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A new country with WBC ambitions
2006-06-05 12:08
by Bob Timmermann

Apparently flush with the excitement that these guys couldn't be any worse than Australia, an American businessman named Larry Baras is trying to organize a pro league in Israel with the hopes of getting the country into the 2009 WBC.

Baras has a tough job ahead of him. The article mentions that there is just one good quality baseball diamond in all of Israel. And Baras estimates that there are six to eight players in Israel now who would "not to embarrass themselves" in a pro league.

Dan Duquette has been signed on as an adviser. So has Andrew Zimbalist.

2006-06-05 13:45:28
1.   Vishal
if there's ever an indian WBC team, i'm all over it. just think of the marketing possibilities; 1 billion people, and they already are into cricket, which is kinda similar....
2006-06-05 14:18:46
2.   Kayaker7
India can ease into it by switching to a baseball bat for cricket. They can use the new "secret weapon" in their next match against Pakistan.
2006-06-10 16:45:19
3.   LMM
I think it is all good and I am glad it is picking up momentum. It is a long time coming but the time seems right especially with the upcoming WBC.

Dan Duquette has one of the best senses of talent in baseball. Having his baseball academy supporting what already exists as a baseball presence ( I read somewhere it was about 2000 people who actively play in a number of baseballfields, although not all regulation equipped--) in Israel may quickly re-identify Israel's sport orientation. Professional ( Minor League especially) Baseball games bring with it entertainment, team mascots, food, music -- a good time even if you don't already know the difference between a foul ball and a home run. Israeli's identify with American habits with far less good reason. And boy, WHAT IF Israel gets into the WBC and WHAT IF it plays some highly talented professional American players who are Jewish by birth and as such may be eligible to play in the same way as Italians have played for Italy and Greeks have played for Greece. The higher the quality of worldwide baseball, the stronger the worldwide interest in the WBC and given this all, one would have to think Israel could bring forward a ton of great potential and performance as compared to so many other places if given opportunity.

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