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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 CAPE 

6 Jun

I leave tomorrow for Cape Cod. I’m joining the coaching staff of the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox for the summer. For those of you who don’t know about the league, to clarify, it is THE GREATEST BASEBALL LEAGUE OF ALL TIME. For a COMPLETLEY REALISTIC representation of the league, see the documentary film “Summer Catch” starring Freddy Prinze Jr., Jessica Beal, and Brittany Murphy. It is a cinematic masterpiece. It’s like if you combined all three Godfather films and The Deer Hunter and whatever your favorite movie is – except it’s not about a crime family or Vietnam – it’s about a college baseball league in Cape Cod, and it’s horrible. Rotten Tomatoes calls Summer Catch, “A cliched and predictable sports comedy that’s mostly devoid of excitement or laughs.” One reviewer said of the instant classic, “It is a cheap rip-off of Bull Durham, the film is very bad at best, and at its worst absolutely abysmal.” 

“Wait. What? That’s not right.” Freddy Prinze Jr starring as LHP Ryan Dunne in Summer Catch, the best movie.


So, friend, reader, our adventure continues. Opening night is June 14. Come to the Cape, eat giant underwater cockroaches called lobsters, and support the YD Red Sox. 

See the roster and schedule below…

http://ydredsox.pointstreaksites.com/view/ydredsox/homepage-1

SHLO MANIA 

31 Mar

After the 2017 World Baseball Classic and a phenomenon called “Shlo Mania” that swept Asia like a malfunctioning robotic vacuum, the continent is finally returning to normal. Residents of Japan are getting back to regular life after the government issued an official statement saying, “Go home. Go back to work. Stop looking for Shlomo. He is gone. Everything is going to be ok, we think.”

The hysteria comes after the visit of Team Israel and their right handed pitcher, Shlomo Lipetz (aka Shlo J Simpson), the largest mammal to set foot on the island since Godzilla. The people of Japan were instantly fascinated with Lipetz (9 feet, 540 pounds) who dresses like an evil magician or an extra from Thriller. “He is so cool. I think I saw him in Star Wars,” said one Japanese fan who had been waiting outside the team’s hotel for three days to get a glimpse of Lipetz. “Yes. Yes you did. That was definitively him,” I reassured the hopeful if tired man who claimed to be a part of a newly formed gang called the “Shlo Boys” who dressed in slightly altered women’s clothing and were attempting, and failing, to grow beards thicker than barbecue sauce in the style of Lipetz, their hero.

It is unclear where exactly Asia goes culturally or politically from here. Shlo Mania has thrown nations as far east as Japan and as far west as Mongolia into unexpected uncertainty. Centuries of carefully honed and revered obedience are being questioned at every station of society. “We didn’t know you could do that,” said the prime minister of Laos. One thing is for sure following the 2017 World Baseball Classic… Asia will never be the same.

To witness Shlo Mania in action, view the video below…

https://instagram.com/p/BRfvXRQAdoI/
Lipetz was not available for comment.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARIZONA 

27 Feb

We just wrapped training camp in Arizona at the Colorados Rockies spring training facility. It’s a real dump. Here are a couple pictures of it… 


In a few hours, we leave for Korea. And so it begins, again, for the first time, the 2017 World Baseball Classic. This is really it. What we have all been waiting for – me, you, and everyone we know. I, King of All Jewish Baseball, proud 1st base coach of the Greatest Jewish Baseball Team of All Time, for once, do not have anything particularly funny to say. I am, I suppose, swept up in the moment. So I will do what we all resort to when faced with utter speechlessness. I will show you pretty pictures. Do not forget to tune in and watch your favorite Jews take on the world, and search #teamisraelwbc on all social media for updates. All I can say is this. We love you. And we are going to play our asses off. See you in Korea. 

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/

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