Tag Archives: 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!!!




22 Dec

I have refrained, most honorably, may I add, from writing about Youk on this, the greatest blog of all time.  But with news of him signing in Japan for the 2014 season (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/youkilis-leaving-mlb-play-japan-article-1.1554521), I must speak up.  Youk, you have been stealing what is rightfully mine for too long.  And now you want to go international too!

Imagine, if you can, Ladies and Geetles, dearest, faithful reader, a young KOJB, my first Big League game, Fenway Park, Red Sox vs. Athletics, bleacher seats, right field.  I was not prepared for the size of the field, the brightness, the green, the brown, the crisp white uniforms, Henderson, Canseco…  The game was tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the 9th.  Tom Brunansky hit a solo walk off home run on the first pitch over the left field fence, the Green Monster. I made up my mind, one day I would be the 3rd baseman for the Boston Red Sox.

Fast forward.  I am on the fast track to Fenway.  I’ve been invited to visit the University of Cincinnati, they can’t resist me, want to see if they can tame the wild young stallion, harness the power.  Watching practice, the 3rd baseman is fat and slow.  He has a funny name no one can pronounce and no one will ever know anyways, unlike my name, which everyone will know, he is nobody, and I am the future starting 3rd baseman for the Red Sox.

My first day of practice, we are hitting partners.  He is funny.  And he has a weird batting stance.  He definitely is no good.  We’re both Jewish.  Brothers!  From then on, we hit together at practice, and throw together before games.


Youk in college.

Fast forward.  2004.  I am sitting at a bar in New York City watching Youk win his first World Series with the Red Sox, the first Red Sox Championship in 86 years, the curse of the Bambino, broken, the comeback against the Yankees after being down 3 games to none, first time ever.

How could this happen?  Betrayal.  It was supposed to be me!  I never even started at 3rd base in college, except when Youk moved to short stop for half a season, instead being banished to catcher, tortured behind the plate. I thought we were friends, bro.  We had a seder together!

Youk went on to win 2 championships in Boston, 3 time all-star, Hank Aaron award-winner, gold glover, finished top 5 in MVP voting multiple times, set the record for errorless games for a 1st baseman, and, eventually, moved to 3rd base, the final dagger in my back, my rightful position.

So I found new turf.  Went out into the world, into the frontier, the unknown, international baseball.  I played in the Israel Baseball League, and in Germany the next year.  I went to the Dominican and Puerto Rico.  I was slowly becoming an expert on international baseball, the King of All Jewish Baseball.

Now, after all these years, Youkilis wants to swim out into open water, too, leave his comfortable little bubble, the so called “Major Leagues”.  Well, bring it on, bro.  This is my domain.  You have no idea what awaits you, the harsh reality of non-America, the language barrier, monopoly money.  You think the Tokyo Dome is nice? – Think again.  The place is a dump.  If you needed a contract to play international baseball, you could have just asked.  The Tel Aviv Comrades were prepared to make you the generous offer of 350 shekels a week.  But suit yourself.  If you want to play in a lesser league where not everyone on the field is Jewish, go right ahead.  Let’s see if you can handle it…

Youk, you are good, and you are brave, and we are rootin’ for you more than you know.

Prepare yourself, Japan– World, a big bright Jewpanese Star is coming, Ichiro, Matsui, Daisuke, all in one, and his name… is YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK.

Go Golden Eagles.


Young KOJB and Young Youk before a game at Duke.