Friday, June 20, 2008

IBL vs. IAB: Baseball battle looming in Israel?

5:45 am, Los Angeles. A revived Israel Baseball League has re-emerged with a new executive line-up, announcing a four-team, 20 game, three-week, momentum-keeping" second season starting July 27th; The Israel Association of Baseball has not approved the plan; as usual, the lazy mainstream media bit and gave the IBL worldwide attention and great publicity for the IBL-related documentary film that premiered yesterday. Something's hinky. Our Man Elli is on the phone from Israel:

"I hear today that the opening and championship games for the new Israel Baseball League will be at Baptist Village, and the regular season games at Kibbutz Gezer, which still has no night lights-- which means they'll play doubleheaders starting at 3 pm?

"Gezer heard nothing about this until yesterday, and are awaiting answers themselves. It seems the IBL is intending to show up with cash to pay all outstanding debts-- fields, players, vendors-- and pay forward this season. Which begs the question: is the IAB forced to sanction them if they have paid up all their debts? Because as of yesterday, they hadn't. There appears to be a battle looming between them, or some kind of hostile takeover attempt of the IAB by the IBL. Crazy, crazy crazy.

"But, as usual, no one is talking. The IBL is keeping things very close to the vest, and instructing others to do the same. I spoke to a vendor from last season-- who's not owed money-- and he said he couldn't tell me if he'd be back this season. Now, why not?"

"The whole thing looks like an end-around run: announce the league is happening, and then line up the things you need to play, like players, managers, fields, a schedule, merchandise. and where to buy tickets. It's all a little bizarre."

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