Friday, January 4, 2008

Israel Baseball: Holtz keeps on the sunny side

Recent grim news about the sad state of the Israel Baseball League, its million dollar debt, a decree by the formerly uninterested Jerusalem Post that the league's first season was a failure and the unlikely prospects for Israel baseball in 2008 led us to wonder about the reaction from the two IBL players who were most vocal in support of IBL management-- and critical of Our Man Elli in Israel and his coverage of the season's foibles and post-season scandals.

Leon Feingold, the Netanya Tigers pitcher and competitive eater called Our Man Elli and the Tabloid Baby team "mudslinging, smarmy, sensationalist, no-talent gossip-column rejects," while aging Bet Shemesh Blue Sox shortstop Eric Holtz (above right) went further-- defending founder Larry Baras, shrugging off a bounced paycheck, and stating that Elli "could be the lowest level of Human Life in a reporter that I have ever seen."

Today, Holtz, the self described "Glass Half-Full Guy," writes in:

My response is this:

I had a great experience, I got to meet wonderful people. I was re-introduced to my own heritage and got nine weeks to visit a beautiful land, meet warm Israeli people and do what I love most-Play/Manage Baseball. I have made life-long friends and will continue to look back and smile on the entire experience. Tabloid did not get Thanks from Mothers and fathers of Children who Thanked Us for "Making their Summer." That was an incredible feeling. Elli/Tabloid Baby will never get to feel something like that.

120 st(r)angers met with one thing in common and bonded into something special.That will never be taken away from anyone who experienced this. I do hope that Baseball continues in Israel. It will take time to gain trust, interest and ent(h)usiasm, but Soccer is still st(r)uggling here in the U.S. decades after it was introduced. On the business side, almost every new league is in the red when starting out, hopefully the IBL will be able to crawl out from it's financial debt to get back to doing what it intended to do from the get-go (Play Baseball).

I hope this answers your question as to "What would Eric say"? As now I have to get back to what is important in my life-- Fathering my 3 children and running my manufacturing business.

I wish Everyone a Happy Healthy and Prosperous 2008.

Eric Holtz

Leon? You're on deck, bubbala.

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