IBL hopes to iron out early glitches

One of the three fields is still not available and a game was stopped due to bad light.

baseball 298 88 (photo credit: Jay L. Abramoff)
baseball 298 88
(photo credit: Jay L. Abramoff)
The Israel Baseball League may have gotten off to a somewhat shaky start this week - one of the three fields is still not available and a game was stopped due to bad light - but it expects things will improve. Monday was a particularly difficult day for the IBL. The game at Kibbutz Gezer ended with an inning left to play and the IBL announced that Tel Aviv's Sportek will not be ready until next week. The IBL could not fully explain why Sportek was not ready for play, saying: "The field is not ready for baseball. Additional work needs to be done in terms of carving out the field dimensions." But according to a source, "There has been a lack of progress with the municipality, so they haven't prepared the field." The Tel Aviv Municipality was unavailable for comment. IBL spokesman Marty Appel said it was "unfortunate" that the organizers had not determined if the lights at Gezer would be strong enough to light up the field. The umpires ended the Beit Shemesh-Netanya game after six innings with Beit Shemesh leading 2-1. "It was a misjudgment over how effective the lights would be," Appel said, "and when it became a safety issue for the players, the umpires decided to end it early." Appel added that he believed it was "not really unprecedented," as sometimes in the US "the elements play a role," such as if a game is stopped due to stormy weather. "It was a one-run game and the other team did not get their last chance to bat and it was unfortunate," Appel said. "Yes, it should have been known ahead of time, but it wasn't. Chalk it down on the column: Lessons learned as we grow." All evening games at Gezer will now start an hour early at 5 p.m. to ensure they finish before dusk. The problems are "what goes on at the beginning of a league," Appel said, adding that they will be ironed out. He also shed some light on the question of why there is no team in Jerusalem, saying the organizers could not find an available piece of land in the capital to build a field. He said the league had considered creating a Jerusalem team and basing it outside of the city but decided against it. Appel said Ryan Crotin's missing glove has been returned. Crotin, of the Petah Tikva Pioneers, hit the first home run in IBL history against Modi'in Sunday night. He was furious when he discovered that his glove had disappeared after the game. The glove had been given to him by his coach who died last year and Crotin had threatened to quit the IBL if it wasn't returned. "It turned up in an equipment box," Appel said.