Archive for the ‘Misc.’ Category


Jewish sports update, January 29, 2018

Posted on: January 29th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan


No game for Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors. Maybe the extra time off — their next game is tomorrow night at the Utah Jazz — will help him in his post-flu recovery.


No games; All-Star break. Action resumes tomorrow with Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets; Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Calgary Flames; and David Warshofsky and the Colorado Avalanche visiting the Vancouver Canucks.


If I were scheduled to make $20 million this year, I’d be a good sport, too. Ryan Braun says he’ll play anywhere his Milwaukee Brewers want him to. Including second base (?).


Laetitia Beck of Israel placed 10th in the LPGA Pure Silk Bahamas Classic for her second career top-10 finish. She placed eighth in the same event last year. Beck finished at 3-under par, seven strokes behind winner Brittany Lincicome.

Alexander Levy of France finished fourth in the European PGA Tour Dubai Desert Classic. He finished at 19-under par, four strokes behind winner Li Haotong of China.

Thanks to Bob Wechsler for the linx info.


The South African Minister of Sports boycotted the Davis Cup match between his country and Israel Boo-hoo.



Jewish sports update, January 17, 2018

Posted on: January 17th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan


No game for Omri Casspi and the olden state Warriors last night. Tonight they face the Bulls in Chicago. Casspi has missed the last three contests but he should be available tonight.


Zach Hyman played 19:05 without taking a shot on goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-4) fell to the visiting St. Louis Blues, 2-1, in overtime.

Brendan Leipsic was a scratch for the Vegas Golden Knights (29-11-3) in their 1-0 loss to the Nashville Predators.


Jason Demers collected his 11th assist to put the Arizona Coyotes (10-28-8) on the board in the second period of a game they eventually lost to the visiting San Jose Sharks, 3-2. Jakob Chychrun played a team-high 23:25 without taking a shot on goal. How much longer will Demers (right) be on the team?

Another question: How long before the NY Islanders recall problem child Josh Ho-Sang?

No MOT games tonight.


How not to be an example: Kevin Pillar and the dangers of over-strenuous sneezing.


At the Australian Open, Jonathan Ehrlich (Israel) and Daniel Nestor (Canada) lost to Radu Albot (Mondovia) and Hyeon Chung (S. Korea) in men’s doubles, 7-6, 6-3. Madison Brengle (USA) fell to Johanna Konta (United Kingdom), 6-3, 6-1. Denis Shapovalov (Canada)  fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in a tough one: 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6, 7-5.


They made a movie about the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team. How about one an Israeli skeleton athlete?

Personal trainer sued for displaying swastika tattoo at Brazilian Jewish club

Jewish sports update, January 16, 2018

Posted on: January 16th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Featuring games from Jan. 15…


Omri Casspi missed his third straight game after his recent back issues due to as the Golden State Warriors (36-9) beat the host Cleveland Cavaliers, 118-108. Although he had been cleared to play, he was kept out of action as a “healthy scratch.” His next opportunity will be tomorrow night when the Warriors visit the Chicago Bulls.


David Warsofsky is back! Who knew? He’s on the Colorado Avalanche now but he missed last night’s 3-1 win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks as a scratch. He was recently recalled from the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL. Warsofsky made his debut in 2013 with the Boston Bruins. he has also played for the NJ Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins. The 5’9″, 170-pound defenseman has two goals and four assists in 39 career games.

The professional life-span of an athlete is usually pretty brief; hockey players last five-and-a-half years, slightly less than a Major Leaguer which tops the sports world with 5.6 seasons. So it’s never too early to think about your next career, as Andre Burakovsky is doing. #Flipper.

Although the Arizona Coyotes didn’t play last night, you can still read about Jakob Chychrun.

Tonight’s schedule shows Chychrun, Jason Demers, and the rest of the Coyotes hosting the San Jose Sharks; Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting the St. Louis Blues; and Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Nashville Predators


Israel’s Dudi Sela was knocked out of the Australian Open in the first round. Camila Giorgi (Italy) bested Anna Kalinskaya of Russia, 6-4, 6-3. Denis Shapovalov (Canada) beat Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece), 6-1, 6-3, 7-6,


Josh Rosen is becoming the subject of a lot of chatter for the upcoming draft. Could he be a good fit for the Denver Broncos?

An Algemeiner Journal headline: “New York Times Places Patriots’ Jewish Owner in Christian ‘Holy Trinity’.” Hmm.


His post-season may have bought him some time, but how much more patience will the LA Dodgers show for Joc Pederson?

How will the acquisition of Curtis Granderson (one of the class guys in the game and a favorite of mine) impact Kevin Pillar?

ThatBallsOutaHere — a Phillies-centric blog — tells fans why they should be excited about their new manager, Gabe Kapler.


Goldberg, the wrestler, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.






Jewish sports update, January 11, 2018

Posted on: January 11th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

In last night’s action…


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.


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.


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.”


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


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

Source by Naot sandals



Reviewing the Review

Posted on: July 8th, 2016 by Ron Kaplan

http://jewishsportsreview.com/images/jsr.jpgRecently received the July/August issue of the Jewish Sports Review. Highlights include:

  • 2016 College Baseball Teams, for DI, II, III, and NAIA schools
  • 2016 College Softball Review for DI, II, III, and NAIA schools
  • 2016 Men’s College Lacrosse All-America Team
  • 2016 Women’s College All-America Lacrosse Team (DI, II, and III)
  • 2015-16 Girls’ and Boys’ High School All-America Basketball Team
  • Sports Shorts
  • An updated all-time list of Jewish skaters in the NHL. Interesting to see that Andre Burakovsky is still included, despite all the kerfuffle he made a few months ago about not being Jewish.
  • A “Jewish in Sports – Letter “TS'” quiz

Subscriptions are $36 for one year, $60 for two. Given that this kind of information isn’t available in this format anywhere else, it’s a must-read for fans of Jewish sports. Visit their website for more information.

Double standards

Posted on: March 9th, 2016 by Ron Kaplan

Or “Fool me once, shame on you…”

On Monday, Maria Sharapova, arguably one of the greatest stars  on the women’s tennis circuit, announced that she had been taking Meldonium, “a drug originally developed in Latvia for heart patients that aids blood flow and is not approved for sale in the United States,” according to a March 8 New York Times story by Christopher Clarey and Mike Tierney.

Sharapova has been taking Meldonium since 2006. The drug has been recently banned by tennis’ governing body.

The 28-year-old Sharapova admitted using the drug and took “full responsibility.”

Many of the companies which had signed her to lucrative endorsement deals dropped her like a dink shot over the net. According to a story in the business section of today’s Times, Nike, Porsche, and TAG Heuer have either suspended her as a spokesperson or will not renew negotiations for future deals.


As soon as I started the article, I wondered if they would be doing this for a male tennis star in the same situation.  Asked and answered:

Nike has also stood by other athletes in their times of trouble, most notably Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant. Nike signed an endorsement deal with the quarterback Michael Vick in 2011 after he had served time in prison for his involvement in a dogfighting operation. (The company had dropped him in 2007, but only after he admitted in court papers that he funded the dogfighting ring and helped kill dogs that were underperforming.)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lqatJyG8eMM/UDVzsKZtsCI/AAAAAAAAEoM/pC_DIwet8OA/s1600/Sugarpova%2Bmaria%2Bsharapova.jpegPart of my questioning of their the motives had to do with Sharapova’s portrayal as a glamorous (read “sexy“) persona. She has appeared as a swimsuit model in at least a couple of publications. I mean, she’s 28! Over the hill!

Sure enough, later in today’s Times piece:

The rush by companies to distance themselves immediately from Ms. Sharapova is perhaps a product of social media, where outrage spreads like wildfire. (It could also have something do with the fact that Ms. Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, is past the prime of her career and her marketing power may be waning.)

Waning marketing power? Hmm, I wonder what that means?

So who will be the face of women’s tennis now? Serena Williams? Sure she has a lot of deals, at least in the U.S., but nowhere near the international branding as Sharapova. And why do you think that is? Some will point to her figure, which pre-body-shaming shamers characterized as too powerful (read “less feminine”). Others, even more troubling, might speak in code about her race (which creates a triple standard?). Read this! Not that anyone should cry over $13 million, but when Sharapova, who can’t seem to beat Williams much on the court, beats her at the bank by $10 million…


On another double standard note that deals with race and class: compare Sharapova’s situation with the lifetime ban that Major League Baseball imposed on NY Mets reliever Jenrry (pronounced “Henry”) Mejia for violating the sport’s drug policy for a third time. In an article by Ben Berkon in the Times, Mejia claimed he was being excessively punished because he dared challenge a previous suspension.

Mejia said that baseball officials told him that if he appealed the punishment for the second doping offense, “they will find a way to find a third positive,” Mejia, who is from the Dominican Republic, said through an interpreter. “I felt there was a conspiracy against me. I feel that they were trying to find something to bring me down in my career.” [My emphasis]

Reporters often note when a foreign player is speaking through an interpreter (although they rarely identify the specific country). Sometimes I feel this is a fallback position in case something “gets lost in the translation,” as the saying goes. I also believe such a disclaimer can serve to fuel xenophobia, with sports pundits observing that foreign-born players, especially from Latin America, often don’t “get” the “right way” to play “America’s game.” (See Yasiel Puig).

Regardless of race or place of birth, how often have we heard an athlete claim he had done nothing wrong or didn’t know what he was taking or that was clean? Even Ryan Braun fell into this trap, firmly stating his innocence and blaming the driver of the truck that delivered his samples for the positive test results. And you know how that turned out.



You want to believe, but time and again you’re disappointed (see Lance Armstrong.)

Anyway, I expect over the next few days we’ll be hearing more about this from people more eloquent and qualified to offer opinion than I.



Because Jews run the movie industry…

Posted on: February 11th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

Last week I posted this entry on my baseball Bookshelf blog on Tom Shieber’s frame-by-frame analysis to say “yea” or “nay” (sort of) to the urban legend that Gary Cooper’s baseball action while portraying Lou Gehrig was inverted since the actor was a natural righty (I wonder: there’s a scene where Gehrig is signing a ball for sick little Billy in the hospital. It never occurred to me to think about it, but does Cooper sign with his right or left hand?)

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes, Richard Sandomir gives the Shieber investigation major play in this piece, published in the NY Times on Feb. 9.



Posted on: September 16th, 2010 by Ron Kaplan

An occasional round-up of items I forgot to mention:

Wait Wait: Olney make believe

Posted on: April 26th, 2010 by Ron Kaplan

Click on photo to read the book.

Sorry, I can never keep that name straight. The natural tendency is to dyslex it into “only.”

ESPN baseball writer/broadcaster Buster Olney was the guest on the latest Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me‘s “Not My Job” segment.

I felt kind of badly for him. There was zero response to Peter Sagal’s introduction. I mean “crickets.” There was no local connection — Olney grew up in Vermont — nor was he in Chicago, the home base of Wait Wait on assignment. On the other hand, panelist Paula Poundstone asked, “Is there a point at which you’ve said everything that can be said about baseball?” Laughter and applause.

I asked Sagal about it via email. He replied, “No… we’re just baseball dorks, we knew he was a fan of the show, it was baseball season, so we booked him. Besides, his name is ‘Buster.’ Colorful.”

The “Not my job” topic — “Reports of his death are not exaggerated at all” — focused on Samuel Clemens, who died just about 100 years ago. Of course, Clemens –aka Mark Twain — wrote about baseball in his classic, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and elsewhere.

Did Olney win? Listen at the official WWDTM website or download from iTunes to find out.

"Tiger Woods and Chanukah"

Posted on: December 8th, 2009 by Ron Kaplan

You just knew this was out there somewhere, didn’t you?

The essay by Rabbi Benjamin Blech appeared on Aish.com:

The Tiger Woods episode presents a fascinating question that is connected to the heart of Chanukah: Does personal dereliction of character in any way diminish Tiger Wood’s standing as a sports hero? Should morality play any role in the way in which we judge people whose claim to fame is based on their expertise on the playing field? Is marital infidelity a sin serious enough to warrant Nike canceling his endorsement contract because Tiger no longer deserves the status of a hero — a man worthy of being looked up to as a role model?

The debate has passionate spokesmen on both sides of the issue. But for Jews sensitive to the spiritual messages of the holidays we should certainly include in our deliberations a truth central to the holiday of Chanukah that will shortly be with us.

You can read the entire essay here.


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