Monday, August 4, 2008

10 days to go: Israel baseball fest unlikely

When the Israel Baseball League put out a press release announcing that a one-week “festival” and baseball “show” would replace its already-truncated four-team, 20-game, three-week, momentum-keeping mini-season on August 14th at the Yarkon Sports Complex at the Baptist Village, it also promised:

“Final roster spots will be determined and announced in the coming days.

“The full schedule of events will be announced on the IBL web site shortly.”

Here we are, eleven days later, with ten days left on the countdown clock, and so far, no final roster nor schedule has been announced. In fact, no further details of the festival have been announced, and last night, Israel Association of Baseball president Haim Katz told Our Man Elli in Israel that “ The field at Baptist (is) in the worst shape I’ve seen it in 10 years!”

Sadly, it’s looking more and more likely that David Solomont’s plans to turn Israel into “the Dominican Republic of the Middle East” will not be happening anytime soon.

“My suspicion is that the announcement of the festival may have been designed more to help raise money from investors than anything else,” another insider tells Elli.. “If it doesn't proceed, that may mean there's been little progress on the money front. It's apparent Solomont doesn't want to risk his money on the venture.”

“No schedule has been published. Nor has there been any further announcement concerning the festival or the IBL's activities. So I'm beginning more and more to think this may be more show than substance,” says another.

And as for the seven-man “All-Star team” promised to participate, another source confides: “At least one guy told (IBL “Director of U.S. Operations” Martin I.) Berger to forget the festival. That means they’re down to six guys.”

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