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Pro baseball begins in Israel
2007-06-24 14:53
by Bob Timmermann

Action in the Israel Professional Baseball League kicked off today in Petah Tikva, Israel. The Modiin Miracles beat the Pioneers, 9-1.

This AP report about the game says that the broadcasters had a hard time coming up with Hebrew words for many baseball terms, but other than that the first game was a success. But some are skeptical:

The challenge for the league is winning fans in a country where soccer is king and basketball a distant second cousin.

"In my opinion, it's impossible," said Natan Tamari, 23, who came to support his home team from Petah Tikva, a city outside Tel Aviv.

Tamari, who lived in the United States as a child, said the game is too slow and requires too much attention to small details to interest Israelis.

"That's why you hear everyone speaking English around here," he said.

Here's the league schedule if you wish to catch any action. The games are seven innings. There are no Saturday games of course and Friday games are scheduled to start at 10 am so it is unlikely that any boxscore will read: "Game suspended due to Shabbos."

2007-06-24 16:14:34
1.   Linkmeister
So some manager will say about his team's star pitcher/hitter: "He's a real mensch," right?

And the manager-umpire confrontations will be full of tsuris?

And when a team is knocked around 15-0 the losing manager will say "we had bupkes," I assume.

2007-06-24 18:20:30
2.   Sam DC
No school tomorrow in Kiryat Shmona!
2007-06-24 18:32:06
3.   Ember Nickel
Koufax holding out for more gelt?

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