To which I have to say,
To which I have to say,
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.
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 MaroonsAlex Levinsky — 1932 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1938 Chicago Black HawksLarry Zeidel — 1952 Detroit Red WingsMathieu Schneider — 1993 Montreal CanadiensMike Hartman — 1994 New York RangersAndre Burakovsky — 2018 Washington CapitalsCOACHCecil Hart — 1930 and 1931 Montreal Canadiens
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.”
Andre Burakovsky had two more assists to help the Washington Capitols beat the host Vegas Golden Knights, 3-2. Pretty economical in that he only had 10:54 of ice time. That ties the series at a game apiece.
The first assist came at 17:27 in the first period to tie the game at 1-1. The second turned out to be the game-winner, giving the Caps a 3-1 lead at 9:41 in the second period.
The iconic author of The Great American Novel — one of the most underrated pieces of baseball fiction according to many — died yesterday at the age of 85.
Although he was a frequent story subject in the New Jersey Jewish News while I was there for more than a decade, I never had to opportunity to interview him. I would have loved to ask why he wrote about baseball, compared with his other “more serious” themes.
Roth was a complex person, hard to know from what I’ve read and not that comfortable with being the subject. I enjoyed most of his writing although I’m not enough of a literary expert to delve into the nuances of his work.
Many of his stories have been made into movies; I wonder why that didn’t happen for TGAN? I listened to the audiobook version and was not overly impressed with the narrator’s interpretation.
And a few more items regarding his baseball work:
The Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame will induct six new members in its next class, according to a story in the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. They include Lou Scheinfeld, a “longtime executive who now serves as president and CEO of the in-the-works Museum of Sports”; former University of Pennsylvania basketball standout Bruce Lefkowitz; the late boxer-turned-trainer Marty Feldman; former MLB catcher Jesse Levis; former field hockey and lacrosse star and coach Lauren Becker Rubin; and longtime Maccabi youth basketball coach Brian Schiff.
To take a page from Paul Harvey (no relation to major Mets disappointment Matt)…
I have been majorly remiss in not reporting on anything but baseball. So let’s address that now.
Omri Casspi was waived by the Golden State Warriors just before the end of the regular season, thereby terminating his chance to make it into the playoffs. It’s not a stretch to say that the timing sucked. Casspi — the first Israeli to make it to the NBA — was a pretty good guy to have coming off your bench, regardless for whom he played. Obviously it was too late in the season for another team to pick him up, but here’s hoping we’ll see hime again next season. By the way, T.J. Leaf may be the first Israeli to make it to the post-season, but he’s not a MOT.
At this point, Andre Burakovsky (Washington Capitols) and Brendon Leipsic (Las Vegas Knights) are the only two Jice-men still active.
Burakovsky — whose connection with Judaism has been an issue over the last couple of years (he claims he’s not Jewish but the Jewish Sports Review stands by their “ruling” that he is based on their qualifications) — appeared in 56 games for the Caps (49-26-7, third in the Eastern Conference), putting 12 pucks in the net and assisting on a baker’s dozen. Washington leads the Tampa Bay Lightning two games to one in their conference matchup. They beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, four games to two. In the next round, they put away the Pittsburgh Penguins, also 4-2.
Leipsic, a 23-year-old rookie, had five goals and 17 assists in 58 games for the amazingly successful expansion Knights, who ended their inaugural season with a mark of 51-24-7, good for third place in the West. They are tied with the Winnipeg Jets in the Conference Finals at 1-1, having knocked out Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild in the first round. The Knights then ousted the San Jose Sharks, 4-2, in round two to move to the next-to-last step.
Zucker had an outstanding season for the Wild (45-26-11, fourth in the Western Conference). He appeared in all 82 games and led all Jewish players in goals (33) and assists (31). Zucker did not put up a point in the series with the Jets. He is also a finalist in the running for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, given to “the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.” According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune,
Zucker and his wife, Carly, raised funds for the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast Studio at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, a space that allows children and their families to watch Wild games in a game-like setting. They donated $160,000 to start the project, and also contributed $1,600 for each goal Zucker, who wears No. 16, scored (33) this season. In seven months, the project has raised more than $900,000.
Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs made great leaps over the last two seasons. They came in at 49-26-11, fourth in the East. Compare that with 29-42-11 in 2015-16 and 40-27-15 last year. They were eliminated in the first round of this year’s playoffs by the Boston Bruins.
Michael Cammalleri — at 35 the senior statesman among Jewish NHLers — appeared in a total of 66 games, split between the LA Kings (15 games, three goals, four assists) and Edmonton Oilers (51 games, 4/18), to whom he was traded in mid-November. The Kings finished in the seventh spot in the West with a record of 45-29-8. They were swept by the Knights in the first round. The Oilers were pretty awful, however, 36-40-6, eighth in the West.
Jason Demers appeared in 69 games for the Arizona Coyotes (29-41-12, last in the West), contributing six goals and 14 assists.
Jakob Chychrun, also a member of the Coyotes, had his share of injuries, appearing in just 50 games with four goals and ten assists.
Josh Ho-Sang was a lightning rod for the NY Islanders this year. For some reason, he was constantly in the news, an indicator of why the team was doing poorly, even though he scored twice and assisted on 12 in just 22 games. He spent most of the year with the AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Some said he had a bad work ethic, a bad attitude, etc. Others say he was injured and didn’t want to let on. Let’s just hope for better times ahead. The Isles finished 11th in the East at 35-37-10.
Not much to report since the Arizona Cardinals selected Josh Rosen as their No. 1 pick (10th overall) in the NFL draft, much to the former UCLA QB’s annoyance. And that annoyance has stirred up something that may or may not be there, as far as anti-Semitic sentiments go. Tablet Magazine took a tongue-in-cheek approach in this piece.
Despite the JSR’s declaration that Rosen meets their requirements, this piece from The New Yorker would seem to go against the one about not identifying with another religion. According to the article by Zach Helfand, “Rosen is the son of a Jewish father and a Quaker mother. He had a bar mitzvah but attended a Catholic high school, where he went to weekly mass and gave confession twice a semester.” So unless that confession thing was just going through the motions…
BTW, the question of religious identity is always tricky. A Jewish lad might have a bar mitzvah (although I guess “having” one is a moot point since it’s automatic) but later decide to convert. A Nazi might say, once a Jew, always a Jew. I leave this issue to more enlightened and educated minds.
As for the handful of other JFLers:
If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know my antipathy for the sport. Too much running around with nothing to show for it. Too much moving back and forth of players between teams and leagues. Too much time between games. Zzzzzz. But in the interest of fair play, I should mention the few Jews in the Major Soccer League. Thanks to the folks at JSR and Bob Wechsler for doing the leg work on this.
According to their calculating, these are the Jews of the MSL (standings as of this writing):
Wechsler added in his email on the topic:
So there you have it, folks. I know there are several items I’ve neglected, such as Soren Thompson‘s upcoming induction into the USA Fencing Hall of Fame, and for that my apologies. I hope to do better in the future.
In the meantime, don’t forget about my most recent book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War, in this, the 80th anniversary of that special season.
He was the 10th overall selection. Mazel tov, Josh. The Cardinals had traded up to get him.
Earlier today the Washington Post published this article, “A guide to Josh Rosen, the best quote in the NFL Draft.”
Rosen is the first Jewish first-round pick since Harris Barton by the San Francisco 49ers in 1989. Other Jewish first-rounders: Sid Luckman, 1939, Chicago Bears; Merv Pregulman, 1944, Green Bay Packers; Dan Dworsky, 1948, LA Dons; Mike Sommer, 1958, Washington Redskins; Ron Mix, 1960, NFL Baltimore Colts and AFL LA Chargers; Steve Tannen, 1970, NY Jets. HT to Bob Wechsler for the info.
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.