Jice update, Games of February 5, 2019

Posted on: February 6th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Not much left to write about until baseball season starts. Football is over and Omri Casspi — the lone MOT in the NBA — is out with his meniscus tear. I might have to result to reporting about — gasp — college sports.

Brandon Leipsic contributed his 10th assist of the year to help the LA Kings beat the host NJ Devils, 5-1. He was on the rink for 12:20 while teammate Nate Thompson had 14:46 of TOI.

Jason Zucker posted his 14th assist in a 5-4 shootout loss for the Minnesota Wild (26-22-5) to the host Buffalo Sabres.

Andre Burakovsky was on the ice for just 8:53 as the Washington Capitols (29-18-6) beat the visiting Vancouver Canucks, 3-2. The more he slumps, the louder the chatter about a possible trade.

Related imageJakob Chychrun, who is suffering with a”lower body injury,” did not travel with the Arizona Coyotes (23-25-5) who lost, 5-2, to the host Nashville Predators. His team placed him on the injured reserve list which means he will also miss the Coyotes’ against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday and the Dallas Stars on Saturday. According to the CBS sports fantasy site, Chychrun will be eligible to come off injured reserve in time to play next Tuesday in Vegas, though the Coyotes have yet to provide an official timeline for his return.




And then there were none: Omri Casspi update, February 5, 2019

Posted on: February 5th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

So much for Jewps.

Omri Casspi‘s knee injury was more serious than first thought. He will undergo surgery to repair a torn right meniscus.

No word on how long he will be out, but we won’t be seeing the 30-year-old Israeli back on the hardwood this season.

This year, Casspi appeared in 36 games for the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 14.4 minutes per game, way down from his career stat of 20.3. The team was 14-22 with Casspi in the game, 7-11 with him not seeing any action.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES’ forward Omri Casspi


JFL update, Sleeper Bowl Edition

Posted on: February 5th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

Sorry. It’s taken me this long to wake up from that snoozer. Granted, I probably wouldn’t have watched the whole thing anyway because I had to get up at 3 a.m. for work, but I did managed to see the final field goal through the end.

Obviously the only reason I’m writing this is the Jewish participation factor in the New England Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

We begin with Nate Ebner, the free safety who appeared on 23 special teams plays (85 percent). It was his third Super Bowl appearance.

Image result for julian edelman relentlessNow we come to the issue of Julian Edelman.

Those of you who have been following the Korner for any length of time know that I have never “considered” him as a MOT, abiding by the decision of the Jewish Sports Review.

I’m still waiting for something definitive. I’m going to be reading his 2017 book, Relentless: A Memoir, to see if there’s any religious reference. Certainly there’s no shortage of Jewish media ready to claim him, given the paucity of Jews in sports in general and the NFL in particular. Especially since Edelman was named this year’s MVP. And this JTA story on his being the first Jewish player to earn such an honor is making the rounds. Edelman even refers to it in this story. Along with this one about his perhaps being the best Jewish football player ever. Well, obviously that’s a question for denate.

From the Jerusalem Post:

Edelman’s father is of Jewish descent and Edelman is openly Jewish. During a holiday season NFL Network interview in 2014, when the broadcaster asked Edelman if he was ready to give some good “Christmas answers,” Edelman responded, “Well, I’m Jewish, but I’ll try to keep it to Hanukkah presents, even though Hanukkah’s over.”

I wonder how they define “openly Jewish”?

I know there have been stories and videos of Edelman visiting Israel, wearing a kipa at the Western Wall, etc. and I don’t know what’s in his heart and soul. But I can’t help be reminded about the episode of Seinfield in which he accuses his dentists of converting to Judaism “for the jokes.” The skeptic in me thinks this has at least a chance of being some way to capitalize on that lack of the chosen people in pro sports.

Terrible, I know.

And I also know that the JSR‘s policy is somewhat questionable as well. After all, there are several Jewish athletes whose mothers are not Jewish (there goes the halachic definition), who have never had a bar mitzvah ceremony or even formal Jewish education and they’re included. A very touch subject. I’m thinking Edelman may be Jew-ish as opposed to Jewish.

Image result for julian edelman, Israel

Image result for julian edelman, Israel





Omri Casspi update, January 31, 2019

Posted on: January 31st, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

The Israeli import missed his third straight game due to knee soreness as the Memphis Grizzlies (20-32) lost a tough one in overtime to the host Minnesota Timberwolves, 99-97.

The Grizzlies have now lost 21 of their last 25.

Give credit to the 13,000-plus rugged souls who braved the -20-degree Minneapolis weather to attend the game.


Omri Casspi Update

Posted on: January 29th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

Image result for omri casspi, grizzliesWhat, hurt again?

Yup, Omri Casspi has missed the last three games for the Memphis Grizzlies (19-30, 14th in the Western Conference) with an apparent knee injury.

In his last game, Casspi scored 18 points with five rebounds, and four steals in 25 minutes during Friday’s 99-96 loss to the visiting Sacramento Kings, one of his former teams.

CBSSports.com noted that “Casspi swiped a season high steal total while reaching double figures in scoring for the fourth time in his last six appearances. The 30-year-old veteran is averaging more minutes per game here in January than he had in any previous month this season.”

If only he could stay healthy.

The Grizzlies have lost 20 of their last 24 games.


Talking about Hank Greenberg at SABR Day

Posted on: January 29th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

Posted this to my blog about baseball books, so rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m simply offering the link for the event which featured fellow MOT authors Howard Megdal (The Baseball Talmud) and Lincoln Mitchell discussing their work.

The entry includes the nearly one-hour video of the panel.


Jice update, January 29, 2019

Posted on: January 29th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

With only two games on the docket last night and neither of them involving MOTs, here’s a very “fast break” as the NHL resumes from its brief All-Star respite. By standings…

  • Toronto Maple Leafs (30-17-2), featuring Zach Hyman (eight goals, 10 assists) are third in the Eastern Conference and second in the Atlantic Division. Here’s a Q&A with him from the Toronto Sun.
  • Washington Capitols (27-17-6), featuring Andre Burakovsky (six goals, six assists), are fifth in the East and second in the Metropolitan Division. He broke his 14-game goalless streak last week.
  • Minnesota Wild (26-21-3), featuring Jason Zucker (13 goals, 12 assists), are fifth in the Western Conference and third in the Central Division.
  • Arizona Coyotes (23-23-4), featuring Jakov Chychrun (three goals, eight assists) are eleventh in the Western Conference and sixth in the Pacific Division.
  • Los Angeles Kings (20-26-6) featuring Brendan Leipsic (four goals, nine assists) and Nate Thompson (three goals, two assists) are last in the Western Conference and the Pacific Division.
  • Other notables:
    • Josh Ho-Sang (NY Islanders) was sent back to the Bridgeport Sound Tiger of the AHL on Jan. 8.
    • Jason Demers (Coyotes) sustained a season-ending injury in November.

Jice/Jewps update, Jan. 22, 2019 (Games of Jan. 21)

Posted on: January 22nd, 2019 by Ron Kaplan


Omri Casspi did not appear for the Memphis Grizzlies in their 105-85 loss to the visiting New Orleans Pelicans, for whom the Israeli baller appeared in one game before going down with an injury and subsequently being traded away. Casspi also missed the Grizzlies’ previous game, a 119-90 loss to the host Toronto Raptors on Saturday. Memphis — 19-28 and next to last in the Western Conference — has lost 12 of their last 13 games.


In the only two MOT-inclusive games…

Brandon Leipsic contributed two assists to help the LA Kings beat the visiting St. Louis Blues, 4-3. The first put the Kings (20-26-4, next to last in the Western Conference) on the board, trailing 2-0 in the first period. The second came on the game-winner 9:53 into the third. Leipsic did not take a shot on goal in 15:50 of ice time. Nate Thompson took zero SOG in 11:21.

Jason Zucker played 14:30 with one shot on goal as the Minnesota Wild (29-21-3. sixth in the West) beat the host Las Vegas Knights, 4-2.


JFL Update, AFC Championship

Posted on: January 21st, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

Either way it came out, you knew there would be one Jewish player going to Super Bowl XLIII. As it happens, that MOT will be free safety Nate Ebner, whose New England Patriots needed overtime to beat Mitchell Schwartz‘s Kansas City Chief, 37-31.

Ebner appeared on 26 special teams plays (84 percent), making one tackle. Schwartz completed a “perfect” season, appear on 100 percent (52) of his team’s offensive downs, plus another five (16 percent) on special teams.

This will be the third Super Bowl for Ebner; Mitchell has yet to appear. The last time the Chiefs were in the championship game was in SB IV way back in 1970 when they beat the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7.

Image result for nate ebner

The Patriots — who will be making their ninth Super Bowl appearance since 2002 — take on the Los Angeles Rams, who also won in overtime over the New Orleans Saints, 26-23, on Feb. 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta. According to the ESPN.com, as of right now there are still more than 1,000 tickets available for as low as $3,123.


JML Update, Jan. 18, 2019

Posted on: January 18th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

Can you believe it? Less than a month until those three little words — pitchers and catchers — warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere. (What, you thought I was talking about the classic song by Ruby and Kalmar? By the way, Harry Ruby was a crazy baseball fan. Check out the movie version with Red Skelton  — also a fan in real life — in that role).

Image result for red skelton baseball

But I digress…

Craig Breslow, considered one of the smartest guys in baseball (degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry), was hired by the Chicago Cubs earlier this week with the title of “director of strategic initiatives for baseball operations,” whatever that entails. The New Haven-born reliever, who last appeared in the Majors in 2017 — put in an appearance in Red Sox Nation at Temple Aliyah’s annual Men’s Club dinner back in November.

Temple Aliyah welcomes Craig Breslow

Several MOTs participated in a California Strong Celebrity Softball Game last week to raise money for those who were impacted by the wildfires in California, as well as the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. Milwaukee Brewers’ star Ryan Braun was one of the event’s organizers. Joc Pederson of the LA Dodgers and Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros took the field in the fund-raiser. Pederson avoided arbitration with the Dodgers, signing a one-year deal.

Bregman has been a very busy fella in the off-season, including elbow surgery, which he shared on his YouTube channel.

All due respect — and this is probably a generational thing, or maybe just a social media thing — what is it with a segment of society that feels to the need to be so sharing? Well, at least it’s not pictures of what he had for lunch. Just a thought.

Barring any unforeseen events, Braun will pass Hank Greenberg as the all-time Jewish home run king. The original Hebrew Hammer hit 331 in his 13-year career, severely curtailed by his service during World War II; the current iteration has 322 in 12 seasons. Not everyone is happy about the prospect, including Scott Barancik, founder of the Jewish Baseball News site.

What does the future hold for Kevin Pillar, the longest-tenured member of the Toronto Blue Jays? In the meantime, he agreed to a one-year, $5.8 million contract with the Jays last Friday, avoiding arbitration,

How will Philadelphia Phillies fans feel if manager Gabe Kapler can snag free agent Bryce Harper?

Zack Weiss — who failed to record an out in his major league debut for the Cincinnati Reds last April (his only appearance in the bigs, by the way), was signed to a minor league deal by the Minnesota Twins.

Perennial favorite Cody Decker has re-signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and assigned to its Reno affiliate.

Image result for cody decker mensch on a bench

And in case you missed it:

Ian Kinsler signed with the Padres.

Brad Ausmus has a new gig as manager of the LA Angels.


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