Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Israel Baseball League keeps the blinders on

What's that Yiddish word? Meshugeneh?

No-- chutzpah.

That's it! Chutzpah!

The guys behind the Israel Baseball League sure do have a lot of chutzpah! Despite reports of a first season debt that tops a million US dollars, a founder who few want to work with, lots of former contributors out to remake Israel's baseball dream on their own, and a general consensus that there probably won't be professional baseball in Israel in 2008, the IBL continues to press forward as if everything is, well, kosher.

In fact, only hours ago, a new entry appeared on the revived IBL website, bringing us up-to-date on the tryouts that took place last month in Miami:

01/07/2008 10:03 PM
Miami Florida-

The Israel Baseball League held is second successful tryout of the off-season in anticipation of the 2008 baseball season in Israel. The tryout, held in Miami, and run by Dan Duquette, featured former minor league pitchers and some excellent players with college level experience. "We hope to sign at least six to eight players from this tryout to go along with the eight we are going to sign from the tryouts in Hinsdale," said Dan Duquette following the workout. "With the number of players who will be returning from last season," said Bryan Pinchuk, Assistant Director of Player Personnel, "we are right on target to accomplish our number one goal of the off-season, namely to upgrade the already high level of play in the IBL." Future tryouts are scheduled for the Dominican Republic and Los Angeles in the upcoming months.

Now, the reports we got from the tryouts were not so rosy ("About thirty hopefuls showed up... about two players displayed an inkling of talent, yet none is destined to get an El Al coach ticket to a summer of fun."), but there you go.

Meanwhile, the IBL site also advertises the "Next Game":

Modi'in Miracle
@ Bet Shemesh Blue Sox
06:00 PM
and contains a FAN POLL:

What do you think is the most impressive accomplishment
in the IBL's inaugural season?

* Esequier Pie throwing two no-hitters in one season

* Eladio Rodriguez hitting .461 with 16HR, 44 RBI in 34 G

* The Bet Shemesh Blue Sox winning the IBL Championship
and never falling below first place the entire season

Which leads us to ask: What do YOU think is the most impressive accomplishment in the IBL's inaugural season?

And be sure to let us know the date of the Los Angeles tryouts. We'll be there, with bagels.

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