Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Save Sportek baseball!

I'm mystified as to why Tel Aviv wants to un-renovate the Sportek baseball field, which the IBL upgraded for use in last summer's league games. Who does it hurt if the fences are left in place for use by amateurs?

Beyond the utilitarian arguments, though, think of the sentimental value. The Sportek field is a historic landmark, the site of the first professional baseball game in the history of Tel Aviv. It was the site of the IBL's first forfeited game, when Petach Tikva's Ryan Crotin refused to leave the batter's box after his expulsion for arguing a called strike. It was the site of the dramatic playoff game when the underdog Modiin Miracle beat the favorite Tel Aviv Lightning after Tel Aviv's first baseman Stewart Brito was taken to the hospital with a broken nose and then, on the very next play, right fielder Jeff Hastings got his arm stuck in the outfield fence.

And who could forget the foul balls rolling into the Yarkon River, startling the odd passing jogger or Hare Krishna?

No, after 31 regular-season professional games and two playoff games, each of them attended by literally dozens of fans when they could make it through evening rush hour traffic, Sportek means way too much to the citizens of this country to let it fall into disrepair and ruin. No one would even think of demolishing Yankee Stadium, or Tiger Stadium! Does Sportek Field deserve any less respect?

What is this country coming to, when we can't rely on our municipal officials to make sensible, intelligent decisions for the good of the general public?

Boo! Hiss!

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