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


If he can make it there (Ryan Lavarnway)

Posted on: November 9th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Welcome to the Big Apple, Ryan Lavarnway.

The 31-year-old catcher signed with the NY Yankees today. He is expected to serve as “insurance” for Gary Sanchez, who underwent surgery on his non-throwing arm yesterday.

Lavarnway made his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2011 (Kevin Youkilis was a teammate). He has also played for the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Oakland A’s, and the Pittsburgh Pirates where he went 4-for-6 with a double. On Sept. 18, Lavarnway drove in the winning run with a pinch-hit single in the 11th inning, giving Pittsburgh a 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Over seven years, Lavarnway has a .208 batting average with seven home runs and 43 runs batted in. He was a member of the Israel National Team at the 2017 World Baseball Classic where he was named the Pool MVP for the group that included Israel, Korea, Chinese Taipei, and the Netherlands.

Image result for ryan lavarnway Israel

Sanchez is expected to be all right for opening day 2019, so don’t get all excited about Lavarnway getting the starting assignment.

JML Update, World Series Edition: Pre-Game One

Posted on: October 23rd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

One’s in, one’s not.

Ian Kinsler is projected as the starting second baseman for the host Boston Red Sox, while Joc Pederson is not among the opening nine for the LA Dodgers.

This marks the second straight year that two MOTs have opposed each other in baseball’s final showcase. You may recall that Pederson created quite a story in the 2017 Fall Classic, belting three home runs and a couple of doubles in a losing cause against the Houston Astros. Alex Bregman had a couple of long balls himself in that one for the ‘Stros.

Kinsler has appeared in two World Series, 2010 and 2011 while with the Texas Rangers, in which he batted .293 (12-for-41) with no home runs and two RBIs.

Image result for ian kinsler, world series



Welcome back, Brad

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Image result for brad ausmusBrad Ausmus returns to the ranks of field generals in baseball. He was named as skipper of the LA Angels, replacing long-time manager Mike Soscia who had ben with the team since 2000.

Ausmus, 49, led the Detroit Tigers for four seasons (2014-17). He took the team to the post-season in his rookie year, but was eliminated in the LDS series. Some say that his initial campaign was a success (90-72) because he inherited a good squad from his predecessor, Jim Leland. Ausmus finished under .500 in two of the next three years. He served in the front office of the Angels as a special assistant to the general manager.

As a player, Ausmus — primarily a catcher — enjoyed an 18-year career with the Houston Astros, LA Dodgers, Tigers, and San Diego Padres. He appeared in a JML-leading 1,971 games and finished with marks of .251 batting average, 80 home runs, and 607 runs batted in.

Ausmus was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. In a 2009 article published by the Jewish Journal  of Greater Los Angeles, Ausmus — who also managed the Israeli National Team in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers in 2013 — said, “I have had quite a few young Jewish boys who will tell me that I am their favorite player, or they love watching me play or they feel like baseball is a good fit for them because it worked for me, or it worked for Shawn Green or other Jewish players at the Major League level. It has been a sense of pride. If you can have a positive impact on a kid, I’m all for it.”

Image result for brad ausmus israel

JML Update, Playoff Edition: Breaking News — UPDATE

Posted on: October 8th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

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.


JFL update, Week 5

Posted on: October 8th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Greg Joseph‘s 37-yard field goal with two seconds left on the clock in OT gave the Cleveland Browns (2-2-1, T 3 NFC North) a 12-9 win over the visiting Baltimore Ravens. Joseph — who was signed for the second game of the years after the Browns’ opening-day kicker proved to be a deficit — also connected on a 35-yarder in the third quarter but missed from 55 away as regulation ran out. He also clanked one off the goal posts on a PAT attempt.

Josh Rosen made his second NFL start a good one, leading the Arizona Cardinals to their first win of the season (1-4, fourth in NFC West) with a 28-18 win over the host San Francisco 49ers. Rosen completed 10 of 25 pass attempts for 170 yards — 75 of those coming on a TD pass in the first quarter.

Image result for josh rosen

Tackle Mitchell Schwartz once again appeared on every offensive play (70, plus another six (25 percent) on special teams, as the Kansas City Chiefs remained unbeaten (5-0, first in AFC West) took a 30-14 decision over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars.

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.

Strong safety Jordan Dangerfield made one tackle on special teams, participating in 17 plays (63 percent) as the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1, T 3 AFC North) crushed the visiting Atlanta Falcons, 41-17.

On Thursday, the New England Patriots (3-2, 2nd, AFC East) beat the Indianapolis Colts, 38-24.  Free safety Nate Ebner appeared on 24 special teams plays (77 percent).

Tackle Ali Marpet and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2, third, NFC South) were on their bye week.

Just sayin’

Posted on: July 12th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Heading out to New Mexico for a little vacation.

Because it’s not hot enough in New Jersey.


Image result for gone fishin'

You’ll never guess who picked up that JTA story…

Posted on: June 21st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

On the five Jews who hit home runs on the same Friday


To which I have to say,

JML Update, June 14, 2018 (Games of June 13)

Posted on: June 14th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

That’s just great. Richard Bleier was having a great season — minus that momentary blip — for the Baltimore Orioles (19-48), perhaps the one bright spot in a disappointing season. But in yesterday’s 5-1 loss to the visiting Boston Red Sox, the lefty reliever left the game with an apparent lat injury after retiring the two batters he faced. Danny Valencia, again batting cleanup, had one of the team’s four hits. Hey, Mr. Announcer, how about paying attention instead of talking about hats: the ball did not hit him in the ankle, as you proclaimed. Bleier was scheduled to undergo an MRI today. According to EutawStreetReports.com (an Orioles-centric blog), “With just under seven weeks until the trade deadline, there’s virtually no chance a team will be able to deal for the injured left-hander now.”

Ian Kinsler hit his 12th double, his only hit in four at-bats as the host Seattle Mariners scopred two in the ninth to beat the LA Angels (37-32), 8-6. Kinsler also walked a scored a run.LA Angels

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (30-38 ) lost to the host Tampa Bay Rays, 1-0, on a walk-off single with two outs in the ninth.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-3 for the Milwaukee Brewers (41-27), who also enjoyed a 1-0 victory over the visiting Chicago Cubs.

Joc Pederson entered the game for the LA Dodgers when Matt Kemp was ejected after this play at the plate. Pederson went 0-for-3 but the Dodgers (35-32) won the affair, 3-2, in 11 innings. According to JewishBaseballNews.com, for the moment Pederson has more home runs in June with seven than any other player

Alex Bregman was given a rare day off as the Houston Astros (44-25) beat the host Oakland As, 13-5.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (34-31), lost to the visiting Colorado Rockies, 7-2. Now that the Phils are having some problems again, there are impatient concerns about Kapler’s methods, although he did get this vote of confidence from the team’s general manager.

The Atlanta Braves swept the bumbling NY Mets yesterday and there’s no immediate need, but I’m hoping to see Max Fried back in the bigs soon. Yesterday he matched a career-high with seven innings and set a career best with 11 strikeouts, allowing just three hits and one earned run as the Gwinnett Stripers beat the Norfolk Tides, 10-2..

And finally, we’re all excited about the prospect of a new JML, but with all dues respect to the St. Louis Jewish Light, their headline — “Size didn’t prevent baseball whiz from making Major League” — is inaccurate. Michael Wielansky, the young man in question, hasn’t made anything yet; he was simply drafted in the 18th round of the MLB draft by the Houston Astros. And since the shortstop is currently 6’2″, 175,  I wonder where the size factor plays in on this. Yes, at one point he was quite short and small — weren’t we all? — but that’s no longer the case, making the “David and Goliath” theme a bit moot.

Michael Wielansky

Jice-men finale: Caps win Stanley Cup

Posted on: June 8th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

For the first time in their 43-year history, the Washington Capitols have won the NHL Championship, beating the upstart expansion Vegas Golden Knights last night, 4-3.

Andre Burakovsky — who had 9:38 of ice time — assisted on the game-winner by Lars Eller at 12:53 in the third period. It was his fourth assist in the championship round, whiuch Washington won, four games to one.

There’s still a question as to his Jewish identity. He has said he was not, but the Jewish Sports Review maintains he is. Robert Wechsler sent me this email regarding Jews on Stanley Cup-winning teams:

If we’re accepting Burakovsky as Jewish …


Sam Rothschild — 1926 Montreal Maroons

Alex Levinsky — 1932 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1938 Chicago Black Hawks
Larry Zeidel — 1952 Detroit Red Wings
Mathieu Schneider — 1993 Montreal Canadiens
Mike Hartman — 1994 New York Rangers
Andre Burakovsky — 2018 Washington Capitals
Cecil Hart — 1930 and 1931 Montreal Canadiens

Do you feel a draft?

Posted on: June 7th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

JewishBaseballNews.com offers this list of Jewish players taken in the recent MLB draft:

  1. Image result for a.j. bregmanNoah Davis (P), UC-Santa Barbara, Cincinnati Reds (Round 11/#319 overall)
  2. Zack Kone (SS), Duke University, Pittsburgh Pirates (13/384)
  3. Michael Wielansky (SS), College of Wooster, Houston Astros (18/552)
  4. Simon Rosenblum-Larson (P), Harvard University, Tampa Bay Rays (19/570)
  5. Jake Miednik (P), Florida Atlantic, Cleveland Indians (20/613)
  6. Albee Weiss (C), Cal State-Northridge, Minnesota Twins (23/694)
  7. Ben Gross (P), Princeton University, Houston Astros (34/1032)
  8. A.J. Bregman (P), Albuquerque Academy, Houston Astros (35/1062)
  9. Itamar Steiner (P), Niles North High School, Chicago Cubs (40/1208)

JBN points out, “The most recognizable name in the group is A.J. Bregman, a high-school pitcher and brother of Houston Astros star Alex Bregman. If he signs, Houston will have two Bregmans in its franchise.”


©2018 Kaplan's Korner | Designed by Access Computer Technology