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PBS To Air IBL Opening Day

Noted purveyor of quality sports journalism PBS will be broadcasting the Israeli Professional Baseball League’s opening game on July 1, according to an official IBL press release. While the IBL’s level of play does not figure to be that strong, particularly in the league’s inaugural season, it appears the broadcast will be much more generally themed than a simple sports broadcast. In the IBL’s own words, PBS is airing the game “in recognition of the fact that the game transcends more than just the playing of a baseball game itself.

Anyone want to take a stab at what they mean by that?

Without getting too political here, I’ll say I can only hope the broadcast avoids turning into a 2 and a half hour testimonial to the need for strong bonds between the United States and Israel. Baseball gives us plenty to talk about besides the actual action on the field, and the PBS coverage of the IBL figures to be one of the more interesting sports broadcasts an American baseball fan can hope to see. It would be a shame if the broadcasters turn this opportunity into a platform for spreading zionist propaganda. At this point, though, I’m cautiously optimistic that this might be one of the best pieces of sports journalism we will see in the United States all year.

No word yet on who the commentators will be. Is it too much to hope for Charlie Rose?


May 21, 2007 - Posted by | Israeli Baseball


  1. According to Haaretz, Israel’s leading daily, the only PBS stations that will be airing this game are in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Miami and West Palm Beach. These cities have a combined Jewish population of about 4-5 million people. As an American Jew who resides in South Florida, I’ll be sure to tune in. I think that these PBS stations are only going after more viewers (hoping they turn into donors), not some Zionist conspiracy as the tone of your post suggests.

    Comment by Aaron Huber | May 31, 2007

  2. I agree. It is interesting news to see abit about the most peaceful game on earth coming to the Middle East. Maybe it can spread some goodwill and bring together for a couple hours.

    Many of the players seem to have wonderful stories. And as for the level of play, I doubt the Japanese leage started with Dice K.

    This is something good. I will be watching and I am not Jewish.

    Comment by Glenn | June 13, 2007

  3. Aaron,

    I wasn’t suggesting conspiracy, just expressing concern over a potential co-option of what could potentially be a wonderful broadcast. As I said, I remain optimistic that this could be really, really cool.

    As an American Jew currently residing in Mexico City, I will unfortunately miss the broadcast, but I will be buying it afterwards and would love to hear your thoughts.

    Comment by jhelfgott | June 13, 2007

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