IBl wants to pay the 2008 players less than they paid in the first season. And they still haven't addressed the players who are owed money. So they've got some work ahead.

So is the talk of a 2008 season just that-- talk? Or is it really full speed ahead?

Well, it's full speed ahead right now. But how fast are they traveling? If they don't lock in investors quickly it would seem to be incredibly difficult to get 2008 off the ground.

Then again, did Berger simply "change the headline" with the announcement, taking the focus off the fraud suit and resignations?

Yeah, that's certainly true, because the press release is just that. It's a headline. It says the IBL is announcing its 2008 schedule, but they've only listed the opening night. On the IBL website, if you go to the 'schedule' link, they're still showing last season.

They do say they're scaling back to 40 games, instead of the 45 games they announced last season. And that's probably smart, since they didn't get in the full schedule last season. Four teams played 41 games and two teams played 40. And putting in lights at Gezer for night games will help. That 5 o'clock starting time last season made it impossible for a lot of working stiffs to make it to the ballpark.

Will the stars return?

I'd bet every player who can make it back will come back, except the ones who have jobs and can't make it.

Any possibility that you'll be named commissioner?

Will you guys get off that kick? It's embarrassing. You're sitting on your beach in Los Angeles. I have to work here. So yeah, there are three chances: Slim, fat and none. I don't want to be commissioner. I have a job.

Oh, well. Sandy Koufax, then. Anyway, what about the moving the Petach Tikva team to Jerusalem? What does this mean to Petach Tiikva? Did they support the team or were there too many native Israelis?

I was surprised to hear they were quote 'moving' the franchise. The Pioneers were one of two IBL teams that actually played in the city they were named after. Tel Aviv was the other. The other four teams were named after cities, but didn't play in them. And get this-- the Jerusalem team won't be playing in Jerusalem, either. They're playing in Gezer.

The Netanya Tigers, the Ra’anana Express and the Tel Aviv Lightning will play in Petah Tikva-- but not Petah Tikvah? Why take away the franchise name from the same city it plays in? That's a mystery.

What about Larry Baras? Is he out?

It appears that the three main principals are remaining as leaders of the IBL. Marin Berger, Dan Duquette and Larry Baras.

One more question. What do you think about the angry reactions, slams and accusations you're getting on the comments pages?

Will you please stop trying to stir things up? It's stupid. It's infantile. Who cares? I should say one thing for the record. I have nothing to to with the Israel professional Baseball League. Nothing whatsoever.

We thought you were going to be commissioner.

Nice one. Good night

IBL pitcher Leon Feingold salutes our work!

"Maybe it's a good thing

we have mudslinging,

smarmy, sensationalist,

no-talent

gossip-column rejects

like Elli and Tabloid Baby...

Maybe they'll help us realize

we're ALL divided

by a common goal -

baseball in Israel."

--Leon Feingold
#45 Netanya Tigers



The aging pitcher for the Netanya Tigers of the Israel Baseball League, one-time Cleveland Indians hopeful and professional competitive eater tips his hat to the hard work the Tabloid Baby staff has been doing to report all sides of the constantly- developing story about the future of professional baseball in Israel and the men behind it. And Leon, we say to you-- oh, we won't embarrass you.

You know what what we have to say!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bizarro! Israel Baseball League's Southern cousins!


You don't have to be Jewish to screw up the first season of your six-team professional baseball league. In fact, you might be a Redneck!

The story of Larry Baras and the foible-ridden Israel Baseball League just might not be so special after all. The Aiken, South Carolina Daily Standard reports this week on the plans for a 2008 season of the South Coast professional baseball league-- after a disastrous first season-- and its wildly similar to the parallel story of the IBL.

Now of course, the dreams of an entire race, the history of a nation, and the future of Israel-- not to mention the lives of a few players and a federal fraud lawsuit-- aren't at stake here-- but Larry Baras, Martin Berger, Eric Holtz can all take comfort in knowing that they are no less inept than a bunch of Southern crackers. Heck, the South Coast pros even have their own Ken Holtzman.

In the article South Coast League preparing for 2008, Sports editor Cam Huffman reports:

"It is no big secret that the South Coast League of professional baseball, the newest independent baseball league that played it first season this past summer and included the Aiken Foxhounds, got off to a tough start. From a nationally-publicized on-again, off-again relationship with former New York Met Wally Backman to the cancellation of the inaugural All-Star game and culminating with financial losses that would make the Tampa Bay Devil Rays look like the New York Yankees, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Toole had a year he would like to forget. Still, reflecting on the season that was as he prepares for year No. 2, Toole is keeping a positive attitude about the future of the SCL...

"'We really did not have a good year financially. We knew going into this thing that you could not start six new baseball teams and make a profit. We certainly weren't believing that we would come into this thing with cash falling all over the place. But sometimes it is not what you make but what you spend. From our financial stability, I feel good with where we are, but we are... looking to bring on investors to help us grow.'

"Newly hired coaches and managers almost always point to year No. 2 as the season that will either make or break their new clubs, and Toole believes a similar approach should be taken when evaluating the SCL.

"I think this is the most important year coming up,' he explained. 'In 2007, there was a lot of excitement about just playing the season and getting the league started. In 2008 we have some history, we have a better understanding of some of the challenges we face, and the performance in 2008 it a better barometer of how each market will perform.'

"Accomplishing the league's mission in year No. 2 will be up to a number of personalities that were not even around to go through the struggles of the SCL's first year... With new faces behind the scenes, many of the organizations may take on entirely different personalities in 2008, but Toole explained that was not totally unexpected.

"'It is probably a little more than normal, but typically our industry has a lot of turnover anyway,' said Toole. This year with a start-up league there were a lot of trials and tribulations, a lot of extra hours and a lot of things we all had to learn. Some folks can handle that better than others.'"


Read the entire article here. Meanwhile, a tip of the Tabloid Baby hat to the anonymous commenter who gave us the story link and said, "Remove SCL and insert IBL and the stories are almost exactly the same!"

And to the baseball fans who got all huffy about our Eric Holtz story: We don't have a stake in the IBL. We just follow a good story. So you can say whatever you want in our forum. but when you take a cheap shot at Our Man Elli, prepare for us to defend him.

(FUN FACT: In DC Comics' Bizarro world of the cube-shaped "Htrae" ("Earth" spelled backwards), society is ruled by the Bizarro Code which states "Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!")

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

IBL Player Holtz makes a play for commissioner; launches campaign by attacking Our Man Elli!

Hillary and Obama, take notes! In a lengthy statement in the Tabloid Baby comment section, Eric Holtz, the aging 41-year-old shortstop for the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, looks to find a post-playing career by casting his lot with the battered but defiant Israel Baseball League-- and, in angling for the role of commissioner, hurling a vicious spitball at the head of the man he sees as his main competitor for the job: Our Man Elli!

In his comment that appeared at 2:53 pm under this morning's Tabloid Baby post on questions raised by Martin Berger's announcmement that the IBL will be back for a second season in 2008, Holtz, whose IBL profile lists his favorite movies as Godfather I, Jackass, and Austin Powers: Goldmember, talks of his own experience ins starting up a business, defends founder Larry Baras, forgives the IBL for the bounced paycheck he says he received, condemns the team behind the rival Israel professional Baseball League, and for some reason swings a Louisville Slugger at the back of Our Man Elli In Israel:

"It just upsets me as I have seen in business over the last 22 years that there are Vultures that try to pick off the last pieces of meat off of a carcass and to me that is exactly what is going on with this whole IPBL nonsense. These guys busted their balls for years to get this thing off the ground, and now a 'New Leadership Group' is going to swoop in and just take over???? You can look yourself in the mirror and that may be O.K. for you, but for me I could not have allegiance to Vultures..."

"In life it is always easier to pick apart what someone did wrong (Monday morning quarterback) Like this Elli guy from Israel who could be the lowest level of Human Life in a reporter that I have ever seen, rather than to Look at the Positives and try to recover from them. I myself have always prided myself on being a Glass Half-Full Guy but again -That is Me!"


Oddly, the comment is followed two minutes later by the posting of an anonymous comment stating:

"IF ANYONE SHOULD BE COMMISSIONER OF THIS LEAGUE IT SHOULD BE ERIC HOLTZ!"

...and, 31 minutes later, a lengthy statement of support from "The Rubenstein family," indicating it is the family of Ra'anana Express infielder Brendan "Ruby" Rubenstein :

"...Eric, we think of you as a fine man, one that has demonstrated a maturity many on this board have not had. You are a credit to the League and your words speak the feelings many of us have for what has gone on..."

The order and timing of the postings indicate this may have be a planned campaign, and we at Tabloid Baby wish Eric Holtz well. We understand that at his advanced age, his days as a player are behind him ("again, I will be 42 in a couple of weeks, and I may look at things a little differently than some of the younger guys, but I need to live with myself...") and that he is positioning himself for a management role in the new IBL.

But we really take issue with the wormy tactic of kissing up to the bosses by smearing an honest, diligent, experienced and brave reporter whose investigation and reportage has been inspired solely to protect the lives of Holtz and his colleagues. Elli Wohlgelernter is not Tabloid Baby. And, as he stated, he wants nothing to do with our campaign to name him commissioner of any baseball league. The stories he has written have been bylined. The rest of the reporting and posting comes from the Tabloid Baby staff. And the rich, scandalous material we post comes from the very people whose asses Eric Holtz kisses.


(NOTE: Eric Holtz was quoted in Our Man Elli's landmark investigative article on the IBL's first season. While some players complained, Holtz said: "“My personal experience has just been wonderful in every aspect of it." Asked if he and the other players would come back next season, after all they went through, Holtz didn’t hesitate. “If they lived through the worst and survived,” he said, “then why wouldn’t they come back next year?")


BELOW IS ERIC HOLTZ'S ATTACK ON OUR MAN ELLI:

Gentlemen,

I trust that everyone had a great Holiday weekend. I am sending this out from myself-I have not been prodded by anyone to do this, but being one of the senior members of the league (age wise) I wanted to share my feelings with you on some of the things, rumors etc.

When starting a business, there are many speed bumps thrown at you, many things that come up that are just un-foreseen, I myself started a company in 2000 that did not exist. Knowing what I know now, I may not have done it-- My balls were to the wall for the first 9 months. Not knowing if I would be able to pay my mortgage or bills, but in my heart knowing I was trying my best. That was in my backyard. The IBL was created and executed in a foreign land with many obstacles that were un-foreseen until they were right in front of their faces. Promises made with good intentions and I believe in my heart that no one started this thing with the intention to hurt or screw anyone.

The management of the league was understaffed to say the least- I remember seeing Larry picking up garbage at Gezer prior to a game. That was just ridiculous to me. Yet- He did whatever he needed to do. At the end of the day, We Played 130 Baseball games in a land that had never had 1 Professional game- Had an All-Star game and Awarded a Champion. A full day does not go by without me thinking of something that may have happened on the field, dealing with Blomberg or spending a day off on the beach with friends. There were so many Great things and relationships that were made over these 63 days in a foreign land.

Many of the players have been signed to Independent ball contracts and as you all know Rees and Rodriguez have Minor league deals with the Yankees. I still cannot believe that. I am not sure how many of you are still owed money, but I know that Martin and Larry are fighting everyday to try and secure financing to make good on old debt and go forward with season 2. I myself am owed money (don't know if that will make you feel better or worse) but I am trying to look at the big picture and I am giving them every benefit to try and resolve these matters.

For some of you younger guys, I know it is Black and white-Where's my money?? and I cannot argue that- It is not my place to even try.

It just upsets me as I have seen in business over the last 22 years that there are Vultures that try to pick off the last pieces of meat off of a carcass and to me that is exactly what is going on with this whole IPBL nonsense. These guys busted their balls for years to get this thing off the ground, and now a "New Leadership Group" is going to swoop in and just take over???? You can look yourself in the mirror and that may be O.K. for you, but for me I could not have allegiance to Vultures. I would personally have to have Martin/Larry & Dan Duquette exhaust every last opportunity in righting the wrongs before I would even consider thinking about anything else.

Now again, I will be 42 in a couple of weeks, and I may look at things a little differently than some of the younger guys, but I need to live with myself and to me this is not Just about Business!! This is about guys busting their asses for years to get us to Israel and get games played.

In life it is always easier to pick apart what someone did wrong(Monday morning quarterback) Like this Elli guy from Israel who could be the lowest level of Human Life in a reporter that I have ever seen, rather than to Look at the Positives and try to recover from them. I myself have always prided myself on being a Glass Half-Full Guy but again -That is Me!

I wish everyone a Phenomenal Holiday season to you and your families, and I miss you all!!!!!

Holtz

ERIC HOLTZ

Addendum: 34 readers' comments on IBL Player Holtz makes a play for commissioner; launches campaign by attacking Our Man Elli!

34 COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...
Oddly - You are an idiot! Eric didn't post his own letter on tabloid baby, he is sick of your daily blog - he sent it as an email to everyone in the league this morning. He sure as hell wouldn't have posted it on your forum!

Someone else posted it, and I in fact had to call him up and let him know that some bozo had posted it on this site.

In fact, I'm the one that wrote Eric Holtz should be the next commissioner, and just by chance, a few minutes after the letter was posted.

Investigative journalists you are not! As a matter of fact, it was nice to see someone put their name to something for a change. He does not want to be commissioner in any way shape or form. Go ahead, ask him! He already has a job, and it isn't in Israel!

P.S. He never started a failed buisiness, he strted a buisiness that was difficult in the beginning, and is now very successful. Nice try though!

11/27/2007 5:35 PM
Anonymous said...
Knowing how you guys work, someone probably sent it to Elli and he posted it here to make himself look like the poor attacked journalist... boo hoo, Eric said something bad about me, I'll start to smear him too...

Only one problem - WE ALL LIVED with the man for 2 months, and he was the most honest guy there, and went out on a limb for every player there every chance he got. Including standing against Baras when he felt he was wrong.

Go ask any player there! Go ask the group that is trying to start the IPBL, go ask the security guards, the trainers, the staff, the other managers, and most of all the Israeli fans.

You just shot yourself in the foot tabloid baby! You messed with the wrong man! Elli is just upset because the last time he called Eric for a comment, he said he would prefer to keep his opinions to himself. Sometimes you should just quit while you are ahead!

11/27/2007 5:53 PM
Sandy Koufax said...
Oh, so Holtz isn't big enough to slander Elli in public. He only did it behind the scenes, in a continuation of the smear campaign begun after the first article. Big man.

And you wrote in to nominate Holtz for commissioner "just by chance?"

FEH!

Holtz is the one who went on a self-serving slander attack and (I know from slander), whether via email or on the comments forum (and thank G-d for that forum).

And thank G-d for this site and these journalists who are playing it down the middle.

11/27/2007 6:58 PM
Ken Holtzman said...
I wrote it as a joke Alan Gardner, and yes as a lawyer you are probably quite familiar with slander - you did it behind peoples backs all summer, and now here!

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that this forum doesn't serve Holtz in any way, and writing an email to the entire league and all it's members certainly doesn't constitute behind the back since he knows some self serving fool would send it to Eli.

Thank G-D we don't have to watch you try and play baseball anymore!

11/27/2007 7:24 PM
Anonymous said...
ALL YOU IBL GUYS ARE THE SAME. YOU WRITE AN E MAIL AND SEND IT TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND THEN TO MAKE SURE EVERYBODY READ IT YOU POST IT ON TABLOID BABY AND THEN YOU DENY YOU DID IT.

11/27/2007 7:30 PM
Shawn Green said...
It's nice to see that you can pull your hand off your man member for a change to write in. Nice job with the shift key! You can release it and go back and play now.

We know how much you love to hear yourself speak but did you have to write it twice?

Too bad the only service you have to offer is being an asshole. Guess there isn't a great deal off demand for that in the states! I hate to tell you, but Israel doesnt want you either. Baptist Village called, they said we should keep the idiot!

11/27/2007 7:45 PM
Kfar Fruit Bat said...
Do not fuck with Eric Holtz, he is a good and decent man. I hope i speak for all IBL players when I say I will never visit or post on this site again.

11/27/2007 9:16 PM
Anonymous said...
I'd jump in front of a bus for Holtz - that's a real leader, someone who will tell you like it is with no BS even if you don't like what it is he has to say. I've seen him tell off Baras, Berger, as well as Rollhaus and Wilson, and I've seen him praise each of them as well. I read his letter. He doesn't preach or tell you what to think, he gives his own opinion and why he believes what he does, and lets you decide for yourself.

I'm with the last poster - I'm done with this blog "THE END PERIOD!"

11/28/2007 6:31 AM
Anonymous said...
Shawn Green, who are you referring to?

11/28/2007 7:30 AM
Anonymous said...
"...an honest, diligent, experienced and brave reporter whose investigation and reportage has been inspired solely to protect the lives of you and your colleagues..."

Wow! Elli does all that! I didn't know that I was in so much danger! Why were the sunflowers going to attack? Perhaps you were protecting us from the wild peacocks at the Hkfar! Thanks for the protection, but next time I'll just buy a pit bull. They are more loyal and trustworthy.

Sit Elli sit! Good dog!

Story is dead along with your career as a serious journalist, but please feel free to continue reporting on Israeli football, you have a real future in that... perhaps as the person who runs out and grabs the tee after the kickoff. I hear you are quite qualified to do that.

You can hardly call it good honest reporting when you pick and choose who you talk to, and avoid others when they won't give you what you want to hear because it doesn't quite fit into the story!

There was a reason why everyone called Gardner Media-Al. He never saw a camera or an interview he didn't like. He had more air time than playing time! There is something about a 45 year old NY lawyer who goes out at night wearing a crooked Dominican Republic hat and hitting on 19 year olds in a bar that really creeps me out, but hey, just beause you are a sleeze doesn't mean you aren't good for a quote or two. Nice job Elli!, and way to go tabloid baby.

Maybe next you can interview the peacocks at the Hkafar, they might have the inside scoop, or maybe you can just scoop up after them as you prepare for your next career.

11/28/2007 7:39 AM
Anonymous said...
YOU ARE SHORTSIGHTED ASSHOLES ATTACKING THE MESSENGER. YOU DONT GET PAID AND WHEN YOU DO GET PAID THE CHECKS BOUNCE. YOU PLAY FOR THE "JOY" OF THE GAME AND TO LIVE OUT LITTLE BOY DREAMS. YOU THINK MANAGEMET GIVES A RATS ASS ABOUT YOU? YOURE SLAVES AND STUPD SLAVES ATTACKING THE PEOPLE WHO ARE LOOKING OUT FOR YOU. STUPID UNEDUCATED JOCK FOOLS. WHERE WILL YOU GATHER TO COMPLAIN NEXT TIME WHEN TABLOIDBABY MOVES ON?

11/28/2007 7:45 AM
Shawn Green said...
There you go again - can't hit the caps lock key because you are too busy pull your hand off your man member.

Please go back to thinking about 19year old Israeli girls, no one wants to hear from you any more. Besides we already know who you are.

You can go back and play now.

11/28/2007 7:57 AM
Anonymous said...
From my reading of this blog over the past months, I would say it is safe to express any opinion but that you should launch personal volleys against Eli. That seems fair. I would agree that Eric, fine person as I know him to be, was ill-advised to have done so and should apologize.

11/28/2007 9:13 AM
Raanana IBL Player said...
Agree with Fruitbat. This site is dead to me. You call yourself a messenger but all you are doing is fanning flames of a fire (a very weak fire). You are trying to divide and promote hostility within a very tight group, and it is working.


Why in the world would you write that Holtz wants to be the commissioner? He never said it, never implied it. WHy would you write that he had a failed business. You have no proof his business failed, in fact you can assume it is doing great..how else could he take off a few months to play ball and still support his family.

This is my last post. I now see what this blog truley is.

Elli you may have at one time been a respected journalist but you have allied yourself with tabloid baby. I cannot tell what tabloidbaby starts and you end. You are the same.

Game over.

NEXT!

11/28/2007 10:43 AM
Anonymous said...
The fat lady is singing on this story and the IPBL! By the way, you can buy Tabloid baby on EBAY for $1.82 American, and none of the proceeds go to the Author! Hey...the paper is worth more than the book sells for!

11/28/2007 11:08 AM
Anonymous said...
Gardner can cry to Rosen and Rollhaus for playing time-(Playing with himself) is about all he is capable of

11/28/2007 11:11 AM
Anonymous said...
In the states we have the Mendoza Line... in Israel be it forever known as the Gardner Line!

Mr. .190!

11/28/2007 11:14 AM
Anonymous said...
THE GARDNER LINE! I LOVE IT! OUTSTANDING!!!

11/28/2007 11:17 AM
Anonymous said...
Hey! I saw ESPN, wasn't Mendoza at least a great defensive player? I don't remember seeing that from AG.

11/28/2007 11:22 AM
Anonymous said...
Well he sure ran to catch the Reynoldo Cruz ambulance. Suddenly he was Reynoldo's best friend! Must be something instinctive in lawyers. A new Schnitzel! Best defensive ambulance chaser in the IBL.

11/28/2007 11:25 AM
Anonymous said...
Eric started it when he called "the lowest level of Human Life in a reporter that I have ever seen."

Unprovoked.

Uncalled for.

Unfair.

Foul ball.

Ejected.

Eric deserves the spanking from TB because they stand up for Elli. He started it.

11/28/2007 11:31 AM
Anonymous said...
I can see it now-Gardner with the Pom Poms and Rollhaus with the Tzitzis flying out from under his shirt everytime he stands up. Gardner-Holtz was wrong!! You should have started instead of Mr. NY Yankee Jason Rees or Slaughter or Lyons-Didn't you tell people you better than all 3?

11/28/2007 11:34 AM
Anonymous said...
I can't believe someone actually wrote "He started it!"

"DID NOT!!!"

11/28/2007 12:00 PM
Anonymous said...
This comment thread is beyond ridiculous. Reality check here. The fact is that the IBL is deeply in debt, just lost its team of advisors who lent both credibility and legitimacy to the league, and has yet to communicate how it plans to rectify the situation. From the press releases it appears that season 2 is still going forward. However, there are so many unanswered questions. Whatever the circumstances are that got the IBL to this situation and whether you stand with the IPBL or IBL, Martin and Larry just need to communicate what's going on. This is not just about players who are owed $500. There are honest, hard working vendors that are owed hundreds and thousands of dollars with no idea if they will ever get paid. It is in everyone's best interest to make sure that either of the leagues is not operated in a slipshod way.

11/28/2007 12:24 PM
Anonymous said...
EVERYONE PLEASE READ THIS!!!

Reality Check... It is almost impossible for a new league to make money in it's first season, especially one with only 6 franchises. Go take a look at the Southern League in Georgia if you think this is an isolated problem unique to the IBL.

I challenge everyone to visit this web site, read the entire story, then tell me that this is such a one of a kind situation!

Remove SCL and insert IBL and the stories are almost exactly the same!

http://www.aikenstandard.com/2007redesign/news/313605375316629.php

11/28/2007 12:41 PM
Anonymous said...
I don't think it is unreasonable to ask for some direct communications from the IBL on how it is going deal with these problems. That has nothing to do with a start-up business and should occur whether or not you are profitable.

If your own business was being jeopardized because someone couldn't pay and wouldn't tell when or how you were going to be paid, you'd be less dismissive and forgiving.

11/28/2007 12:49 PM
Anonymous said...
At this point, I'm really craving a bagel.

11/28/2007 1:27 PM
Anonymous said...
When will we hear from Larry Baras?

Will it be before or after the first of the year?

11/28/2007 2:12 PM
Anonymous said...
What is with you people? Calling for a guy to get killed? What's wrong with you people? Were you in Israel? It doesn't sound like it? So Holtz didn't play Gardner much. Does anyone really think he's trying to get a new league going so he can play more? Or so it's better for the guys we all played with. Does anyone remember who called the guys together when the Dominicans were going to walk on payday, got Dan Kertzer there and prevented the walkout? Wasn't that Gardner? Anyone remember Pribs saying to let Gardner handle it because he'as an attorney? Didn't the attorney get the job done?How do you think we got Larry to agree to pay cash for the rest of the summer-another promise he broke. Give the guy a break. What did he do wrong? No meeting with the players, no more league, we go home in late July. What did he do during the summer to fuck with anyone? What's Holtz got against him? He couldn't hit the curveball? Neither could Holtz, so they're even. By the way, Eric may be a solid dude, but what's the Holtz line? Anyone check that out? I mean, let's be fair here and not a bunch of jerks.
And has anyone asked Holtz what he's getting out of supporting Larry and Martin? Is it all because he's just a good dude? Does he have an interest? Hey, I don't care who gets baseball going in Israel as long as it happens. I had a great time, got some good playing time in and I've got a new job, so I'm not going back. But what's with this bullshit everyone is writing? . I didn't realize there were so many assholes in our group when we were having a good time this summer. Freakin' grow up.
By the way, I talked to Gardner yesterday and he had no idea this stuff was posted here until I told him. He told me he gave up on this site because of the nonsense being written in anonymous posts. Who could blame him or anyone else.

11/28/2007 10:15 PM
BringHeat said...
Pioneers are red
Bet Shemesh is Blue
Elli's a hack
And let's play two.

IBL vs IPBL is not the battle here. True, there's only room for one pro baseball league in Israel - and make no mistake, there IS room for pro baseball in Israel - but when the dust settles, I think we'll realize we have in our collective hands ALL the tools we'll need to run a successful and exciting league for all sports fans to enjoy, with enough room for everyone who wants to be involved, in a way that respects everyone's input - both financially and organizationally. Everyone's collective connections, skills, goodwill, and experience can rebuild credibility, establish a better, more fair business model, and make this into a wildly successful venture of which we can all be proud, no matter our roles.

I would never throw anyone involved with this league so far under the bus - I believe everyone had good intentions, and even those who mishandled things and/or made poor decisions, did so in good faith. I think we need to step back from the drama and realize what an amazing thing we have here - and find a way to work TOGETHER to make it happen. It's definitely not too late.

Maybe it's a good thing we have mudslinging, smarmy, sensationalist, no-talent gossip-column rejects like Elli and TabloidBaby trying to stir up dissention. Maybe they'll help us realize we're ALL divided by a common goal - baseball in Israel - and regardless of our on-field affiliations, we're on the same team off the field.

During the American Revolution, Ben Franklin once said something along the lines of, "We must all hang together, or we shall surely hang separately." The context was different but the sentiment is the same as another, more apt saying, this time from Abraham Lincoln: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Israel baseball needs all of us to succeed. We have to find a way to make this work, together.

There's a solution here without taking sides or hurling insults. I'm putting my name on this because - well, it's important. This is bigger than Holtzie or Gardner or Baras or Berger or Holtzman or me or anyone. This is about us as a league.

I'm in, and I'm willing to do whatever I can to make it happen.

Are you?


-Leon Feingold
#45, Netanya Tigers

11/29/2007 7:45 AM
Anonymous said...
Well said Leon! Everyone that wants BASEBALL to succeed in Israel needs to be on the same side here. It is clear that tabloidbaby has an agenda that cares nothing for baseball or any league. They care only about tabloidbaby going forward. To that end they continually look for credit and accolates and not substance.

Those that care about Israeli baseball need to keep their eyes on THAT prize and not get diverted or divided. It would be appropriate for the IBL to reach out to all that would like to be constructive and accept help from everyone that offers it. I hope that happens. I know many people have offered with a pure heart to help the league, their effort were not always accepted. Perhaps that can change now as we go forward.

Leon, it is good to see you chime in here with a voice of reason. You should be proud of yourself.

11/29/2007 8:53 AM
Anonymous said...
rvhey did you all hear the news!!

Alan Gardner supposedly has had a fight with Rollhaus and Jeffrosen has backed off from the IPBL

well iguess that's that!!

12/01/2007 10:55 AM
Anonymous said...
Really good job Leon. I agree on all counts. I apologize for not leaving my name. Given the nastiness of this blog,I dare not expose my family to shit about me which wuld endoubtedly be written in return anonymously by gardner and rollhaus. Elli, Rollhaus, Gardner ( No i do not for a second believe he is unaware of each and every posting, as he does most) Wilson you are shit. Disloyal in it to be somebody. Rosen you just do not know how nothin those guys are.

Lets make the IBL work. Larry if you are reading this, forgive some for not doing more to stand up for you. I know you have given this all you got. I know how you have been thrown under the damned bus. You have had an oar taken from you, and many have swam away but stay steady and strong. You are more than many.

12/01/2007 3:14 PM
Anonymous said...
THIS IS GREAT!! THIS IS THE WAY TABLOID BABY DEALS WITH CRITISISM. HMMM I WONDER WHT THEY WOULD PRINT AS A HEADLINE IF LARRY BARAS HAD ANSWERED THIS WAY:-)
THIS WAS THERE COMMENTS TO LEON

We hear youre a competive eater. So eat this.

We're saving you dumb jocks from getting fucked over next season as well.

We take it personally

Fuck you.

The Tabloid Baby staff.

12/05/2007 2:48 AM

Comments were posted atTabloidBaby.com.

Big questions about Israel Baseball League 2008

With the announcement of plans to charge full speed ahead with a second season of the Israel Baseball League, president Martin I. Berger has once again done a brilliant job of changing the headline while ignoring the fury and controversy that swirls around the league. The IBL even managed to pull off a team move to Jerusalem with the backing of the nonprofit Jerusalem Foundation (but be advised, the Foundation says it "provides full accountability and open reporting to its donors by maintaining ongoing contact with and supervision of all its projects"-- something the IBL apparently did not).

Miami attorney Berger has proven himself adept setting his own agenda despite the flames around him, as he showed on Novermber 15th on when, an hour after we posted the exclusive story on the resignations of the IBL 10, he posted a comment on this site that the resignations "will have no effect on the incredible things going on right now with the League."

The president has also done a fine job of keeping embattled IBL founder Larry Baras out of the spotlight. The news on the IBL website yesterday made no mention of the IBL-related fraud lawsuit against league founder Lawrence Baras, nor the complaints from players and vendors thatthey have not been paid for the the 2007.

So is the announcement of the IBL 2008 season the real thing? Many questions, incuding the ones below, remain:

What players will return for a second season?

Will the IBL cover the debts from 2007?

Will Larry Baras continue to be involved with the league?

Will there be an advisory board consisting of American sports-related bigshots?

And, in the interest of keping things clean in '08... will Our Man Elli in Israel be offered the job of league commissioner?


We've got our calls out, seeking comments. Answers, please!