Sunday, April 15, 2007

Countdown to IBL Player Draft

Less than two weeks left until draft day! I don't know about you out there, but I'm pretty psyched. We've spent the entire off-season wondering which teams we'll be playing for, and who our teammates will be - we find out soon. I don't think I have any preference as to city, since we'll all be pretty close to each other, although if anyone out there has any recommendations, make them quick!!! They've told us if we have any strong preferences one way or the other they'll see about getting us affiliated with the city/team of our choice, but I'm pretty sure unless we have family or friends nearby, most of us will just get drafted by the managers who like our scouting reports the most.

I have no idea how the draft will go - might I be a first-round pick? Mid-round? Might I be an afterthought in the 20th round? I have a sneaking suspicion I'll be among the first group to go, but I don't want to give myself the evil eye - isn't that an appropriate saying for the IBL? Kein ayin hara!

Some of us here in the New York City area are planning on having a full workout before the draft, and a couple of the IBL league people are expected to attend. I've spent some time talking with Art Shamsky, who was one of my favorite players on one of my favorite teams (the 1969 "Miracle Mets," who won the World Series against great odds by beating the favored Baltimore Orioles) and now will be managing one of the six teams. I have a feeling he'd like to check out some of us ahead of time in order to get a good idea about who's worth drafting early - but it's definitely a huge rush to have his number on my phone and be able to have him around to ask questions and discuss the new league.

I also wonder how much publicity the league is getting over in Israel. I understand they're going to do a big media push over the next month or two before the league starts, but if anyone from Israel reads this, drop me a line or send me a comment here; I'm curious to know what sort of reception the IBL is getting over there. Also, anyone who wants to meet up and show some of us around once we get to Israel is cordially invited to have the favor returned when and if they come visiting to New York City. I’m one heck of a tour guide.

Looking excitedly forward to the draft later this month! I hope you all are, too.