Archive for the ‘Jews and baseball’ Category


JML update, weekend edition (May 12-14)

Posted on: May 15th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Mazel of the weekend: Kevin Pillar was 2-for-3 with stolen base No. 5 on Friday as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the visiting Seattle Mariners (17-21), 4-0. Saturday was even better: 3-for-4 with his 11th double, two runs scored, one RBI, and his sixth stolen base in a 7-2 win. But Sunday was the best. He had just one hit but it was a big one: a walk-off home run to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 win and the series sweep. He also made another sensational grab in the outfield. Toronto has won five in a row and is 17-21 after a awful start.

The Mariners’ Danny Valencia had a double in four at-bats on Friday; 1-for-4 with a run scored, and an error on Saturday; and again 1-for-4 on Sunday.

Mixed mazel of the weekend: He wasn’t up very long and he wasn’t down very long. The Baltimore Orioles (22-14) promoted pitcher Richard Bleier on Sunday and put him to work immediately. Not to the good, unfortunately. He was the loser in a 9-8 decision against the host Kansas City Royals. Bleier allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk, including a solo home run, in two innings. I wouldn’t be surprised if they send him back down soon.

Bad mazel: Scott Feldman pitched another great game — seven innings, seven hits, two runs, a walk, and two strikeouts. But the game between his Cincinnati Reds (19-18) and the host San Francisco Giants went another 10 innings and ended in a 3-2 loss for the visitors.

Very bad mazel: The Milwaukee Brewers placed Ryan Braun on the disabled list on Friday with a strained left calf. Turns out they didn’t need him, sweeping the suddenly terrible again NY Mets. In the Sunday game, the Brewers (21-17) overcame a 7-1 deficit, scoring 10 runs over the sixth, seventh, and eighth inning for an 11-9 win.

Alex Bregman got to play against the NY Yankees on the day his hero, Derek Jeter, had his number retired. (That does it for the single digits for the Bronx Bombers. All that’s left is a big fat zero, literally.) The teams had to play a doubleheader on Sunday since Saturday’s contest was a washout. Bregman was hitless in four at-bats in the opener, a 10-6 loss. In the nightcap following the ceremonies, he hit his first grand slam, his sole hit in four at-bats as the Astros (26-12) earned a split with the 11-7 win. He was 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored, and his third stolen base in Friday’s 5-1 Astros win.

Joc Pederson hit his fifth double and also singled in five at-bats, scoring a run and driving in another as the LA Dodgers beat the host Colorado Rockies, 6-2. He entered the Saturday game as a pinch-runner in the sixth and was 0-for-1 the rest of the way in a 4-0 win. On Sunday he was 0-for-3 with a walk and came out of the game for pinch hitter in the eight as the Dodgers (22-16) lost the finale, 9-6. Pederson is even dangerous when he doesn’t put the ball in fair territory.

Ian Kinsler was 0-for-4 on Friday as the host LA Angels trounced his visiting Detroit Tigers, 7-0. He was 1-for-3 with a walk on Saturday and was caught stealing for the first time this year in . He was 1-for-4 on Sunday with just his fourth double in a 4-1 loss (18-18). Brad Ausmus got a mention other than for managing the team.

Craig Breslow threw one scoreless inning for the Minnesota Twins ( 19-15) on Sunday in an 8-3 loss to the host Cleveland Indians, his only appearance for the weekend.


JML Update, Games of May 11, 2017

Posted on: May 12th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Mazel of the Day: Ian Kinsler returned to action after some hamstring problems and went 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored to help the Detroit Tigers (17-16) to a 7-1 decision over the host LA Angels. He also made his first error of the season, but we won’t dwell on that, especially in light of this play.

Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, who idolized Derek Jeter growing up, wears No. 2 to honor the former Yankee captain.Alex Bregman singled and doubled in four at-bats as the Houston Astros held off the host NY Yankees, 3-2. The Astros own the best record in the Majors at 24-11. There was a nice story in the NY Daily News about why he wears#2 on his jersey.

Kevin Pillar was 1-3 with a walk and scored twice as the Toronto Blue Jays (14-21) beat Danny Valencia and the visiting Seattle Mariners (17-18), 7-1. Valencia was 1-for-3 in defeat. Will Pillar have to compete for the title of Superman with Sam Fuld? This story indicates the St. Louis Cardinals are showing interest in Super Sam. (HT to Ephraim Moxson and Scott Barancik).

Joc Pederson led off once again for the LA Dodgers (20-15), who fell to the host Colorado Rockies, 10-7. Pederson was 1-for-4 with a walk.

Ryan Braun did not appear for the Milwaukee Brewers (18-17) who lost to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 4-1. After missing several games due to an arm problem, he’s now on the shelf because of a calf issue which may be serious enough to warrant a stint on the disabled list.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Minnesota Twins (17-14) in their 7-6 win over the host Chicago White Sox.

Scott Feldmancoming off one of the best games of his career — takes the hill for the Cincinnati Reds (19-15) as they visit the San Francisco Giants.


JML update, Games of May 10, 2017

Posted on: May 11th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

States courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Mazel of the day: Danny Valencia was 4-for-6 with two singles, a double (#5), and a home run (#4), two runs scored, and two RBI as the Seattle Mariners reached the .500 mark (17-17) with an 11-6 win over the host Philadelphia Phillies. That’s the second time this month Valencia has had four hits in a game and is one of just five players with two or more four-hit games this season. He owns a .371 batting average in May and he’s still just batting .243 on the season.

Ryan Braun was 1-2 with a walk, a run scored, and a strikeout in a 7-4 win for the Milwaukee Brewers (18-16) over the visiting Boston Red Sox. But he had to come out of the game in the fifth inning for a pinch runner because of “calf tightness.” From the MLB.com game report: “The Red Sox tied the game at 2 on an odd-looking play in the fourth that offered the first clue Braun was ailing. With two outs and Vazquez at second base after a double, Mookie Betts singled to left field, where Braun made a second straight start after missing most of the previous week with a flexor strain in his throwing elbow. An MRI over the weekend was encouraging enough to allow Braun to return to action, but when he flipped the baseball back to the infield instead of throwing home for a play on Vazquez, it was clear he was less than 100 percent.” Great.

 Alex Bregman was 0-for-4 with a strikeout as the Houston Astros (23-11) beat the visiting Atlanta Braves, 4-2. Thus endeth the 10-game hitting streak.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-4 as well as the Toronto Blue Jays (13-21) earned a walk-off 8-7 win against the visiting Cleveland Indians. He did score a run but made no “web gems.” And is this the best they could do re: Pillar action figure? Really?

Joc Pederson  —  batting in the leadoff spot — was also 0-for-4 as the LA Dodgers (20-14) won their fifth in a row, beating the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-2.

Ian Kinsler did not appear for the Detroit Tigers (16-16) in their 7-1 loss to the host Arizona Diamondbacks. Maybe today? You don’t want to bring a guy back too early with an injury like this where the least little thing can send him down a path to sports oblivion. Look what happened to Yoenis Cespedes.

Craig Breslow and the Minnesota Twins saw (16-14) their game with the White Sox in Chicago postponed by rain. Scott Feldman and the Cincinnati Reds (18-15) had the day off.




JML Update, games of May 9, 2017

Posted on: May 10th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Kevin Pillar accounted for one of the Toronto Blue Jays’ four hits in their 6-0 shutout at the hands of the visiting Cleveland Indians. Sorry, no highlight reel defensive plays in this one as h. The Jays are 12-21.

Ryan Braun doubled (#6) in four at-bats and scored a run for the Milwaukee Brewers (17-16)  in an 11-7 win over the visiting Boston Red Sox. Here’s an interesting story about the new 10-day disabled list (it used to be 15 days). When a player has a relatively mild injury — not enough to warrant putting him on the 10-day list — how can that affect a team’s make-up?

Alex Bregman hit his first triple of the year for the Houston Astros (22-11), drove in one, and scored another in their 8-3 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves.

Danny Valencia was 0-for-4 with two walks as the Seattle Mariners (16-17) battled back from a five run deficit to beat the host Philadelphia Phillies, 10-9.

Joc Pederson was 1-for-5 as the LA Dodgers (19-14) beat the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3, in 10 innings. Dodgers’ starting pitcher Jose Urias no-hit the Pirates for six innings.

Contrary to expectations, Ian Kinsler did not return to the Detroit Tigers  (16-15) on Tuesday. They beat the host Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-3.

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (18-15) in their 5-3 win over the visiting NY Yankees. Craig Breslow did not make it into the Minnesota Twins’ 7-2 win over the host Chicago White Sox. The Twins are 16-14.



JML update, games of May 8, 2017

Posted on: May 9th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Only two MOTs in action last night,  but it’s quality, not quantity.

Joc Pederson drove in the first run for the LA Dodgers (18-14) against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates with a single in the first. He also drove in the 10th run on a double in the fourth en route to a 12-1 victory. Pederson added another single and scored twice. It was his first three-hit game of the season.

Kevin Pillar had a nice game, too, although he didn’t get any hits (0-for-three with a walk and a run scored) as the Toronto Blue Jays (12-20) beat the visiting Cleveland Indians, 4-2. His contribution was another sparkling outfield play that saved two runs. He was in the air a long time, wasn’t he? Sports Illustrated is already pushing it for “catch of the year.”

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (17-15) in their 10-4 loss to the visiting NY Yankees.

Everyone else had the day/night off.

I guess if Ryan Braun hadn’t shot off his mouth about not taking PED, people wouldn’t still be talking about it today. After all, he’s not the only one who did it (not that that’s any excuse). He was expected to return to action today for the Milwaukee Brewers, as was Ian Kinsler for the Detroit Tigers.

Finally, here’s Jewish Baseball News’ Minor-League Monday, brought to you on a Still-Timely Tuesday.



JML update, weekend edition (May 5-7): Scott Feldman shines

Posted on: May 8th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

It’s been a rough few days for the boys, several of whom have been hit by the injury bug.

Ian Kinsler and Ryan Braun missed all of the Detroit Tigers’ and Milwaukee Brewers’ games, respectively, over the weekend. Kinsler is suffering from a slightly pulled hammy (anathema to the MOTs) while Braun is dealing with a sore wing. Neither were put on the disabled list, which meant their ball clubs have been short a player during this time. The Tigers (15-15) lost two of three to the host Oakland A’s while the Brewers (15-17) dropped two of three to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Braun might be back as early as Tuesday, the same “prognosis” as Kinsler.

Joc Pederson, who rejoined the LA Dodgers (17-14) on Friday following his stint on the DL, was 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout in his return, an 8-3 win over the host San Diego Padres. On Saturday, Pederson entered the game as a defensive replacement, was hit by a pitch, and scored a run as the Dodgers add a deuce to the previous day’s score, beating the Padres 10-2. The Sunday game was postponed by rain, contrary to the song.

Major Mazel goes to Scott Feldman who pitched perhaps one of the best games of his career yesterday, blanking the visiting San Francisco Giants for his third career shutout, 4-0. Feldman, who’s alternated between decent and terrible starts for as long as I can remember, struck out five and gave up four hits and a walk for his for second win against three losses as the Cincinnati Reds (17-14) completed the sweep. It was their first complete game of the year

Kevin Pillar hit his ninth double and singled twice, with a run scored and an RBI, to help the Toronto Blue Jays (11-20) double up on the host Tampa Bay Rays, 8-4, on Friday. He was 0-for-4 the next day in a 6-1 loss, then finished up the series by hitting his 10th two-bagger and scored the game-tying run in what would end as a 2-1 Blue Jays win. It was his only hit in three official at-bats. He also walked and stole his fourth base.

Danny Valencia was 1-for-6 in the Seattle Mariners’ 3-1, 13-inning loss to the visiting Texas Rangers on Friday. He singled in four at-bats the next day, scoring one run and driving in two in an 8-4 win on Saturday and appeared as a pinch-hitter on Sunday, knocking in two more runs to tie the Rangers, 3-3. The M-Men (15-17) went on to win, 4-3, on a Kyle Seager home run in the eighth. He didn’t make the start because of — you guessed it — a slight hamstring issue. He is batting over .350 over his last nine games.

Alex Bregman sat out Friday’s game for the Houston Astros (21-11), a 7-5, 10-inning win over the host LA Angels. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Saturday in a 2-1 loss and 1-for-3 with his sixth double and a run scored in a 5-3 win on Sunday. The Astros are tied with the Washington Nationals for most wins in the Majors.

The Boston Red Sox beat up on their host, the Minnesota Twins (15-13), on Saturday, 11-1. Craig Breslow came away unscathed, allowing one hit in an inning of relief. It was his only appearance on the weekend.


Honorable menschen: ‘Hank Greenberg in 1938’ at Bergino

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Had a grand old time in my return visit to the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, Jay Goldberg, proprietor, to discuss the new book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

Goldberg is a real mensch and a friend to the author. He holds these “salons” frequently and the audience that shows up is always welcoming, knowledgeable, and inquisitive (if sometimes challenging in the question-and-answer portion of the program).

Happy to say it was standing room only with new friends and old ones such as Perry Barber, a professional umpire and former Jeopardy champion, and Lee Lowenfish, educator and author of several baseball books including the award-winning Branch Rickey: Baseball’s Ferocious Gentleman.

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Not only did we sell out of books, but I came away with some lovely parting gifts. I feel like I want to write another baseball book just so I can go back to Bergino.

You can get an idea of the festivities from this video, which for the sake of brevity (and bandwidth) edits out a lot of the great Q&A:


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.





JML Update, games of May 4, 2017

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Just three MOTs in action last night:

Mazel of the day: is this a turnaround or a tease? Danny Valencia had four hits, including his third home run of the season — a solo upper deck job —  to lead the Seattle Mariners (13-16) to an 11-3 bludgeoning over the visiting LA Angels. he also had two run-scoring singles.

Craig Breslow pitched two innings in relief for the Minnesota Twins, giving up two hits, including a solo home run. He also struck out two as the Twins (14-12) lost to the visiting Oakland A’s, 8-6.

Alex Bregman singled in three official at-bats and also walked twice for the Houston Astros (19-10) in their 10-4 loss to the visiting Texas Rangers. Bregman also made his third error of the season.

Ian Kinsler and the Detroit Tigers (14-13) saw their game against the visiting Cleveland Indians rained out. Good thing; he could use the extra rest to get over his hamstring tweak.

Ryan Braun, still nursing a bad back, did not play for the Milwaukee Brewers (15-14) in their 5-4 win over the host St. Louis Cardinals. Seems that the injury has an affect on his throwing. Too bad the Brewers aren’t in the AL any more.

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (14-14) in their 4-2 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. And by the way, starting pitcher Tim Adelman? Not a MOT.

Kevin Pillar shoots a flare for a single in the first inning of the April 28 game against the Tampa Bay Rays at the Rogers Centre.Kevin Pillar and the Toronto Blue Jays (9-19) had the day off, as did Joc Pederson and the LA Dodgers (15-14). Pederson is expected to rejoin the team today after a stint on the disable list with an upper leg injury. Could Pillar, right,  join Pederson (and Braun) on the trading block? Maybe he should go back to hockey.

The Baltimore Orioles sent Richard Bleier back to the minors yesterday. He made one appearance during his brief time with the team, tossing four innings of relief on Wednesday when starting pitcher Kevin Gausman was ejected for hitting a Red Sox batter.Here Tigers manager Brad Ausmus picks sides in that incident.

In non-JML news, Rabbi Jason Miller, who helped me resurrect (can I use that word?) Kaplan’s Korner after I left the NJ Jewish News in September, conducted this interview with Peter Kurz, president of the Israel Association of Baseball, on that nation’s amazing run at the recent World Baseball Classic.


JML Update, Games of May 3, 2017

Posted on: May 4th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Open the door, Richard: Richard Bleier made his first appearance of the year for the Baltimore Orioles. He was pressed into service in the second inning after starting pitcher Kevin Gausman was ejected for hitting Boston Red Sox batter Xander Bogaerts on a very questionable decision by the umpire. Bleier did pretty well, considering the emergency nature of his service: four innings, five hits, one walk, and three runs (only one of which as earned). He also started a nifty double play. The O’s lost to the host Sawx, 4-2, with Gausman getting the decision.

Alex Bregman singled twice in four at bats, scored one run, and drove in another as the Houston Astros (19-9) crushed the visiting Texas Rangers, 10-1. But he’s still getting grief about comments he made about the other Lone Star State team.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and a strikeout as the Toronto Blue Jays (9-19) lost to the host NY Yankees, 8-6.

Danny Valencia was 1-for-4 with a run scored as the Seattle Mariners (12-16) held off the visiting LA Angels, 8-7.

Ian Kinsler might be taking Joc Pederson‘s place on the Jewish disabled list. He came out of the game with a hamstring injury in the seventh in of the game between hi Detroit Tigers and the visiting Cleveland Indians. Kinsler was 0-for-3 as the Tigers (14-13) lost, 3-2. The Detroit News thinks Kinsler is starting to come out of his slump, but the numbers don’t back that up. Pederson’s Dodgers fell to the visiting San Francisco Giants, 4-1, in 11 innings. He is expected to be activated tomorrow.

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (13-14) in their 7-2 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Minnesota Twins (14-11) in their 7-4 win over the visiting Oakland A’s. The Twins move into a first-place tie with the Indians in the AL Central.

The St. Louis Cardinals had another game postponed by rain, this one against Ryan Braun and the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, which is a good thing; gives him more time to recover from his latest injury.




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