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


JML Update, April 26, 2018 (games of April 25)

Posted on: April 26th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Alex Bregman had a bases-clearing double in the fourth inning to give the Houston Astros (17-9) a 3-0 lead and all the runs they would need in a 5-2 win over the visiting LA Angels (16-9). Ian Kinsler was 0-for-4 in the losing cause.

Ryan Braun shows signs of coming out of his April doldrums, going 3-for-five with a double and two runs scored as the Milwaukee Brewers (16-9) beat the host KC Royals, 6-2. He is 5-for-8 over the last two games.

Joc Pederson was 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the sixth to give the LA Dodgers their first run, but they ended up losing to the visiting Miami Marlins, 8-6. The Dodgers (11-12) made it interesting scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but it was too little, too late.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (14-) fell to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 4-3.

Danny Valencia was 0-for-4 as the Baltimore Orioles (6-18) lost to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, 8-4. Richard Bleier did not appear in the game. The oh-fer dropped Valencia’s batting average to .135. I happened to flip ion the MLB Network the other day when he was up with new on base and struck out on three pitches. The announcers were not very complimentary, calling him a selfish player because they thought he was hellbent on hitting a home run.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (13-10) in their 5-4 win over the host Cincinnati Reds. Bob Wechsler pointed out in an e-mail,

For the first time in history, two Jewish pitchers have an ERA of infinity during the same season.

Zach Weiss gave up two walks, two homers and four earned runs without recording an out before the Reds sent him back to the minors after one game earlier this month.

Yesterday, Max Fried made his season debut for the Braves and faced two batters — a walk and a game-winning homer. At least he had a 3.81 ERA in nine games last season.

This is not good, especially following Brad Goldberg’s 8.25 ERA in 11 games with last year’s White Sox.

He further suggested not making a card for this in the next go-around of the Jewish Major Leaguer set.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (15-8) beat the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-3.


Nice to be included (Josh Rosen)

Posted on: April 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

USP NFL: COMBINE S FBN USA INI haven’t been posting nearly enough about UCLA QB Josh Rosen, who is expected to go very nice in the NFL draft. So it was a nice surprise to get an email from USA Today asking for my comments. Here’s the result from Josh Peter’s article “Josh Rosen can join Sid Luckman on short list at NFL draft”:

Rosen’s father is Jewish, and his mother is Christian. He attended a Catholic high school, St. John Bosco in Southern California. But he had a bar mitzvah and he identifies as Jewish.

“That’s pretty much the primary consideration for inclusion,’’ said Ron Kaplan, author of Kaplan’s Korner, a blog about Jews and sports. He later added by email, “Here’s wishing him mazel tov (good luck).’’

Short but sweet.

JML update, April 25, 2018 (games of April 24)

Posted on: April 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

In another meeting of MOTs , Ian Kinsler was 1-for-3 for the LA Angels (16-8), who edge out the host Houston Astros, 8-7. Kinsler also walked twice and scored two of the runs, including the one that tied the game at 5-5 in the seventh when the Angels scored four times for an 8-5 lead. Alex Bregman brought the Astros (16-9) closer in the bottom of the frame, driving in a run on a single to make it 8-6. He also doubled (#5) and scored a run.

Ryan Braun served as DH and batted third for the Milwaukee Brewers (15-9) in their 5-2 win over the host Kansas City Royals. He was 2-for-3 with a run scored and his 15th RBI on a hard shot that bounced of the pitcher’s foot.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 with an RBI as the Toronto Blue Jays (14-8) beat the visiting Boston Red Sox, 4-3, on a 10th-inning walk-off home run by Curtis Granderson.

Joc Pederson walked as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and remained in the game as the left-fielder for the LA Dodgers (12-10), going 0-for-1 in a subsequent at-bat, but the Miami Marlins scored single runs in the eighth and ninth to win the game, 3-2.

Ryan Sherriff did not appear for the St. Louis Cardinals (13-9) in their 10-inning, 6-5 loss to the visiting NY Mets.

The 6-17 Baltimore Orioles (Richard Bleier, Danny Valencia) saw their game with the Tampa Bay Rays postponed by rain.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies lost to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 8-4.

And welcome back Max Fried. The Atlanta Braves (12-10) recalled their top lefty prospect yesterday and his impact was felt immediately. And not in a good way. Fried, who made his major league debut last year and was doing very well in AAA, entered the game against the host Cincinnati Reds in the 12th inning and walked the first batter he faced. Scooter Gennett then launched the game-winning home run. It was Gennett’s second homer of the year; in fact both long balls came in this game. Final score: Reds 9, Braves 7, and an ERA of ∞ for Fried.

JML update, April 23, 2018 (Games of April 20-22)

Posted on: April 23rd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Alex Bregman gets MOT of the Weekend honors. He had six hits in 13 at-bats plus two walks. Bregman had one double, scored twice, and drove in a pair as the Houston Astros (16-7, first in the AL West) swept the host Chicago White Sox — outscoring their opponents 27-2 — and extended their winning streak to six games. Bregman has a five-game hitting streak. Big whoop.

Following his pinch-hit home run on Thursday, Ryan Braun followed up with another the next day to help the  Milwaukee Brewers (14-9m second in NL Central) beat the visiting Florida Marlins, 8-0. His fourth of the year came with a man on in the fourth to give his team a 4-0 lead.

Braun also singled in that game. The following night, he was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. He was hitless in four at-bats on Saturday as Milwaukee completed a three-game sweep.

Kevin Pillar was 2-11 from Saturday through Sunday as the Toronto Blue Jays (13-8, second in AL East) lost two of three to the host NY Yankees. Pillar struck out five times, walked nce, and stole his fourth base of the year.

Ian Kinsler was 2-12 with a run scored as the LA Angels (14-8, second in AL West) dropped two of three to the visiting San Francisco Giants.

Joc Pederson started each game in the weekend series for the LA Dodgers’ (10-10, third in NL West). He was 0-for-2 on Friday with a walk in a 5-2 loss to the visiting Washington Nationals. The next day, Pederson was 2-for-4 with his first home run of the year, a solo shot to dead center off National’s ace Stephen Strasburg to start off the scoring in the Dodgers’ 4-0 win. It was especially sweet because it came on Pederson’s 26th birthday!

Richard Bleier earned his third hold on Friday, allowing two hits, a walk, and a strikeout in two innings as the Baltimore Orioles (6-16, fifth in the AL East) beat the visiting Cleveland Indians, 3-1. It was his only appearance for the weekend.

Danny Valencia grounded out as a pinch-hitter yesterday, his only appearance in the three-game set of which the Indians won two.

Ryan Sherriff remains on the disabled list for the St. Louis Cardinals (13-8, first in NL Central). The second-year reliever is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment next week.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates to improve to 14-7, second in the AL East.

Remember Ryan Kalish fondly: he announced his retirement at the age of  30 due to chronic knee problems. HT to Scott Barancik of JewishBaseballNews.com for the note. Here’s his Minor League Monday report. Also HT to Bob Wechsler, author of the The Jewish Baseball Card Book and Day by Day in Jewish Sports History, who reported

Outfielder Ryan Kalish has retired, Peter Gammons tweets. Kalish, who played the final game of his career on Friday with New Britain of the independent Atlantic League, is stepping away because of knee issues, per Gammons. Now 30, Kalish was once a promising prospect with the Red Sox, who grabbed him in the ninth round of the 2006 draft. Injuries were problematic throughout Kalish’s career, though, which helps to explain why he only amassed 422 major league plate appearances between the BoSox and Cubs. Kalish was a .245/.297/.349 hitter with four homers and 16 stolen bases in the majors.

Craig Breslow, on the other hand, just keeps going and going and…

JML update, April 12, 2018 (Games of April 11)

Posted on: April 12th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Alex Bregman had his breakout game of the young season, going 4-for-6 with a double, two runs, and an RBI, but the Houston Astros (9-4) nevertheless lost to the host Minnesota Twins, 9-8.

Richard Bleier earned his second hold with one shutout inning (one strikeout), lowering his ERA to under 1.oo, as the Baltimore Orioles (5-8) held off the visiting Toronto Blue Jays (8-5), 5-3. Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 with a two-out RBI. Danny Valencia did not appear for the Os.

Joc Pederson started in left and batted second, doubling in five at-bats and scoring a run as the LA Dodgers were crushed by the host Oakland As, 16-6.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-4 with a strikeout as the Milwaukee Brewers (7-6) held off a late rally by the host St. Louis Cardinals for a 3-2 win. Ryan Sherriff is on the disabled list for the Cardinals (5-7).

The LA Angels (10-3) beat the host Texas Rangers, 7-2. Ian Kinsler is expected to return to action tonight as the Halos visit the Kansas City Royals.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (6-5) beat the visiting Cincinnati Reds in 12 innings, 4-3. Maybe I’m just paying attention because Kapler’s a MOT, but I don’t remember any rookie manager getting so much attention for such strange things.


Break them off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar

Posted on: April 11th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

As in, give them a break.

Image result for pardon the interruptionYesterday’s Pardon the Interruption featured segments on two Jewish sports figures: Josh Rosen, who will be a high pick in the upcoming NFL draft,  and Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler.

The segment on Rosen led off the program as co-hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon opined on whether the former UCLA passer is “too cocky” and the knock on athletes coming from well-to-do families being tough enough to compete on a professional level. (Can’t help thinking that some of this complaining about Rosen’s attitude has at least a little something to do with his Judaism, but that might just be my paranoia).

A few minutes later, the conversation turned to whether Philadelphia fans and media were being too hard on the unorthodox (not being used in the religious meaning here) rookie manager, who likes to use analytics in making his decisions.

You can listen to the program here:

JML update, April 11, 2018 (Games of April 10)

Posted on: April 11th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Kevin Pillar was 2-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (8-4) beat the host Baltimore Orioles (4-8), 2-1, behind the strong pitching of Aaron Sanchez, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Neither Richard Bleier nor Danny Valencia appeared for the Os.

Alex Bregman singled in three at-bats and walked as the Houston Astros (9-3) fell to the host Minnesota Twins, 4-1. Bregman was also picked off first.

Joc Pederson struck out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning as the LA Dodgers (4-6) shut out the visiting Oakland Athletics, 4-0. Is a new position in the offing?

Ryan Braun did not appear for the Milwaukee Brewers (6-6) in their 5-3 loss to the host St. Louis Cardinals (5-6). Ryan Sherriff is on the Disabled list for the Cards.

The LA Angels (9-3) beat up on the Texas Rangers, 11-1, without the services of Ian Kinsler, who now expects to make his return from the DL on Thursday.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies evened their record at 5-5 with a 6-1 win over the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

JML update, April 10, 2018 (Games of April 9)

Posted on: April 10th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Ryan Braun was 1-for-5 as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the host St. Louis Cardinals, 5-4, in 10 innings. According to ShepherdExpress.com, “Braun needs five more runs batted in to become the 285th player in MLB history, the ninth active player and just the second Brewer with 1,000 in their careers (Robin Yount had 1,406).” Ryan Sherriff is on the DL for the Cards.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored as the Toronto Blue Jays (7-4) defeated the host Baltimore Orioles, 7-1. Danny Valencia was 0-for-3 as the DH for the Orioles and came out for a pinch-hitter in the eighth. Richard Bleier did not pitch for the O’s (4-7).

Alex Bregman was 0-for-2 with two walks for the Houston Astros (9-2) in their 2-0 blanking of the host Minnesota Twins.

Joc Pederson and the LA Dodgers (3-6) were off.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (4-5) outlasted the visiting Cincinnati Reds, 6-5.

Ian Kinsler was eligible to come off the DL for the LA Angels (8-3) today, but that might not happen.



JML Update, April 9, 2018 (Games of April 6-8)

Posted on: April 9th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Crazy weekend for the boys.

How about Alex Bregman‘s game-winning “hit” on Saturday for the Houston Astros (8-2)?

That gave the team the 1-0 win in 10 innings. Bregman had two of the Astros’ six hits but they were his only ones in 13 at-bats as Houston took two of three from the host San Diego Padres.

Richard Bleier picked up his second win of the year on Sunday as the Baltimore Orioles (4-6) overcame a first-inning 5-0 lead by the host New York Yankees to take the contest in 12, 8-7. Bleier three three shutout frames, giving up three hits, a walk, and striking out one. It was his longest outing since May 3, 2017. On Friday, Bleier earned his first hold of 2018 on the strength of 1.2 innings in which he allowed one hit and a walk in a 7-3 victory, giving the Os three out of the four games in the Bronx.

Danny Valencia — serving as DH — hit his first home run of the year in Sunday’s win, cutting the Yankees lead to 5-4. It was his only hit in four at bats (he also walked), scoring twice. He came out of the game for a pinch-hitter in the 12th. He was 0-for-4 in Friday’s contest.

Kevin Pillar broke up a no-hit bid by the Texas Rangers’ Mike Minor’s on Friday with a one-out triple in the fifth. It was one of two hits Pillar had in 12 at-bats in the series for the  Toronto Blue Jays (6-4) who  took two of three from the host Rangers.

Ryan Braun continues to struggle early on for the Milwaukee Brewers (5-5). He managed just one single in 12 at bats (one walk), striking out six times from Friday to Monday against the visiting Chicago Cubs. The Brewers lost two of three over the weekend, adding to a Thursday loss to the Cubbies. Overall, Braun is just 5-for-32 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Joc Pederson has had minimal opportunities for the LA Dodgers (3-6). He sat out the Friday game and had three plate appearances over the next two games: 0-for-2 plus a walk.

Ian Kinsler is scheduled to come off the disabled list tomorrow (April 10) for the Los Angeles Angels (7-3), but the St. Louis Cardinals (4-5) put pitcher Ryan Sherriff on the DL. Sherriff was hit in the right foot in Thursday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and x-rays revealed a fracture. He had appeared in three games (2.2 innings) with no won-loss record, allowing one run on two hits and two walks while striking out one. No timetable on his return.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (3-5) walloped the visiting Florida Marlins 20-1 on Saturday. That shut up his detractors for about five minutes; they’re already clamoring for his ouster.

Missed this one, but Nate Freiman announced his retirement about a month ago. According to cbssports.com, the 6’7″ first baseman “appeared in 116 big-league games over the course of his career, all coming with Oakland from 2013-14, when he slashed .256/.309/.408 with nine home runs and 39 RBI. The 31-year-old stated that he will be returning to Duke University this fall to pursue an MBA.” Zei gezunt, Nate.

Warriors deal Casspi unkindest cut of all

Posted on: April 9th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Haven’t been dealing with the non-baseball sports for the past few weeks but figured to catch up now that the hockey and basketball (almost) post-seasons are upon us. But when I saw that the Golden State Warriors released Omri Casspi with two games left on the season, I had to post now.

From today’s New York Times piece by Marc Stein:

… Casspi signed a one-year deal for the league-minimum $2.1 million, spurning interest from the Nets, who were poised to pay him closer to $5 million this season. A product of the perennial Israeli power Maccabi Tel Aviv, Casspi mostly wanted to win again, having played for only one playoff team in his first nine seasons in the N.B.A. (Houston in 2013-14) and appearing in precisely zero playoff games.

Ending that humbling playoff drought would be a lock alongside stars like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, which made Kerr’s pitch even more attractive. But very little, in the end, went right for Casspi in the Bay Area.

With the start of the playoffs a week away, Casspi was summoned by team officials Saturday night after the 80th of 82 games and informed that he was being waived to make roster room to convert the reserve guard Quinn Cook’s two-way developmental contract into a full-fledged N.B.A. contract before the postseason began.

This year, Casspi appeared in 53 games, averaging an even 14 minutes per. The other numbers — points, assists, rebounds — are inconsequential given such a short span and so I’ve omitted them.

Do you think the Warriors should have treated him better? Do you think they should have given him more of a chance? Probably. But don’t ever think this is not a business.


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