Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why is "in-coming" Israel Baseball League president David Solomont ducking original IBL investor Michael Rollhaus?

Original Israel Baseball League investor Michael Rollhaus is having about as much luck getting answers from the new, improved IBL regime as he did with embattled league founder Larry Baras, who, more than a year after opening day of the league’s disastrous sole season, continues to refuse or is unable to give an accounting of how Rollhaus’s $100,000 investment— not mention millions more— was spent.

Rollhaus says he’s tried unsuccessfully for more than a week to get in touch with Baras’s successor, David Solomont, who took control of the league in a bloodless coup earlier this month and installed himself as “in-coming” El Presidente of the newly-named Dominican Republic of the Middle East Baseball League.

The timeline as we understand it:

* Sunday July 20: Rollhaus calls Solomont from Israel. No answer. Rollhaus leaves a message.

* Wednesday, July 23: Rollhaus calls again, this time from New York. This time, Solomont answers, but says he was on a conference call and promises to call back. Rollhaus says he did not.

* Thursday, July 24: Rollhaus calls Solomont’s cell phone in the afternoon. Solomont says he is a on a train and does not want to disturb the people around him. He apologizes profusely, saying he was a bad person for not getting back to Rollhaus, but promised to call Rollhaus on Thursday night. Rolhaus never gets a call.

* Friday, July 25: Rollhaus sends Solomont the following email:

From: Michael Rollhaus
Sent: Jul 25, 2008 5:06 AM

To: David Solomont

Subject: News

Sorry you were unable to take my call and could not get back to me. Right now I am planning to be in Israel from 8/7-8/17. If the situation is right, I can alter my flight plans, so: Is this festival that I am hearing about actually going to happen (if it is not certain, please let me know as I will not change my plans; if you have the two teams set, umpires and field in place and the games are a definite go, I will look into it).

What are the game dates and times?

Are you playing any games on Shabbat?

Have all the player/coach/manager monies owed been paid up from last year?

Why am I hearing that some people who have received checks have had them returned for insufficient funds?

Please let me know what's up either by email or telephone. However, do not call me during Shabbat as I do not take phone calls then.

Thanks for your help!

Michael Rollhaus

* Today, July 27: As of this posting, Rollhaus has yet to receive a reply from David Solomont.

As Our Man Elli in Israel reported in his comprehensive and authoritative IBL article published by the esteemed Jerusalem Post, Solomont’s apparent stonewalling follows an IBL tradition that has gone one for more than a year, despite his promises that the “new” IBL is launching with a clean slate.

(Read Elli’s exclusive interview with Michael Rolhaus that we published on Thursday.)

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