Israeli baseball commish quits


The commissioner and key advisers of the year-old Israel Baseball League resigned.

Dan Kurtzer, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel, and nine advisory board members in a statement last week cited problems with the league’s finances and business operations, The Associated Press reported.
They did commend league founder Larry Baras for his vision in bringing professional baseball to Israel.

Financial problems caused the cancellation of the league’s broadcasting deal with Israel’s Sport5 TV cable network at midseason.

In the IBL’s inaugural season, six teams played from June to August. The games drew a following from expatriate Americans but not native-born Israelis. The league said it expects to add at least one team next summer.

Meanwhile, Baras is being sued by a Florida woman who claims he defrauded her of the $275,000 she had invested in his bagel business. Natalie Blacher claims that Baras spent the money for the IBL and personal expenses. His SJR Foods Inc., based in Boston, was dissolved in May.

In court documents filed Oct. 31, Baras denied all of Blacher’s allegations, AP reported.

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