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Archive for the ‘Jews and baseball’ Category

 

JML Update, LCS Edition (October 16, 2018)

Posted on: October 16th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

As the saying goes, Ryan Braun drove in the only run the Milwaukee Brewers would need in their 4-0 win over Joc Pederson and the host LA Dodgers last night.

Braun hammered a one-out RBI double down the left field line in the opening frame.

He could have had an eighth-inning single following Christian Yellich’s bunt hit, but Yasiel Puig deked the base runner into thinking he would catch the ball on a fly and threw to second for the force out.

In the multiverse, this actually happened.

Pederson got the starting assignment in left, going 0-for-3. Mazel tov to him and his wife, Kelsey, on the birth of their daughter, Poppy Jett, on Sunday.

The Brewers lead the series 2-1. Game Four tonight.

The ALCS returns tonight as well as Ian Kinsler and the Boston Red Sox visit Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros. That series is tied at a game apiece. Bregman’s star is evident in Texas, but the postseason — both this year and last — is getting him wider recognition.

JML Update, LCS Edition (October 15, 2018)

Posted on: October 15th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Can it be more even? Both series are tied at a game apiece as of this writing.

Houston Astros Vs. Boston Red Sox

Game 1, Astros 7, @ Red Sox 2:

  • Alex Bregman was 0-for-1 but was on base four times: three walks and an HBP. He scored twice and was caught stealing. He also made an “unofficial error.” More on Bregman here, here, and here.

  • Ian Kinsler did not appear for the Sox. At all.

Game 2: Astros 2, @Red Sox 7

  • Bregman walked three more times and was 0-for-2. So while his batting average is .000, his on-base percentage is .700.
  • Kinsler was the starting second baseman and was 0-for-4.

Los Angeles Dodgers Vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Game 1, Dodgers 5, @ Brewers 6

  • Ryan Braun was 1-for-4 with an RBI. More on Braun here, here, and here.
  • Joc Pederson entered the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the seventh. He grounded into a force play and scores in the eighth and walked and scored in the ninth.

Game 2, Dodgers 4, @ Dodgers, 3

  • Braun eas o-for-4 and drove in a run.
  • Pederson singled as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. He remained in the game and singled again in the ninth.

 

JML, League Championship Series Edition (October 12, 2018)

Posted on: October 12th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Here we go, kiddies.

Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers host Joc Pederson and the LA Dodgers in the NCLS which begins tonight.

Braun has had pretty spectacular post-season success. Lifetime against the Dodgers: 64 games, 11 home runs, 36 RBI, .279 BA.

Postseason Batting
Year Series Opp G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2008 NLDS PHI 4 17 16 0 5 2 0 0 2 0 4 .313 .294 .438 .732
2011 NLDS ARI 5 21 18 5 9 4 0 1 4 3 3 .500 .571 .889 1.460
2011 NLCS STL 6 26 24 2 8 3 0 1 6 1 6 .333 .385 .583 .968
2018 NLDS COL 3 13 13 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 4 .385 .385 .385 .769
3 Yr 3 Yr Combined 18 77 71 8 27 9 0 2 12 4 17 .380 .416 .592 1.007
3 NL 3 NLDS 12 51 47 6 19 6 0 1 6 3 11 .404 .431 .596 1.027
1 NL 1 NLCS 6 26 24 2 8 3 0 1 6 1 6 .333 .385 .583 .968
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/12/2018.

Pederson, of course, had a great World Series against the Houston Astros last year. Lifetime against Brewers: 19 games, six home runs, 12 RBI, .281 BA.

Postseason Batting
Year Series Opp G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2015 NLDS NYM 5 8 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1 .000 .500 .000 .500
2016 NLDS WSN 5 18 15 2 5 1 0 1 3 2 6 .333 .444 .600 1.044
2016 NLCS CHC 6 22 21 3 4 1 0 0 1 1 8 .190 .227 .238 .465
2017 NLCS CHC 5 6 5 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 .200 .200 .400 .600
2017 WS HOU 6 20 18 6 6 2 0 3 5 2 8 .333 .400 .944 1.344
2018 NLDS ATL 4 15 14 3 4 1 0 1 1 0 4 .286 .333 .571 .905
4 Yr 4 Yr Combined 4 Yr 31 89 77 15 20 6 0 5 10 9 29 .260 .352 .532 .885
3 NL 3 NLDS 3 NL 14 41 33 5 9 2 0 2 4 6 11 .273 .415 .515 .930
2 NL 2 NLCS 2 NL 11 28 26 4 5 2 0 0 1 1 10 .192 .222 .269 .491
1 WS 1 WS 1 WS 6 20 18 6 6 2 0 3 5 2 8 .333 .400 .944 1.344
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/12/2018.

The ALCS begins tomorrow with Alex Bregman and the Astros visiting famed Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox and mid-season acquisition Ian Kinsler.

Bregman’s post-season experience was more limited than his fellow JMLs, but he wasn’t cowed by the pressure. Nor is he shy about expressing his opinion that the networks should be showing his team in prime time, and not just going to the default setting of Yankees-Red Sox. To be fair, the New York-Boston rivalry goes back generations, so it’s understandable that that would be the go-to move. Lifetime against Red Sox: 13 games, four home runs, 10 RBI, .245 BA.

Postseason Batting
Year Series Opp G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2017 ALDS BOS 4 18 18 3 4 1 0 2 2 0 3 .222 .222 .611 .833
2017 ALCS NYY 7 27 24 2 4 1 0 0 3 3 3 .167 .259 .208 .468
2017 WS LAD 7 33 30 6 7 1 0 2 5 2 4 .233 .273 .467 .739
2018 ALDS CLE 3 14 9 5 5 1 0 2 4 4 1 .556 .714 1.333 2.048
2 Yr 2 Yr Combined 2 Yr 21 92 81 16 20 4 0 6 14 9 11 .247 .326 .519 .845
2 AL 2 ALDS 2 AL 7 32 27 8 9 2 0 4 6 4 4 .333 .438 .852 1.289
1 AL 1 ALCS 1 AL 7 27 24 2 4 1 0 0 3 3 3 .167 .259 .208 .468
1 WS 1 WS 1 WS 7 33 30 6 7 1 0 2 5 2 4 .233 .273 .467 .739
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/12/2018.

Kinsler — being the senior-most MOT — has the largest post-season resume. Lifetime against Astros: 94 games, 14 home runs, 43 RBI, .289 BA.

Postseason Batting
Year Tm Series G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 TEX ALDS 5 20 18 5 8 0 0 3 6 2 2 .444 .500 .944 1.444
2010 TEX ALCS 6 25 20 1 5 1 1 0 3 3 3 .250 .333 .400 .733
2010 TEX WS 5 19 16 1 3 1 0 0 0 3 2 .188 .316 .250 .566
2011 TEX ALDS 4 19 16 2 4 2 0 1 3 3 3 .250 .368 .563 .931
2011 TEX ALCS 6 29 24 6 7 2 0 0 6 4 2 .292 .414 .375 .789
2011 TEX WS 7 32 25 2 9 1 0 0 2 7 4 .360 .500 .400 .900
2012 TEX ALWC 1 4 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .667 .750 .667 1.417
2014 DET ALDS 3 13 12 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 .083 .154 .083 .237
2018 BOS ALDS 4 14 13 3 4 2 0 0 2 1 7 .308 .357 .462 .819
5 Yr 5 Yr 5 Yr Combined 41 175 147 21 43 9 1 4 22 25 26 .293 .397 .449 .846
1 AL 1 AL 1 ALWC 1 4 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .667 .750 .667 1.417
4 AL 4 AL 4 ALDS 16 66 59 10 17 4 0 4 11 7 15 .288 .364 .559 .923
2 AL 2 AL 2 ALCS 12 54 44 7 12 3 1 0 9 7 5 .273 .377 .386 .764
2 WS 2 WS 2 WS 12 51 41 3 12 2 0 0 2 10 6 .293 .431 .341 .773
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/12/2018.

Author Dan Schlossberg contributed this piece to Forbes on the surprising (to some) number of Jews in the 2018 post-season.

JTA covered the same topic.

JML update, Playoff Edition (Oct. 10, 2018)

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

I’m guessing this is a first: each of the four teams going into the League Championship Series have a MOT on the roster. That comes after the Boston Red Sox held off the host NY Yankees, 4-3 top move on.Ian Kinsler started at second base and gave the team a 2-0 lead with an RBI double in four at-bats, his second two-bagger of the series. He also scored a run.

The Sox will host Alex Bregman and the defending World Series champion Houston Astros beginning Saturday night.

Meanwhile, over in the NL, Joc Pederson and the LA Dodgers visit Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers beginning Friday.

Of course this scenario guarantees that once again there will be opposing JMLs in the fall classic (Pederson v. Bregman last year).

JML Update, Playoff Edition: Breaking News — UPDATE

Posted on: October 8th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Congrats to Alex Bregman and the defending World Champion Houston Astros who move on the the ALCS following their three-game sweep over the Cleveland Indians. Bregman continued his excellent season by going 5-for-9 with home runs in the first two games. He also had a double, four walks, and four RBI.

Game One highlights:

Game Two highlights:

Also, congrats to Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers who move on to the NLCS following their three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies. Braun had five singles in 13 at-bats plus a stolen base.

UPDATE: The LA Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves, 6-2, to move on as well. Joc Pederson was 1-for-6 last night, 4-for-14 overall, including a double. His one home run led off the first game and gave the Dodgers the only run they would need in their 6-0 victory.

Max Fried appeared in all four games, including retiring the only batter he faced last night. He was perfect in the first two games, but gave up a homer in the third meeting. Totals: 2.1 innings, one run, one hit, one walk, one strikeout.

The means there’s only one series left. Last night the Boston Red Sox embarrassed the host NY Yankees, 16-1. Ian Kinsler did not start, but he came in as a defensive replacement in the seventh, going 1-for-1 with a walk and scoring twice. Overall, 3-for-9 with a double and an RBI.

 

Oh, the places you’ll go

Posted on: October 5th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Had a great time in Old London Town last week. Tried to get some baseball stuff going over there, but it was a fool’s errand. The British Baseball Federation website had an address that was years-old. I found that out the hard way, making a trip out there in hopes of exchanging a copy of 501 Baseball Books for a team cap. Alas, ’twas not to be.

But I did give a the book to the Kennsington Hotel library, so I was able to accomplish at least part of my “mission.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While at the Kennsington, my wife and I thought we might try to go to a local synagogue. As we used the hotel computer to search for something suitable (we neglected to bring along clothing appropriate to going to shul), we also made the acquaintance of Ken and Lynn Tepper, a lovely couple from Toronto who overheard out conversation. Landsmen! Ken asked if I happened to be the Ron Kaplan who wrote Hank Greenberg in 1938, which he had read. In addition, his son — who participated and coached in several Maccabiah Games for Team Canada — had read my book on the history of that institution. Small world.

Our encounter reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, That Thing You Do, when Guy Patterson, the group’s drummer meets his idol, legendary jazz man Del Paxton who’s playing at an LA club. The cocktail waitress, brings him over to Paxton and some cronies, saying, “This kid has actually heard of you.”

Playing catch-up

Posted on: October 5th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Had a great time in London, but the timing meant that I missed quite a bit in the world of sports. So very quickly…

I’ll be doing a full JML season recap in the days to come. For now, know that of the eight teams in the Division Series, five have Jews on their roster including:

  • Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Ian Kinsler, Boston Red Sox
  • Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
  • Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Max Fried, Atlanta Braves

Pederson —  who set a franchise record for most lead-off home runs in the regular season — gave the Dodgers the only run they would need in a 6-0 whitewash over the visiting Atlanta Braves with a two-strike, lead-off home run.

Fried walked one and struck out one in 1.1 innings of relief.

Braun was 2-for-5 as the Brewers took Game One in their NLDS match-up with the visiting Colorado Rockies, 3-2 in 10 innings.

Kinsler and the Sox host the Yankees in Game One tonight. As I post this, Bregman and the Astros are hosting the Cleveland Indians.

Onward…

Hard to believe, but the NHL Season began this week. Here are the Jice-men:

Brandon Leipsic scored what proved to be the game-winning goal for the Vancouver Canucks (1-0-0) in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the visiting Atlanta Flames on Wednesday. The decider can 2:20 into the third period. Leipsic played just 8:27.

Zach Hyman, Toronto Maple Leafs (1-0-0), played 14:55 in a 3-2 overtime win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Jason Demers, Arizona Coyotes (0-1-0), played 23:39 in a 3-0 loss to the Dallas Stars last night.

Jakob Chychrun, also on the Coyotes, has a bad knee and has not been cleared for contact.

Jason Zucker played 19:38 for the Minnesota Wild (0-1-0) in their 4-1 loss to the host Colorado Avalanche last night.

Andre Burakovsky played 14:04 in the Washington Capital’s opener, a 7-0 win over the visiting Boston Bruins, on Wednesday. The next day, the Caps (1-0-1) lost a wild one to the host Pittsburgh Penguins, 7-6, in overtime. He played 10:16 in that one.

Veteran Michael Cammalleri — the leader in goals scored among Jewish NHLers — is currently inactive.

Onward…

Over in the NBA, Omri Casspi has found a home: he is a member, once again, of the Memphis Grizzlies. Their season begins October 17 against the host Indiana Pacers. Unfortunately, the fragile Israeli is hurt again, although it doesn’t look too serious.

Finally…

Over in the NFL…

Week Five began last night as the New England Patriots (3-2, second in the AFC East) beat the Indianapolis Colts, 38-24.  Free safety Nate Ebner appeared on 24 special teams plays (77 percent).

Tackle Mitchell Schwartz appeared on all 78 offensive plays a plus another five (18 percent) for the Kansas City Chiefs (4-0, first in AFC West) in their 27-23 win over the host Denver Broncos.

Tackle Ali Marpet appeared on all 63 offensive plays plus two more (7 percent) on special teams as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2, third in the NFC South) in their 48-10 loss to the host Chicago Bears.

Strong safety Jordan Dangerfield appeared on 21 special teams plays (72 percent) for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1, T-3 AFC North) in their 26-14 loss to the visiting Baltimore Ravens.

Kicker Greg Joseph was 2-for-2 in field goal attempts (25 and 28 yards) for the Cleveland Browns (1-2-1, T-3, AFC North) in their 45-42 overtime loss to the host Oakland Raiders. He also made two PATs.

Rookie QB Josh Rosen made his first NFL start as the Arizona Cardinals dropped to 0-4 (fourth in NFC West) with their 20-17 loss to the visiting Seattle Seahawks. Rosen completed 15 of 27 pass attempts for 180 yards and a touchdown (no interceptions). He also rushed for five yards on one rush.

 

JML update, September 26, 208 (Games of Sept. 25)

Posted on: September 26th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

More home runs.

Ryan Braun clouted a pair (17 and 18) –a solo shot in the top of the first and a two-run bomb in the eighth — to help the Milwaukee Brewers (91-67) to a 12-4 win over the host St. Louis Cardinals.

Alex Bregman had his 31st, one of two hits in five at-bats. It was a two-run variety, coming in the first inning of the Houston Astros’ 4-1 win over the host Toronto Blue Jays (71-87). It was the ‘Stros’ 100th victory of the year against 57 losses. Rowdy Tellez was 0-for-4 for the Jays; Kevin Pillar did not play.

Scott Barancik of the Jewish Baseball News notes that the three taters raised the Jewish total this year to 114, one short of the record of 115 set in two years ago.

Robert Stock had a rare bad outing, blowing a save by giving up two runs on three hits (one strikeout) in the seventh inning as the San Diego Padres (63-95) fell in 12 to the host San Francisco Giants, 5-4.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-4 with a walk as the LA Dodgers (88-70) lost a heart breaker to the host Arizona Diamondbacks on a walk-off, 4-3.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (89-68) in their 7-3 win over the host NY Mets.

Ryan Lavarnway did not appear for the Pittsburgh Pirates (80-76) in their 6-0 win over the host Chicago Cubs.

Ian Kinsler and the Boston Red Sox saw their game against the visiting Baltimore Orioles rained out.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies fell one game under .500 with their 10-3 loss to the host Colorado Rockies.

By the way, in case you don’t hear from me for a bit, I’ll be vacationing in Merry Old England. Sorry to be missing the final week, especially the final game of David Wright’s injury-shortened career. Ah, what might have been…

What Yom Kippur dilemma?

Posted on: September 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

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!

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

Posted on: September 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

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).

   
 

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