Archive for the ‘“Ripped from the headlines”’ Category


A shande: Blue Jays suspend Pillar for homophobic slur

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

The Toronto Blue Jays suspended outfielder Kevin Pillar for yelling a homophobic slur at Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte during Wednesday’s 8-4 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves.

From the NY Times article:

Pillar was angry because he thought Motte had quick-pitched him to get a strikeout that ended the seventh inning. Replays appeared to show Pillar yelling the slur toward the mound.

After what he described as a sleepless night, Pillar acknowledged wrongdoing.

“I regret saying it,” Pillar told reporters at SunTrust Park a few hours before the final game of a four-game series against the Braves. “I’m going to use myself as an example of how there are words out there you can’t use. It’s not a word I use ever.”

(I also find that excuse a bit ridiculous: if it’s not a word that you use ever, why did you use it now?)

This truly is a shande because all it takes is one thoughtless remark to ruin an otherwise quality reputation and several outlets are jumping on the bandwagon to condemn Pillar, including ESPN.  And I’m sorry, if he was suspended for saying it, how can you say he “allegedly” made the comment. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have been suspended. Must be a legal thing.

Mish-Mashing (Trying to catch up)

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

Things have been a bit hectic of late, what with looking for a new job and dealing with the release of the new book. So here’s a quick look back and what we (meaning I) have missed over the last several days.

Want a little Jice in that?

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

The hockey season maybe be over for our boys, but there’s still news to be found.

Say a mishaberach for Jason Zucker. The Minnesota Wild right-winger underwent surgery for a sports hernia yesterday. The recovery time for that is two to three months, which would put him in training camp territory.


It’s up to you, Bisnowaty and Marks

Posted on: May 1st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Adam BisnowatyIf they can make it there, they can make it anywhere. I’m talking about Adam Bisnowaty and Gabe Marks, a couple of  landsmen who were signed by the New York teams over the weekend.

Bisnowaty, a 6’6″ and 304 pound offensive lineman from Pitt, was the final pick by the New York Giants and 202nd overall selection. He went in the sixth round, which was held on Saturday.

From NFL.com:

Four-year starter with plenty of toughness. Appeared to struggle with an athletic decline in 2016, which could be due to his injury history.

In a phone booth, Bisnowaty can handle himself with pure brawn and power, but once he’s forced to play in space, his athletic limitations become more pronounced. He’ll likely have to move to the right side, but athletic opponents will always cause him problems. His ceiling could be as a low-end starter while his floor is fighting for a roster spot within a couple of years.

Washington State Cougars wide receiver Gabe Marks (9).Wide receiver Marks signed with the New York Jets following his record-setting career with the Washington State Cougars. Although he was not selected in the draft, the Jets must have thought enough of him to grab him immediately after the final selection had been made.

According to a story in the Seattle Times, Marks went undrafted because, among other things, NFL teams thought his PAC-12 statistics were “inflated” and he lacked “standout measureables.” In other words, the “undersized” Marks (5’11”, 189 pounds) was ranked lower than a lot of other wide receivers.

Here’s hoping they both make it. That way there will always be a MOT at the Meadowlands.

Shameless self-promotion once again

Posted on: April 28th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Sorry, but you have to strike while the iron is hot…

I’m not much for self-promotion, but the older I get, the less I care what people think of me.

That said, if anyone is looking for a guest on their baseball, Jewish, or Jewish sports-related show/podcast/article/etc., in the words of one of the lesser-known Beatles songs, “You Know My Name (Look up The Number).” One of the unfortunate aspects of the story is that some of the problems that plagued the U.S. and the world in 1938 have returned. So maybe I shouldn’t be smiling here.

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

Posted on: April 21st, 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.

Let the interviews begin (shameless-self promotion)

Posted on: April 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Had a couple this morning about the Greenberg book, one with WKNY in Kingston, NY, and this, from WKLB-FM in Lafayette, Louisiana.

I wonder what the Jewish population is down there?


Jewps/Jice update, Games of April 12, 2017

Posted on: April 13th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan


Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild find themselves down a game in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs following their 2-1 overtime loss to the visiting St. Louis Blues. Zucker took six shots on goal in 19:47. Game two is scheduled for tomorrow night.

Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs play their Eastern Conference opener against the host Washington Capitals tonight.


Omri CasspiIt ended not with a bang but with a whimper for Omri Casspi and the Minnesota Timberwolves, who finish their season with a 31-51 record following their 123-118 loss to the host Houston Rockets. Casspi played 19 minutes off the bench, scoring seven points with three rebounds and two assists; he was the only sub for the Wolves to finish with a minus-rating (-7).

Between injuries and coaches’ decisions, Casspi appeared in just 36 games: 22 for the Sacramento Kings, one for the New Orleans Pelicans, and 14 for the Timberwolves. His per game averages: 17.1 minutes, 3.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, and one assist. Here’s wishing him better luck next year.

Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban thought it would be a sweet idea to sign recently-retired Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback and uber hoops fan Tony Romo to a one-day contract but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said no. As it was Romo participated in the Mav’s shoot-around before their final game and “suited up” for a pregame practice. The team finished the year at 33-49, so it’s not like anything was really on the line.

Image result for mark cuban, tony romo





Lest we forget: Don Rickles

Posted on: April 6th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

The acerbic comedian died today at the age of 90.

A hardcore baseball fan, he was frequently seen at those celebrity games as chronicled in Joe Siegman’s book, Bats, Balls, and Hollywood Stars: Hollywood’s Love Affair with Baseball, released in 2014.

Rickles enjoyed talking about the game. Here he speaks with David Letterman in 1998. And here he talks about the legendary Vin Scully.

So long, Mr. Potato Head.

Let the games begin: Opening Day for the JMLs

Posted on: April 4th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Here we go again.

I was tickled to see that Ty Kelly was added to the Mets opening day roster on April 2. Of course, it took an injury to another player for that to happen, and you never want to see that. He didn’t get into yesterday’s 6-0 won over the visiting Atlanta Braves in which the Mets scored six times in the seventh behind the pitched of Noah Syndergaard.

Mazel of the day: Joc Pederson. The Dodgers outfielder hit the first grand slam of the campaign and drove in another run on a sacrifice fly to propel LA to a 14-3 win over the visiting San Diego Padres. The home run broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning.

Shande of the day: Scott Feldman was given the coveted opening day starting assignment for the Cincinnati Reds. I don’t know what that says about the state of their pitching staff. (although according to Dave Clark at Cincinnati.com, Feldman isn’t the worst opening day hurler in the history of the franchise, although he’s pretty close.) Feldman was knocked around, giving up three runs on seven hits including two home runs in a 4-3 loss to the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. Giving up the long ball has always been a part of his problem. On the plus side, Feldman did strike out six in his 4.2 innings of work.

As for the rest:

  • Alex Bregman singled in three at-bats, walked once, stole a base, and scored one run in the Houston Astros’ 3-0 win over the visiting Seattle Mariners. Danny Valencia was 0-3 with a walk and a strikeout for the Mariners.
  • Ryan Braun was 0-4 with a walk and two strikeouts in the Milwaukee Brewers’ 7-5 loss to the visiting Colorado Rockies. This might be an interesting year for the Brew Crew. According to an article from the Stevens Point Journal, 17 players will be making the major league minimum salary.
  • Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 with a walk as the Toronto Blue Jays fell in 11 innings to the host Baltimore Orioles, 3-2, on a walk-off home run by Mark Trumbo. Pillar had been working on his bat control; maybe he just needs a better pair of gloves? So far, no spectacular catches like this one.
  • Craig Breslow did not appear for the Minnesota Twins in their 7-1 win over the visiting Kansas City Royals.
  • Ian Kinsler will have to wait another day. The game between his Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox was cancelled because of bad weather.

Unfortunately, Ryan Lavarnway could not stick with the Oakland As, despite a good showing both for the and Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic. He was reassigned to the minor league camp before opening day.

Sam Fuld and Jason Marquis, who were both hoping to use the WBC as a showcase, drew no takers.


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