Sorry for the absence of good material of late - in all fairness to me, this post was ready yesterday but the internet ceased to function in the living area last night, so here it is:
First things first – some of you may have noticed the progression of my hair length over the summer, and are probably asking the question, “Did you really just go 2 months without getting a haircut?” Well, the answer is a resounding “Yes”. The decision to grow my hair out, as the kids say these days, was something more of a distrust for Israeli hairstylists than a fashion statement. The result has left me looking like something of a cross between European wine connoisseur and prairie dog.
Being as it is, the longest it’s ever been in my life, my hair has produced a source of entertainment in those dark times when absolutely nothing else presents itself. I find myself running my fingers through the bushy mass and examining for length the hairs that dislodge. Fellow IBL players reading this, feel free to call me out on it – sometimes I don’t even realize that I’m doing it, and I do want to keep the habit under control.
But enough about my hair, there are many other things much closer to the ground to talk about – like Matt Comiter, and the great job he is doing this year for the Netanya Tigers (who, by the way, clinched 4th place for the regular season tonight, quite an accomplishment for a team that had a 6-game losing streak at one point). Matt consistently has great control and changes speeds to keep hitters off-balance, and has been a cornerstone of our starting rotation all year. He had another great start tonight and held Ra’anana to one run in six innings. Shlomo Lipitz has given us an added boost in the second half of the season. A former professional player in the US, he joined the team about a month ago and has been as dependable as the sunrise so far for us.
As far as the league is concerned, everyone is working hard to wrap this season up in fine form. Larry Baras has been present for player meetings and gave a great speech this morning at a Tree Planting put on by the Jewish National Fund. We were educated about the rich history of planting a tree in Israel, given almond saplings, and instructed to pick a spot for our new addition to Israeli foliage. I found some of my teammates and we formed the Tiger’s Den of almond trees, which will hopefully grow to bear abundant fruit for the locals in the future. In addition to this very cool trip, the league has made great strides in the department of player comforts, including wireless internet in the rooms and improved cafeteria food at the Kfar.
In other league-related matters, tomorrow is a contractual pay-day. I am looking forward to receiving my final paycheck, and that’s all I have to say about that.
I spent the weekend with the McKemie family at their new home near Jerusalem. The view from their new abode is spectacular – to one side, the Mediterranean Sea is visible on clear days; to the other lie the Jordanian mountains in the far distance. A constant breeze blesses the area, relieving this weary pitcher from the heat of coastal Israel. It was a beautiful visit, again complete with bountiful food and great company.
I’ll wrap it up here, as I need to get some sleep if I am to make it to the gym in the morning. One week from now I will be aboard a Delta jet on my way back home, barring any delays. Time has really flown here, and I’ve had a blast so far. Hopefully the final week will bring four more wins for the Tigers and seven more days of great memories.