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Don’t forget to visit the ‘Hank Greenberg in 1938’ page: Update

Posted on: May 23rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

For occasional updates on author appearances, interviews, and book reviews.

Toda raba.

 

Jewish sports update, January 31, 2018

Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors (40-11) suffered a rare blowout loss, dropping this one by 30 points to the host Utah Jazz, 129-99. Casspi showed signs of rust, playing 11 minutes, scoring two points, but committing three turnovers and two personal fouls.

NHL

Jason Zucker scored his 20th goal of the year, connecting on one of the four shots he took as the Minnesota Wild (27-18-5) beat the host Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, in a shootout. It was the seventh consecutive game with a goal or an assist for Zucker, who played 16:31 and served a two-minute penalty for delay of game. The Wild host Brendan Leipsic‘s Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. Leipsic took one SOG in 10:29 as the Knights (33-12-4) beat the host Calgary Flames, 4-2.

David Warsofsky was a scratch as his Colorado Avalanche (27-18-4) fell to the host Vancouver Canucks, 3-2.

Tonight, Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the NY Islanders while Andre Burakovsky and the Washington Capitols entertain the Philadelphia Flyers.

MLB

Alex Bregman is proud of his days at LSUis and vice versa.

The Jays Journal blog asks, “Is Kevin Pillar the next domino to fall to clear the outfield clutter?”

Ryan Braun is clearly on board with the direction his Milwaukee Brewers have taken.

Cardinals Brewers Baseball

MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig will explore the integration of America’s pastime and diversity in the game from 1945 through today during a discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee. The program will be part of the museum’s new exhibit, “Allied in the Fight: Jews, Blacks and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” which is on view until March 25.

Misc.

JTA posted this piece on “5 Jewish storylines to watch” at the 2018 Winter Olympics, one to which the Jewish state will be sending its largest contingent to date.

 

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 30, 2018

Posted on: January 30th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors visit the Utah Jazz tonight.

NHL

After the All-Star break, action resumes tonight with Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets; Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Calgary Flames; and David Warshofsky and the Colorado Avalanche visiting the Vancouver Canucks.

Jason Demers is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury as the Arizona Coyotes prepare for their Thursday game against the Dallas Stars.

MLB

Kevin Pillar, aka “Superman” to his Toronto Blue Jay fans, “wants to fly higher than ever before.”

Ryan Braun will indeed start working out at first base for the Milwaukee Brewers to help with their overcrowded outfield situation.

Alex Bregman served as the keynote speaker for LSU’s First Pitch Banquet this past Sunday.

I guess you get stories like this one regarding Gabe Kapler during the off-season.

The Cleveland Jewish News weighs in on the local team’s decision to retire the Chief Wahoo logo. Next year.

Misc.

Quarterback Josh Rosen, who decided not to return to UCLA so he can go into the next NFL Draft, will participate in the 2018 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge this week. The competition will feature 24 players from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. The athletes will be divided into six teams based on their college conference. Each team will consist of four players from the same conference who will compete for conference supremacy in a series of skills competitions. The event will be televised on Friday, Feb. 2, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Former NFLer Geoff Schwartz on “Why everyone loves the underdog Eagles, especially the Eagles”

Soccer clubs across Germany pay tribute to Holocaust victims

Kenyan soccer kids receive Maccabi kits from the Australian contingent

 

Jewish sports update, January 29, 2018

Posted on: January 29th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

No game for Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors. Maybe the extra time off — their next game is tomorrow night at the Utah Jazz — will help him in his post-flu recovery.

NHL

No games; All-Star break. Action resumes tomorrow with Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets; Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Calgary Flames; and David Warshofsky and the Colorado Avalanche visiting the Vancouver Canucks.

MLB

If I were scheduled to make $20 million this year, I’d be a good sport, too. Ryan Braun says he’ll play anywhere his Milwaukee Brewers want him to. Including second base (?).

Golf

Laetitia Beck of Israel placed 10th in the LPGA Pure Silk Bahamas Classic for her second career top-10 finish. She placed eighth in the same event last year. Beck finished at 3-under par, seven strokes behind winner Brittany Lincicome.

Alexander Levy of France finished fourth in the European PGA Tour Dubai Desert Classic. He finished at 19-under par, four strokes behind winner Li Haotong of China.

Thanks to Bob Wechsler for the linx info.

Misc.

The South African Minister of Sports boycotted the Davis Cup match between his country and Israel Boo-hoo.

 

 

 

My (fantasy) Q&A with Sandy Koufax

Posted on: January 29th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Posted by MLB.com on Facebook:

No automatic alt text available.

I think I speak for a lot of Jewish fans when I say it would be Sandy Koufax.

These are some of the questions I would ask, assuming he was bound to answer honestly and not just sit there sipping his wine.

  • What was really behind the decision not to play in the first game of the 1965 World Series and how difficult was it to make?
  • Did you ever have a face-to-face with Hank Greenberg? You were both symbols for different generations of Jewish fans. What do you know about his struggles?
  • Did you ever face overt anti-Semitism?
  • We all know about your reticence to talk about yourself. Ira Berkow tells the story of getting you to appear in the documentary Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story. At first you declined, but then you relented, saying that such a documentary couldn’t really be done without you. Did you come to that by yourself, or did Berkow or others really work on you?
  • How do you feel about being an icon for Jewish baby boomer fans? Is it a burden?
  • You appeared in a few TV shows despite being know for shyness in front of a camera. And yet you threatened to go into acting during a hold-out with Don Drysdale. How serious were you about that?
  • I guess you realized your playing days were numbered by that point. Do you ever think about what you might be able to do with the advantages of medical techniques?
  • If you had to do it over again, would you keep your silence or would you be more outspoken on Jewish issues?
  • Can we ever expect an autobiography or memoir? And can be your “as told to…?”

Image result for ron kapan, sandy koufax

 

Holocaust survivor photo exhibit to be part of Super Bowl week

Posted on: January 28th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

While there are no Jewish players in this year’s Super Bowl, that doesn’t mean there is no Jewish content. The game will be held at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Vikings, which are owned by The Wilf family. I did a piece on Zygi Wilf shortly after he acquired the team in 2005.

Now, with the help of the Minnesota Vikings, Wilf Family Foundations, and Delta Airlines, the MSP International Airport will be the site of a photo exhibition of local Holocaust survivors living. “Transfer of Memory” is a joint venture of The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) and the Airport Foundation MSP and the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

The exhibition is on display at both Terminals 1 and 2 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, located near gate C18 in the film screening room (“See 18”) at Terminal 1, and at the Arts@MSP Gallery, across from gate H3 at Terminal 2. Since exhibits at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are located post-security, those planning to see the exhibits will need a boarding pass to get through security.

From the press release:

“The Wilf family is proud to help support the Transfer of Memory exhibit at MSP Airport. We hope that travelers visiting Minnesota for the upcoming Super Bowl will pause for a few moments to learn and reflect on this time in history that is deeply ingrained in the life of our family and world history,” said Mark Wilf, Owner and President of the Minnesota Vikings and Co-Chair of the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Holocaust Survivors Initiative.

Each Holocaust survivor in Transfer of Memory shares a story of survival during exceedingly difficult circumstances, yet as a collection, these images focus on life and hope. From Europe to Minnesota, it was here they fashioned their dreams, their futures, and their families – their lives are a constant reminder of the value of freedom and the enduring human spirit. Photographer David Sherman and writer Lili Chester, in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, created this photography exhibition.

“This exhibition has enabled the JCRC’s Holocaust education program to bring lessons of the Shoah (Holocaust) to communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota who otherwise might not receive firsthand accounts from Holocaust survivors. We thank everyone at the MAC and the Airport Foundation MSP for their leadership and tireless work to bring Transfer of Memory to MSP,” said Steve Hunegs, JCRC executive director.

Exhibition photographer David Sherman added, “The urgency for this project is so clear. Our survivor community is aged and aging. The number of living Holocaust survivors is becoming fewer and fewer. It is important for me to ensure that survivors are remembered in a respectful and beautiful way – by face, by name, and by story. Today we stand at a critical time in regard to the Holocaust. After 70 years since the end of the war, we are in the midst of a ‘transfer of memory.’ The witness to the horrors, hardships, and brutalities of the Holocaust is shifting from those who saw and survived, to a retelling of their testimony. We are shifting our focus from the power and reliability of sight and personal experience to the trustworthiness and importance of hearing.”

“This is a deeply moving and powerful exhibit that links Minnesota to an important chapter in world history,” said Robyne Robinson, Arts@MSP Director for Airport Foundation MSP. “We’ve been working for some time to bring the exhibit to MSP Airport and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to host it for the traveling public.”

The exhibition features 44 portraits of survivors living – or who lived – in Minnesota. The color images depict the survivors as living full and fulfilled lives – full of life and vitality – not defined by victimhood. Each survivor was photographed in their home and everyone was interviewed and videotaped prior to making their portrait. Lili Chester’s text, distilled from the survivor interviews, accompanies each portrait and provides background and a short history in the survivors’ own words. “It is my hope and prayer that these images add an important visual proof to accompany the oral testimony,” added Sherman.

This exhibition is curated by JCRC staff members, Laura Zelle and Susie Greenberg, and is a collaboration between David Sherman, Lili Chester, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. The exhibit will be on display at MSP Airport through February 5, 2018. For more information about the exhibition, please visit http://transferofmemory.org. Follow @TransferMemory on Twitter, @TransferofMemory on Instagram, and @TransferofMemory on Facebook.

Here’s some additional coverage from KARE 11 (NBC affiliate) and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

 

Jewish sports update, January 28, 2018

Posted on: January 28th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Omri Casspi, still recovering from the aftereffects of the flu, played just four minutes for the Golden State Warriors (40-10), making one steal which led to a Stephen Curry three-pointer.

NHL

No activity over the weekend because tonight is the NHL All-Star Game. No MOTs on the rosters, not too surprisingly.

MLB

Mazel tov to Alex Bregman, who was named “Headliner of the Year” by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

Could the Brewers be moving Ryan Braun to first base? Seems a shame as he looks like a pretty decent outfielder (to one who doesn’t watch him on a regular basis).

Will Craig Breslow return to the Cleveland Indians? The LOOGY has had two stints with the Tribe, the first in 2007 and the most recently last season. Overall, he’s appeared in 14 games, tossing 12.2 innings with no won/loss record or saves.

Kind of funny, some of the questions asked about teams. For example “Who will be the next Blue Jay to get 20 steals?” I mean, 20 is a pretty low bar to set. Kevin Pillar was the last Toronto player to swipe that many, by the way.

And FYI, pitchers and catchers start reporting for Spring Training on Feb. 12, although some teams haven’t officially set their dates yet.

 

 

 

 

Where’s Casspi?

Posted on: January 28th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Omri Casspi: 'That was the worst pain I've ever had'What’s been with Omri Casspi‘s minutes lately? In the past four games for the Golden State Warriors he’s played, respectively, zero, two, zero, and four last night in a 109-105 win over the visiting Boston Celtics? Turns out it was the residual effects of the flu which led to back spasms.

From Yahoo Sports:

Casspi caught the flu just before the Warriors’ five-game road trip — which ultimately led to terrible back spasms, which led to him finding himself out of Golden State’s rotation right now.

“I’ve had surgeries, all kinds of stuff. This was the worst pain I’ve ever had,” Casspi told The Athletic on Wednesday. “That night (in Milwaukee), it was awful. Really bad. Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t walk.

“Kind of got nervous there for a moment. I’ve never felt anything like it. I was able to sleep for like two, three hours after that. I was kind of laying on my side. Found a comfortable situation so I could sleep. I saw them at 9.”

Casspi was inactive in Milwaukee, Toronto or Cleveland.

He returned against Chicago, but did not play in the Warriors’ loss in Houston — despite being active.

Against the Knicks on Tuesday, he only saw action in garbage time.

“It’s hard to get everybody out there. So I think (the back spasms) set him back in terms of the rotation,” Steve Kerr told The Athletic. “The next time we have a game where we are dead in the water, I’m going to throw Omri out there and he’s going to cut to the rim, generate more pace and we’re going to go: ‘Man, we gotta play this guy more.'”

Considering the severity of the flu season this year, here’s wishing Casspi and everyone else else suffering a speedy and complete recovery.

 

 

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 24, 2018

Posted on: January 24th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Missed the last couple of days, but rather than backtrack, we’re just going to pretend I’m current.

Just a quick congrats to the Robert Kraft-owned New England Patriots and Jeff Lurie-owned Philadelphia Eagles, who will face each other in Super Bowl LII on February 4.

In other football news:

As for the games played on Jan. 23:

NBA

Omri Casspi played just two minutes in last night’s 123-112 win for the Golden State Warriors (38-10) over the visiting NY Knicks.

NHL

Brandon Leipsic played 13:47 without taking a shot on goal for the Vegas Blue Knights in their 6-3 win over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.

Michael Cammalleri was a scratch for the Edmonton Oilers in their 5-0 loss to the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

David Warsofsky was a scratch for the Colorado Avalanche in their 4-2 loss to the host Montreal Canadiens.

And the “latest” on…

And lest we forget, Red Fisher, widely considered one of the best hockey writers in the game, who died last Friday at the age of 91.

MLB

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed catcher Ryan Lavarnway to a minor league contract. Lavarnway, 30, appeared in six games for the Oakland As in 2017. He made his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2011. According to MLBTradeRumors.com, “The Pirates announced a slate of non-roster invitees to Spring Training today, including catcher Ryan Lavarnway, whose minor league deals had not been previously reported. Lavarnway, 30, has appeared in parts of six big league seasons with the Red Sox, Orioles, Braves and Athletics. He spent the 2017 campaign in the Oakland organization, though he appeared in just six games at the Major League level. Lavarnway is a career .201/.262/.318 hitter through 420 MLB plate appearances, but he’s logged a much more palatable .274/.365/.421 slash in parts of seven seasons at the Triple-A level.” HT to Bob Wechsler and Jeff F. for the news.

More on…

I have to get a screener of this film about the Israeli National Team at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Remaining Jewish free agents: Craig Breslow, Scott Feldman, Danny Valencia

Tennis

Long story short, no Jewish players are still active at the Australian Open.

 

 

 

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 19, 2018

Posted on: January 20th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

No game for Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors last night. In fact, they’re off until tomorrow night when the visit the Houston Rockets.

NHL

Zach Hyman had his 16th assist but the Toronto Maple Leafs still lost in OT to the host Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2. He took two shots on goal in 18:46 and served a two minute penalty for tripping.

Jason Demers had his 12th assist for the Arizona Coyotes, who lost to the host Nashville Predators in a 3-2 shootout. He took two SOG in 24:48. Jakob Chychrun was a scratch.

Brandon Leipsic was a scratch for the Las Vegas Knights, who beat the hos Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1, in a battle of the two top teams in the league.

The Washington Capitols’ Andre Burakovsky did not play in last night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the host NJ Devils due to illness.

Tonight the Knights visit the Florida Panthers and the Caps host the Montreal Canadiens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 18, 2018

Posted on: January 18th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Image result for omri casspiOmri Casspi returned to action last night, playing 18 minutes off the bench with four points, four rebounds, and a steal as the Golden State Warriors beat the host Chicago Bulls, 119-112. It was the 14th straight road win for Golden State (37-9). From the Sacramento Bee: “F Omri Casspi played for the first time in a week after being sidelined by lower back soreness. Casspi was available for Golden State’s win at Cleveland, but Kerr held him out. ‘I wasn’t comfortable playing him yet, because he hadn’t really played enough with that bad back,’ [Coach Steve] Kerr said. ‘I’m a little sensitive to bad backs. I wanted him to get a good workout (on Tuesday).'”

NHL

No MOT games last night. Tonight, Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Philadelphia Flyers; Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visit the Tampa Bay Lightning; David Warsofsky and the Colorado Avalanche host the San Jose Sharks; and Jason Demers, Jakob Chychrun, and the Arizona Coyotes visit the Nashville Predators.

MLB

Your regular Gabe Kapler report.

MLB.com puts Atlanta Braves hurler Max Fried at #10 on the list of top lefty prospects.

MLB.com also says the recent acquisition of Ian Kinsler is a major upgrade for the Los Angeles Angels. Conversely, his departure helps make the Detroit Tigers one of the worst teams in the game at the moment, at least according to Bleacher Report. Well at least you can’t blame Brad Ausmus anymore.

NFL

“Despite his first season at center ending prematurely due to injury, Ali Marpet and an effective pass protection effort by the offensive line aided the Tampa Bay offense in setting multiple franchise records in 2017,” according to this player recap on Buccaneers.com.
Tennis

At the Australian Open, Diego Schwartzman and countryman Guido Pella of Argentina lost their doubles match to Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (Chile) and Andrei Vasilevski (Belarus) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6. Madison Brengle (USA) and partner Monica Puig (Puerto Rico) beat Alison Bai and Zoe Hives (both of Australia), 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, in the first round of women’s doubles.

 
 
   
 

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