23 Aug

It’s August 22nd.  19 Days until camp.

wrigley field, chicago, illinois

I got home from Chicago yesterday.  Another great trip for the King of Jewish Baseball and Savvy Traveling– six days of Magic and Jewish Baseball tryouts.  It was my second annual unofficial appearance at the Chicago Air and Boat Show.  I spent mornings wrapped in babies, afternoons betting wildly at the Chicago Board of Trade or racing boats on Lake Michigan, and nights with fighter pilots swapping stories about what it’s like being one of the most dangerous men on the planet.

boat racing

 The real reason for my being in Chicago, besides the general recognition and celebration of all things, were team Jew.S.A. tryouts.  It was the midwest addition on Sunday, 10am, at Glennbrook High School about half an hour north of the City.  15 kids came from as far away as Kansas City, Florida, and California.  New York tryouts this weekend.  Then the roster for the United States Junior National Team for the 2013 Maccabi Games will be set and ready to rock.  We seek gold in 2013.

Saw Youkilis too in his temporary home, his hotel room.  The White Sox had flown in from Kansas City still in 1st place in the AL Central despite the Royals sweep.  Youkilis, King of All Batting Stances, seems to like it in Chicago.  We went to the game the next night to see him play against the Yankees.

youk in the dugout

He was 1 for 4 with a single and hit-by-pitch.  Chamberlain hit him, again.  Being a baseball genius, you can hear me say in the video below, “Watch for the hit-by-pitch here”.  And in the 2nd pitch of the at-bat, boom, he hit him.

I will not say it was on purpose.  It was a bad time to hit a guy.  It was a tie game, 6-6, in the 7th inning, 1 out, no one on base, Dunn and Konerko coming up.  But I will say, Major League pitchers do not miss that badly that often and Chamberlain has hit or almost hit Kevin a lot.

The videos are short, just a few seconds.  And they are not great. The first video is  Strike 1.  And the second is the hit-by-pitch.  Strike 1 is a slider.  The HBP is a fastball.  Roll strike 1…

And then…  Listen, Joe calls it.

We apologize in advance for the abrupt ending.  We got a little fired up.

Then Chamberlain threw over to first base twice to either give a guy in the bullpen time to warm-up, or to continue f—— with Kevin. Girardi agreed it was a bad time, and came out of the dugout and took Chamberlain out of the game.  It is unusual to see someone removed after throwing a pick-off.

Kevin hit a go-ahead grand-slam the following game.


And now, after momentarily being swept away by the drama of the Major Leagues, the love of a million babies, and the majesty of a clean city and its airplane tricks, I am back, back in new york, on the grind, pounding the pavement, baseball bag in tow, causing problems on the trains, preaching the gospel in the streets, as it were.  I worked out today with Shlo and Alon.

alon leichman

Alon will be at camp too.  He, like Shlo, is a right handed pitcher.  And is, also like Shlo, Israeli.  He is currently playing baseball at Cypress Community College in California, and is the best player to come out of Israel yet.  He just finished his season playing for the Menlo Park Legends in a summer collegiate league in San Fransisico.  Here is a recent article about him. Keep in mind, Alon is great, the writing is not.  Clearly, not everyone can be a deadly literary weapon like myself.

ethan reineke plays baseball, in his mind

ethan reineke, joe mcbride, and nate fish play baseball in chicago

…19 days.

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