Bonds, A-Rod, and Israeli baseball

Yesterday wasn’t a “sad day for baseball.” It was a great day. Barry Bonds has been a disgrace to the game for years. The fact that he’s finally/officially been nailed is cause to celebrate. (And yet I was still sort of defending him late last night when I called into 1050 ESPN Radio and argued with host Brandon Tierney that Bonds’ stats should NOT be wiped out.)
As for A-Rod, I’m glad he’s staying in the Bronx. I love watching him play, and when Yankee fans continue to boo him, it’ll give me another reason to boo THEM. Also, having him play 81 games five miles from my apartment will make it a lot easier for me to catch one of his home runs.

Finally, I want to share a story and two pics that my friend Adam Hofstetter recently sent. (Adam is the guy who wrote me up on back in March.) Here goes…

When I was in Israel in August I went to a game between the Modi’in Miracle (manager: Art Shamsky) and the Tel Aviv Lightning, and I caught a foul ball. It wasn’t too difficult, as there are only about 100 people at a game and there are no real stands –it’s more like a high school ballfield than a stadium. My nephew, who was more interested in catching fouls than in watching the game, caught 4.

Here’s Adam with the ball:


Here’s the ball itself:





    Yankee fans stopped booing A-Rod a while ago. He will be plenty loved in the Bronx from here on out by the large majority. Most of us appreciate him for everything he has done. The boo birds were 2 years ago and not the majority. Stop lumping us all together. We are married to him for the next decade and everyone is gonna get along great.


    ARod’s performance in the regular season, thumbs up. Performance in the post season, gag. Zack have you ever tried snagging, or at least been to, the LLWS? When I went two years ago, it was nearly impossible to get a foul ball because of the nets on either side of the stands, and there is a 4 foot garden along the outside of the fence in the outfield. Plus, if you catch a home run, security comes, takes it away from you, gives the ball to the kid who hit it, and then the kid signs another ball and they give it to you. That would be an interesting experience.


    Yeah i was in Israel visiting family last summer and i brought my baseball gloves to play catch with my brother. we went to a park and people are like looking at us wondering what sport that is. that was funny. i was back this summer to find the same kind of people now playing in little leagues, its amazing how theyre picking up everything. the league looks great i was able to catch a couple of games.


    you’re exactly right sglobus.

    i’m sick of hearing how awful yankee fans are.

    i know, i know…if i’m sick of it, i should go elsewhere…but everything else here is so great.

    you just have to swallow the anti-yankee sentiments that run rampant here.


    so here’s a question. do you think the value of
    the 756 ball has dropped significantly, and do you in fact think they will try to do something about his record if he is convicted?

    i wish i’d heard you argue on the radio…i bet you won


    I went to the Prudential Center in Newark NJ today, and it is the worst stadium ever. It was nice and all, but I couldn’t go behind the benches even BEFORE the game. I didn’t get one puck in warmups, and my streak is broken. 33 games, 71 pucks in a row. *uck(that means P-U-C-K, not the other thing.)


    1) No matter what, A-Rod creates buzz, and as a Yankee ticket holder for 54 games, I will be more than pleased to be entertained.

    2) How long before we see an Israeli baseball player in the majors? Is there even one in the minor leagues?

    3) It was indeed a sad night for Puck Collector–especially when it seemed approximately only seven people were actually sitting in the high-priced seats behind the team benches. They must have been getting sloshed on their free drinks with their Club Tickets.

    On the plus side–the end of the streak means my life will get a lot easier when going to games. Zack, if only your streak ended at 55 when you were younger–where would you be now?

  8. Zack

    I apologize. I shouldn’t lump all Yankee fans together. You’re right. But I do have to ask…have you been to Yankee Stadium much in the last couple seasons? In case you haven’t, I can tell you from first-hand experience that the majority of fans in 2006 were, in fact, booing A-Rod mercilessly.


    Nope, never been to the Little League World Series. Sounds like quite the challenge. If I lived near Williamsport, I’d check it out, but I don’t think it’s worth the trip from NYC to try to snag balls that I wouldn’t even count in my collection.


    Cool. Just give it time. Baseball will take over the world.


    Aha, so now I know that if I miss you (which I do), all I need to do is diss the Yankees in some capacity, at which point you’ll come out of hiding to scold me. I’ll try to be nicer. I mean, I’ll really have to try hard, but I’m gonna do it. I don’t think the Bonds indictment will hurt the value of the ball. Controversy can increase value too, ya know. People are going to debate the legitimacy of his stats forever; I’m sure some collectors would love to own the ball at the center of that debate.


    Really sorry to hear that. I feel your pain.


    1) That’s a good way to look at it.

    2) Within the next decade, perhaps?

    3) I feel his pain even more. (Ouch!)

    If my streak ended 400+ games ago, I’d be a lot more free to be a fan. That’s for sure. But as things stand, I think I still do a pretty good job.


    The only thing that bothers me about A-Rod returning to the Yankees(other than the obvious, that he’s the best player on a team that I’d be disappointed if they won as many as 63 games) is that It probably means another one of the best players ever will go to the hall as a Yankee. I think I’d rather have Bonds have the home run record than a Yankee.


    Hmm, 500 balls by the end of 2008? I like it. 221 balls next year is not impossible. But my school schedule is gonna make the first five to six weeks of the season tough. I’ll only be able to go to games on Tuesdays (and weekends, ugh), so by the middle of May, I’ll probably only have gotten to like six to eight games. This might be tough.


    i go to about 15 games a year at yankee stadium. I didnt hear him booed once this year. There were a couple of occassions in 06 in which he was booed but even A-Rod said that its just because the fans want him to succeed. Yankees fans are not by any means the only ones that boo their own players. Ive seen it in Shea, Fenway, Camden. Lots of places. He will get plenty of love from yankee fans over the years.


    Amen to the first paragraph. For myself, I enjoy that fanhood overshadows pretty much all the negative thing that happen, but that issue just can’t be ignored.

    No matter what, I will continue to be purposely naive. I just love this game with the innocence of a little kid, and adore my Cardinals too much to ruin it for myself. :)

    Yours in blissful ignorance,


  13. Nick

    How excited are you for the Nationals new stadium next year? I really want to get season tickets, maybe just partial or half though.

  14. Zack

    I didn’t realize you hated the Yankees THAT much.*****. Barry Bonds?!


    Tuesdays and weekends sounds rough. I’ll try to avoid Tuesday games, just for you. I might need you to remind me once the season gets underway.


    I heard A-Rod booed several times this year, and not just for his hitting. You’re right about other teams’ fans booing their own. Mets fans are also pretty bad…getting on guys like Beltran and Reyes and Wagner. Shame on Mets fans. Every closer will blow saves. Every fielder will make errors. Every hitter will take an ohfer. It’s so stupid to boo guys for their performance. Guys who don’t hustle (A-Rod *always* hustles) should get booed.


    Craziness. Yeah, we sure did.




    I understand, and I mostly agree. It truly IS bliss.


    Totally excited. Still, I’ll probably only go to one game there in 2008 and wait for attendance to drop before I return.

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