Saturday, November 17, 2007

Player sheds light on Israel baseball scandal

Alan Gardner, the New York City-born outfielder for the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox of the Israel Baseball League (who believes that you haven't done your job if you didn't get your uniform dirty, and at age 45 could claim proudly to have covered as much ground in the outfield as the kids), has posted the following comments in response to Tabloid Baby's exclusive coverage of the scandal that has interrupted Israel's baseball dream:
Hey guys... ok, it's time to stop all this anonymous stuff that's been going on... this IS a serious situation... the IBL's infrastructure has crumbled... very little, if anything, meaningful is left and for some very disturbing reasons (as clearly stated in the Goldklang/Zimbalist resignation letter and the Spectrum Capital cancellation letter)... unfortunately, Larry Baras and Martin Berger could not even secure a bridge loan that would allow the league to make the final payments on salaries due to players, managers and personnel and fees owed to vendors. The federal lawsuit allegations are, if true, deeply disturbing and no-one can miss the unusual parallels between the allegations and what we in the league have experienced.

There is, from what I have seen in discussions that I have been having with some very responsible and concerned people, a very bright light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that baseball will continue in Israel and will have a brighter future than the past season could ever have foretold.

If you have concerns about money owed to you, please reach out to me at 917-710-7168 or by email at

And, if we have comments to make from hereon forward, let's make them professional and fact-based and sign off on them. Let's leave the emotional nonsense and smoky messages to the others that have been pulling the wool over our eyes (and, it seems, others) for a bit too long already.

Let's play two, men.

Alan Gardner
Bet Shemesh Blue Sox '07

P.S.-I appreciate Mr. R's thoughtful comments as well. However, as they say, things "have gone too far" at this point. We all hoped that change would not be necessary, but it is clear that it is. We, the players, managers and on-site personnel in Israel are really who sank and watered baseball's roots this summer... we, with little help, both organized the product and played the games. Just remember how hard guys like Andrew Wilson, 23 and David Rattner, 21 worked and how many different roles they took on as an example. Just remember how Eric Holtz had to order extra bats through a contact he had because the baseball league itself could not get us more bats. And the list goes on.
In response to another commenter, Mr. Gardner added:
Players, managers, personnel and vendors have been wronged to the tune of a lot of money. Maybe it has nothing to do with what our anonymous poster quotes Teddy Roosevelt saying at the Sorbonne in 1910.

This is 2007 and it has to do with running a business right, dotting i's, crossing t's and being forthright with the people that you deal with. Maybe it takes a "cold and timid soul" or two to sell a bill of goods to a bunch of largely college grads and poor Dominicans who need the money they are owed under a contract the parties agreed to, not to mention generous investors and vendors.

By the way players, if you want a copy of your signed contract (signed by both player and league rep), email Martin Berger and ask him to send you the PDF of it he has in his office computer. I asked him for mine to include in my scrapbook, before all this hit the fan, and he sent it to me almost immediately... they do exist and you have a right to yours.

Let's play two,


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