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, 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 "," 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


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.

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