Tag Archives: #travel


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!







5 Jul

What is this “World Cup” people are speaking about?  I have never heard of it.  Clearly, the world is not interested.  No, no, no.  The collective conscience of all animal life on Earth is focused solely on the significantly larger and more important world sporting event know as the EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS OF BASEBALL C POOL, where the lowest ranked teams in Europe compete to advance to next summer’s B Pool.  TV deals are in negotiation.  Stadiums are being faultily constructed even as I sit here writing, in my bathtub filled with gold and rubies, surrounded by my women dressed, barely, in velvet and brass, feeding me truffles and spellchecking.  That’s right, Ladies, Geetles, faithful addicts of the Greatest Blog of All Time, on July 27, in 3 weeks, we, the Israel National Team, the Greatest Jewish Baseball Show on Earth, leave for Lubljanja Slovenia to play against our International Baseball Counterparts in the deadly gladiatorial competition of wit and athleticism called baseball.  But the road Slovenia is not an easy one.

According to the travel documents I just received, it appears we will we fly into Prague on the 27th, sleep 4 hours in tents in the forest behind the airport, rent canoes, and head east down the first sewage canal we find.  A witch named Rudolf in a Team Israel hat will be waiting for us at the southern mouth of the canal.  He will lead us through the treacherous sewage rapids into the GULF OF POSSIBLE DEATH where we will drift and let the current take us until rescue helicopters come.  This will be considered our “rest period”.  We do, after all, have games to play.  There will be 3 stick-shift Jeeps covered in rust with drivers waiting for us at the hospital after we rehydrate with intravenous fluids and have received treatments for our open sores and various mental illnesses we developed from drinking a deadly if delicious combination of salt water and sewage.  We will do a quick head count and drive south on route 4 Million for 9 hours where we will stop to get gas, eat raw tomatoes, and throw bullpens in the parking lot of a rest stop in Transylvania.  If everything goes according to plan, the Jeeps will run out of gas by the time we reach THE WEIRD AND MAGICAL EUROPEAN CASTLE HALFWAY UP A SNOW CAPPED MOUNTAIN OVERLOOKING A LAKE OF WATER SO STILL AND PURE IT LOOKS LIKE CRYSTAL WHICH IS VERY NEAR SLOVENIA, as it’s called, when, for the final leg of our trip, we will inflate our orb balls and roll directly to the field in uniform just in time for the 1st inning of our 1st game.  According to our travel agent, it is the cheapest option…

For now, we are practicing 3 days a week and have games the other 3 days which is good because it is only 1.3 trillion degrees celsius in Israel this time of year.  I experienced a unique injury at practice the other day, both my knees melted.  Not sure about the recovery time.  We are working HARD, fueled by the power of a thousand future generations of Israel Baseball fans.  I must tell you, I have never had this much fun playing.  We have three weeks before we put on our periwinkle blue Team Israel uniforms and get the chance to call ourselves CHAMPIONS.  Despite the odds of making it to Slovenia alive, I think we can do it, we can win this thing, we can return to Israel, late, exhausted, empty airport, full hearts, hopefully with a trophy.

You’re lucky, you can join us, without having to canoe through Eastern Europe, you have me, your own personal genius.  So switch the channel from the World Cup Finals to the whatever station our games will not appear on, use your imagination, for it is stronger than your TV anyways, and join the Israel National Team on the ROAD TO SLOVENIA.





Here is our schedule… And since you are likely too lazy to click on the clearly labeled link, I rewrote it with my own two hands below.


Tuesday, July 29, vs. Finland, 1:30pm
Wednesday, July 30, vs. Slovenia, 5:30pm
Thursday, July 31, vs. Latvia, 1:30pm
Friday, August 1, Semi-Finals,
Saturday, August 2, Finals

Search #roadtoslovenia on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all updates on the team and our trip…



29 Mar

My parents were in town for two weeks, living with me.  Anyone can love their family when they’re 7,ooo miles away.  But would I still like them when they were asleep downstairs, in the same room, puffy eyed sharing coffee in the morning?  So we put our relationship to the test.  My folks moved in.

If you remember, faithful reader, and I am sure you do, from a blog post not-so-long-ago, about my apartment, it is not an apartment at all.  It is a store, on the ground-level, with a giant sliding door that opens directly to the busy street, turned art studio, turned home.  By now, after 6 months here, it is livable, for me, at least, there is a kitchen, a couch, even a closet, but it is still not up to code for 2 aging, if youthful, Jews.

My father is 77 years old, from the Bronx.  My mom is 12 years his junior, from Boston, Massachusetts.  They have traveled, and moved, a lot, and said they were willing to try living on the pullout if I was willing to let them.

Of course I was!  These were the people who, however disgustingly, made love to create me, who raised me, paid for everything I ate, I wore, I did, or I wanted, for 18 years– and more, honestly, of my life.  How could I say no?  But, I thought, after this, we’re even.

I picked them up at the airport, and we headed home, together.  I had cleaned up as much as possible, but there’s only so much you can do in a place where pieces of the ceiling fall every day.  But, they said, after inspecting the sink and shower and fridge, they liked it.  They could do it.

But could I?

They got comfortable.  The mess spread from the living room into the studio.  There were towels draped over the backs of chairs, plastic bags of change and half-eaten sandwiches everywhere, in just a few days, we had gone through almost 6 months of toilet paper.  What the hell was going on?  Were they running a spa?  Were they collecting donations for Sudanese refugees?  Were they making stuff out of toilet paper? – Were they actually wearing toilet paper under their clothes, like mummies, for some kind of temperature control?  Is this what being old is like?  My art studio had been turned into a durational conceptual performance installation I could never think of alone, THIS IS WHAT YOUR APARTMENT LOOKS LIKE WHEN YOUR PARENTS MOVE IN.

And so much cheese.  I am not sure where the cheese was coming from.  They constantly discussed, monitored, and replenished the cheese supply.  In retirement, cheese has become their full-time job.  They find comfort in it.  As long as there there is cheese, nothing can go wrong.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A


But I stayed cool.  These are, after all, my parents. I am them, and they are me.  Their DNA, and some star dust, of course, is responsible for brining the KING OF ALL JEWISH BASEBALL into this world.  The least I could do is calmly eat cheese and wait to reclaim my life.

So, patiently, each night, I snuck into my own apartment, slowly sliding the front door open and closed, tip-toeing past their bed, brushing my teeth on the dark, and going upstairs to live silently, like Anne Frank, in my last waking hours of the day so not to disturb them.

And now, they’re gone.  And I  miss them, can’t live without them.  I forgot how to be myself.  You must excuse me, I am going to cut this blog post short, I am going to the store, I need cheese…

FIsh Family.  Representing Team Israel for life.

My parents


13 Oct

I am in the air, in a plane, somewhere high above the Atlantic Ocean, between New York and Rome, where I switch planes, back to Tel Aviv.

I like being on the plane.  There’s nothing to do but sit here, and fly the plane, of course.  Faithful reader, you must know, being a King of Jewish Baseball can be busy, but, briefly, here and now, I sit alone.

I left Israel a week ago, left my new home for my old home.  What, I am sure you are wondering, was the occasion that could pull me away from the glorious ranks of Elementary-Level Hebrew Speaker?  My niece and nephew were born, two future geniuses, the Duke and Dutchess of Jewish Baseball…

The Duke and Dutchess of Future Jewish Baseball

The Future Duke and Dutchess of Jewish Baseball

So just three months after saying goodbye to everyone and everything in New York, forever, I was back.  New York, surprisingly, still stands, sturdy, wide roads, comparatively high sidewalks, steel, brick, a mountain.  I drove past the Baseball Academy where I used to work, I ate salad, listened to the new Drake record on 97.1, picked up baseball gear to bring back to the kids here, I used a flip phone, I was jet-lagged, I slept on different couches and beds each night, I was tired.  I am not used to Israel yet, but, I know, too, I am not a New Yorker anymore.  I am between worlds, ghostly, in the world, but not of it, a King without a Land, exile.

Jewish Baseball Santa Clause

Jewish Santa Clause is coming

And then, suddenly, it was today, time to leave.  I have 10 hours until we land in Israel, and it’s back to Raziel 11, to life as leader of the Free Jewish Baseball World.  I will get back to the Raze and go through e-mails.  I tried to keep up, but failed.

This morning, be fore I left, Danny and Callie gave me something, a well-timed gift to remind me who I am.


I have a job to do, for everyone back in New York, for everyone in Israel, for Luca and Leo.  I may just be a poor Jewish kid from Cleveland, and you are almost certainly just an unwashed mental patient, reading a blog in your underpants at 2 in the morning, but we are somebody!

It’s time to hit the ground, and hit the grind.  There is work to be done.