EXIT SANDMAN

27 Jun

Allow me, King of Jewish Baseball, to dutifully tell the tale of last week and an Ancient and Holy Tradition, the 2nd Annual Israel Baseball Summer Classic, the under 21 National Team versus the Senior National Team, 5 games in 5 days, a very short marathon, the Puppies vs. the Old Dogs, blood sport, war, Great and Sad Theater of Humanity, acted out on the nearly flat surface of a parallel dimension, the baseball field at Baptist Village, Israel.

israelbaseballsummerclassic2015

Old Dogs win the first two games of the series.  Enter Sandman.  Mariano Rivera is in Israel!  We get this picture of him holding his stylish new Israel Baseball sweatshirt and ask him if he wants to throw out the first pitch at the final game of the Classic.

New closer for the Israel National Team.

New closer for the Israel National Team.

Of course he does.  He is, after all, the Greatest Closer of All Time and we, the IAB, are The Most Powerful Clandestine Jewish Baseball Organization in the World.  It only makes sense.  He would love to throw out the first pitch and meet the kids who play baseball in Israel.

Mariano is coming. Tell Everyone. Bring him in through gate in left field. Play Enter Sandman when he walks in.  Rent a sound system, hire a photographer, security, invite the press.

Meanwhile, the series rages on.  The Youngs battle back, using their switchblades, mainly, and easily win the next two games, tying the series, and setting the scene for a 5th and final showdown, a rubber match for all the shekels, and, as assumed, eternal life.  In the backgound, Mariano.  Will he come?  Or won’t he?

No phone calls, no meetings, no confirmation, looking like no Mo.  These guys are hard to nail down.  I once sat up memorizing Doc Gooden’s career statistics, 1984 Rookie of the Year, 1985 Cy Young Award winner, 1986 World Champion with the New York Mets, 1996 no hitter with the New York Yankees, 2000 World Champion also with the New York Yankees – only to have him no show the next day.  It’s not easy accepting the love of so many adoring fans, I know, Dr. K, Mo, the King of Jewish Baseball, it gets tiresome.  Exit Sandman.  Cancel.  Tell everyone, contact the press, he isn’t coming.

But people will do what they want to do, or, at least, in this case, will still do what they had planned on doing, so they came anyways, some of them, at least, from Jerusalem, from Raanana, from Modiin.  They came for the food, but stayed for the music, as they say, came for Mariano, but stayed for us, the Greatest Jewish Baseball Show on Earth, give them what they want, the rabid, viscous fans, a close game, stand-up doubles, an autograph, and chocolate, by god, give them chocolate.

Game 5 was tied in the bottom of the 9th inning, 5 to 5, coincidentally, or not, when the black sky opened and owls with the bodies of rabbits filled the horizon, Snake Birds and Horse Men vomited Earth and Sea, and the Old Dogs scored a fatal and final death blow, a 6th run, ending the game and tournament, both teams exhausted.  It was a good game, in a weird way, thanks to Mariano Rivera.  We will tell people he is coming to every game from now on.


Tomorrow, we have the IAB Annual General Meeting, a thrilling event, no doubt, like the White House Corresponence Dinner, just like it.  We will gather around a fire and and join hands and ask the Great Mother for visions of the past and future and drink bottled water as our ancestors did.  And then, after the meeting, it’s off to Greece, that’s right, Ladies and Geetles, put on your gold chains, your leather jock strap, and your white batting glove, because the Under-21 National Team is coming to Greece!  We are playing in the Baseball World Cup in Athens.  Anything could happen.  We could win, the economy could collapse, again.  I will magically switch from Fish to Coach Fish, from short stop to the 3rd base coaches box, and we will, we know this much, at least, as always, play baseball.

Check #roadtoathens on social media to keep up with our quest for glory and ultimate victory.

 

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