THE REVOLUTION

8 Apr

I got these 2 e-mails this week…

1) Hi,i am organizing kids baseball in katzir,i am in need of equipment,i was given nate fish’s name by a friend in columbus ohio, call me! thx chaag sameach.

2)  In 2012 our family moved from Jerusalem to a new community located on the Egyptian border. The communities of Bnei Netzarim was founded by the broken residents evacuated from their homes in Gush Katif. Over the course of 8 years they had bounced from hotels and shelters to temporary houses and finally to permanent structures… I decided to form a Baseball league to encourage and promote a healthy lifestyle for the 200 children under age 18 living in the community. To date we have bi-weekly regular practice with an average of 20 participants.

What is going on? Mutual friends in Columbus?  20 kids playing baseball twice a week on the Egyptian border?

It seems, dearest reader, we are experiencing a nasty outbreak of JEWISH BASEBALL FEVER in Israel.  Protect yourself.  Or don’t.  Contract it willingly.  But let it be known, it has spread beyond our control.  It’s a revolution.

Where others have failed, we shall succeed.

The Enlightenment, MEANINGLESS.  The Civil Rights Movement, A FAILURE.  Women’s Lib, I DON’T THINK SO, DIDN’T WORK.  The Hippies ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING.  Occupy, NOTHING.  The people are demanding a new movement.

The problem with these other so-called revolutions is that people tried “working together”.  No, no, no.  That’s not how it’s done.  The reason we’re succeeding is that I have DONE THIS ALL ALONE, with help from NO ONE.  That’s right, Ladies and Geetles, I, King of All Jewish Baseball, am responsible for all you see.

No help from Peter Kurz, President of the IAB who has volunteered for 15 years.  He is unresponsive, displays poor leadership skills, and is an overall dummy.

Not from Amit, his son, member of the Israel Senior National Team and The Tel Aviv Comrades of the Premier League, Head Coach if the Junior National Team, Running new programs in Raanana and Kibbutz Na’an, who is LAZY, and a bad coach.

Not from Dan Rothem, Vice President of the IAB, RHP, guru, member of the Israel National Team since 1986, co-founder of the Tel Aviv Comrades– dumb, lacks ability for long-term commitment.

Nor from his brother, Asaf, merely a member of the Israel Senior National Team, Coach of the Tel Aviv Comrades Juniors, Head Coach of the Jerusalem Lions of the Premier League, and selfishly calls a Major League game in Hebrew on TV every Sunday night.  He lacks understanding of basic concepts of the game.

Don’t get me started on Orr Gottlieb, their Mongoloid Cousin, who has the nerve to attend every practice and game, carrying with him, 24 hours a day, THE ANCIENT SECRET BAG OF DECENT BASEBALLS, the only, ever dwindling, bag of good baseballs we have.

Who do these people think they are?  I am the KING OF ALL JEWISH BASEBALL.  I work alone.

I have received precisely NO guidance, ideas, or support from Haim Katz, President of the IAB for 8 years, or his son, Ophir, who has taken it upon himself to single-handedly deliver baseball to Jaffa, my neighborhood.

Not from Yaron Erel, IAB treasurer, Coordinator for Tel Aviv, Team Manager for the Junior National Team– bad with money, or his son, Tal, assistant coach on the Junior National Team and 2 Tel Aviv Comrades teams, Member of the Senior National Team, Switch Hitting Catcher– immature, severe developmental, attitude, and behavioral problems.

These people are only getting in my way.

I have not heard from Howie Osterer in Jerusalem in months!  He is not working on baseball enough.  WE DEMAND TOTAL SACRIFICE, Osterer.  As a matter of fact, and hear this, all regional directors are doing a POOR JOB, and are ALL on thin ice as far as I am concerned!!!

I get nothing from Margo Sugarman, Secretary General of the IAB, Chairman of the Communications and Branding Committee, Coordinator in Tel Mond, Team Manager of the U16 National Team, IAB kosher chef.  She lacks basic communication skills, has no vision for the organization, and is a bad cook.

The man you know well, Neon Leon Klarfeld, Chief Umpire, Tournament and Camp Director– inexperienced, no sense of humor.

Not Nathan Pomerantz, Chairman of the Rules, Scholarship, and Sportsmanship Committee, Director in Rehovot, schedule maker for the minors and juveniles age divisions– inconsiderate, loud, mean, crazy.

Do you know who hasn’t helped?  Jordy Alter, commissioner of the Premier League, Coach in the Bet Shemesh for nearly a decade, equipment mule, member of the executive committee– backhanding, dishonest, swindling, looks like a rabbit.

Which reminds me, the rest of the committee and board members, you are useless, and I would like nothing more than to replace you all.  You make me sick.

Lee Siegel, IAB equipment manager, coordinator and MAINTAINER OF THE GREAT FIELD OF JEWISH BASEBALL at Kibbutz Gezer, DOES NOTHING, doesn’t know how to count, and is generally not to be trusted.

Louis Miller, Head Coach of the U12 National Team, Commissioner of the Cadet League, is an ego maniac and a convict.

The worst of the bunch may be Ira Moskowitz, Head Coach of the U16 National Team, the Modiin Miracles Juniors, and player/coach on Modiin’s Premier League team.  I am almost sure he is hiding in Israel after committing crimes against humanity in Southeast Asia in the 80′s.

I could, as you know, go on.  But let me just say, coaches, parents, umps, directors, players…  YOU’RE MY HEROS.  This is your revolution.  So come, go, stand, sit, rise and walk, get on board, NOW, be a part of it, be our 1,000 “like” on Facebook… https://www.facebook.com/pages/IAB-Israel-Association-of-Baseball/82515064247 and join the Israel Baseball Revolution.

 

MY PARENTS

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

SPRING TRAINING

9 Mar

Spring Training for the Premier League started last week.  It is time for another season, time to crank it up, again, one more time.  I have been telling myself I am done for 10 years.  I am dramatic, I know, can’t help it, I am, after all, the King of All Jewish Baseball – comes with the territory.  But, the pain is real, and I know I do not have a lot left in the tank.  Couple years at best.  If I can get to 38, I’ll be lucky, I already am.  Every year, every practice, every game, between every pitch, sometimes, I tell myself, this is it, you’re old, and stupid, you could blow a knee on the next play, and that’s it, it’s over, stay focused, stay lose, anything could happen, a bad hop, broken orbital, this guy could pop-up a ball in foul territory, over the mound in the bullpen, you could trip, crash, slip, some people can’t even walk, they’re in hospitals, better make the most of this shit while you can.  You’d never know from watching me play.  I look like I am having fun.  And I am, sometimes.  But mostly I am horrified.  It is a mix of habit, excitement, and fear.

I try to get to the field early, before everyone else.  Don’t like being only a little early, or late, it’s unsettling.  Practice starts at 7.   Change, in the dugout, or in the bleachers, and get warmed up.  Run from the right field line to the center field fence, and back.  Do your dynamics.  My heart rate is going up.  Shit.  My hip hurts.  Remember to do your hip exercises.  Stretch.  Core.  Band work.  Weighted ball.  Throw.  Get it right.  Every time.  make it feel right.  Keep your effort level down.  It’s early.  Take it easy on your arm.  Be smooth.  Breath.

Time for defense.  Short hops.  Bare hand work.  Take a bucket of ground balls.  Get there.  I’m tired.  Shit.  My legs are heavy.  Breath.

Let’s hit.  Tee work.  Mini whiffles.  Flips in the cage.  Concentrate.  Be natural, like a lefty.  Don’t worry about the ball in.  You can cover the inner half, look for the ball away.  Keep it simple.  It’s easy.  Just get your foot down and make sure you’re in a good spot to pull the trigger. Don’t over-stride.  Breath.

I feel good.  Too good.  It scares me.  I feel fast, and strong.  I don’t want to feel good now and feel like shit later, when it counts.  But there is nothing I can do about it.  Just get there and do the work.

It is insane.  The brutishness.  The trying.  I am different on the field.  Get me warmed-up, and I am an animal, playing in dirt, diving face first.  Then, when I cool off, it hurts, all of it, the knees, the shoulders, the back, mostly, and I know, I am almost done.  Don’t hit too much in the cage, save some bullets, like Thome.  And this is what I do– nay, what we do, still, the same thing we have done since we were kids.  I will bleed, it will hurt, not too bad, and I will die a little on that field, over and over again, gladly.

It is, after all, time for another baseball season.  And anything can happen…

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Let’s go.

THE C POOL

27 Feb

I must apologize, dear reader, again, for not writing lately.  I know you wake each morning, in a panic, and stumble from bed, naked, drunk, to read a new blog post.  And most mornings, I fail you, I am not there, my absence rushes in.  You swipe at the emptiness in front of you, gasping for breathe, wondering, where is he, WHERE? –  With goats?  Yes.  The elderly?  Yes, usually.  But this time, I was in the Dark and Magical Land of Prague, home to the worlds largest community of Orthodox Vampires.  You see, it was time for the 2014 Confederation of European Baseball Annual Congress.  All the Kings and Queens of European Baseball united in one place, battling for baseball supremacy of the continent.  Power.  Politics.  We had important issues to vote on, decisions to make, chicken or fish, where will next year’s Congress be held.   I am glad to report I survived the glare of a thousand gargoyles and made it through the meetings so that today, I do not fail you, today, I deliver, today, I write.  Using only the experimental technology known as words, and youtube,  of course, Ladies and Geetles, I humbly, dutifully present to you another blog post, on this, the Most Important Blog of All Time.

photo-4

2014 CEB Congress

In Prague, we met our opponents for upcoming competitions.  This summer, this July, to be specific, we, THE ISRAEL NATIONAL TEAM, will play in the European Championships “C Pool” in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  A total of 8 teams will compete. 2 of the 8 teams will move up to play in next summers “B Pool”, and the winner of the B Pool will play with the Best in Europe in the 2016 A Pool.   The other teams in the C Pool are; Latvia, Romania, Noway, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, and, of course, our hosts, Slovenia.  Being the KING OF ALL JEWISH BASEBALL, and leader of the Most Powerful Baseball Organization in the World, the Israel Association of Baseball, I thought I should do some research.  Here is what I found.  Enjoy.  A look into our world, the world of international baseball.

Enjoy a well played game in Latvia to the soft sounds of Metallica.

Moving on, a video from Baseball in Romania’s Facebook Page.  These teams love metal.

Romania

Norway’s Opening of their Baseball Hall of Fame.

Finland’s own version of baseball.  What is this!!!  The best head-first slides I have ever seen, and there are 20,000 fans.  Horrifying.

A well-done story about baseball in Ireland…

Baseball in Hungary – nice little ballpark.

A single pitch is thrown in Slovenia, the pitch heard ’round the world as it’s come to be known, a come-backer, out at 1st.  Base runner at 1st not sure what to do…

So it appears we will be competing against Romanian Metal Heads, Hungarian Missionaries, and some of the Greatest Athletes in Finland playing a sport called baseball that is not baseball.  Winner takes all.  In defense of the other teams, we do not have even as robust an internet presence as they, that is, besides my instructional videos, which are admittedly cardboard boxes of videography.  And in the end, they are not “the other teams” at all.  As the saying goes, all is fair in love and international baseball.  We are one team, playing the same game, fighting the same bizarre battles in Norway, or Portugal, or Israel, one tribe of weirdos, baseball players, spread out over Europe, the diaspora, to be reunited for a brief moment this summer for the Greatest, Bloodiest Battle of Them All, The European Championship C Pool.  See you in Ljubjana.

THE UMPS

1 Feb

Israel Baseball is growing like Sea Monkeys.  But with more players, teams, and games, you need more umps.  So, 3 weeks ago, we began the official Israel Association of Baseball Umpires Course.  Every Monday night, at Baptist Village, 6 of us gather, the SOON TO BE ANOINTED NEW UMPS OF THE IAB.  The course is lead by none other than, that’s right, faithful reader, you guessed it, Neon Leon Klarfeld aka The Overseer and Protector of All Jewish Safety, Wellbeing, and Barbecues aka Jewish Santa Clause aka Jewish Wizard of Oz, and also, Chief Umpire in Israel.

Neon Leon teaching us in the classroom.

Neon Leon teaches us in the classroom.

Umpires are historically in a category of humanity– nay, sub-humanity, all to themselves.  Who is willing to put up with it all? – The long games? – The abuse?  At best, an ump is invisible.  At worst he is a demon, an idiot, blind, drunk, stoned, taking bribes, favoring the home team, a clown, “horse shit”.  There is no glory.

Anyone available to officiate a youth baseball game on a Friday afternoon holds a certain station in life – broke, unshaven, recently divorced, balancing clumsily on one leg, changing into uniform in the parking lot, hiding behind the open trunk of a ’74 Impala in lose, dirty tighty-whiteys.  Limping slowly to the field, 5 minutes late, feeling around in their pockets for game balls.  What saint can handle all this?  And know the rules?

The love.  The tenderness.  The tears of the ump.

No one knows.

As a player, I have been taught systemic hatred of umps.  They only mess the game up.  Get rid of them.  Replace them with computers, anything is better than this weirdo.  But no– now I am, or will be, one of the weirdos too.  Things have changed.

You still think it’s funny, easy?  I invite you, Dearest Idiot, to see if you have what it takes to know the most, and receive the least, study the rules, and still be called a moron, to eat the shite of the world, and stand strong, stoic, arms crossed, confused, scared, facing scruffy coaches and players, in short, to be an ump.  I present to you, Ladies and Geetles, one question from one homework assignments.  Keep in mind, these scenarios are endless.  Good luck…

  1.  With a runner on first, batter hits a line drive up the middle which deflects off the pitcher’s glove, hits the field umpire and is subsequently caught by the second baseman.  R1 thinking it a catch tries to make it back to first base.  The second baseman, thinking it a catch, throws to first for the “double play”  and the ball arrives at first before either the batter or R1 get to the base.  The first baseman tags the base.  Place the runners.

Whats that? – You have no idea? – Your head hurts?  Yeah, that’s what I thought, you DO NOT have what it takes.  So allow me, King of Jewish Baseball, certified ump, to explain.

The hitter is out at 1st base.  The runner going back to 1st base is safe and remains at 1st base.  The ball hitting the ump was the equivalent to the ball hitting the ground, so it is not a catch.  The force is off once the out on the batter/baserunner is recorded at first, and the runner from 1st, R1, as he is known, is allowed to return to the base.  If the ball had just hit the pitcher, and then the 2nd baseman caught it, it would be a double play, batter-baserunner would have been out on the catch, and R1 would be out with ball arriving to 1st base before him.  But no! Because it hit the ump, no double play, runner on 1st, 1 out.

Now, get out of my face, return to your dugout, place your whole ass on a bench, and make sure next time you come out here, you know what in the hell you are talking about.  Do you hear me?  As a matter of fact, did he go, yes he did, strike three, you’re out, game over, you’re ejected, lifetime ban.

It is not easy, this ump life, the studying, the ridicule.  But we carry on anyhow.  After all, no umps, no game.  We make things official.  We are the judges, upholders and keepers of the rulebook, THE GREAT BLIND AND DRUNKEN GODS OF BASEBALL, and in the end, you will submit to our will.

An angel.

The future umps of the IAB.

THE CAR

25 Jan

So, my transformation, from American literary genius, to a real-life citizen of Israel, the King of All Jewish Baseball, is almost complete.  The ministry of absorption, of transportation, city inspectors, this tax, that parking app, paperwork.  But one piece was still missing, a car, our great symbol of stability, and mobility, at the same time.

After 6 months living in Israel – a nice, round number for review, I will note, leading THE MOST POWERFUL BASEBALL ORGANIZATION IN THE WORLD, I have had 6, or 7, cars, I can’t remember.  I am an expert, now, also, along with being a professional blogger and the most important artist of the century, a professional car renter, test driver, they know me at Hertz, laugh every time I walk in.

If I had known, I would have documented the whole thing better, as is my habit, let nothing slip by, write it down, make a list, photos, or it never happened.  But, regretfully, dear reader, I did not get it all, as well as I would have liked.  But I will, now, anyhow, using only the power of Mickey Sabbath, and my phone, of course, piece it all together for you.

It started with this modest little baby blue beast, a nice car, small, manageable, so long ago,I don’t remember if it was fast or slow.

Car 1.

Car 1. Blue Kia Picanto.

After just 1 week, I had had to turn the in for a van.  It was time for baseball camp, and I was the bus driver, so I exchanged Car 1, for Van 1.  I do not have a picture of the van.

After camp, I received as a gift from the Gods of Jewish Baseball, what came to be known as THE GREAT AND FAITHFUL MOBILE OF JEWISH BASEBALL, the car, thus far, I had the longest, a brown Suzuki Splash.

Car 3, the Splash.

Car 3, the Splash.

The Splash made it through the Succot Clinics and nearly 2 months on the Battlefield.  But then, the NUMERFUL AND WICKED ENEMIES OF JEWISH BASEBALL unleashed a plot to destroy the Splash.  Broken glass everywhere.

An attemped assisnation

Assassination attempt.

But we will not be stopped.  Like Malcolm, King, and Reagan, in the face of death threats, we picked ourselves up, and continued on…

No big deal.

No big deal.

But a King of Jewish Baseball can only drive a windowless Sukuzi full of Priceless Baseball Equipment for so long, so we exchanged the Splash.

The guy at Hertz said he had never seen a car returned in worse condition, covered in the dust of the Earth, and Bird Shit, missing a window, water bottles and crumpled flyers promoting the Plentiful Programs of Israel Baseball strewn about, phone chargers, coffee cups.  He looked around as is if, just by being in the presence of the car, he was somehow in danger.

Goodbye Grand Master Splash.

Goodbye Grand Master Splash.

But then, a new hope, a beautiful Nissan .

Car 4.

Car 4.

The next day, Hamid drove his van into us, another attempt to slow the proliferation of the Kingdom of Jewish Baseball.

Noooooooo. Hamid, you asshole!  The Nissan.  You didn't hear me honking???

Noooooooo. Hamid, you asshole! The Nissan. You didn’t hear me honking???

We continued on, the Hannukah Tournament, carting 4 coaches to Baptist Village every Wednesday for National Team Practice, remembering car start codes and license plate numbers.

One must not just test drive cars, but actual car rental companies.  My time with Hertz, after 6 months, had ended.  Time to create confusion somewhere else and start looking for a car not to rent, but to buy, to own, property, something to destroy that we can call our very own.

Cars in Israel are insanely expensive, exactly twice as much as in the US, because of a 100% car tax.  But I had always heard an Oleh Chadash like myself, as we’re called, those who have, for one reason or another, recently moved to Israel, were to be rewarded for our braveness with an exemption from the dreaded 100% car tax, so I went for the top, a deserving car, an honest new Honda, or Hyundai.   But being an Oleh Chadash isn’t what it used to be, the tax break has been reduced to nearly nothing!  The new cars were 130k Shekels.

So we took our love of cars to Avis where they sell used rental cars cheaply.

Arthur's desk.

Arthur’s desk.

I found a most Israeli model, a Mazda 3, nice car, they’re everywhere.  But who has 70 Thousand Shekels just laying around?  My collection of fake gold jewelry is worth only a combined 30k, I was 40k short.  So I went to a GREAT INSTITUTION OF PERFECTION AND FLOORS, the bank.  And in the meantime, was given this free loaner from Arthur at Avis.

Car 5. Chevy Cruz.  Slow.  Handles poorly.  Bad Visibility.  Uncomfortable.  Shit on gas.  Rating: Shitty .

Car 5. Chevy Cruz. Slow. Handles poorly. Bad Visibility. Uncomfortable. Shit on gas. Rating: Shitty .

As you know from my brief experience trying to get my license, and as a professional Jury Dutyer, back in the New York Days, Bureaucracy is Kryptonite for the King of Jewish Baseball, if you will, takes my strength, gives me mall legs.

With an attitude like that, I was, after 1 full-day, well spent, I must say, sitting in the bank, fantasizing long winded inner monologues about bureaucrats, the world has become too complicated, too hard to navigate, the weak rule the banks, and the world, I was, ultimately rejected for a loan for the car.  You can’t trust an Oleh Chadash with history with cars like mine, he could leave, burn the car and leave, drive it into the ocean.  I called Arthur, deal’s off, Arthur, I am sorry, what should I do with the free car you gave me?  I will bring it back as soon as possible.

Let’s go check Auto Deal, they have deals, on autos.  A Volkswagen, multi media, sun roof, black, a remote control in the car, it smelled like cigarettes, had probably been driven by a Jewish Muslim Wizard Gangster, radio probably half blown out, remote control, though, sold.  Back to the bank.  They won’t give me a loan for a Mazda, but they will, it turns out, give me one for a pimped out black Jetta.  Stamped.  Approved.  Boom.

But no!  Not so fast. It’s only been 5 months, accidents, break-ins, love found, and lost, at Tel Aviv’s most forthright and spectacular car rental agencies, more coffee, the bank, insurance, taken full days of the present, and more off the back end, nothing can be this easy.  Let’s keep looking.  I hear there are deals on cars up North, let’s check it out.

Another Mazda 3.  Financing.  Mazda 3, “the most popular model in Israel”, along with the Hyundai I-30, which I also test drove.  I am transforming, becoming Israeli, might as well drive the most Israeli car.  Let’s do it.  And so, here it is, Car 6, or 7, MY car.  The one I will know better than all the others, though our love is still new.

The Mazda.

The Mazda.

I returned the car to Arthur.  The free loaner.  But no, not free, unfree, the opposite of free, money, 6,000 Shekels.  What the fuck, Arthur, bro?  You told me you used to want to be a Formula 1 driver, but now you’re renting cars at Avis. We got personal.  We are cool.

So, like all things, it is not done.  I may owe Avis 6k, or 2, or they may throw it all away, their mistake, they’ll let me know.  And there is more to be done, check the spare, owe more money for the new car, a lot, pick up the original copy of the registration, not get in an accident.

The race continues.

34

2 Jan

It is 2014.  So allow me to take this opportunity to selflessly grant you and your family a Happy New Year.  Though it is unlikely, may you enjoy health and riches, as I do.

But not only is it a new year, another, more important, holiday is upon us, my birthday.  Despite thinking of me, often, I know, as an omnipresent gaseous cloud with the ability to shape shift and occupy the body of any sentient being, I am a real a man, with a real date of birth.

My birthday, as Sovereign Ruler of All Jewish Baseball, my numerology, if you will, was carefully calibrated by the MANY AND JUST GODS OF JEWISH BASEBALL, and, naturally, I was assigned the perfect day to be born, a new year, a new baby– almost perfect.  Like everyone, as the year changes, so does my age.  But not like everyone, because of the year I was born, 1980, my age changes to the same number as the year.  For example, the day it became the year 2000, I turned 20.  Think of it like an eclipse.

But no! The Gods changed their minds, messed up, lost track of the days, and instead of the perfect birthday, January 1st, I was born on the 2nd, the forgotten day, the day that is not a day, the Day The Earth Weeps, the day we go back to school, or work, the REAL 1st day of the year.  Celebrating a birthday on January 2nd is like going for a jog the day after running the New York City Marathon.  And so this was my destiny, the boy without a birthday.

But I did not come here to divulge the mathematical secrets of my powers, or complain, though I have.  I came to say that I, King of All Jewish Baseball, professional blogger and dancer, the greatest exaggerator of all time, am getting old.  This year, it becomes 2014, and I become, do the math, 2 + 0 + 1 = 3, add the 4… 34.  My projected rookie season in the Major Leagues, according to this Ouija Board, will be in 2018, at 38, a bit later than planned, but still pretty good.

So, I have 4 years to get ready.  I think I am on track, have a  good pace going.  I Cross Fit 3 days a week with the National Team.  I sleep with my concubines submerged in a flotation tank inside a hyperbolic chamber full of Dead Sea Mud.  And I receive a full blood transfusion every 3 months, like Bartolo Colon, where all my blood is drained, mixed with the blood of 1,000 lambs and Madonna’s tears, and injected back into my lifeless flesh.  And I am good for 90 days.

And with this modest routine and prophecy I enter my 34th year on the planet, if my memory serves correct, suffering, striving, with you, ready to the lead the many millions of JEWISH BASEBALL WARRIORS, and readers, of course, into the grand future past post Y2K pre apocalyptic millennial era.

Follow. Your. Dreams.

Follow your dreams.

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