Wednesday, October 24, 2007

After Elli: Israel Baseball League stars make good

Yes, there was good that came from the first season of the Israel Baseball League. What's not good about the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd in a place where war, conflict and the threat of terror are the main order of the day? Ask folks in the Bronx. Of course an outing at a ballpark will be memorable for any family-- including the Mansons. But as the facts in Our Man Elli's extraordinary article bear out, the league's founder, Boston-based Larry Baras and his cronies cocked up when it came to running-- or not running-- a league consisting of players from around the world. So our suggestion is that Larry take a lesson from his missteps and keep the players' safety and audience's needs in mind if he's serious about the league's longevity. Slandering the journalist who investigated the league and brought forward a Pulitzer-worthy report that's yet to have one punctuation mark refuted is not such a good idea-- and will only lead other reporters to snoop even deeper than Our Man Elli did.

And today, more good news from the IBL. Two of the league's top players has been signed by the New York Yankees.

Modi’in Miracle catcher Eladio Rodriguez (above left) was the league's slugging champ and winner of the Hank Greenberg Most Valuable Player Award, having hit .461 with 16 home runs in 34 game-- with a slugging percentage of 1.000. And Jason Rees, an Aussie outfielder and Fred Savage lookalike who was the league's home run champion playing for the pennant-winning Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, will also report to the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa for spring training.

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