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


Lest we forget: Margaret Bergmann-Lambert

Posted on: July 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

Margaret Bergmann-Lambert, the champion high-jumper who was banned by Hitler’s Germany from competing in the 1936 Olympics, died yesterday at the age of 103.

She achieved new notoriety several years ago when the Olympics were held once again in Germany

Ira Berkow, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, wrote her obituary for The New York Times which noted “Ms. Lambert’s story was also told in a 2004 HBO documentary, “Hitler’s Pawn,” and, in partly fictionalized form, in the 2009 German film “Berlin 36.” A memoir, “By Leaps and Bounds,” was published in 2005.”


Deutschland Leichtathletik Gretel Bergmann (picture-alliance/dpa)

Good show, old chap

Posted on: July 7th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

I don’t follow his career enough to know, but I’m guessing yesterday’s performance at Wimbledon was one of the highlights of Dudi Sela’s career. The 32-year-old Israeli upset the USA’s John Isner — ranked #23 in the world — 6-7, 7-6, 5-7, 7-6 and 6-3 to advance in the prestigious tournament.

Sela — one of three participants from Israel — faces  Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria tomorrow morning. In the meantime, here’s a picture for you. Sela stands 5’9″, compared with Isner’s 6’10”. He also faced (if that’s the right word),  another towering opponent, 6’11’ Ivo Karlovic at the Claro Open in 2014.

john isner dudi sela 2


This just in: Oakland A’s call up Ryan Lavarnway

Posted on: July 5th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

It may only be for a few days while Josh Phegley goes on paternity leave, but Ryan Lavarnway — who was a steadying influence on Team Israel for the World Baseball Classic — gets at least a cup of coffee in the bigs.

Image result for ryan lavarnway, craig breslowHe was last on the Major League scene as a member of the Atlanta Braves in 2015. He has a lifetime slash mark of .227/.311/.394 over 134 games in parts of five seasons. Lavarnway made his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2011 and also played very briefly for the Baltimore Orioles to begin the 2015 campaign. he and Craig Breslow formed an All-Yale battery when they were teammates with the Sox from 2012-14.

He was batting .274 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 62 games with Oakland’s AAA affiliate, the Nashville Sounds.


Image result for ryan lavarnway, Israel


Catching up

Posted on: July 5th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

As you no doubt know, there has been a marked drop-off in posts here in the past few months as I looked for a job. Finally got one, which also impacted the time I have for blogging. I won’t go into details now, but suffice it to say it’s not a normal nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday schedule. I could be working 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on day and 4 to midnight the next. Basically all I have time for is the Jewish Major Leaguer updates but I hope to get a handle on all this soon.

Actually let’s start now with a bit of catching up.

Probably the biggest news of the off-seasons is that the NJ Devils parted ways with Michael Cammalleri, who holds the record among Jewish NHLers in terms of points scored. The 35-year old left-winger made his debut in 2002 with the Los Angeles Kings so it’s fitting that he has rejoined them for what might be his last hurrah, signing a one year-$1 million contract. In between, Cams has played for the Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Flames again, and Devils. In 890 regular season contests, he has 287 goals and 326 assists for 613 total points, so that 600 plus a bar mitzvah.

Right to PlayIn other hockey news, Zach Hyman kept himself busy with author appearances for his kids’ books, The Bambino and Me and Hockey Hero. The center is entering his third season with the Toronto Maple Leafs; perhaps, as he is a restricted free agent.

Jason Zucker, the Minnesota Wild’s star forward, co-hosted the ninth annual Champions for Children Celebrity Golf Classic with Vikings’ tight end Kyle Rudolph late last month.

Let’s just keep going, shall we?

In the NFL, Nate Ebner got this season review on the New England Patriots website. he’s still getting mileage for his rugby performance at the last Olympics. The Pats Pulpit portion of the SB Nation family deemed him the best tackle on special teams last year (although they might be a wee bit biased). A similar portion of SBN that focuses on the Arizona Sun Devils posted this article about former QB Mike Bercovici, now a member of the LA Chargers (wow, does that sound strange). The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expecting a bigger role from newly-designated center Ari Marpet, but Adam Bisnowaty isn’t getting that kind of love from the NY Giants as he prepares for his first camp.

Over on the hard court, Omri Casspi gets his big break? He signed with the world championship Golden State Warriors for what Ha’aretz, one of the leading newspapers in Israel, described as “only a modest $2.1 million.” Wish I could be so modest. Casspi split time between three teams last year, so four clubs in two seasons has to be some kind of record, at least for Jewish players.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Gal Mekel‘s “career has been on a downward spiral since he was cut by the Dallas Mavericks.” He was recently dismissed by Maccabi Tel Aviv.

I think that about gets us caught up on the recent older news. I’ll be posting about the Maccabiah Games, of course, and whatever is going on in Wimbledon in the days ahead. Stay tuned.

The next biggest (Israeli) thing in the NBA?

Posted on: June 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Mazel tov to T.J. Leaf.

With their first pick, the Indiana Pacers selected the Israeli-born Leaf — “a fierce but quiet competitor” — in the recent NBA draft.

Leaf, a 6’10” power forward, averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in his only season for UCLA. He was the 18th overall pick.

Omri Casspi, the first Israeli taken by an NBA team back in 2009, is currently with the Minnesota Timberwolves after debiting with the Sacramento Kings in 2009. he also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, returned to the Kings, and the New Orleans Pelicans before arriving in Minny. He has endured his share of injuries and disappointments; last year he split time between three franchises, all the while being praised as a heady player. So what gives?

Gal Mekel is the third Israeli to play in the NBA, albeit very briefly.

Fore times mazel for Daniel Berger

Posted on: June 12th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Daniel berger-golf“Fore” being the traditional warning call in golf, four being the number of rounds in a tournament, and 18 — chai — being the number of holes per round. It all added up to a win for Daniel Berger at the St. Jude Classic, which he won for the second straight year.

Berger, 24, was ranked 43 in the world prior to the Memphis-based event. No doubt he’ll move up a bit.


Zut alors! Only one Israeli in French Open?

Posted on: June 2nd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

So it seems: Jonathan Ehrlich and his doubles partner, Andre Sa of Brazil, were eliminated yesterday in straight sets by Santiago Gonzalez (Mexico) and Donald Young (USA), 6-3, 7-6.

Absent were the usual suspects such as Dudi Sela and Julio Glushko, among others . Shahar Peer announced her retirement earlier this year.

As far as other Jews go (went?) and not counting qualifying matches…

Scott Lipsky (USA) lost in men’s doubles…

Camila Giorgi (Italy) lost in singles…

Did I miss anyone?

A shande: Blue Jays suspend Pillar for homophobic slur

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

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

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.



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