Facebook
Google+
http://kaplanskorner.com/category/who-is-as-jewjewish-identity">
Twitter

Archive for the ‘“Who is as Jew?”/Jewish identity’ Category

 

Jewish sports update, January 11, 2018

Posted on: January 11th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

In last night’s action…

NBA

Omri Casspi played 24 minutes of the bench, scoring six points with three rebounds, three assists, and two steals, but the Golden State Warriors (33-9) dropped this one to the visiting LA Clippers, 125-106.

NHL

Just two games last night, both involving MOTs. No such similar circumstances tonight.

Jason Zucker had an assist on the Minnesota Wild’s first goal in their 2-1 win over the host Chicago Blackhawks. It was the 16th on the year for Zucker, who took three shots on goal in 13:33. The Wild improve to 23-17-4. Nice to see he’s making a difference off the ice as wellZucker of the Wild and his wife Carly are partnering with University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital to build a family suite and broadcast studio. That’s Zucker on the left with Michael  E. Jordan and Alex Fenner of the sports apparel firm UNRL.

Former Bear goalie’s firm donates to hospital project planned by Wild player

Zach Hyman took one shot in 19:11 as the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-3) lost to the visiting Ottawa Senators, 3-2.

Breaking (?) Jice news: There’s evidently still some dispute over the Jewish identity of Andre Burakovsky of the Washington Capitols. You may recall there was a bit of discrepancy a couple of years ago as to whether he denied being Jewish. But he’s still listed as such in the latest edition of the Jewish Sports Review and that’s good enough for me. To recap his season, Burakovsky has three goals and five assists in just 21 games due to a combination of injury and healthy scratches. The Caps are first in the Metropolitan Division/ second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 27-13-3.

Image result for jakob chychrunA “new” Jice-man, according to JSR, is Jakob Chychrun, a 19-year-old, 6-2, 200 pound defenseman for the Arizona Coyotes. He has appeared in 16 games this season with one goal and five assists. According to Bob Wechsler, author of Day by Day in Jewish Sports History and The Jewish Baseball Card Book, “His mother must be Jewish, because his father [Jeff] played in the NHL.” Chychrun the younger actually made his NHL debut last year.

NFL

Fair or not, one ESPN contributor picked Adam Bisnowaty as the most disappointing rookie for the NY Giants: “This is probably nitpicking a bit. Bisnowaty was a sixth-round pick out of Pittsburgh. He wasn’t supposed to make an immediate impact. He was, however, supposed to make the roster. Instead, he sat on the practice squad for the first 16 weeks of the season and looked overmatched in pass protection during his one appearance in the finale against the Redskins.”

MLB

Legendary sports writer Irwin Cohen contributed this piece on Jews and baseball to the Brooklyn-based Jewish Press.

MISC.

Sports sandals, anyone? These come from the Israeli firm, Naot.

Source by Naot sandals

 

 

Jewish Sports Review review

Posted on: September 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Image result for jewish sports reviewAs I mentioned in the previous entry, recently received the latest issue of JSR which includes:

  • College Football Previews (D-I, II, and III)
  • NFL Preview
  • Pro Hockey Review (2016-17)
  • College Soccer Reviews (men and women)
  • Sports Shorts
  • A recap of the 2017 Maccabiah Games
  • A list of women’s top performances in track& field

The Jewish Sports Review is a must for any true fan of, well, Jewish sports and is only available in print edition. I keep hoping that will change. Can you imagine an outlet that keeps track of these people and issues on a daily basis? If you look at an issue and see how many athletes that would include, you’d understand what a Samson-ish undertaking that would be. I tried to make Kaplan’s Korner that kind of source when I was working at the NJ Jewish News (did I mention it was named blog of the year by the New Jersey Press Association in 2015?), but since that was only a portion of my job description, it was impractical. These days it’s even more difficult, since I actually have to work for a living now.

For further information about JSR, call 310-838-6626 or send an e-mail to shel@jewishsportsreview.com.

Where have you gone, Hank Greenberg (and Sandy Koufax)?

Posted on: September 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0409/images/haven_14.jpgThe baseball-loving Hebrew nation turns its lonely eyes to you (woo-woo-woo).

Over/under: Zero JML will not play on Yom Kippur, which begins the evening of September 29. That means just one would have to take the day off specifically for that reason to make the cut. Very doubtful, although teams could easily rest some players since it’s the last series of the regular season. On the other hand, you want to please your fans by having your stars in the lineup.

The breakdown: The Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, and LA Dodgers are all in. The only regular on those clubs is Alex Bregman, who’s battling a hamstring issue so the Astros might want to rest him for the playoffs. Joc Pederson has played sporadically and might not even be on the post-season roster. Craig Breslow hasn’t pitched in almost two weeks for the Indians and might not be in the Tribe’s plans.

Wild card issues: The Milwaukee Brewers are still in the hunt so they might require the services of Ryan Braun if it comes down to the wire. The Toronto Blue Jays and Kevin Pillar still have an outside shot. Danny Valencia has not been a regular since the Seattle Mariners acquired Yonder Alonso. Ryan Sherriff is a rookie and probably doesn’t figure in the St. Louis Cardinals’ plans.

Ian Kinsler and the Detroit Tigers are toast so he might he on his farewell tour.

Naturally, I’ve written on all this before. Here are a couple of items for your amusement

 

Jice update: Welcome to the NHL, Josh Ho-Sang

Posted on: March 16th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Josh Ho-Sang was brought up by the NY Islanders on March 2. Although he’s played just eight games, the 21-year-old right-winger from Toronto already has three goals and three assists, including one of each in his last two appearances; his assist in Tuesday’s contest came on the game-winning goal in a 3-2 overtime decision against the host Carolina Hurricanes. The Isles are 33-25-11, fifth in Metropolitan Division and currently in the eighth spot in the East. According to a March 13 story in The New York Times, “Ho-Sang, who grew up in suburban Toronto, also brings an unusual family lineage to Brooklyn. His father, Wayne, is from Jamaica, and his great-grandfather was from Hong Kong. Ho-Sang’s mother, Ericka, was born in Chile, and her parents were Russian and Swedish. Ho-Sang was raised Jewish.”

I contacted the team’s PR staff to see about an interview and was told , “Right now, we are trying to make sure Josh can settle in with the team and not overburden him….  If there is an opportunity moving forward that works, we will keep you in mind.”

Stay tuned.

Josh Ho-Sang

As for the rest of the crew, in their most recent games…

Michael Cammalleri and the NJ Devils saw their Tuesday game against the visiting Winnipeg Jets postponed because of the snow in the area (I even had my weekly tennis game cancelled!).  He missed the previous contest  — a 5-4 loss to the host Arizona Coyotes — because of an upper body injury. (Can someone tell me why the NHL deals in such vague terms? Every other sport is pretty specific as to the injury that prevents someone from playing.) In fact, Cammalleri last appeared in a game on March 2, a 1-0 loss to the Washington Capitals in which he crashed awkwardly into the boards. He had not scored a goal since Jan. 3, a streak of 22 games without putting one between the pipes. For the season, Cammalleri has 10 goals and 20 assists and rumor has it he might be gone after the season. The Devils are 25-31-12, eighth in Metropolitan Division and last in the Eastern Conference.

Jason Demers played 17:07, taking two shots on goal for the Florida Panthers in their 7-2 win over Zach Hyman and the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. Demers has nine goal and 13 assists for the 30-27-11 Panthers who are sixth in the Atlantic Division and 12th in the East. Hyman, meanwhile, took three SOG in 13:47 in that one and is 9/16. The Leafs are enjoying their best season in a long time: 31-23-14, fifth in the Atlantic and 10th in the East. Both teams have 14 games left, so there’s still a time — with a little luck — to grab a playoff spot.

On he other hand, Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild are sitting pretty: second in the Western Conference by one point with a record of 43-18-6. He took one SOG in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the host Washington Capitals and has 21 goals and 24 assists for the season.

 

Save

Save

Could Jason Kipnis play for Team Israel in WBC?

Posted on: January 23rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Jason Kipnis as a member of Team Israel? Technically, perhaps. But it strikes me as a murky situation.

According to a recent article in the Cleveland Jewish News,

Under WBC rules, athletes can play for Team Israel as long as they are eligible for Israeli citizenship. That means having at least one Jewish grandparent or being married to someone Jewish. Nearly all the players on Israel’s roster personally identify as Jewish.

(Note the use of the word “nearly.” Very telling. I think people, including those in the media, make a lot of (wrong) assumptions that you have to be Jewish to be on the team. I know I’m confused. Those who fall into the criteria above are automatically considered citizens, but there are a number of citizens of the Jewish state who are not Jewish; couldn’t they play as well?)

Kipnis may very well fall into the category of having the requisite ancestral connections to qualify, but as far as I know he does not identify as Jewish, which again, isn’t the final yardstick.

Orange may be the new black and 60 may be the new thirty, but I doubt crosses are the new stars of David. Here’s the official stance as per the  Jewish Baseball News site.

Jason Kipnis

Save

Jewish Sports Review review

Posted on: January 18th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

The Jewish sports fan’s best friend arrived recently: The January/February issue of the Jewish Sports Review.

Among the topics covered:

  • http://jewishsportsreview.com/images/jsr.jpgA hockey preview, including the NHL, minor, Canadian and European League, as well as men’s and women’s hockey. It’s interesting to note that the editors continue to list Washington Capitals’ left-winger Andre Burakovsky. Your might remember from previous entries on the Korner that there’s been a bit of “identity crisis” over his inclusion.
  • JSR‘s women’s and men’s college All-America soccer teams for Di and D2 and 3 schools.
  • Jews in professional basketball for 2016-17, including Jews playing international basketball professionally and foreign Jews playing in Israel.
  • Sports shorts, a hodge-podge of snippets of Jewish sports news.
  • A list of Jewish athletes enshrined in American sports Halls of Fame.
  • A Jews in Sports quiz by Neil Keller

I can’t think of a better gift for the hard core sports enthusiasts. So why not get them a subscription? Six bi-monthly issues full of information you won’t find anywhere else for $36. For more, visit Jewishsportsreview.com.

Save

The White Shadow had one Jew; did he have to be a stereotype?

Posted on: January 3rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Some TV shows hold up well over time, others don’t.

I recently read David Bianculli’s The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific and am currently going through TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time, by Alan Sepinwall and Matt Seitz. Both feature the seminal cop show Hill Street Blues. I happened to catch an episode the other day and marveled at how it doesn’t hold up. Mind you, this came out in the 1980s and at the time was a giant leap forward. But in retrospect, with the advent of cable TV, it is woefully lacking in good writing, good acting, and believability, IMO.

What the heck are you talking about, you might ask? What does this have to do with Jewish sports?

Well, another show of the era was The White Shadow (1978-81), about a former pro basketball player who whose career was cut short by injury. With little to fall back on, he turns to teaching in an inner-city school in Los Angeles (if I recall correctly). The team is the usual conglomeration of urban youth: Most of the team is black, with an Italian, a Mexican, and a Jew tossed in for good measure.

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/3YNQ-fxpzjQ/0.jpgThe Jewish kid is Abner Goldstein (why not just name him Jewy McJew?). He is basically a bench-warmer and is considered the outsider. He’s socially awkward, a good student, and very sensitive; I’ve even seen one source which referred to him as having Aspbergers. Even the coach seems to have no patience for the poor schlub.

Goldstein, as played by Ken Michelman, was given two episodes as the central character. One of these was “Little Orphan Abner.” You see Abner lives with his very Jewish grandparents for some reason that’s never explained. I’m not sure if they were supposed to be survivors, but the were obviously European in origin. They are decidedly old-world and old-school and very unhip but Abner, being the nice Jewish boy, doesn’t mind it at all and seems perplexed when the guys make jokes about the situation.

Abner is a “good boy” — he has Shabbos dinner every Friday night and all that stuff — but he wants to be one of the cool kids. Naturally, it doesn’t work out. From the IMDB blurb for the episode: “Goldstein’s shyness makes him the forgotten man on the team. When his grandfather takes ill, the players show him partial compassion. But only til his grandfather comes home. Goldstein must grow out of his shell and command respect.” The “partial compassion”

http://a.espncdn.com/media/pg2/2002/1004/photo/shadow6_i.jpgOf course, everything is nearly resolved within the 48-minute confines of the show. Here, watch it for yourself.

My main problem is, why can’t a Jew be cool? Why does he have to wear glasses, live a quiet life, be the brunt of jokes because he loves his family? Why can’t a Jew be the star of the team and get the girl? To be fair, Goldstein did end up joining the Marines in the Season Two finale, turning down a scholarship. But even so, did they have to make him such a nebbish?

The same thing could be said for another portrayal of a Jewish athlete: Rudi Stein. You may or may not recall him from the original Bad News Bears. Like Goldstein, he was an outcast on a whole team of outcasts. This kid was basically the guy who kept the score book. Because he was such a poor batter, his coach ordered him to get hit by a pitch in order to get on base. Needless to say, Stein didn’t appreciate his role.

On the other hand, there were a couple of Jewish athletes who were actually good. There was an episode of the old Bill Cosby show, where he played a phys ed teacher in — wait for it — an inner city school in Los Angeles. In one episode he was the coach of another lousy youth baseball team. A new kid who just moved to town joins and is immediately the star. The problem is that he’s Jewish and can’t play in the games because they take place on Saturdays. Here, the life lesson is, there are more important things than sports. (I wrote about that episode a few years ago.)

They used to cost a penny…AND you got free gum

Posted on: December 19th, 2016 by Ron Kaplan

This story from The New York Times about the baseball card hobby goes from A (Jeff Aeder, aka the prospective buyer) to Z (Guy Zinn, the rare item in question).

http://www.spikerfamily.com/files/resized/244181/500;688;f3852d84bd695a624f23a948954a1edbf9174ef9.jpgIt also comes on the heels of a discovery I had in my attic while looking for books to donate to the nearby Yogi Berra Museum: a box of 1969 Topps cards. It’s not a complete set — it’s missing about 10 cards — but the nostalgia is more important to me.

Long story short: “Aeder offered $125,000 for the card in 2014 and nearly claimed it. But the deal went sour at the last minute. Aeder balked because, he said, he received a poor appraisal of the card’s condition. The owner, Dan McKee of Baltimore County, refused to renegotiate.”

“If Zinn was not a Jewish player, this card is probably worth $10,000,” Aeder said. “If you talk to any dealer or collector, they’ll say McKee’s idea of value is the most overblown, crazy valuation of all time.”

So why was Aeder willing, at one point, to pay $125,000? “It really is something that if you have the means and the obsession, then someone pays a lot more than it’s worth,” he said.

Aeder is the founder of the online Jewish Baseball Museum. No doubt this would add gravitas to his project. Although as a “virtual” entity, does it really matter? It’s like listening to a ventriloquist on the radio.

Save

Well, they’re both sports that begin with “b”

Posted on: December 7th, 2016 by Ron Kaplan

Recently we learned that Amar’e Stoudemire’s 12-year-old son, Deuce,  was barred from participating in Israeli youth basketball so the Israel Association of Baseball invited the youngster to try out for baseball instead.

Peter Kurz, the baseball association’s president, made the invitation Monday in an open letter to Stoudemire and his wife, Alexis, saying he was “shocked” by how their son had been treated and that the association he presides over “is open to all.” Deuce Stoudemire, 12, has not been allowed to play games with his Hapoel Jerusalem youth team because he is not an Israeli citizen.

A quick rekap

Posted on: November 14th, 2016 by Ron Kaplan 1 Comment

It’s been such a long time, I don’t know where to begin.

We’re going to “forget” the end of the baseball season, although mazel tov to the Cubs and their long-suffering fans.

So right now we’re in the middle of the NFL and beginnings (relatively) of the NBA and NHL campaigns. There have been a number of  changes in personnel.

NFL

eat-my-schwartz_book-jacketOne-half of the Schwartz Force is gone, with Mitchell now playing for the Kansas City Chiefs and Geoff not playing at all. Geoff, who suffered injuries that curtailed his playing time over the past couple of years, is currently very active as an analyst for a variety of outlets.

Also idle: Taylor Mays, who was suspended the first four games of the season for violating the league’s drug policy.

So that leaves just two:

  • Nate Ebner of the New England Patriots, who, according to at least one source, is having his best year ever.
  • Ari Marpet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now in his second year

And Julian Edelman is still not Jewish.

NBA

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8e/Omri_gasspi_israel-finland.jpgThe Sacramento Kings’ Omri Casspi is the only Jew currently playing in the league. Casspi has appeared in six games (one as a starter), missing two of the last three via “DNP-CD” (did not play, coach’s decision). The Kings , 4-7 and fourth in the Pacific Division, had also signed Jordan Farmar, but the released. Then they signed him again. Then they released him again… Stay tuned.

NHL

Like the NFL, the Jews  on ice have dwindled in number since last season. Right now we have

  • Michael Cammalleri, a 34-year-old left-winger for the NJ Devils (8-3-3, 3rd in Metropolitan Division). The all-time scoring leader among Jews in the NHL with 280 goals and 308 assists, he’s got three of each in 12 games this season. Cams has missed the last two contests for “personal reasons.”
  • Jason Demers, a 28-year-old defenseman for the Florida Panthers (7-7-1, 6th in Atlantic Division). Two goals and five assists in 15 games.
  • Zach Hyman, a 24-year-old center for the Toronto Maple Leafs (6-6-3, 6th in Atlantic Division). Two goals and one assist in 15 games.
  • Jason Zucker, a 24-year-old left-winger for the Minnesota Wild (8-5-1, 3rd in Central Division). Two goals/five assists in 17 games.

Gone (but not forgotten)

  • Eric Nystrom, who appeared in 593 games for four teams in his 10-year career.
  • Mike Brown, the “enforcer” who put in time with six clubs in his 407 NHL games.

Needless to see, this is a work in progress as I get my feet wet again. If there’s anyone you know of who I missed, please don’t be shy to let me know.

   
 

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