Archive by Author

THE YD RED SOX

23 Aug

And so, another season comes to an end. Summer turns to… the end end of summer. The 5th season. You can feel it. Everything slows down. The days get shorter. Mother Earth is hot and tired. The moon momentarily passes in front of the sun. Ah yes, the sweet, potentially blinding cycle of life. Like sand through an hour glass, these…… are the days of our lives.

As you know, from your faithful readership, of course, I was in Cape Cod for the summer with the YD Red Sox, 3-time defending champs of the Cape Cod Baseball League, a new member of what will be known for many generations to come as DEFINITELY THE GREATEST COACHING STAFF OF ALL TIME EVER ASSEMBLED OF ALL TIME. It would be hard for me to describe the whole summer for you. We played nearly 50 games. We won. We lost. There were home runs and strike outs, errors and injuries, walks and walk-offs. So instead, using only the boundless power of my photogenic memory, and the somewhat less powerful capabilities of THE ENTIRE INTERNET, I will take you inside a single day of a coach for the 2017 Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.

Welcome to Cape Cod.

8am – Wake up. Ask yourself, “What’s today?” Never mind. It doesn’t matter what day it is. It’s baseball season. Every day is exactly the same. Every day is Saturday.

8:15 – Get dressed and pack your bags for the day. What are you wearing tonight? Red or Blue? Fuck. You can’t remember. Bring both. Don’t forget your fungo.

8:30 – Go to Wendy’s for breakfast. Order a medium coffee and an oatmeal bar. If you’re feeling extra good or extra disgusting – if you need a little extra something, order a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel.

8:45 – Camp. There are kids and parents everywhere. Sunglasses on! Avoid, avoid, avoid. You see the little boy doing the pee-pee dance outside the bathroom? Yes? Good. Go unlock the door for him. Be a good person. Now take your sunglasses and your coffee and go to the shed where the guys are getting ready/hiding before camp officially begins at 9.

Camp. Nooooooooooooo!

9 – Camp officially begins. Pick calls the kids together. Don’t go over there. He will make fun of you in front of the kids for their and his own amusement. He is crazy. Instead, start working on the field. Water, drag, mow, fix the batters boxes and the mound, paint the bases and chalk the lines. Do not forget, this portion of your day is mostly for telling stories. Find Austin and Berto and Gil and say something funny or sing a song. Shit. Where’s your coffee? Ask Phillips where your coffee is. Phillips doesn’t know. There it is… on top of the dugout. Go get it.

11:30 Camp is over. The field is prepped for the game. It’s been a brutal morning in the hot sun riding around on various vehicles, golf carts and tractors, pretending to do something. It’s time to go to the gym.

The greatest coaching staff ever assembled pretends to do something.

Noon – Go to Mid-Cape tennis club. Sit on the couch for a few minutes. Feel the cool leather on your back and the air conditioning on your face. OK. Get up. You can do it. Go lift weights… for 20 minutes. And by lift weights I mean stretch in front of a mirror and continue telling stories and occasionally pick up something heavy. Don’t forget to bend your knees. You’re old and probably hurt.

12:30 – Lunch. By far the most important time of the day. Where do you eat? Your life can be boiled down to a search for food and water, like a zebra. Sweet Tomato, or Pancake man? No. Not Pancake Man. Pancake Man sucks, and they may be running some kind of human trafficking operation. You’re not sure. Either way, you don’t want anything to do with that place. Sweet Tomato it is.

Pancake Man. What’s up with that place?

1:30 – Back at the field. Time for early work. Time for the real shit to begin. The guys start rolling into the parking lot, slowly, walking to the cage and the dugout carrying their bags and food. Who’s ready today? Who’s tired today? You can’t tell so you scream, “Who’s ready today?!” No one says anything. Start throwing flips to the guys in the cage. See everything. Say nothing.

Oh good. The guys are ready.

2:10 – Stretch. Everyone is here. It’s family time! Get the whole team on the left field line and go through the routine. Get the clap going. Dance. Wake up the cells. Meditate. Unlock the magic. OK. We’re ready.

2:30 – Batting practice. BP is a war. Sweat your ass off. Throw to 1 or 2 groups. Hit fungos to 1 or 2 groups. Nail every rep– try to, at least.

3:15 – Visitors BP. Stop sweating. You can’t? OK. Keep sweating then. Get Pick his numbers, opposing line-up’s batting averages and home runs and stolen bases and look through the old charts to see if anyone has any glaring tendencies. Get the numbers right. Pick will spit tobacco juice on your shoe on purpose if you get anything wrong. He is crazy.

This is Pick. He is crazy.

4:10 – Infield/Outfield.

4:20 – Visitors Infield/Outfield.

Let’s throw.

4:30 – Get the field ready, again. Pitchers water. Gil drags. Berto and ‘Bel and ‘Los chalk the batters boxes. You grab a rake and smooth out the corners, the area around 1st and 3rd base and help Gil with the drag. Look busy, damnit!

4:45 – Run the position players. Righty or lefty? Give them the scouting report. It’s showtime, motherfuckers. Let’s give the fans what they want. People are arriving. The stands are full and there are rows of lawn chairs along the right and left field lines. The scouts are crowded behind home plate. But don’t worry about them. Listen to the game. It will tell you what to do.

4:55 – Line up for the anthem. Stare at the ground and rock back and forth.

Game time!

5 – First pitch. Game time! Finally. Let’s get it on. Give a pound to the other coaches. Grab your clipboard and a bucket and pull up a front row seat between Pick and Austin. Call pitches, argue about what to throw. It doesn’t matter what you or Austin say, Pick is going to call what he wants. He is crazy. Berto and Gil position the defense. We are a force. We are prepared. We will not be out-willed! On offense, figure out the pitchers mix. Talk to the guys about it. KNOW WHAT’S COMING. Pay attention.

Listen to the game. It will tell you what pitch is coming.

8 – Game’s over. It’s getting dark. You won, probably. Shake hands with the other team’s coaches. Meet with the guys quickly. The fans are on the field asking for autographs. Put the field to bed. Drag it, again. Ah, fuck it. We’ll get the batters boxes and mound in the morning. Go behind the 1st base dugout and eat with team. Some of your host parents and interns have dinner for you back there. Thank them. Take your food and sit with the staff. Think about the game. Talk about the game. What happened today? And what do we do tomorrow? Who plays tomorrow? Who sits?

Post game.

9 – Go home and take a shower. You’ve been on the field for 12 hours. And you’re doing exactly the same thing the next day. What’s tomorrow? It doesn’t matter. It’s baseball season, for now.

Why can’t every day be like this?

The 2017 YD Red Sox forever. I love you guys! UNLOCK THE MAGIC!!!

 

 

SERBIA

21 Aug

There was only one thing left to do… go to Serbia… for a baseball tournament. No, no, no, not Syria, not Siberia, SERBIA, in Europe, near Italy, kind of, I think. That’s right, Ladies and Geetles, it was time for the King of All Jewish Baseball aka Jewish Iron Man aka Jewish Jeter aka Jewish Juan Uribe, to strap on the stirrups and metal chest plate one more time, my 5,777th consecutive and final season… one… more… time.

The event was the B-Pool of the European Championships. There were 6 teams; Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Switzerland, Serbia, and us, Israel. The first 5 days of the tournament, Monday through Friday, each team played a single game. On Saturday, the 2 teams with the best records would meet in the final. The winner of the tournament would move up to the A-pool with a chance, be it a slim one, of eventually earning a spot in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, and would, how could I forget, receive a treasure map and a trip to the White House, if I understood correctly.

The atmosphere at the games was– how can I put this, ELECTRIC. If my math is correct, nearly three people attended, which is a lot. Each day, a few local vagrants would emerge from the bushes of the par three golf course in the public park where the fierce competition was held to watch a few innings, a look of admiration and confusion on their drunken faces. What was this game? – And why were these men playing it?

A drunk, naked, probably homeless man judges me as I try to play the game of baseball.

A couple golfers enjoy my pain.

Good thing I am trying so hard while one of our opponents checks his text messages.

A worthy opponent watches an old man hit.

On the 6th day, as promised, there were just two teams left, us and Austria. In the end, Austria won. And they deserved it. They had lost in the B-Pool finals twice before, and they were better, and younger. Our catcher, Eitan pulled his oblique in the first day. Aric appeared to die in slow motion laying out for a ball in center field. Shlo had somehow fused his body together for the tournament and pitched well, but we were old and hurting. I was mostly happy just to walk off the field under my own power with only a pulled right hamstring and some mysterious elbow pain. Not bad, I thought.

And on the 7th day, we rested. We packed our things and limped to the airport in Belgrade and flew to our respective homes like nothing every happened, though that’s not true. So much happened.

Much love to all the coaches and my teammates on the 2017 Israel National Team. We made it out alive!

 

 

 

 

 

THE ISRAELI BOBSLED TEAM

17 Mar

Ladies and Geetles, it is I, King of All Jewish Baseball, reporting live and direct from the internet after a most righteous baseball adventure and three weeks in Asia. There were dragons. We slayed them. There were live octopuses. We ate them (some of us). And there were comparisons to the Jamaican Bobsled Team. We appreciated them.

It all started in Korea. In truth, it started in Jupiter, Florida, four years ago. If you want the whole story, the whole whole story, feel free to scroll back to the beginning, before the 2017 WBC, before the 2016 qualifier in Brooklyn, before I lived in Israel for three years, all the way back to the 2012 WBC qualifier, and witness the birth of Team Israel and the superhero idiot whose voice I now speak through. But for the sake of brevity and logic, we will begin this part of the story in South Korea, where all great stories begin, where a group of roughly 45 human beings who have devoted their lives to baseball, and more specifically, at various times, to Israel Baseball, came together with one goal, to win the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

It is safe to say, despite our common aim, not everyone believed we had a shot. ESPN wrote this article…

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18805572/team-israel-wbc-biggest-underdog-ever

Wait, what? Ragtag? Wannabes? 200-1 odds? We thought we were pretty good. But the world didn’t agree, it appeared. Our first game was against South Korea, the #3 ranked team in the world, in Seoul’s Gocheok Sky Dome, home of the Nexen Heroes of the KBO, Korea’s professional league, and one of the loudest baseball stadiums in the world when it gets rocking. It was a dump. Check it out…

 

We had been told it would be like playing the Seahawks in Seattle. When the Korean team did anything well, a hit, a strike even, it got so loud the air around your face would vibrate. But despite the noise, we beat Korea 2-1 in extra innings, and the headlines began to change. Here is one from the New York Times…

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/sports/baseball/israel-wbc-south-korea-upset.html

The next day, we played Taiwan, the 4th ranked team in the world. We won the game 15-7. We scored 4 runs in the 1st innings and never looked back. We were 2 and 0, which nearly guaranteed us a spot in the next round in Tokyo. 

We did not a have a sense of the impact we were having in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world. We were in our bubble, in meetings and practices, getting ready for the games, and thought we were just doing what we should be doing, winning. But after the games, there were hundreds of messages from friends and family and total strangers. And the headlines were out of control. Check this one on Yahoo Sports…

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/lox-to-advance-how-israels-wbc-team-engineered-the-greatest-jewish-miracle-since-the-oil-burned-for-eight-days-152318561.html

What the hell was going on? All of a sudden the whole world was paying attention to us.

We played the Netherlands next. Both teams were 2 and 0, and guaranteed to advance to Tokyo, so we were playing for 1st and 2nd place seeding and prize money. Korea and Taiwan were good. But the Netherlands team was great. They had five bonafide Major League superstars in their line-up; Simmons, Bogarts, Gregorius, Profar, and Schoop. We did not have a single player currently on a Major League roster. We won 4-2. We went 3 and 0 and won the pool. We were going to win the whole dam thing.

http://www.si.com/mlb/2017/03/09/world-baseball-classic-day-4-roundup-israel-netherlands

It was off to Tokyo to play Cuba, Japan, and the Netherlands again. Our next game was against Cuba, ON PURIM. Cuba was ranked 5th in the world. We beat them 4-1 and improved to 4 and 0.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2017/03/12/israel-beats-cuba-world-baseball-classic/99088076/

The next day we played the Netherlands again. This time, their Big Leaguers looked like Big Leaguers, and they stomped us, 12-2, setting up a game against Japan and one last chance to advance to the semi-finals in Los Angeles. Four years earlier, we lost the qualifier in Florida and didn’t make it to the main tournament. Now we were playing the two-time WBC champions and #1 ranked team in the world in their home stadium.

The Tokyo Dome was packed (see link below). Even during batting practice, the crowd ooooed and aaaahhhhed as balls sailed over the outfield fence, some hitting the back wall of the dome.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRqghAojY0R/

We were tied at 0 through 5 innings. They got the offense going in the 6th with a home run, and we couldn’t catch up. The final score was 8-3. 

Our run was over.

But the messages kept coming. People from all over the world were emailing, tweeting, thanking us however they could. To the fans, THANK YOU. The coolest part of the tournament was hearing from you and feeling your support. To all the players and staff, it was an honor. I love each and every one of you. I still don’t think we understand what just happened or what we accomplished.

The Israeli Bobsled Team for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ROSTER

9 Feb

Ladies and Geetles, the rumors are true, I am a gay acrobat– Wait, what? – That’s not what you were talking about? – Good. Me neither. Well then, on to the next matter of business, to address your concerns, the Team Israel roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic has been announced. And now, without further ado or needless reference to extracurricular activities, I, King of Jewish Baseball, using only the power of all technology and swords, humbly present to you, Team Israel, aka the Greatest Jewish Baseball Show on Turf…

Team Israel for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, the Greatest Jewish Baseball Show on Turf.

As expected, there has been a flurry, a slurry, a swirly, if you will, of media about the team, far too much to share here with you considering your undoubtedly short span of attention, much too much, much too much. But I will share one…

http://www.jpost.com/Jerusalem-Report/A-baseball-team-like-no-other-480827

If you cannot make the trip to Seoul, South Korea with the team, which inevitably you cannot and which you will never forgive yourself for, there is still a way to be a part of the team. Using only the new and highly questionable technology known as a “video camera”, a group of “filmmakers” has decided to make a “movie” about the team. A movie is a like a photograph but the images move around and make noises. Anyhow, click the link below to find out more and then donate actual money to the crew so they can make the film and so you can feel less guilty about not being there in person.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/839615840/heading-home-a-documentary-film?ref=project_tweet

And don’t forget to keep up with all things Team Israel on social media with the tag #teamisraelwbc.

Opening night is March 6 vs. the host team Korea.

Let’s gggggggggggggggggggggooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WINTER MEETINGS

7 Dec

Ladies and Geetles, it’s that magical time of year again, the only date on the calendar recognized by every major religion on Earth, when half-rain turns to half-snow, and slush from the truck in front of you is whipped violently against your windshield, just as the natural laws of the universe intended it to be. No, it’s not Christmas, not yet, at least, not Hannukah, not Kwanzaa – That’s right, you guessed it, Major League Baseball’s winter meetings, aka THE GREAT WINTER BASEBALL CIRCUS.

This year, winter meetings were held at the Gaylord National Resort in Maryland, a gigantic convention center overlooking the Potomac River. The meetings featured baseball’s largest off-season blockbuster trades, free agent signings, a lobby full of hopeful twenty-four year-old future general managers looking to land spring internships, and the bearded woman, of course. Amongst the agents and ferris wheel operators was none other than yours truly, the one, the only, the King of All Jewish Baseball.

As sovereign leader of the Clandestine Worldwide Jewish Baseball Community, I was immediately catapulted into the upper levels of Winter Meetings, secret lunches with other world leaders, illuminating if brief appearances at press conferences, and exclusive events.

It was my first time at the meetings, so the vets – my extensive network of former teammates, scouts, and fellow brothers from Team Israel, took me under their wing, showed me the ropes, told me what to see, and what to avoid. So now, without further ado, I, King of Jewish Baseball, using only the boundless power of my mind, and a new technology called “the internet”, will show you what I saw, an insiders guide, if you will, to Major League Baseball’s 2016 Winter Meetings…

The Gaylord National Resort, home of the 2016 winter meetings.

A photograph from the lobby at winter meetings. This image represents roughly 10% of the interns.

Some of the heavy hitters from winter meetings.

A couple of studs from Team Israel.

https://www.facebook.com/worldbaseballclassic/videos/1309974819073666/

ISRAELIS DRIVE ANYTHING

3 Dec

What’s the Chottest Channukah gift of 2016? That’s easy. ISRAELIS DRIVE ANYTHING, the book. That’s right, Ladies and Geetles, using only the secret new technology called an “iPhone”, and obsessive compulsive behavior, I, the King of All Jewish Baseball, have created the world’s foremost useless collection of photos of Israelis driving… well, anything. I hunted Jazz Carriages, Donkey Carts, and Family Edition Mars Rovers through the streets of Jaffa, Israel for over three years. And now, without further ado, I humbly present THE BOOK. So go! Run! Click the link! Channukah is coming…

https://www.amazon.com/Israelis-Drive-Anything-Nate-Fish/dp/0692811885

Praise for ISRAELIS DRIVE ANYTHING…

“The funniest thing I’ve ever seen!” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Israelis Drive Anything exists at the delicate intersection of sociology and sarcasm.” -Max Weber

“What the hell is this?” – Barack Obama

“Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. We had no idea.” -The New York Times Book Review

 

ISRAELIS DRIVE ANYTHING

ISRAELIS DRIVE ANYTHING………………………… the Chottest Channukah gift!  https://www.amazon.com/Israelis-Drive-Anything-Nate-Fish/dp/0692811885

 

 

KOREA

22 Nov

We are going to Korea for the World Baseball Classic. I think Korea is near Houston, or somewhere else in Mexico. I’m not sure. I’ve never been there. But I hear it’s nice in March.

Meetings for all 16 teams took place in New York City. The most powerful witches and wizards of the baseball universe sat around the table plotting their upcoming run at global domination, glaring from behind fake eye patches, Donald Trump masks, Oculus VR helmets, and other various symbols of evil and the near future. Who will win? Who won’t? Who will raise the cup and wear the ring? Who will get lost and show up late for batting practice? These were and still are the pressing questions of the hour.

Do not let the smooth taste fool you. As the seasons change from fall to winter, from baseball season to the off-season, reps of each team slip away from meetings to begin their clandestine work, getting commitments from players and coaches. What appears to be the slow time of the year is instead time to work, re-arm, and prepare for the Great Battle of Ultimate Enlightenment known as the World Baseball Classic.

World Baseball Classic Inc. released the full tournament schedule. Guess who plays the opening game? Papa New Guinea versus Alaska. Just kidding. It’s us. Israel. And guess who we play? Korea, the hosts, wherever that is.

You can see full tournament schedule here…

http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com/news/article/208916214/

img_2895

THE HALL OF FAME

13 Oct

Ladies and Geetles of the congregation, you may be seated.

It is true, what you have heard. I, King of Jewish Baseball, after many years in exile, recently returned to Cleveland, city of my upbringing, to be inducted into the Shaker Heights High School Hall of Fame, a great institution. Think Cooperstown, but more important. Ah yes, Cleveland, C-town, the Land, great shining city on a river, that caught fire, once, a long time ago, we won’t talk about that, a city built for millions, and occupied by nearly several thousand, a city that will steal your heart, and your wallet, denying both, returning neither.

I traveled to Cleveland in a machine called an airplane they sent to ensure my safe passage. Upon entering the city, I noticed the streets were lined with stray dogs to celebrate my return. They had also boarded up all the windows of the houses to prevent any damage the ensuing party would surely cause. I was, after all, a unanimous first ballot inductee.

The Hall of Fame was nice. There were chandeliers and food. They said my name into a microphone several times, and I was permitted to speak. But, to my amazement, at the conclusion of the evening, they asked me, along with everyone else, to leave. I had my things and had begun to unpack when it was explained to me that I and my fellow inductees of the class of 5777 would not be living out the remainder of our lives together in the Hall of Fame, and that the Hall of Fame was not even a real place, and that we were in a country club that had been rented for the night. I was disappointed, to say the least. They foolishly assumed that we all had “jobs” and “homes”, and more, that we had achieved some level of stability or monetary success with our various accomplishments and contributions to humanity. But you know what they say about assumptions…. they’re almost always right.

We were a food writer, a comedian, a mathematician, a drummer, a CEO, a doctor, an activist, and a King of Jewish Baseball. We were different ages, races, and lived in different places. We had almost nothing in common besides the unavoidable truth that we had all, at one point, attended Shaker Heights High School. And now we were forever bound by the cosmos, and the committee of people in charge. We had one magical evening together, and breakfast the next day, of course, I am, after all, a gentleman.

My friends in Cleveland asked me what I am going to do now.  I looked at them with disgust. What were they going to do was the question. I’m in the Hall of Fame. I will live out my days basking in the glory of recognition, wandering the corridors of a hall that does not exist. That’s what I am going to do.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the Shaker Heights High School Alumni Hall of Fame.

It was an honor and a privilege.


To hear about all of the things, check the Podcast below…

http://www.kwbaseball.com/kwb-radio-episode-39-king-jewish-baseball/http://www.kwbaseball.com/kwb-radio-episode-39-king-jewish-baseball/

 

WE DID IT!

27 Sep

We did it. We did it. We did it. We won the World Baseball Classic Qualifier. We made it right.

Four years ago, 1,462 days ago– not that anyone’s counting, on September 25th, 2012, after we lost to Spain, I wrote this…

http://kingofjewishbaseball.com/?s=the+loss&submit=Search

“Each one of us now has to deal with the loss individually and collectively.  We each will project our own sense of self-doubt onto the game.  We will each feel that our individual contribution is somehow responsible for the outcome. So what do we do?  How do we deal with being on the doorstep of history only to ultimately not be allowed inside?

Sunday night in Brooklyn, we did it. The guys did it.

Four years ago, Josh Zeid was on the mound when we lost. Sunday night in Brooklyn he was the winning pitcher. Four years ago Cody Decker, like all of us, sat in disbelief in the clubhouse after the game. Sunday night in Brooklyn, he hit an 0-2 fastball over the left field fence putting the game out of reach. Four years ago, Charlie Cutler was ejected in the 9th inning of a tie game we eventually lost. Sunday night in Brooklyn, in the 8th inning, he hit a two-run double to right field making the score 9-1 in our favor. Four years ago, I was offered a job, move to Israel, Peter said, run the baseball program, play for the national team. And I went.

Before every game, during the national anthems, I thought about the guys back in Israel, the kids and the coaches, and wondered if they were watching. So did the guys on the team. We talked about you a lot. We looked at pictures of the ratty baseballs you hit every day. We did it for you. We are sending baseballs back, and bats, and catchers gear.

The fans were great, all the guys who played in the IBL back in 2007, the guys up in the press box, it was like the Jewish Baseball Summit at the park. They’ve been waiting for this. A reporter I spoke to teared up. Skip tried to make a pre-game speech and could barely get the words out, which said everything. I paced in the coaches room in the clubhouse. Then we did it. We did it. We did it. Lavarnway hit a ball about 450 feet over the scoreboard in left field. I asked him if he ever hit a ball that good. It’s been a while, he said. It’s been a while for all of us. Four years, 1,462 days, to be exact.

And then we did it. We did it. We did it.

Team Israel for the 2016 World Baseball Classic qualifier. CHAMPS.

Team Israel for the 2016 World Baseball Classic qualifier. FUCKING CHAMPS.

AMERICA

13 Sep

I arrived to America September 11th, 2016. It was a Sunday. An American Football game played on a giant television at the airport and an even bigger American flag hung over the entrance to US customs like a blanket too thin to keep you warm. The smell of cinnamon buns and shiny little hot dogs filled the air. Eagles soared high overhead. Security guards chased the eagles with insufficiently sized butterfly-nets screaming, “How did these eagles get in here?” as the birds swooped down attacking us. Ah yes, this was really it, the America I had heard of, land of opportunity… and everything else.

Here in America they speak a language called English. I understand every word. It is amazing. Bushy tailed animals called squirrels stand on their hind legs and look at you then run up a tree. When people make eye contact, they acknowledge each others existence with a smile or a nod as opposed to simply staring blankly at one another, the traditional Middle Eastern greeting. The money is green and thick as t-shirts. Giant trees and shopping malls grow from the cool, moist earth. The streets are wide and bumpy from the changing weather. They call these “seasons”. They say it will be “autumn” soon, whatever that is.

I do not know of these things. I am but a simple man from a far-off land called Israel where I was once a King. In Israel, water does not fall from the sky. The rocks have been turned to dust, trampled by 10,000 years of conquering armies and our unforgiving sun god Ra. It will take some getting used to. For now, a nice family has taken me in. I live in a small room in their home. I am like Brooks in the film Shawshank Redemption. I must be reintroduced to society after so many years away. And likes Brooks, I must stand on my wobbly little stool and chisel my name into the rafters overhead, into the book of life– wait, Brooksy hanged himself, well then like Morgan Freeman’s character, the one who did not hang himself, but instead went out into the world to pack groceries and fulfill his dreams. That’s right, Ladies and Geetles, theKing of Jewish Baseball is back and ready to rock. Using only the power of imagination, and other new technology, we will go on this adventure together. Like the poet Big Boi used to say… “Me and you/Your mama and your cousin too.”

Team Israel reports this Thursday for the 2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifier. We’ll roll into Brooklyn early next week, a few days before the games begin. Here we go, again, like last time, but better. I am not sure how much writing I will be able to do. I may have to resort to short hand to keep you all updated, so check me and other members of the team out on anti-social media.

See you all at the ballpark.

http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com/schedule/#/qualifying-round