Monday, September 17, 2007

The long shadow of Our Man Elli

Our Man Elli in Israel caused an international storm last month when, days after the final out of the inaugural season of the Israel Baseball League, we first pubished his exposé detailing the mishaps and near-fatal mistakes that included substandard playing and living conditions for the athletes, and failures in marketing the league to Hebrew-speaking Israelis. Perhaps overshadowed amid the controversy was his sidebar piece on the midseason resignation of team manager Ken Holtzman, who had it up-to-there.

Well, maybe we shouldn't say "overshadowed." The Chicago Tribune has run an article, which according to one reader, "takes (Elli's) article and rewrites it with a new quote" and summarizes, without attribution, Elli's bombshell about "several glitches in the first season of the Israel Baseball League, which, while generally a success, was plagued by substandard playing fields, payment delays, shortages of some equipment and a lack of impact among native Israelis."

And they all got mad at us? Hey, Romenesko, here's another one for you to ignore...

In a related story, the following email is circulating among Israel baseball supporters:
This year the expression "Days of Awe" has multiple meanings especially regarding the state of baseball in Israel in general and Tel Aviv in particular. The city of Tel Aviv has decided to take down the only baseball field in Tel Aviv built by the IBL and funded by donations of North Americans who wanted to promote baseball in Israel. While the Mayor of Tel Aviv is making efforts to reverse this decision, he is faced with considerable opposition within the city bureaucracy. We must strengthen his hand if we are to win this battle.

If baseball in Israel is something close to your heart, please help us convince the city of Tel Aviv to reverse their decision. Time is of the essence and the field could be taken down even before Yom Kippur. So please send the letters immediately.

1. Write a letter and fax it (the city of Tel Aviv does not have a public email) to Mayor Ron Huldai. Fax: (011-972) 3 5216597 email copy to (so we can monitor the response).

2. Send this email to all your friends, relatives and acquaintances in North America and Israel to do the same.

Gmar Hatima Tova,

Haim Katz
President Israel Association of Baseball
Stay tuned.

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