Archive for the ‘Game Day’ Category


What Yom Kippur dilemma?

Posted on: September 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

It’s not just the Jewish ballplayers who have to deal with how to handle the High Holy Days (also happy to note that my main man, Tony Kornheiser, did not appear on Pardon the Interruption on the Day of Atonement).

Received an email from Jeremy Rosenberg, a 19-year-old ballboy for the Detroit Tigers, who made the decision to “honor his religion,” as they said about another Tiger, back in the day. I invited Jeremy to supply a guest entry. Here’s his story.

Being passionate about different things is great and can lead to countless opportunities. But what do you do when you have to choose between those passions? Sometimes one is just that much more important than the other.

I’m Jewish and I also happen to be a ballboy for the Detroit Tigers.

This fall, I was scheduled to work quite a few games, sitting on the first- or third-base lines or working in the clubhouse. Once August ended, I took a look at the September schedule and noticed my name was penciled in for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

What was I to do? I thought about it and remembered that there had been great men in a somewhat similar situation before me: Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax. Greenberg, a member of my own team, had taken the day off during a pennant race, while Koufax abstained from his scheduled start in Game 1 of the World Series in 1965. Certainly I could miss a couple days of retrieving baseballs that are already out-of-play.

Honestly, it wasn’t a hard decision for me. I was obviously going to ask my boss for those days off so I could go to services with my family like I do every year. That being said, it did feel good to momentarily group myself with Jewish Hall of Famers who had done the same thing.

This wasn’t the first time that being a ball boy and my Judaism had come together. The first game I ever worked was erev Pesach and on that day I had the nerve to invite Ian Kinsler and [manager] Brad Ausmus to a seder that I wasn’t even hosting. They both said no, but it was cool to be able to ask.

Hopefully I’ll be back with the team next year, and though I might need to sit out again, it would be even more fun to see guys like Kinsler, Alex Bregman, Ryan Braun, Joc Pederson, Kevin Pillar, and others take a day off in observance of the holiday. You never know!

JFL Report, Week 3: MNF

Posted on: September 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

The Pittsburgh Steelers almost coughed up a 30-10 halftime lead but managed to hold off the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-27. Safety Jordan Dangerfield appeared in 21 special team plays (66 percent) for the Steelers while Ali Marpet took all 74 offensive snaps at center plus another six (15 percent) on ST.

JML update, September 25, 2018 (Games of Sept. 24)

Posted on: September 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Alex Bregman stroked his 51st double of the year, driving in one run, as the Houston Astros (99-57) beat the host Toronto Blue Jays, 5-3. Kevin Pillar had a win-some, lose-some game. He hit his 15th homer, a two-run, two-out job to put his team (71-86) on the board in the fourth but he struck out with the bases loaded in the fifth, but on another positive note he did make another sterling defensive play. Rowdy Tellez flied out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

Ryan Braun hit his 16th, a solo job mashed into the second deck, in two official at-bats. he also drove in a run with a walk as the Milwaukee Brewers (90-67) beat the host St. Louis Cardinals, 6-4.

Joc Pederson flied out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth for the LA Dodgers (88-69) in their 7-4 win over the host Arizona Diamondbacks. He remained in the game going 0-for-1 with a walk.

Ian Kinsler did not appear for the Boston Red Sox as they won a franchise record 106th game (against 51 losses) with their 6-2 decision over the visiting Baltimore Orioles.

Ryan Lavarnway did not appear for the Pittsburgh Pirates (79-76) in their 6-1 win over the host Chicago Cubs.

Robert Stock did not appear for the San Diego Padres (63-94) in their 5-0 win over the host San Francisco Giants.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies were crushed by the host Colorado Rockies, 10-1 to drop to .500 (78-78).

JML update, Weekend Edition (Games of Sept. 21-23)

Posted on: September 24th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

The Legend of Rowdy Tellez just keeps growing. On Saturday, he went 3-for-4 with his ninth double and third home run, driving in three runs in a 5-2 win by the Toronto Blue Jays (71-85, fourth in the AL East) over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays.

He was 1-for-8 in the other two games, both Blu Jays losses.

Kevin Pillar was 3-for-8 with a run scored in the second and third games after not appear in the first.

Ian Kinsler did not appear in Friday’s game for the Boston Red Sox (105-51, clinched first in the AL East) , a 7-5 win over the host Cleveland Indians. He was 0-for-6 in an 11-inning, 5-4 loss on Saturday and 0-for-5 yesterday, a 4-3 loss.

Ryan Braun was 1-for-2 with an RBI on Friday as the Milwaukee Brewers  (89-67, second in NL Central) beat the host Pittsburgh Pirates (78-76, fourth in the NL Central), 8-3. He was 1-for-4 on Saturday in a 4-3 loss and drove in a run with a pinch-hit walk in a 13-6 win.

The Pirates’ Ryan Lavarnway struck out as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning yesterday, the first time he failed to get a hit in 2018, dropping his average to .750.

Joc Pederson doubled and scored a run on Friday in the LA Dodgers’ 5-3 loss to the visiting San Diego Padres (62-94, fifth in the NL West). he stayed in the game and was hitless in a subsequent at-bat. Pederson had his 24th home run and 26th double in the next game, a 7-2 win. The home run came on the second pitch of the game and the seventh time he’s led off the game thusly. He entered yesterday’s game as a defensive replacement and drove in a run on a ground out in a 14-0 romp. The Dodgers lead the NL West with a record of 87-69.

Robert Stock retired the only batter he faced all weekend. That came in Friday’s Padres’ win and earned him his fourth hold of the year.

Alex Bregman was 3-for-12 with two walks and two runs scored as the Houston Astros (98-57, first in the AL West) swept the visiting LA Angels. Oh, I’ve got to get me one of these:

Image result for alex bregman stare t-shirt

Max Fried picked up his first hold in his only appearance for the Atlanta Braves. That came Sunday in a 2-1 win over Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies. He gave up two hits, walked one, and struck out two in two innings. The Braves (88-68) took all three games to clinch first place in the NL East. The Phils (78-77) could slip to third before the end of the year, a disappointment considering they were in contention not that long ago.

JFL, Week 3

Posted on: September 24th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Welcome your newest JFLers. The update was provided by Bob Wechsler:

Image result for Greg Joseph, browns

Greg Joseph, the newest Jewish NFL player, made his debut with the Cleveland Browns (1-2) on Thursday in their 21-17 win over the visiting NY Jets. He kicked field goals from 45 and 27 yards. a 45-yard field goal just before halftime…. It was his first NFL kick. Joseph after the Browns’ previous kicker left eight points on the field in a narrow loss the week before. The South Africa native attended a Jewish day school in Boca Raton and played at Florida Atlantic.

Image result for jordan dangerfield, steelersAlso newly certified “kosher” by the Jewish Sports Review: Pittsburgh Steelers safety Jordan Dangerfield. The Steelers visit Ali Marpet and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tonight.

In yesterday’s matches…

Stop the presses: the New England Patriots dropped to 1-2 following their loss to the host Detroit Lions. Nate Ebner appeared in nine special teams plays (36 percent), making a tackle (assisted) for the third straight week.

Mitchell Schwartz appeared on all 76 offensive plays at right tackle and another six (21 percent) on special teams as the Kansas City Chiefs improved to 3-0 following their 38-27 win over the visiting San Francisco Giants.

And mazel tov to Josh Rosen, who made his NFL debut for the Arizona Cardinals in their 16-14 loss to the visiting Chicago Bears. The 0-3 Cardinals scored all their points in the first quarter. Rosen came in at 4:31 in the fourth quarter, and connected on his first NFL attempt (nine yards) one of his four completions in seven tries for 36 yards. He also threw an interception with 1:10 left on the clock to seal the Cardinals’ doom, but that came when he was hit from behind. Rosen rushed once for 12 yards. He appeared in 13 offensive plays (36 percent). Personally, I think the AP story on him was a bit harsh: “Thrust into a difficult position, Rosen failed to lead Arizona’s beleaguered offense to a comeback, throwing an interception on his fifth NFL pass.” Geez, cut the guy some slack. It wasn’t his fault the Cardinals coughed up the lead.

Image result for josh rosen




JML update, September 21, 2018 (Games of Sept. 20)

Posted on: September 21st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

The Boston Red Sox (104-49) clinched — finally — the AL East in style, scoring three runs in each the seventh and eighth innings to beat the host NY Yankees, 11-6. Ian Kinsler sat this one out, but in a piece from the NBCSports.com, he’s compared favorably with Mark Bellhorn and Dustin Pedroia, second baseman from the Sox’s previous World Series championships:

The Red Sox acquired Kinsler at the trade deadline to improve defensively at second base. Kinsler hasn’t made much of an impact at the plate yet in Boston, but he sure has with the glove. He’ll get the chance to have his own signature moment with the Red Sox in the postseason, just as Pedroia and Bellhorn did.

In the meantime, Kinsler was named to the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame.

The Legend of Rowdy Tellez continues to grow. His two-run homer in the second inning gave the Toronto Blue Jays (70-83) their opening runs and his opposite-field RBI double in the ninth ignited a seven-run, come from behind victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, 9-8. Fun fact: Tellez’s first hit came in the first pitch he saw against the Rays. The home run here also came on the first itch he saw in the game. Kevin Pillar was 1-for-3. What does the future hold for the Jays’ longest-tenured player?

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (85-68) in their 8-3 win over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies (78-74), helmsed by Gabe Kapler.

No other MOT-related games. But here’s something about Ryan Braun‘s recent lack of playing time. And one on Joc Pederson and man’s best friend.

JML update, September 20, 2018

Posted on: September 20th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

L’shana tova, y’all. Hope you had an easy fast.

Just a quick recap of erev Yom Kippur: With the tying run on second,  Ian Kinsler hit into a game-ending 1-4-3 double play for the Boston Red Sox in their 3-2 loss to the host NY Yankees. Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it? Jump to about the 1:45 mark in the video.

On the other hand, Ryan Lavarnway had a walk-off pinch hit single to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 2-1, 11-inning win over the visiting KC Royals.

None of the other MOTs who played that night did much of anything, so I won’t even mention them.

As far as last night goes…

Kinsler was 0-for-3 as the Yankees once again prevented the Sox (103-49) from clinching the East, this time by a more definitive, 10-1, score.

The Pirates (77-74) again defeated the Royals, 2-1, but this time in regulation and without the services of Lavarnway.

Alex Bregman continues to struggle, relatively speaking, going 0-for-2 with a walk as the Houston Astros (95-57) lost to the visiting Seattle Mariners, 9-0. Sure, he’s got his 30 HR, 100 runs scored, and 100 RBIs, but his batting average has “dwindled” to .289; he has just one hit in 17 official at-bats going back over the last week.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-3 and Rowdy Tellez popped out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth as the Toronto Blue Jays (69-83) lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1.

Robert Stock allowed two hits but no runs in his inning of relief for the San Diego Padres (61-92) in their 8-4 win over the visiting San Francisco Giants. Stock picked up his third hold, lowering his ERA to 2.15.

Joc Pederson popped out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning as the LA Dodgers (85-68) beat the visiting Colorado Rockies, 5-2.

Ryan Braun did not play for the Milwaukee Brewers (87-66) in their 7-0 win over the visiting Cincinnati Reds. Evidently he’s still dealing with back issues.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (84-68) in their 7-3 win over the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (78-73) shut out the visiting NY Mets, 4-0.

Belated Happy Birthday to Danny Valencia — remember him? — who turned 34 yesterday. Still can’t understand how nobody thought enough of him to sign him after the Orioles let him go last month.

JFL update, Week 2

Posted on: September 17th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Nate Ebner was a substitute on defense, appearing on one play on defense (one percent) and 17 (71 percent) on special teams where he made one tackle in the New England Patriots’ 31-20 loss to the host Jacksonville Jaguars.

Mitchell Schwartz was the starting right tackle, appearing in 57 plays (98 percent) and another six (17 percent) on special teams as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the host Pittsburgh Steelers, 42-37.

Once again, Ali Marpet is listed at two positions for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their 27-21 win over the visiting Philadelphia Eagles. Listed as the starting left guard, the official NFL Gamebook has him playing on all 58 downs at center. He was also in four plays (14 percent) on special teams.

Josh Rosen did not appear for the Arizona Cardinals in their 34-0 blowout at the hands of the host Los Angeles Rams. At o-2, maybe it’s time to give him a chance?

It's time for the 0-2 Cardinals to try rookie Josh Rosen at quarterback

And sorry, Forward, but the Patriots’ Julian Edelman is still not considered Jewish by the sports powers that be.

JML update, weekend edition (Games of Sept. 14-16, 2018)

Posted on: September 17th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Interesting game yesterday between the Toronto Blue Jays (67-82, fourth in the AL East) and host New York Yankees. The two Blue MOTS were “responsible” for the come-from-behind, 3-2 win. Trailing 2-1 in the eighth inning with runners on first and third — the former in the person of Kevin Pillar, who was serving as a pinch-runner — Rowdy Tellez stroked an opposite-field, game-tying pinch-hit. Pillar came around to score the eventual winning run on a double. Tellez was caught in a rundown; oh, well. The other two games in the series were an 11-0 loss and an 8-7 win. Pillar hit his 13th homer in that one, one of his two hits. He was 0-3 in Friday’s loss while Tellez was 1-for-4 as the starting first baseman. He did not appear in Saturday’s affair.

The Boston Red Sox (103-47, first in the AL East) took two of three from the visiting NY Mets (How is it Boston hasn’t clinched yet?). Ian Kinsler had two of his team’s four hits to go along with two stolen bases in an 8-0 loss on Friday. He was 1-for-6 with a walk and a run scored in the other two games.

Joc Pederson started all three games for the LA Dodgers (82-68, second in the NL West, second in the NL Wild Card spot), who took two out of three from the host St. Louis Cardinals. Pederson was 4-15 with a run scored.

Ryan Braun had a pinch-hit single on Saturday and was 0-for-8 in the two games he started. The Milwaukee Brewers (85-65, second in the NL Central, holding the first NL Wild Card spot) took two of three from the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Ryan Lavarnway did not appear for the Buccos (74-74, fourth in the NL Central).

Alex Bregman was just 1-for-7 with a run scored, but walked five times as the Houston Astros (94-55, first in the AL Central) won two of three over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. (More on Bregman.)

Robert Stock struck out the only batter he faced for the San Diego Padres (60-90, fifth in the NL West) in their 6-3 loss to the visiting Texas Rangers on Saturday. It was his only appearance for the weekend.

Max Fried gave up one run on a hit and a walk while striking out one in one inning of work in Saturday’s 7-1 Atlanta Braves’ loss to the visiting Washington Nationals. It was his only appearance for the weekend. The Braves are 83-66, first in the NL East.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (76-72, second in the NL East) took two of three from the visiting Miami Marlins. They are five games back in the Wild Card race.

JML update, September 14, 2018 (Games of Sept. 13)

Posted on: September 14th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Very limited action last night…

Ian Kinsler and Kevin Pillar were each 0-for-3 with an RBI for the Boston Red Sox (101-46) and Toronto Blue Jays (65-81), respectively as the former beat the latter, 4-3. Kinsler’s ribbie came on a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead in the third inning, Pillar’s when he was hit by a pitch to tie the game at 3-3 in the eighth. Rowdy Tellez got into the game as a defensive replacement.

Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers (80-67) in their 9-7 win over the host St. Louis Cardinals. Sure, he only homered in two straight games, so why should he play?

Jewish Baseball News announced their 2018 Minor-League Awards.


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