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

 

JML Update, Weekend Edition (Games of 8/4-8/5, 2017)

Posted on: August 7th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Kevin Pillar was 3-for-9 in two games (he missed Friday’s opener) with two runs scored as the Toronto Blue Jays (52-59) lost two of three to the host Houston Astros (71-40). Alex Bregman had one hit in each game, all for extra bases: his 13th home run on Friday, 28th double on Saturday, and third triple yesterday. The homer — a two-run shot to the opposite field — was part of a nine-run eruption by the ‘Stros in the fourth inning. Bregman’s record for the weekend included three walks, two runs scored, and four RBIs.

Danny Valencia also hit lucky #13. His two-run bomb opened the scoring in the first game of a doubleheader yesterday which was necessitated by a rainout on Saturday against between his Seattle Mariners (57-56) and the host KC Royals (he sat out the nightcap). He also had his third triple and a single in this one, so he was just one double shy of a cycle. On Friday, Valencia was 0-for-2 with two sac flies. Is he in danger of losing playing time now that the Mariners have acquired Yonder Alonso?

Ian Kinsler was 4-for-12 with a double and a run scored as the Detroit Tigers (51-59) lost two of the last three games in a four-game set to the host Baltimore Orioles (55-56). Three of those hits came in yesterday’s 12-3 loss. Richard Bleier had another scoreless outing in that one, going 2.1 innings and allowing two hits. In his last 10 appearances, Bleier has given up just two earned runs (three total) in 17 innings.

Ryan Braun split his time between left field and DH as the Milwaukee Brewers (59-54) took two of three from the host Tampa Bay Rays. Braun had two singles in 11 at-bats with two Ks and a walk. The two teams combined for just eight runs over the three meetings with the Brewers winning the first two by shutouts.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-6 as the LA Dodgers (79-32) swept the host NY Mets, a series that also included two shutouts. He walked twice in the Friday game and stole just his second base of the season. Pederson is hitless in his late eight games.

Brad Goldberg did not appear for the Chicago White Sox (41-68) who suffered a four-game sweep at the hands of the host Boston Red Sox .

Used to be, years ago, that we would read about these things in the “agate” section of the sports page, the tiny fonts that gave us information about who was traded or injured or released. In the on-line version we have the Oakland As designated Ryan Lavarnway for assignment late last week. Lavarnway — a pillar of Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic — had two cups of coffee for  the As: 11 at-bats over six games with two singles, a double, and two RBI. Here’s hoping he lands somewhere soon, especially since today is his 30th birthday!

Looks like Craig Breslow may have found a new home: The Cleveland Indians signed him to a minor league contract over the weekend. Mazel tov! And Scott Feldman will supposedly be returning soon to the Cincinnati Reds.

In another agate move, the Atlanta Braves called up pitcher Max Fried, one of those “highly touted” prospects who finds himself struggling in the pros. The 23-year-old lefty was just 2-11 with a 5.32 ERA in 19 starts for the team’s Mississippi affiliate in the Southern League (AA) where he walked 43 and struck out 85 in 86.2 innings. Fried has yet to appear in a major league game and until he does he’s not official.

I wonder if the Mets will bring up Cody Decker? The heart and soul of Team Israel is with their AAA affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s after spending some time with their AA club in Binghamton. Don’t know how I feel about this description from AmazinAveue.com, announcing a recent accomplishment in a game against the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Saturday: “The new pitcher, Jacob Rhame, left a big fat one for Cody Decker down and away, and the Jew bid adieu to that miscue, socking it over the left field wall for a game-tying three-run homer.” Between the two teams, Decker has 10 doubles and 10 homers in 68 games.

JML update, Games of July 27, 2017

Posted on: July 28th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

I’ll make this simple because of the very late posting time: Kevin Pillar was the only MOT active last night. He had a double (#25) in four at-bats as the Toronto Blue Jays (48-54) beat the visiting Oakland A’s, 8-4. It was an inetresting game as evidenced by these two clips:

The only other “major” news is that the A’s (44-48) recalled catcher Ryan Lavarnway earlier in the day after putting catcher Josh Phegley on the 10-day disabled list.

Lest we forget: Margaret Bergmann-Lambert

Posted on: July 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

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.

   
 

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