With Brad Ausmus in Israel on a “good will” tour, numerous outlets have been coming out with stories abut how an Israeli team, stocked with American-Jewish current and former pros might just surprise at the qualifiers to be held in Jupiter in November.
This, from the Times of Israel, notes that active players might be reluctant to commit since the dates for the tourney, which includes teams from France, Spain, and South Africa (not exactly bastions of baseball either). Certainly Ian Kinsler and Scott Feldman of the Texas Rangers have a good possibility of playing into the post-season and who knows about other teams that feature JMLs, especially with the opportunities an extra wild card offers. There’s still plenty of time for the Red Sox (Kevin Youkilis), Brewers (Ryan Braun), and — dare I say it — even the Mets (Ike Davis) to turn things around. And don’t forget, Israel is not looking to put together an All-Star team, just players who fill the requirements, so there are several in the minors who would do nicely.
Tablet Magazine conducted this e-mail interview with Ausmus, who’s over in Israel taking the “temperature.”
A story from Foxsports.
One thing to consider, especially for the higher-profile players: what if they’re asked to play on Team USA? Uh-oh, there goes that “divided loyalties” issue.