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 Curtisprideasking 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.)



    Zack, very funny stuff, rock on. Love the mention of Curtis Pride!!!! What a great guy. Have fun and looking forward to your next blog.

  2. Zack

    Thanks. Curtis IS the man. When’s he getting called up? He’s tearing it up at Triple-A, you know. Can you pull some strings?


    Zack, I wish I could pull some strings for Curtis, its just a matter of time before he is back where he belongs in the bigs. Say hello to the folks for me, Stu is the man as well.


    “Angels purchased the contract of outfielder Curtis Pride from Triple-A Salt Lake.”

  5. Zack

    Ohhhhhhh, baby!
    Who needs the transaction wire when groceryman’s on your side? This is the first I’ve heard of it. Thank you, mon.


    Hey Zach,
    I just started reading your blog a couple of days ago, and i pretty much love it. I was wondering how you would ask a player in spanish to give you a ball, and/or to ask him to sign (a card or ball par example) for you.

    Thanks a lot,

    Piotr Pietruczuk

  7. zackhample

    If you watch my interviews on YouTube, you’ll hear the Spanish request for a ball, but basically, it sounds like:

    DAH-may la BOH-la por favor.

    Not sure about autograph requests in other languages.

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