Israel baseball league says it will return after tumultuous first season

Israel's professional baseball league said Thursday that it is coming back for a second season after a tumultuous inaugural campaign that left it on the brink of collapse. The Israel Baseball League said it will begin play on July 27, about a month behind schedule and in abbreviated form. The league will consist of four teams, down from six last year, and the length of the season is being cut in half to 20 games. Still, simply returning to the ball-field is an accomplishment for the fledgling league, which suffered from low attendance, financial difficulties and a mass defection of executive board members last year. League President Dan Rootenberg said it's important to acknowledge and learn from last year's mistakes. But he says the season is committed to laying the groundwork for 2009 and beyond.