Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Leon Feingold blames Israelis for IBL failure

You remember Leon Feingold. He was the professional competitive eater who pitched for the Netanya Tigers during the Israel Baseball League's first season who became the foremost post-season apologist for the IBL management malfeasance and, along with self-professed "Peter Pan" Eric Holtz, a leading critic of Our Man Elli in Israel's reportage of the real story behind the IBL facade, hurling insults much harder, but equally as inaccurately, as his 33-year-old arm could muster.

Now Leon's back, and his fellow IBL players who've seen their paychecks bounce, their hard work gone unrewarded and their dreams urinated on by secretive back bay business, can't be too happy by what he has to say about the plans of the IBL's successors, the Dominican Republic of the Middle East Baseball League, to replace its four-team, 20-game, three-week momentum-keeping mini-season with an exhibition tournament in August.

And neither will native Israelis. Because now he's blaming them-- not Elli and not IBL founder Larry Baras for the failure.

“It will be the Israelis against the world, which is sort of what it is in real life,” the Long Island weiner-chomper tells the Jewish Star of Nassau County, Long Island.

“The reason the league didn’t do nearly as well as it should have last season was because those who live there haven’t grown up with baseball. How can we expect to succeed with a product when no one in Israel has ever tasted it? Getting the kids involved is always the first step.”

The pie-eater said he and other players will run "youth clinics" coinciding with the beginning of the tourney at the Yarkon Sports Complex in the Baptist Village of Petach Tikva on Aug. 14.

“We’re also going to be doing a lot of PR work which, in my opinion, we should have been doing all along, with clinics and outreach programs in different cities in order to bring in more fans.

“I am very much looking forward to going, both in terms of going to Israel and in terms of playing at (the professional) level again,” the six-foot-six bean slurper said. “I am sure the experience will be different because the structure of the league has changed so drastically, but anytime I get to play baseball and travel to Israel, that’s a good thing.”

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