Now that I’m in Paris, I’m going to teach you how to ask for a ball in French.
(This is important. You know that guy on the Dodgers, Eric Gagne? He’s from Québec. French is his native language. If you ask players for balls in their native languages, you’re much more likely to get what you want. I’ve gotten over 100 balls by asking Latino players in Spanish, over a dozen balls by asking Japanese players in Japanese, over a handful of balls by asking Korean players in Korean, and over one ball by asking Curtis Pride—a hearing-impaired player—in American Sign Language.)
Ready? Here goes:
“Lancez-moi la balle, s’il vous plait!”
Throw me the ball, please. That’s all it means. Very easy. And to make it even easier, here’s how it sounds phonetically (with CAPS indicating where to put the emphasis):
LAHN-say MWAH la BAHL see-voo-play.
Go out and try it today!
When I get to Israel next week, we’ll discuss how to ask for a ball in Hebrew.
(THE NON-BASEBALL TRAVEL UPDATE, DAY 1: Somehow, my whole family got free upgrades to business class. Even though I’d just stuffed myself silly with terrible greasy food from Wok & Roll, I ate everything on the flight: duck fois gras with dried fruit, grilled tournedos of beef with sautéed potatoes and buttered French green beans, poached fillet of sea bass on a bed of fresh mushrooms, stewed tomatoes and shallots, accompanied by a rice medley and baby glazed carrots…and two chocolate croquants (whatever those are) for dessert. And breakfast a few hours later. I’m going to lie down now.)