Friday, December 29, 2006

Take me out to the Israel??

I'm somewhat uncomfortable with this story about of the scouting of players for the newly formed Israeli Baseball League. The new league "is welcoming Jews and gentiles alike in hopes of exporting America's pastime to Israel and turning the violence-torn Jewish state - a country with only one full-size diamond - into the next great baseball power."

Why? The operations director, Martin Berger-a Miami lawyer-has an answer "Baseball, to us, is the great American game and there's so many Americans in Israel and there's so many great supporters of Israel in America. It's just a logical thing to do."

Logical to Mr. Berger and who else? This just seems nonsensical to me. Let's break down his reasoning. Baseball is a great American game. There are Americans in Israel. There are Americans who support Israel. How does that add up to starting a professional baseball league in Israel?

I'm a huge baseball fan. The existence and survival of Israel is very important to me. But in no way do the two connect. And then there's the bit about their hopes to compete in the 2009 World Baseball Classic using Jewish major and minor league players. Now, if those players are Israeli or their parents are Israeli or they choose to be Israeli, that's fine. But just to allow the players on the team because they are Jewish does not sit well with me. Should the Vatican field a team made up of Catholic players?

I just don't get it. If someone reading this can bring a different perspective, please comment. If you're interested in following the league, the season will open June 24 with six teams--the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, Netanya Tigers, Petach Tikva Pioneers, Jerusalem/Gezer Lions, Haifa/Nahariva Stingrays, and Tel Aviv Lightening.

I'm wondering how they are going to share that one field.

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