Jewish Journal


August 28, 2007

The Israel Baseball League halfway to hell


All summer I’ve been waiting for Sandy Koufax to make his triumphant return to baseball in the Israel Baseball League. Now it seems not even the great southpaw can save the hapless IBL. From TabloidBaby, via Luke Ford:

(T)he result, say many, were more errors than hits: players threatening to strike when paychecks were late; a manager hired to help give face to the fledgling league leaving in the middle of the season, after trashing the league to the media; and a player almost killed by a batting practice line drive, an accident that might have been prevented with proper equipment.


“I’ve lost almost 17 pounds since I’ve been here,” said Scott Jarmakowicz, a catcher for the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox. “Over half my paycheck, at least half, has gone to food. It’s not sustainable eating the same schnitzel and boiled eggs three times a day.”

Elli Wohlgelernter’s story goes on for another 3,200 words, detailing players’ myriad grievances. When I was in Israel this month, the Jerusalem Post ran this story about IBL returning in ‘08. The accompanying photo was of empty seats. Not bleachers, but the stackable plastic seats you find at at outdoor food court.

Of the major sports, Jews have been most successful at baseball. But can anything save the Israel Baseball League?

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