Archive for the ‘a shande’ Category


A shande: Blue Jays suspend Pillar for homophobic slur

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

The Toronto Blue Jays suspended outfielder Kevin Pillar for yelling a homophobic slur at Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte during Wednesday’s 8-4 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves.

From the NY Times article:

Pillar was angry because he thought Motte had quick-pitched him to get a strikeout that ended the seventh inning. Replays appeared to show Pillar yelling the slur toward the mound.

After what he described as a sleepless night, Pillar acknowledged wrongdoing.

“I regret saying it,” Pillar told reporters at SunTrust Park a few hours before the final game of a four-game series against the Braves. “I’m going to use myself as an example of how there are words out there you can’t use. It’s not a word I use ever.”

(I also find that excuse a bit ridiculous: if it’s not a word that you use ever, why did you use it now?)

This truly is a shande because all it takes is one thoughtless remark to ruin an otherwise quality reputation and several outlets are jumping on the bandwagon to condemn Pillar, including ESPN.  And I’m sorry, if he was suspended for saying it, how can you say he “allegedly” made the comment. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have been suspended. Must be a legal thing.

JML Update, Games of April 24, 2017

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewiushBaseballNews.com

Mixed Mazel of the Day: Ryan Braun doubled (#4) in three at-bats, scoring one run and driving in another as the Milwaukee Brewers (10-11) beat the visiting Cincinnati Reds (10-10), 11-4. From MLB.com:

Ryan Braun played part of the game in pain after fouling three pitches off his left foot during one of his early at-bats, then exited in the sixth with the Brewers leading, 10-5, because he was having trouble moving around. Braun said X-rays were negative, so he is day to day.

“That has to be a record,” he joked of his trio of tough-luck foul tips.

Scott Feldman gets the start for the Reds tonight against the Brewers.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Minnesota Twins (9-10) in their 3-2 win over the visiting Texas Rangers.

Anti-Mazel of the Day: Kevin Pillar‘s hitting streak came to an end in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 3-2 loss to the host LA Angels. Pillar, who had hit in 11 straight, was 0-f0r-3 with a walk and a strike out. The Jays fell to 3-15.

Co-Anti-Mazel: The LA Dodgers placed Joc Pederson on the disabled list after he came up hobbled running the bases in Sunday’s game. According to the story on ESPN posted earlier in the day, “The Dodgers have now put 12 different players on the DL since Opening Day, an alarming number since they have played only 19 games.” They lost to the Giants last night, 2-1, to bring their record to 9-11.

Alex Bregman (Houston Astros), Ian Kinsler (Detroit Tigers) and Danny Valencia (Seattle Mariners) had Monday off.

Jewish Baseball News posted their weekly Jewish Minor League highlights.


Lest we forget: Don Rickles

Posted on: April 6th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

The acerbic comedian died today at the age of 90.

A hardcore baseball fan, he was frequently seen at those celebrity games as chronicled in Joe Siegman’s book, Bats, Balls, and Hollywood Stars: Hollywood’s Love Affair with Baseball, released in 2014.

Rickles enjoyed talking about the game. Here he speaks with David Letterman in 1998. And here he talks about the legendary Vin Scully.

So long, Mr. Potato Head.

Jewish scoreboard: David Blatt ‘anniversary’ edition

Posted on: January 23rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan


  • Unhappy anniversary: it was just about one year ago the the Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach David Blatt, this despite the fact that he had the team in first place at the time. He’s currently coaching in Turkey. The Cavs went on to win the NBA Championship and decided to give Blatt one of the celebratory rings. Yippee.David Blatt
  • Omri Casspi remains out with a calf injury for the Sacramento Kings but may return sooner than expected. This poses another problem that a) he’ll sit on the bench, a victim of the dreaded “DNP-Coach’s Decision,” or b) he will play, trying to prove his worth, and reinjure himself.
  • No further developments on rumors that the 76ers might be interested in signing Jordan Farmar.


  • Roman Sorkin played 13 minutes off the bench for Oregon on Saturday, collecting two rebounds and handing off an assist in a 69-52 win over visiting Stanford.
  • Egor Koulechov led all players with 13 rebounds for Rice in his 37 minutes (team-high) 37 minutes as a starting forward in a 61-58 over host Southern Mississippi on Saturday. He also had 16 points, second-highest for both teams, and two assists.
  • Jojo Fallis and Jack Gordon each scored three points — Fallis in 243 minutes as a starting guard (with one rebound and one assist), Gordon in 20 minutes off the bench (with four rebounds and three assist), as Cornell beat host Columbia 67-62 on Saturday.
  • Jordan Cohen played 16 minutes off the bench, collecting one rebound as Lehigh beat visiting Lafayette, 75-68, on Saturday.
  • Jeremy Lieberman played 23 minutes as a starting guard, scoring six points with two rebounds and four assists an a 78-71 Wyoming loss to host New Mexico on Saturday.
  • Hunter Sabety scored two points and grabbed four rebounds in nine minutes off the bench in Hofstra’s 78-73 win over visiting Northeastern on Saturday.
  • Sam Singer played 22 minutes off the bench for California, netting two rebounds and two assists in a 69-58 win over Oregon State on Saturday.


  • Sara Hattis picked up two quick personals in two minutes off the bench for #18 Arizona State in their 54-45 win over host California on Friday. She grabbed one rebound in her brief time on the court. She played eight minutes on Sunday, scoring two and getting one rebound in a 66-56 loss to #10 host Stanford.
  • Lena Munzer played all 40 minutes for Yale in Friday’s 76-73 loss to host Brown. She led all scorers with 22 points while pulling down eight rebounds to go along with three assists and a blocked shot. She shared rebound highs with teammate and fellow starter Jen Berkowitz who played 37 minutes, chipping in 18 points with one assist.
  • Sam Kramer played four minutes off the bench for Fairfield, hitting on one of two free throws in her team’s 65-55 win over host Niagara on Saturday. She played another four minutes on Sunday in a 63-49 loss to host Canisius.
  • Emily Surloff played 26 minutes as a starting guard, scoring three points with one rebound and making three personal fouls and four turnovers in Columbia’s 69-55 loss to visiting Cornell on Saturday.
  • Drew Edelman led UC Santa Barbara in minutes (39 as a starting forward), points (19), and rebounds (tied with six) in a 74-62 win over visiting Hawai’i on Saturday.


  • Jason Demers played 19:49 for the Florida Panthers (20-19-9, 11th place in Eastern Conference) who lost to the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 on Friday.
  • Zack Hyman played 18:59 for the Toronto Maple Leafs  (21-14-9, ninth place in East) in their 3-2 loss to the visiting Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
  • Michael Cammalleri took two shots on goal in 15:48 for the NJ Devils (20-19-9, tied with Florida) in Friday’s 3-1 loss to the visiting Montreal Canadiens. He took two more SOG and contributed two assists in 17:08 in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the host Philadelphia Flyers, giving him 14 on the season.
  • Jason Zucker scored two goals on Saturday to help the Minnesota Wild (30-11-5, tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for first in the Western Conference) beat the visiting Anaheim Ducks 5-3. In the second period, he put in an unassisted shot for his 13th goal of the season. Number 14 came in the third period for the final score of the evening for the Wild. Zucker played a total of 18:19 in that one. The next day, Zucker recorded his 18th assist in 18:09 but the Wild lost to the visiting Nashville Predators, 4-2.

Moscot Mishaberach

Posted on: January 10th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Jon MoscotIt’s probably a good thing that Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jon Moscot can’t pitch (he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery). because given his history of injury, one could imagine him throwing his back out after a heard sneeze like Kevin Pillar did or any number of other odd mishaps.

It’s a shame, because Moscot has never really had the chance to get into a rhythm. He dislocated his non-throwing shoulder on a rundown play in the third game of his rookie year (2015) and appeared in just five games last season before going on the shelf. He’ most likely miss the entire 2017 campaign.

Here’s wishing him better luck moving ahead.


The White Shadow had one Jew; did he have to be a stereotype?

Posted on: January 3rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Some TV shows hold up well over time, others don’t.

I recently read David Bianculli’s The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific and am currently going through TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time, by Alan Sepinwall and Matt Seitz. Both feature the seminal cop show Hill Street Blues. I happened to catch an episode the other day and marveled at how it doesn’t hold up. Mind you, this came out in the 1980s and at the time was a giant leap forward. But in retrospect, with the advent of cable TV, it is woefully lacking in good writing, good acting, and believability, IMO.

What the heck are you talking about, you might ask? What does this have to do with Jewish sports?

Well, another show of the era was The White Shadow (1978-81), about a former pro basketball player who whose career was cut short by injury. With little to fall back on, he turns to teaching in an inner-city school in Los Angeles (if I recall correctly). The team is the usual conglomeration of urban youth: Most of the team is black, with an Italian, a Mexican, and a Jew tossed in for good measure.

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/3YNQ-fxpzjQ/0.jpgThe Jewish kid is Abner Goldstein (why not just name him Jewy McJew?). He is basically a bench-warmer and is considered the outsider. He’s socially awkward, a good student, and very sensitive; I’ve even seen one source which referred to him as having Aspbergers. Even the coach seems to have no patience for the poor schlub.

Goldstein, as played by Ken Michelman, was given two episodes as the central character. One of these was “Little Orphan Abner.” You see Abner lives with his very Jewish grandparents for some reason that’s never explained. I’m not sure if they were supposed to be survivors, but the were obviously European in origin. They are decidedly old-world and old-school and very unhip but Abner, being the nice Jewish boy, doesn’t mind it at all and seems perplexed when the guys make jokes about the situation.

Abner is a “good boy” — he has Shabbos dinner every Friday night and all that stuff — but he wants to be one of the cool kids. Naturally, it doesn’t work out. From the IMDB blurb for the episode: “Goldstein’s shyness makes him the forgotten man on the team. When his grandfather takes ill, the players show him partial compassion. But only til his grandfather comes home. Goldstein must grow out of his shell and command respect.” The “partial compassion”

http://a.espncdn.com/media/pg2/2002/1004/photo/shadow6_i.jpgOf course, everything is nearly resolved within the 48-minute confines of the show. Here, watch it for yourself.

My main problem is, why can’t a Jew be cool? Why does he have to wear glasses, live a quiet life, be the brunt of jokes because he loves his family? Why can’t a Jew be the star of the team and get the girl? To be fair, Goldstein did end up joining the Marines in the Season Two finale, turning down a scholarship. But even so, did they have to make him such a nebbish?

The same thing could be said for another portrayal of a Jewish athlete: Rudi Stein. You may or may not recall him from the original Bad News Bears. Like Goldstein, he was an outcast on a whole team of outcasts. This kid was basically the guy who kept the score book. Because he was such a poor batter, his coach ordered him to get hit by a pitch in order to get on base. Needless to say, Stein didn’t appreciate his role.

On the other hand, there were a couple of Jewish athletes who were actually good. There was an episode of the old Bill Cosby show, where he played a phys ed teacher in — wait for it — an inner city school in Los Angeles. In one episode he was the coach of another lousy youth baseball team. A new kid who just moved to town joins and is immediately the star. The problem is that he’s Jewish and can’t play in the games because they take place on Saturdays. Here, the life lesson is, there are more important things than sports. (I wrote about that episode a few years ago.)

Ryan Braun still haunted by PED scandal?

Posted on: December 19th, 2016 by Ron Kaplan


Ryan Braun, the All-star/MVP, has seen his named bandied about during the winter meetings, but he remains with the Milwaukee Brewers. And there are those who believe the PED business — including his suspension for 65 games in 2013 — are a major reason.

Forgot the part about Braun averaging almost 25 home runs and 85 RBIs in the three full seasons since he’s been back. As far as anyone knows he’s been clean since then.

Now if you want to talk about his age and his injuries — the 33-year-old Braun has missed 27, 22, and 27 games over the last three years — that’s understandable, even though his numbers project to a full season are still impressive. But to bring his drug usage up now as a reason teams might be shying away when there are plenty of others out there who have been given second chances seems,…something. (Don’t want to invoke the religion card.) He paid his dues; let’s move on.



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