Thursday, July 17, 2008

Eric Holtz wants your Israel baseball questions

Eric Holtz will answer your questions if you give your name.

Opinions from the 41-year old New York City businessman who left his business, wife, children and responsibilities behind to chase a boy's baseball dream in far-off Israel are of interest because he's been a cocky, controversial figure in the Israel Baseball League long before his family discord was immortalized in the IBL documentary film, Holy Land Hardball.

In the weeks following the IBL’s first season, as the fa├žade was being methodically stripped away by the intrepid reporting of Our Man Elli in Israel and the stink of corruption began to ooze from the Middle East, across Europe and back to Boston, Eric was not only the main player apologist for embattled IBL founder Larry Baras, he shockingly became the IBL management’s attack dog against the reporter who was revealing a rats nest of wrong.

Eric wrote on this site's comment pages:

“In life it is always easier to pick apart what someone did wrong (Monday morning quarterback) Like this Elli guy from Israel who could be the lowest level of Human Life in a reporter that I have ever seen, rather than to Look at the Positives and try to recover from them. I myself have always prided myself on being a Glass Half-Full Guy but again -That is Me!"

This Glass Half-Full guy has yet to apologize to Elli. But when his former league mate Dan Rootenberg was forced to walk away from what turned out to be a ceremonial role as “in-coming President" of the "new and improved" IBL, Holtz jumped onto the public stage to again declare himself some kind of leader, writing in the comments section of this site:

"I am very disappointed and disturbed at how things have transpired. I had been planning great things with Rootenberg in the hopes of resurrecting the league, but only if it would have been done correctly and responsibly. There is for sure a future for Baseball In the Holyland, however there needs to be a Group to come in and right the wrongs-save face if you will and move on in a positive and right way. Financial responsibility and paying previous debt is paramount to the future of Baseball. Putting an ample product on the field will never be the issue at hand, rather being Businessmen is the foremost task at hand. I for one will attest to the Hard work, dedication and undying attempts to get this done correctly by Dan Rootenberg who I take my hat off to. The last month has been tough and believe me, he has tried to get things done only one way-The Right way! Thanks for your hard work and attempt at advancing Baseball in Israel..."

Eric’s grandstanding led to immediate ridicule and hard questions from commenters like "Anonymous":

"Disappointed and disturbed? Only now? Where've you been? Walking around with your head up your butt? Or Larry's? Or Martin Berger's? Maybe the people who somehow believed that the IBL leaders would change their ways should start explaining why they believed this. You all have empowered them to keep their operation going when it should have been steamrolled months ago. So, Mr. Holtz, after all that went on last summer right in front of your eyes, why'd you sign on with them? What did they tell you? What proof did they show you? What financials did they show you? What empty promises did they make to you about what they were going to do for the league? About what role they were going to give to you? To others? And what made you, after all this time, so disappointed and disturbed? The people deserve to know. The young players who followed your lead deserve to know."

Eric responded this morning:

"I don't respond to anonymous questions. You have something to say, step up and be a man. I'm easy to find."

So, gentlemen-- and ladies--we offer you a chance to “step up and be a man” and ask Eric Holtz a question.

Send your questions here-- and be sure to be a man and include your name.

Who wants to be first?

“I’ll start. Sam Peters is the name. I do PR and occasional research for this here site. And I got a question for Mr. Holtzman. Do you still blame Elli for the downfall of the IBL and for the state of baseball in Israel? And are you man enough to step up like a man and man up and apologize? There’s my questions. The name’s Sam Peters. Alto-Nido Apartments, 6350 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood, California. I’m easy to find, too."

"I've got one too. I'm Shmuley. I work in research. Question, Mr. Holtz: You were so big on the IBL-- past and present-- but were you really willing to stick your neck out? Is it true, Mr. Holtz, that you were supposed to deliver the uniforms for this season, but refused to do so until you got paid?"

That's a start. Now back to work you two. Hey, someone submit the 20 questions we'd sent Dan and El Presidente Solomonte! let's see what Eric Holtz really knows!

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