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Archive for the ‘Jewish identity’ Category

 

Jewish sports update, January 11, 2018

Posted on: January 11th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

In last night’s action…

NBA

Omri Casspi played 24 minutes of the bench, scoring six points with three rebounds, three assists, and two steals, but the Golden State Warriors (33-9) dropped this one to the visiting LA Clippers, 125-106.

NHL

Just two games last night, both involving MOTs. No such similar circumstances tonight.

Jason Zucker had an assist on the Minnesota Wild’s first goal in their 2-1 win over the host Chicago Blackhawks. It was the 16th on the year for Zucker, who took three shots on goal in 13:33. The Wild improve to 23-17-4. Nice to see he’s making a difference off the ice as wellZucker of the Wild and his wife Carly are partnering with University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital to build a family suite and broadcast studio. That’s Zucker on the left with Michael  E. Jordan and Alex Fenner of the sports apparel firm UNRL.

Former Bear goalie’s firm donates to hospital project planned by Wild player

Zach Hyman took one shot in 19:11 as the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-3) lost to the visiting Ottawa Senators, 3-2.

Breaking (?) Jice news: There’s evidently still some dispute over the Jewish identity of Andre Burakovsky of the Washington Capitols. You may recall there was a bit of discrepancy a couple of years ago as to whether he denied being Jewish. But he’s still listed as such in the latest edition of the Jewish Sports Review and that’s good enough for me. To recap his season, Burakovsky has three goals and five assists in just 21 games due to a combination of injury and healthy scratches. The Caps are first in the Metropolitan Division/ second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 27-13-3.

Image result for jakob chychrunA “new” Jice-man, according to JSR, is Jakob Chychrun, a 19-year-old, 6-2, 200 pound defenseman for the Arizona Coyotes. He has appeared in 16 games this season with one goal and five assists. According to Bob Wechsler, author of Day by Day in Jewish Sports History and The Jewish Baseball Card Book, “His mother must be Jewish, because his father [Jeff] played in the NHL.” Chychrun the younger actually made his NHL debut last year.

NFL

Fair or not, one ESPN contributor picked Adam Bisnowaty as the most disappointing rookie for the NY Giants: “This is probably nitpicking a bit. Bisnowaty was a sixth-round pick out of Pittsburgh. He wasn’t supposed to make an immediate impact. He was, however, supposed to make the roster. Instead, he sat on the practice squad for the first 16 weeks of the season and looked overmatched in pass protection during his one appearance in the finale against the Redskins.”

MLB

Legendary sports writer Irwin Cohen contributed this piece on Jews and baseball to the Brooklyn-based Jewish Press.

MISC.

Sports sandals, anyone? These come from the Israeli firm, Naot.

Source by Naot sandals

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 10, 2018

Posted on: January 10th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

NHL

Only two MOT games last night. Michael Cammalleri took one shot on goal in 12:32 as the Edmonton Oilers (18-23-3) couldn’t overcome a 2-0 deficit in the first period, losing to the host Nashville Predators, 2-1.

Jason Zucker took three SOG in 19:20 in the Minnesota Wild’s 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting Calgary Flames. The Wild are (is?) 22-17-4.

On tonight’s docket: Zucker and the Wild move on to Chicago to face the Blackhawks. Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Ottawa Senators.

NBA

Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors were off yesterday. They host the LA Clippers tonight.

MLB

This could be a make-or-break season for LA Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.

There’s been chatter that Baltimore orioles pitcher Richard Bleier could wind up in the starting rotation, but according to this piece, maybe he’ll be the closer?

NFL

There are all sorts of metrics the scouts use to see if an athlete  is “worthy” of playing in the NFL, such as the Wonderlic Test. But how much does character count? Is the young man a good team guy? And how easily can rumors quash a career? Josh Rosen might be the target of negative assessments. We know he doesn’t want to play for the Cleveland Browns, but what are the chances the NY Jets claim him?

Only a Game, the public radio sports show, offered this segment on quarterback Bennie Friedman in their series on the history of the forward pass. You can hear the story — “The Son Of Jewish Immigrants Who Became Football’s First Passing Specialist” — here. Thanks to the very informative SportsBiblio.com for the link.

MISC

I don’t know how much Jewish content there is in This Book Has Balls: Sports Rants from the MVP of Talking Trash, by the actor Michael Rapaport, but I’m including it just on the basis of the cover:

Image result for michael rapaport book balls

 

Jewish Sports Review review

Posted on: September 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Image result for jewish sports reviewAs I mentioned in the previous entry, recently received the latest issue of JSR which includes:

  • College Football Previews (D-I, II, and III)
  • NFL Preview
  • Pro Hockey Review (2016-17)
  • College Soccer Reviews (men and women)
  • Sports Shorts
  • A recap of the 2017 Maccabiah Games
  • A list of women’s top performances in track& field

The Jewish Sports Review is a must for any true fan of, well, Jewish sports and is only available in print edition. I keep hoping that will change. Can you imagine an outlet that keeps track of these people and issues on a daily basis? If you look at an issue and see how many athletes that would include, you’d understand what a Samson-ish undertaking that would be. I tried to make Kaplan’s Korner that kind of source when I was working at the NJ Jewish News (did I mention it was named blog of the year by the New Jersey Press Association in 2015?), but since that was only a portion of my job description, it was impractical. These days it’s even more difficult, since I actually have to work for a living now.

For further information about JSR, call 310-838-6626 or send an e-mail to shel@jewishsportsreview.com.

Where have you gone, Hank Greenberg (and Sandy Koufax)?

Posted on: September 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0409/images/haven_14.jpgThe baseball-loving Hebrew nation turns its lonely eyes to you (woo-woo-woo).

Over/under: Zero JML will not play on Yom Kippur, which begins the evening of September 29. That means just one would have to take the day off specifically for that reason to make the cut. Very doubtful, although teams could easily rest some players since it’s the last series of the regular season. On the other hand, you want to please your fans by having your stars in the lineup.

The breakdown: The Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, and LA Dodgers are all in. The only regular on those clubs is Alex Bregman, who’s battling a hamstring issue so the Astros might want to rest him for the playoffs. Joc Pederson has played sporadically and might not even be on the post-season roster. Craig Breslow hasn’t pitched in almost two weeks for the Indians and might not be in the Tribe’s plans.

Wild card issues: The Milwaukee Brewers are still in the hunt so they might require the services of Ryan Braun if it comes down to the wire. The Toronto Blue Jays and Kevin Pillar still have an outside shot. Danny Valencia has not been a regular since the Seattle Mariners acquired Yonder Alonso. Ryan Sherriff is a rookie and probably doesn’t figure in the St. Louis Cardinals’ plans.

Ian Kinsler and the Detroit Tigers are toast so he might he on his farewell tour.

Naturally, I’ve written on all this before. Here are a couple of items for your amusement

 

JML Update, Games of June 7, 2017

Posted on: June 8th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Kevin Pillar launched a two-out, three-run homer (#8 0n the year) in the top of the second to give the Toronto Blue Jays a 4-1 lead over the Oakland As. The home team came back to tie things up and send the game into extra innings. The Jays (29-31) ended up with a 7-5 win. It was Pillar’s only hit in four at-bats although he was hit by a pitch and scored a second run.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, but the Houston Astros (42-18) fell to the host KC Royals, 7-5. He did have this amusing moment.

Ian Kinsler was 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored as the Detroit Tigers got back to the .500 mark (29-29) thanks to a 4-0 shutout over the visiting LA Angels. He did have this amusing moment/brain freeze. The Detroit Jewish News ran a story about Kinsler and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus “connecting with their Jewish roots.”

Danny Valencia was 0-for-4, striking out twice, but the Seattle Mariners reach the .500 point (30-30) thanks to two runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the visiting Minnesota Twins (29-26), 6-5. Craig Breslow did not appear for the Twins.

Richard Bleier retired the only batter he faced as the Baltimore Orioles (31-26) beat the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-6.

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (28-30) in their 6-4 win over the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. He gets the start this afternoon.

Brad Goldberg did not appear for the Chicago White Sox (25-32) in their 3-1 loss to the host Tampa Bay Rays.

Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers) and Joc Pederson (LA Dodgers) remain on the disabled list.

 

 

Guest column: Irv Osterer on quirky college baseball

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Editor’s note: Irving Osterer writes about hockey for Jewish publications in Canada and has been a great source for the Korner through the years. So when he sent the following along, I asked if I could use it as a guest column. It’s not quite “Jews on first,” but it will do nicely.


Jews are well represented in college, amateur, and professional baseball ranks. Many have expressed pride in their faith and some refuse to play on Yom Kippur. One does not have to go further than the recent World Baseball Classic, to appreciate the impressive efforts of Team Israel, and their kippah-wearing tribute that went viral on the internet.

I believe that the SUNY Canton Roos, who play in the NCAA’s Empire 8 Division III, can boast a Jewish presence on the mound that is unmatched in the history of the game. The Roos have an authentic Cohen, a genuine Levy, and a Yisrael (OSTERER) in their bullpen. They have indeed covered all the bases in the event of an emergency weekday Torah service.

6′ Sophomore Phil Cohen, is a right handed pitcher from Liberty, New York.
5′ 8” Second year Matt Levy, is a right handed hurler from Long Beach, New York.
6′ 2” Senior Robbie Osterer, a “Yisrael” for religious purposes according to Mosaic law, is a right hander from Ottawa, Canada.

And should they need a fourth aliyah as they do for the Rosh Hodesh weekday morning reading, catcher/infielder freshman Alex Marshall, who hails from Melbourne, Australia can do the honours.

 

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Maccabiah mentions: An occasional look at who’s going to the Games

Posted on: April 7th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

An occasional look at who will be participating in the upcoming 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel…

And a shameless self promotion for my book, The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games.

World Baseball Classic update, March 2

Posted on: March 2nd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

As the various teams start to get together in preparation for the World Baseball Classic, here’s what’s doing with Team Israel, as well as the JMLs who have plighted their trough elsewhere.

  • Ian Kinsler wants to win, just not for the Israeli team apparently.
  • Lincoln Mitchell, author of Will Big League Baseball Survive?: Globalization, the End of Television, Youth Sports, and the Future of Major League Baseball, contributed this piece to the Forward, asking “Is The World Baseball Classic An Error For The Jews?” While I enjoyed his book, I take issue with some of his assertions which seem to be based on his claim that “there happen to be no Jewish players on the American team,” which is simply not true. In addition to Kinsler, Houston Astros’ sophomore Alex Bregman is on the USA roster. I also take exception to his statement that “because the US team is much better than the Israeli team, the WBC will give some credence to the tired and offensive notion that Jews stink at sports or other physical activities.” On the other hand, there is merit to his concern that allowing American Jews to play for Israel “provides fodder for those who believe that Jews are not quite true Americans and are more loyal to Israel than to the US. During a time when the President of the United States promotes the old anti-Semitic slogan, ‘America First,’ this is something that cannot be ignored.” There are lots of players in the WBC who will be playing for the countries of their ancestry but only Israel seems to bring up that loyalty issue. Can you imagine a Major Leaguer on Team Jamaica being accused of dual loyalties?
  • Team Israel held a mini-camp in Scottsdale recently.

 

Shalom, Geoff Schwartz

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

In this case, I’m using the word for both “goodbye” and “peace.”

It should not come as a giant surprise that the former Giant (and Panther and Viking and Chief) has announced his retirement. He did not play last season and only appeared in  13 of 36 games for New York over his two seasons with them due to an unfortunate series of injuries.

Image result for geoff schwartz familyOne of the things Jewish football fans appreciated about both him and his younger brother Mitchell — who is already being recognized as one of the best at his O-Line position — was how they embrace their religion. They were frequent guests at Jewish day schools and JCCs and earlier this month, they were among a group of local personalities inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. I found it charming that their recent joint memoir, Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family, and Faith, started off with the family celebrating Hanukka. Sweet.

Geoff wrote about his decision on SBNation. I’m sure he’ll do well; he spent the past season as an analyst for several on-line and broadcast outlets. And despite all the enjoyment he and his family have received through the sport, I can’t help thinking they’re kind of glad he’s getting out while he’s young and in relative good health.

Mazel tov, Geoff, and thanks for the memories.

Image result for geoff schwartz family

Ty-ing one on

Posted on: February 17th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Ty Kelly and his mother Diane, who is Jewish, traveled to Israel in January 2017 with a group of Jewish-American ballplayersTime for a little SSP: My interview with Ty Kelly, who made his debut with the NY Mets last year and is scheduled to participate for Team Israel in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, appears on the Jewish Baseball News website.Israel makes its debut on the international stage after winning in the qualifiers last September. Kelly was not on the team at the time because he was in the Majors.

One of the more interesting aspects of our conversation was his take on religious identity. No spoiler alerts; you’ll just have to read the article.

Unfortunately, Kelley was designated for assignment by the Mets just a couple of hours after we spoke. They have since outrighted him to their AAA affiliates in Las Vegas where he had so much success in 2016.

Kelly, shown here with his mom, Diane, was one of a group of Jewish-American players who visited Israel in January.

 

   
 

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