1999-2010

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tonight, he stands alone

We met Evel Knievel at Caesars Palace


We met Evel Knievel in Las Vegas, at the entrance to Caesars Palace, where 25 years earlier, he had attempted to jump his motorcycle over the fountains, but came up short, landed on the safety ramp, tumbled over the handlebars and skidded into the parking lot of the Dunes, crushing his pelvis and femur, fracturing his hip, wrist and both ankles and receiving a concussion that kept him in a coma for 29 days.


In 1965, Bobby Knievel found a sponsor for his motorcycle daredevil show in Bob Blair, a distributor for Norton Motorcycles, agreed to provide motorcycles for Bobby Knievel's daredevil show, but he wanted the name changed from the Bobby Knievel and His Motorcycle Daredevils Thrill Show to Evil Knievel and His Motorcycle Daredevils.

Knievel didn't want the image of a Hells Angels rider, so he convinced Blair to allow him to use Evel instead of Evil.


The first Evel Knievel daredevils show was on January 3, 1966, at the National Date Festival in Indio, California. The show was a huge success. The next performance was on February 10, in Barstow, California. Knievel attempted a new stunt where he would jump, spread eagle, over a speeding motorcycle. Knievel jumped too late. The motorcycle hit him in the groin, tossing him fifteen feet into the air. Knievel ended up in the hospital. When he was released, he returned to Barstow to finish the performance he had started almost a month before.

The life of an actor during the writers strike

Israel baseball's championship season


While the soap opera called the Israel Baseball League rolls into December and closer to an Opening Day that may or may not materialize, the sport of baseball is thriving in Israel and a dramatic, action-packed championship series is underway and getting more ink in the nation than the infighting, announcements and real news behind the bigshot professional league.

Haaretz reports:

The Tel Aviv Reds were running on all cylinders Wednesday night, pounding out 14 hits on the way to a resounding 13-3 triumph over the Ra'anana Wildfire in the first game of the best-of-three Israel Association of Baseball Senior Fall League championship series.

Ra'anana came into the game as the favorite after having won seven straight games to earn home-team advantage. However, the Spring League champions from Tel Aviv made an emphatic statement in the top of the first inning, scoring six runs on five hits. The biggest blow was a two-run double by player-coach Dan Rothem - the first of his three hits on the night, while veteran hurler George Chityat hit an RBI single.

Having helped his own cause, Chityat then proceeded to shut down the Ra'anana attack through five innings, scattering three hits.

Stellar defensive play by Rothem and centerfielder Omri Modiano nailed two Ra'anana runners at home plate during a wild fifth inning, with catcher Ofir Katz, who also had a three-hit game, successfully applying the tags.

Chityat finally ran out of steam in the sixth, but Ra'anana's three-run rally was squelched by Modiano's sterling shoestring catch to end the inning. Closer Jason Hillman secured the win with two efficient innings of relief.

The win saddled Ra'anana's Daniel Maddy-Weitzman with his first loss of the season, and left Tel Aviv one win away from the championship.

Game 2 is scheduled for 7 P.M. Sunday evening at the Yarkon Sports Complex in Petah Tikva's Baptist Village, with Game 3, if necessary, on Wednesday at the same time and place.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Our Man Elli gives us the 411 on the IBL

Our Man Elli in Israel has been on assignment (baseball's just one of his beats), but he's reached us with his take on the announcement by Israel Baseball League president Martin I. Berger of a second IBL season in 2008.

Elli also addresses the fact that Berger made no mention of the league's debts, financial scandals, players' complaints-- or the status of IBL founder Larry Baras, last heard from in a desperate plea to Our Man Elli.

Tabloid Baby: So where have you been? We were about to run a missing persons story.

Our Man Elli in Israel: Working. When you start paying me, you can start keeping tabs on my whereabouts.

So what does the IBL announcement mean?

It means IBL management is certainly moving forward. But remember, they're still facing enormous financial issues. They're clearly hoping they can find some investors who'll help pay off last summer's debts to players and fields and others. And then they've got to prepare for next summer's cash flow. Players and vendors won't be so forgiving the second time around.

And the recent events certainly haven't helped their cause. I know potential investors who pulled out because of that 'lack of transparency' Dan Kurtzer and the nine other board members cited when they quit. And now I'm chasing down rumours the IBl wants to pay the 2008 players less than they paid in the first season. And they still haven't addressed the players who are owed money. So they've got some work ahead.

So is the talk of a 2008 season just that-- talk? Or is it really full speed ahead?

Well, it's full speed ahead right now. But how fast are they traveling? If they don't lock in investors quickly it would seem to be incredibly difficult to get 2008 off the ground.

Then again, did Berger simply "change the headline" with the announcement, taking the focus off the fraud suit and resignations?

Yeah, that's certainly true, because the press release is just that. It's a headline. It says the IBL is announcing its 2008 schedule, but they've only listed the opening night. On the IBL website, if you go to the 'schedule' link, they're still showing last season.

They do say they're scaling back to 40 games, instead of the 45 games they announced last season. And that's probably smart, since they didn't get in the full schedule last season. Four teams played 41 games and two teams played 40. And putting in lights at Gezer for night games will help. That 5 o'clock starting time last season made it impossible for a lot of working stiffs to make it to the ballpark.

Will the stars return?

I'd bet every player who can make it back will come back, except the ones who have jobs and can't make it.

Any possibility that you'll be named commissioner?

Will you guys get off that kick? It's embarrassing. You're sitting on your beach in Los Angeles. I have to work here. So yeah, there are three chances: Slim, fat and none. I don't want to be commissioner. I have a job.

Oh, well. Sandy Koufax, then. Anyway, what about the moving the Petach Tikva team to Jerusalem? What does this mean to Petach Tiikva? Did they support the team or were there too many native Israelis?

I was surprised to hear they were quote 'moving' the franchise. The Pioneers were one of two IBL teams that actually played in the city they were named after. Tel Aviv was the other. The other four teams were named after cities, but didn't play in them. And get this-- the Jerusalem team won't be playing in Jerusalem, either. They're playing in Gezer.

The Netanya Tigers, the Ra’anana Express and the Tel Aviv Lightning will play in Petah Tikva-- but not Petah Tikvah? Why take away the franchise name from the same city it plays in? That's a mystery.

What about Larry Baras? Is he out?

It appears that the three main principals are remaining as leaders of the IBL. Marin Berger, Dan Duquette and Larry Baras.

One more question. What do you think about the angry reactions, slams and accusations you're getting on the comments pages?

Will you please stop trying to stir things up? It's stupid. It's infantile. Who cares? I should say one thing for the record. I have nothing to to with the Israel professional Baseball League. Nothing whatsoever.

We thought you were going to be commissioner.

Nice one. Good night

IBL pitcher Leon Feingold salutes our work!

"Maybe it's a good thing

we have mudslinging,

smarmy, sensationalist,

no-talent

gossip-column rejects

like Elli and Tabloid Baby...

Maybe they'll help us realize

we're ALL divided

by a common goal -

baseball in Israel."

--Leon Feingold
#45 Netanya Tigers



The aging pitcher for the Netanya Tigers of the Israel Baseball League, one-time Cleveland Indians hopeful and professional competitive eater tips his hat to the hard work the Tabloid Baby staff has been doing to report all sides of the constantly- developing story about the future of professional baseball in Israel and the men behind it. And Leon, we say to you-- oh, we won't embarrass you.

You know what what we have to say!

Sex, nudity, dirt, sleaze: A superb Canadian export


The story about the NHL player who's not gay or bisexual but posts cellphone pictures of his shaved private area and poses with his tongue in another dude's mouth led us to a part of Canada we'd never did much thinking about: a very raunchy and colorful celebrity and gossip scene hidden behind perceptions of hosers, beer, heavy coats and a large Asian immigrant population.

Our staff's search for the photos of Jiri Tlusty's (as in "Too lusty"), err, staff, led us to many blogsites posting apologies for having removed the photos and a lawyer's letter scaring them into doing so, before we found Is This Happening, "Your #1 Source for Canadian Celebrity Gossip"-- "I know what you're thinkin'"-- the site that first posted the pix of the Toronto Maple Leaf winger's wang and then got the interview with the English-impaired Czech that others copied into a factoid in which he denied being gay.

Here's the text:

Zack Taylor: Why are were there pictures sent to us of you and another man licking each other's tongues?

Jiri: Because was really good night after his birthday and we had really good time all our group from home town

Zack Taylor: Are you gay or bisexual?

Jiri: I am not gay or bi nothing

Zack Taylor: What are your views on homosexual hockey players - whether it be in the NHL or just in general?

Jiri: I don't know nothing about the homosexual


As we scrolled down Is This Happening?, the site revealed itself to be Canada's equivalent of the most evil Fleet Street rag imaginable! It's what the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com would be if it wasn't corporate and had some smarts and wit, and what Defamer promised to be before it was mysteriously, suddenly sapped of its mojo and devolved into a reflection of two gay guys sitting on their couch all day watching and recording The View and Oprah. And what makes the site all the more fascinating is that it's dedicated entirely to celebs from Canada-- or celebs who had the misfortune of showing up in the Great White North.

Above, Avril Lavigne, allegedly caught flashing at a party two years ago, identified by her "skin tone and belly ring"...

Chubby Sinatra singer Michael Buble (left), snapped by a "sluty (sic) blonde" with whom he's allegedly been loveratting... Howie Mandel's bar mitzvah photo... Jessica Alba chumming with her body double... Canadians you didn't realize like Sandra Oh... Anne Murray.

And even our pal Gene Simmons (right--who seems to be getting frantic lately) humping chicks at a Toronto nightspot.

The site's said to be run by one Zach Taylor, a radio host and comedian. In any case, it's a lively encapsulation of an overlooked scene-- and the jaded Hollywood scenesters should take note. Meanwhile, we add Is This Happening to our list of links.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And now a message from Dr. Franklin Ruehl...


Thank you for the PR regarding Expert Village!

Now, I will definitely be on "Mad Men" tomorrow night (Thursday) at 10PM & 1AM (all time zones) on AMC as the beatnik in the epsiode,"Babylon."

Two weeks ago, that episode was posted on IMDB, but it was the preceding episode. This problem has actually arisen three separate times, where "Babylon" is listed in successive weeks, but only airs the second week.

And May the Power of the Cosmos be with You!

Yes!

Yes!

Yes!

Bizarro! Israel Baseball League's Southern cousins!


You don't have to be Jewish to screw up the first season of your six-team professional baseball league. In fact, you might be a Redneck!

The story of Larry Baras and the foible-ridden Israel Baseball League just might not be so special after all. The Aiken, South Carolina Daily Standard reports this week on the plans for a 2008 season of the South Coast professional baseball league-- after a disastrous first season-- and its wildly similar to the parallel story of the IBL.

Now of course, the dreams of an entire race, the history of a nation, and the future of Israel-- not to mention the lives of a few players and a federal fraud lawsuit-- aren't at stake here-- but Larry Baras, Martin Berger, Eric Holtz can all take comfort in knowing that they are no less inept than a bunch of Southern crackers. Heck, the South Coast pros even have their own Ken Holtzman.

In the article South Coast League preparing for 2008, Sports editor Cam Huffman reports:

"It is no big secret that the South Coast League of professional baseball, the newest independent baseball league that played it first season this past summer and included the Aiken Foxhounds, got off to a tough start. From a nationally-publicized on-again, off-again relationship with former New York Met Wally Backman to the cancellation of the inaugural All-Star game and culminating with financial losses that would make the Tampa Bay Devil Rays look like the New York Yankees, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Toole had a year he would like to forget. Still, reflecting on the season that was as he prepares for year No. 2, Toole is keeping a positive attitude about the future of the SCL...

"'We really did not have a good year financially. We knew going into this thing that you could not start six new baseball teams and make a profit. We certainly weren't believing that we would come into this thing with cash falling all over the place. But sometimes it is not what you make but what you spend. From our financial stability, I feel good with where we are, but we are... looking to bring on investors to help us grow.'

"Newly hired coaches and managers almost always point to year No. 2 as the season that will either make or break their new clubs, and Toole believes a similar approach should be taken when evaluating the SCL.

"I think this is the most important year coming up,' he explained. 'In 2007, there was a lot of excitement about just playing the season and getting the league started. In 2008 we have some history, we have a better understanding of some of the challenges we face, and the performance in 2008 it a better barometer of how each market will perform.'

"Accomplishing the league's mission in year No. 2 will be up to a number of personalities that were not even around to go through the struggles of the SCL's first year... With new faces behind the scenes, many of the organizations may take on entirely different personalities in 2008, but Toole explained that was not totally unexpected.

"'It is probably a little more than normal, but typically our industry has a lot of turnover anyway,' said Toole. This year with a start-up league there were a lot of trials and tribulations, a lot of extra hours and a lot of things we all had to learn. Some folks can handle that better than others.'"


Read the entire article here. Meanwhile, a tip of the Tabloid Baby hat to the anonymous commenter who gave us the story link and said, "Remove SCL and insert IBL and the stories are almost exactly the same!"

And to the baseball fans who got all huffy about our Eric Holtz story: We don't have a stake in the IBL. We just follow a good story. So you can say whatever you want in our forum. but when you take a cheap shot at Our Man Elli, prepare for us to defend him.

(FUN FACT: In DC Comics' Bizarro world of the cube-shaped "Htrae" ("Earth" spelled backwards), society is ruled by the Bizarro Code which states "Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!")

Carson Scably


We ran a bunch of stories about poor, weird, weirdly emaciated Carson Daly and his timeslot-filling middle-of-the-night talk show on NBC when we were contributing news items to the TVgasm website. We left off around the time he was making some sad attempts to somehow win the Conan O'Brien's 12:35 am slot after Conan takes over Tonight Show from placeholder Jay Leno. Even after NBC signed the amateurish Jimmy Fallon to a holding deal and indicated he'd be getting the Late Night gig (NBC's math: Irish+boyish+SNL experience+no hosting experience+discomfort at doing interviews= the gig), Daly kept putting out announcements about how he was prepping for the semi bigtime, and wanted NBC suits to tune in to see how he'd pumped up his show with lame scripted comedy bits and an imitation monologue.

Now, Carson Daly is making the ultimate desperation ploy to appease his corporate bosses. While all the other late night shows have been sidelined by the Writers Guild strike, the desperate wannabe has announcemed that he's returning to work today. Daly's not a Writers Guild member, but he’s not only crossign the picket line, he's openly soliciting material from non-Guild "writers"-- meaning scabs-- and that makes him a scumbag wasting-disease scab, as well.

We're sure Jeff Zucker and the other NBC honchos have promised him at least a John Rivers fill-in role after Conan leaves Late Night, it's got more to do with Daly's aspirations to be a bigtime producer like Dick Clark or Ryan Seacrest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Porn-peddling" gossip site takes a hit

Tabloid novelist Stephen King went after the mainstream media for following the lead of the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com in covering inconsequential Britney Spears and Kanye West stories when "meanwhile, you’ve got Pakistan in the midst of a real crisis, where these people have nuclear weapons that we helped them develop. You’ve got a guy in charge, who’s basically declared himself the military strongman and is being supported by the Bush administration, whose raison d’etre for going into Iraq was to spread democracy in the world."

The Whitehouser news site gets more specific-- and almost gets the terminology down (it's "corporate porn-pushing gossip site," though for now, "porn-peddling" will do):

"I'm glad Stephen King is busting the media's chops on the issue, because it's out of control. I'll give one example of the latest 'hot' website turned TV show, that peddles the porn I described above. TMZ is a disgusting TV show, complete and utter garbage, and yet it frequently cited alongside other "credible sources" by CNN and FOX on the latest 'breaking news'. The fact that these so-called authorities in journalism are citing a celebrity porn site-- may as well be– as frequently as they do, is telling of the direction of American 'culture' and 'truth' in journalism."
And that's not an attack on tabloid. Good tabloid covers the war.

IBL Player Holtz makes a play for commissioner; launches campaign by attacking Our Man Elli!

Hillary and Obama, take notes! In a lengthy statement in the Tabloid Baby comment section, Eric Holtz, the aging 41-year-old shortstop for the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, looks to find a post-playing career by casting his lot with the battered but defiant Israel Baseball League-- and, in angling for the role of commissioner, hurling a vicious spitball at the head of the man he sees as his main competitor for the job: Our Man Elli!

In his comment that appeared at 2:53 pm under this morning's Tabloid Baby post on questions raised by Martin Berger's announcmement that the IBL will be back for a second season in 2008, Holtz, whose IBL profile lists his favorite movies as Godfather I, Jackass, and Austin Powers: Goldmember, talks of his own experience ins starting up a business, defends founder Larry Baras, forgives the IBL for the bounced paycheck he says he received, condemns the team behind the rival Israel professional Baseball League, and for some reason swings a Louisville Slugger at the back of Our Man Elli In Israel:

"It just upsets me as I have seen in business over the last 22 years that there are Vultures that try to pick off the last pieces of meat off of a carcass and to me that is exactly what is going on with this whole IPBL nonsense. These guys busted their balls for years to get this thing off the ground, and now a 'New Leadership Group' is going to swoop in and just take over???? You can look yourself in the mirror and that may be O.K. for you, but for me I could not have allegiance to Vultures..."

"In life it is always easier to pick apart what someone did wrong (Monday morning quarterback) Like this Elli guy from Israel who could be the lowest level of Human Life in a reporter that I have ever seen, rather than to Look at the Positives and try to recover from them. I myself have always prided myself on being a Glass Half-Full Guy but again -That is Me!"


Oddly, the comment is followed two minutes later by the posting of an anonymous comment stating:

"IF ANYONE SHOULD BE COMMISSIONER OF THIS LEAGUE IT SHOULD BE ERIC HOLTZ!"

...and, 31 minutes later, a lengthy statement of support from "The Rubenstein family," indicating it is the family of Ra'anana Express infielder Brendan "Ruby" Rubenstein :

"...Eric, we think of you as a fine man, one that has demonstrated a maturity many on this board have not had. You are a credit to the League and your words speak the feelings many of us have for what has gone on..."

The order and timing of the postings indicate this may have be a planned campaign, and we at Tabloid Baby wish Eric Holtz well. We understand that at his advanced age, his days as a player are behind him ("again, I will be 42 in a couple of weeks, and I may look at things a little differently than some of the younger guys, but I need to live with myself...") and that he is positioning himself for a management role in the new IBL.

But we really take issue with the wormy tactic of kissing up to the bosses by smearing an honest, diligent, experienced and brave reporter whose investigation and reportage has been inspired solely to protect the lives of Holtz and his colleagues. Elli Wohlgelernter is not Tabloid Baby. And, as he stated, he wants nothing to do with our campaign to name him commissioner of any baseball league. The stories he has written have been bylined. The rest of the reporting and posting comes from the Tabloid Baby staff. And the rich, scandalous material we post comes from the very people whose asses Eric Holtz kisses.


(NOTE: Eric Holtz was quoted in Our Man Elli's landmark investigative article on the IBL's first season. While some players complained, Holtz said: "“My personal experience has just been wonderful in every aspect of it." Asked if he and the other players would come back next season, after all they went through, Holtz didn’t hesitate. “If they lived through the worst and survived,” he said, “then why wouldn’t they come back next year?")


BELOW IS ERIC HOLTZ'S ATTACK ON OUR MAN ELLI:

Gentlemen,

I trust that everyone had a great Holiday weekend. I am sending this out from myself-I have not been prodded by anyone to do this, but being one of the senior members of the league (age wise) I wanted to share my feelings with you on some of the things, rumors etc.

When starting a business, there are many speed bumps thrown at you, many things that come up that are just un-foreseen, I myself started a company in 2000 that did not exist. Knowing what I know now, I may not have done it-- My balls were to the wall for the first 9 months. Not knowing if I would be able to pay my mortgage or bills, but in my heart knowing I was trying my best. That was in my backyard. The IBL was created and executed in a foreign land with many obstacles that were un-foreseen until they were right in front of their faces. Promises made with good intentions and I believe in my heart that no one started this thing with the intention to hurt or screw anyone.

The management of the league was understaffed to say the least- I remember seeing Larry picking up garbage at Gezer prior to a game. That was just ridiculous to me. Yet- He did whatever he needed to do. At the end of the day, We Played 130 Baseball games in a land that had never had 1 Professional game- Had an All-Star game and Awarded a Champion. A full day does not go by without me thinking of something that may have happened on the field, dealing with Blomberg or spending a day off on the beach with friends. There were so many Great things and relationships that were made over these 63 days in a foreign land.

Many of the players have been signed to Independent ball contracts and as you all know Rees and Rodriguez have Minor league deals with the Yankees. I still cannot believe that. I am not sure how many of you are still owed money, but I know that Martin and Larry are fighting everyday to try and secure financing to make good on old debt and go forward with season 2. I myself am owed money (don't know if that will make you feel better or worse) but I am trying to look at the big picture and I am giving them every benefit to try and resolve these matters.

For some of you younger guys, I know it is Black and white-Where's my money?? and I cannot argue that- It is not my place to even try.

It just upsets me as I have seen in business over the last 22 years that there are Vultures that try to pick off the last pieces of meat off of a carcass and to me that is exactly what is going on with this whole IPBL nonsense. These guys busted their balls for years to get this thing off the ground, and now a "New Leadership Group" is going to swoop in and just take over???? You can look yourself in the mirror and that may be O.K. for you, but for me I could not have allegiance to Vultures. I would personally have to have Martin/Larry & Dan Duquette exhaust every last opportunity in righting the wrongs before I would even consider thinking about anything else.

Now again, I will be 42 in a couple of weeks, and I may look at things a little differently than some of the younger guys, but I need to live with myself and to me this is not Just about Business!! This is about guys busting their asses for years to get us to Israel and get games played.

In life it is always easier to pick apart what someone did wrong(Monday morning quarterback) Like this Elli guy from Israel who could be the lowest level of Human Life in a reporter that I have ever seen, rather than to Look at the Positives and try to recover from them. I myself have always prided myself on being a Glass Half-Full Guy but again -That is Me!

I wish everyone a Phenomenal Holiday season to you and your families, and I miss you all!!!!!

Holtz

ERIC HOLTZ

This just in-- and out-- from TMZ.com!

Corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com keeps emailing us "news" alerts. You know, important stuff we need to know, like Kim K. Ripped Off! $50,000 in Bling Jacked at JFK and "Bachelor" Byron Gets His Ass Kicked.

These are the two most recent:

3:02 pm:

From: alerts@tmzcorp.com
Subject: Gillian's TMZ Alerts - Underage Hogan Bought Alcohol Right Before Crash
Date: November 27, 2007 3:02:12 PM PST

17-year-old Nick Hogan loaded up on beer at a local grocery store just hours before he was involved in a horrific crash.

For the rest of the story, visit http://www.tmz.com/2007/11/27/
underage-hogan-bought-alcohol-right-before-crash/.


3:07 pm:

From: alerts@tmzcorp.com
Subject: Gillian's TMZ Alerts
Date: November 27, 2007 3:07:17 PM PST

Please disregard the previous email regarding Nick Hogan.

3:15 pm:

(from us)

Ha ha!

Jerks. As if the Hogans don't have enough problems to deal with!

Big questions about Israel Baseball League 2008

With the announcement of plans to charge full speed ahead with a second season of the Israel Baseball League, president Martin I. Berger has once again done a brilliant job of changing the headline while ignoring the fury and controversy that swirls around the league. The IBL even managed to pull off a team move to Jerusalem with the backing of the nonprofit Jerusalem Foundation (but be advised, the Foundation says it "provides full accountability and open reporting to its donors by maintaining ongoing contact with and supervision of all its projects"-- something the IBL apparently did not).

Miami attorney Berger has proven himself adept setting his own agenda despite the flames around him, as he showed on Novermber 15th on when, an hour after we posted the exclusive story on the resignations of the IBL 10, he posted a comment on this site that the resignations "will have no effect on the incredible things going on right now with the League."

The president has also done a fine job of keeping embattled IBL founder Larry Baras out of the spotlight. The news on the IBL website yesterday made no mention of the IBL-related fraud lawsuit against league founder Lawrence Baras, nor the complaints from players and vendors thatthey have not been paid for the the 2007.

So is the announcement of the IBL 2008 season the real thing? Many questions, incuding the ones below, remain:

What players will return for a second season?

Will the IBL cover the debts from 2007?

Will Larry Baras continue to be involved with the league?

Will there be an advisory board consisting of American sports-related bigshots?

And, in the interest of keping things clean in '08... will Our Man Elli in Israel be offered the job of league commissioner?


We've got our calls out, seeking comments. Answers, please!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Striking writers, remember Mel Tolkin


Fellow Writers, we have a martyr. Mel Tolkin (center, top row), the head of Sid Caesar’s celebrated television writing team, died today at his home in Century City, at 94, in this fourth week of the writers strike. It was on November 11th, five days into the strike, that we members of the Writers Guild of America -- more than 4,000 strong-- gathered for the biggest rally in WGA history in front of the Fox building on Avenue of the Stars in Century City, closing down the street between Pico and Santa Monica Boulevards.

On that day, on which speakers included Norman Lear (left), creator of the WGA series All In The Family-- of whuch many episodes were written by Mel Tolkin-- we offered an olive branch to the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.

Tonight, we mourn the passing of one our most distinguished and respected members. And can you believe his son is Michael Tolkin, who wrote The Player and directed The Rapture?

(Mel Tolkin also wrote for the great TV series, Run Buddy Run, starring LA jazzman Jack Sheldon.)

Kevin, we hardly knew ye-- or recognized ye!


Pictured above, in June, is Kevin DuBrow, the former rock star who was found dead in his apartment in Las Vegas.

Below is the Kevin DuBrow we remember (and as he possibly appears in Hell right now), the hair-challenged Quiet Riot singer who wound up living with his mother and who in the top picture is probably wearing a hat-wig combo.




And here we see the photo from DuBrow's MySpace page, where he cites his mom as one of his influences, pictured with dead former bandmate and metal guitar legend Randy Rhoads. Whoa! Cursed or what?

Rock on, dude!

EXCLUSIVE: BARAS HAS BALLS! (and bats!) DESPITE SCANDAL, ISRAEL BASEBALL LEAGUE ANNOUNCES 2008 SEASON!

Israel baseball fans, rejoice! Despite the scandals and lawsuits, complaints and debts, resignations and rebellion, the Israel Baseball League claims to be ready for 2008 with a full schedule and a new team!

Three months of radio silence on the IBL website was broken with a bang with two explosive stories: The announcement of a schedule for a second season in 2008, and the arrival of professional baseball in Jerusalem. The Petach Tikva franchise is moving and will be renamed the Jerusalem Lions.

Embattled IBL founder Larry Baras is not quoted in either story. But president Martin Berger leads the way. No comment yet from the rebels who announced the formation of the rival Israel Professional Baseball League, though the heralding of Jerusalem as a city with "hundreds of thousands of American tourists, American ex-patriates, visiting American youth groups, and American students on extended stays" does not bode well for native Israelis who claimed they were ignored by the IBl the first time around.

Our Man Elli in Israel will have an update on the historic news. Meanwhile, here are the stories from the IBL website:

2008 IBL Schedule Announced
With great excitement and anticipation, the Israel Baseball League today unveiled its 2008 baseball schedule. This will be the second full season for the IBL. Features include each of the six teams playing a 40-game schedule, culminating in a Championship Series at the end of August.

Opening Day has been set for Sunday, June 22nd, with two exciting games taking place. At Gezer Field, the IBL Champion Bet Shemesh Blue Sox will be playing host to its arch rival, the Modi’in Miracle. And at the Baptist Village, a future rivalry will be born when the Tel Aviv Lightning takes on the new Jerusalem Lions. Both games are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

“This is a well-balanced schedule, with teams having more off-days than last year in order to recharge their batteries in a very challenging hot climate,” said league president Martin I. Berger in announcing the schedule. “There will, however, be a baseball game played every night at both the Baptist Village and Gezer Field, the two baseball venues in which the IBL will play next season,” Berger continued. “Right now, we are assuming that our regular season night games will begin at 7 p.m. at both venues, as we are working with the Jewish National Fund to upgrade the field in Gezer with renovations that will include improved lighting for night games.” As was the case last year, no games will be played on Friday nights and Saturdays.

Tickets for next season’s games are due to go on sale in December. For information, contact tickets@israelbaseballleague.com.

IBL Adds Jerusalem Franchise
for 2008 Season
Last year, we had uniforms and batting cages. We went through thousands of balls and had to quickly order an extra 50 bats as the wear and tear depleted the existing stock. “Baseball” music in both Hebrew and English resounded through all of the games. We even had resin bags brought in through customs. All of the trappings were there, in other words, but one giant omission was obvious to many fans. There was no Jerusalem team.

This is about to change for the 2008 season, as the IBL announced that it is moving the Petach Tikva franchise to Jerusalem for the coming year. The team, to be known as the Jerusalem Lions, will play its maiden season in Gezer Field, about a 25 minute drive from the center of Jerusalem. By the 2010 season, the league expects the team to have a home field in Jerusalem itself.

Jerusalem, with its hundreds of thousands of American tourists, American ex-patriates, visiting American youth groups, and American students on extended stays, has long been a hotbed of baseball activity in Israel. Over 300 participants play in local softball leagues during the summer and hundreds of players in Israel’s youth leagues hail from Israel’s capital.

“Our problem was finding a site in Jerusalem that could accommodate pro baseball requirements,” said Ami Baran, the IBL’s Director of Israeli Operations. “However, we have been working under the leadership of the Jerusalem Foundation in getting a particular parcel designated as a baseball field and it is clear that enough progress has been made on that score for us to start planning for baseball in Jerusalem,” Baran continued.

The Jerusalem Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by former mayor Teddy Kollek, raises money for cultural and recreational projects in Jerusalem. It has made the creation of a multi-purpose outdoor athletic field a priority and has already received significant financial commitments for the development of the site. In a recent meeting between representatives of the IBL and the Foundation, plans were solidified for the baseball community of Jerusalem to have a portion of the field dedicated for baseball use.

“Meanwhile,” Baran said, “the Jerusalem team will play its home games at Gezer Field. We will make arrangements for charter bus service to take interested fans to and from the games. It is only a 25-minute drive from Jerusalem to Gezer, so it makes sense for us to get the team started now,” he said. The Petach Tikva Pioneers will be moved to Jerusalem. However, baseball fans in Petach Tikva will actually experience a net gain, as the IBL plans to have three teams call the Baptist Village home field – the Netanya Tigers, the Ra’anana Express, and the Tel Aviv Lightning. The Baptist Village is located right on the border of Petach Tikva.

Herald harbors Unholey headlines

Our Man Elli notes, "Miami Herald headline writers working overtime":


Lawsuit: Bagel firm in the hole

Sunday, November 25, 2007

From a supporter of the Israel Baseball League...


Debate continues to rage over the Israel Baseball League, the upstart Israel Professional Baseball League that wants to take its place, and most recently our decision to print an email from embattled IBL founder Larry Baras in response to Our Man Elli's request for comment. Of all the responses, this posted comment from an hour or so ago seems to demand a wider audience. Full of outrage and accusations, we hope it inspires even more debate. We've cleaned up the punctuation and nothing more:

"Ely you ought to go to Hell for what you have done. You will never amount to anything but being a zero. Stop pinning your hopes on this blown out of proportion story find someone or something else to demonize to make yourself look like a something.

"Isn't there something going on in Israel other than this? Or does Rosen or Rolehouse pay you to much to keep focusing on this one? Or does stupid young Andrew Wilson give the crappy info?

"The putzes who are starting a new league ought to be sent to Hell, as well. Actually, they are already on their way.

"They have fed this blog fodder for weeks and let them be exposed for what they are.

"Guess who will be the inhouse writer for their proposed new league ?

"Ely.

"They indeed have sent the gas into the balloon of this blog and shitty Eli stories. Right, Alan Gardner, Andrew Wilson, Jeff Rosen and Rolehouse?

"You want to make the IBL look bad so you can come marching in as the solution saving the summer for the children of Israel.

"Folks, don't let them put that wool over your head. They are all a bunch of evil creepy zeros. There are thousands of people who had a great summer. Let them enjoy their memories you have tried to destroy something amazing and hopefully you will not succeed in tearing down the IBL or Larry Baras. You have already done so much evil. The fact that you would publish that letter from Larry shows how low you beasts will go to try and get some acclaim at any cost. Tear it down so you will look like saviors. Cannot wait til the announcement that you will be saving baseball. It is so sleezoid.

"I will make personally sure that each one you assholes are investigated and every teenage child you tried to screw and every whore you grabbed will be a part of someones tabloid. Watch your mail. Just watch me.

"It is coming!!!!!!Better stop now!

"Jeff Rosen, shall we dig up pictures of the children in hospitals?

"Whomever is looking for more background on Larry is simply seeking to coerce him into quitting and hurt him more deeply. he has tried his best.

"BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR BEEFS AND WHY YOU ARE ALL WRITING THIS STUFF AND MAKING IT REPEATED AND LOUD.

"YOU ALL HAVE PERSONAL GOALS HERE!

"AND YOU ARE TRYING TO KILL A GOOD THING A GOOD PERSON IN THE PROCESS.

"YOU ARE THE LOWEST OF THE LOW!


"SUPPORT THE IBL!!!"

Uh-oh... TMZ calls Chelsea Handler a "bigot"


Looks like the boys at the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com really stepped in it this time:

Chelsea Handler's New Gig: Bigot?
Posted Nov 25th 2007 2:00PM by TMZ StaffFiled under: Train Wrecks
Trying to joke about race can get you in a lot of trouble -- just ask Michael Richards. Last night outside of Koi, supposed comedian Chelsea Handler tried to the same thing and, like Kramer, failed miserably. She was approached by two cameramen -- one of whom was Chinese, the other (our guy) was African-American. Chelsea quipped that it was "crazy that you guys all travel together, Asians and blacks. That's amazing." And they can vote now, too!

Chelsea Handler a bigot? Those are strong words from the loose cannon weekend crew, trying too hard to whip up a scandal after one of its aggressive teams of amateur boys with home video cameras confronted another celebrity outside a restaurant in hopes of goading her into a fight. This time, it's the E! Entertainment Channel's boss's girlfriend and legs-akimbo, cocktail-swilling comedy show host who does her best to throw a few one liners.

The weekend editors try to paint her with the Michael Richard brush. Bigot? Doesn't seem fair. Looks like Chelsea was just trying to give the thugs what they wanted with a little schtik that's not even as shocking or incorrect as the mainstream "outrageousness" of Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman or Wanda Sykes dish out.

Bigot? She's a comedian doing a line that emcees might use on a table of comedy club customers. It's a long way from Michael Richards.

It's not just that the piss-fetish deviates at the Winchell-style bullying TMZ are pushing a hypocritical, fascistic political correctness that wound tend to force comedy and free speech to pre-Lenny Bruce standards. Remember, Chelsea's the boss's girlfriend. The corporate E! bosses could come down hard on the competition calling his girl a bigot.

We'd even bet that the story disappears from the site.

Not that we feel too sorry for Chelsea. She does a nightly comedy show on E! without writers. That's why she's not so smooth, and why her show carries on despite the Writers Guild strike. Everything on the E! channel, news shows and all, is made up on the spot. Without writers.

But the TMZ TV show is supposedly the ultimate union-buster, even making AFTRA's blacklist.

Anyway, we're getting bored writing about the corporate porn-pushing gossips. It's a lowlife, crude, deviant operation that's not funny or insightful and doesn't have the balls to admit they are what they are-- like yesterday, when they tried to distance themselves from the paparazzi swarm around Dennis Quaid and his wife as they deal with a medical emergency surrounding their newborns:
More than ten paps (not TMZ) have been on the Quaids, shouting out question after question.
Not TMZ? That's as much of a mystery as why the site ignored Owen Wilson's suicide attempt. Do they have a thing against breeders? We'll save that for the book.

Expert Village gets an ultimate expert


Expert Village, according to them "the world's largest how-to video site," has a real expert on board. Tabloid Baby pal and contributor Dr. Franklin Ruehl is featured in his role as UFOlogost. Dr, Ruehl explores cosmic enigmas at his page, Do Aliens Exist: Ufo Sightings & Scientific Evidence.

The page continues lots of video lessons, including the Doctor's signature straw-through-the-potato experiment, and a link to the old "Ask Dr. Ruehl" page of the Tabloid Baby book site.