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Israeli baseball league starting in June

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I've seen this link on the Over The Monster sidebar for a few days now, but I never clicked it. Until today when I was curious about the Red Sox connection.

Apparently, former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette is the player development director of the new league.

"Hopefully, the region will be stable so we can play ball in the summertime," said player development director Dan Duquette, a former general manager for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos. "But you know, baseball could very well be a unifying force for the country. And wouldn't that be something if it was?"

I think this is a terrific idea. What can unify a country better than sports? Especially baseball.

Sports are the heart of many countries, but this reminds me a lot of the situation in Cuba. The ailing Fidel Castro keeps his country as united as possible by the strength of their amateur athletes. We hear about the athletes who flee to the United States or elsewhere, but there are a lot who stay as supporters of Castro and Cuba. Sports glue that country together. (If you want to know more about Cuban sports and it's effect on the country, I suggest reading "Pitching Around Fidel" by S.L. Price.)

It'll be interesting to see if the Israeli league can succeed or even last a season. Baseball is baseball, so I hope it works out.