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More Maccabiah

Posted on: July 13th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

As mentioned yesterday, sadly I don’t have the three-to-four hours a day I used to to blog about Jews and sports as part of my former job at the NJ Jewish News, so this is the best I can do for the Maccabiah Games with the limited time now. After all, it’s not like the Olympics or a major tennis event where there are usually a manageable number of Jews to follow. Here everyone is Jewish (or pert near). This catches you up with most of the information over the past few days.

100 Free Gold Ke Sath Anthony Ervin Ne Ki Maccabiah Games Ki Shuruwat

2017 MACCABIAH GAMES July 9-12, 2017 Wingate Institute, Netanya, Israel Male Results Female Results Netanya, israel me shuru hue Maccabiah.
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Records fall as Olympians shine at Maccabiah Games

Four more Maccabiah records were broken in the pool, but the special 4×50-meters relay race between Israeli and American all-star teams stole the …
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Maccabiah shines rare light on wheelchair basketball, thriving despite lack of support

The 20th Maccabiah Games, being held this month in Jerusalem, feature … Israel’s wheelchair basketball team warms up before a game against a …
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COC’s Howard Fisher, USA sweep pool play in Israel

COC men’s basketball coach Howard Fisher is currently leading the Youth Men’s Basketball team at the 20th World Maccabiah Games. Photo courtesy …
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Simsbury High Graduate’s Short Stay In Connecticut A Valuable One

Kaplan, who just graduated from Simsbury High School, is off to Israel to compete in the Maccabiah Games as captain of Poland’s junior fencing team.
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Baltimore Wrestler Wins Gold At International Games In Israel

Owings Mills native Jack Mutchnik won a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling yesterday, July 10, at the 20th World Maccabiah Games in Israel.
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Maccabiah success

Maccabiah veteran Craig Kramer continues to live up to his reputation as the party animal of Tel Aviv. The South African batsman is always good for a …
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Life-changing diagnosis doesn’t stop Mercer Island man

Just a year later, Mike Schiller is competing for Team USA in the World Maccabiah Games in Israel – essentially, the Jewish Olympics. Some 10,000 …
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The ‘Olympics’ of Jewish Innovation

JNS.org – As the so-called “Jewish Olympics” (the Maccabiah Games) kicked off last week in Israel, another Olympic-style Jewish event sought to …
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Finesilvers Bring Home Gold at Maccabiah Games

DURHAM, N.C.—The brother duo of Mitch Finesilver and Matt Finesilver kicked off the 2017 Maccabiah Games for the Duke contingent competing in …
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Maccabiah Games live blog Day 5

Maccabiah Games live blog Day 5. Read what happened on the fifth day of the games. Today’s highlights include GB’s first medal – for Jonah Alfert in …
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Maccabiah Games live blog Day 6

Jonah Alfert had the honour of winning Team GB’s first medal of this year’s Maccabiah on Sunday. Alfert picked up bronze in the Junior Judo Under …
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Ervin captures gold in 100-meter freestyle

“I’ve been to the Olympic Games and this is a little different. Lighting the Maccabiah flame in the opening ceremony is something I will never forget.”

Family of cyclist from 1935 Maccabiah Games donates hat to Yad Vashem

Just before the Maccabiah games kicked off on Thursday, the family of Polish-born cyclist Moshe Cukierman, who participated in the Jewish sporting …
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Police finish preparations for Maccabiah half marathon tonight

The Israel Police have completed their security preparations for the Maccabiah games half marathon event, set to take place tonight in Jerusalem.
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Howard Fisher: Sightseeing before tipoff

… basketball head coach Howard Fisher is currently in Israel coaching the USA Youth Men’s Basketball team during the 20th World Maccabiah Games …
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Olympic gold medalist Ervin headlines Maccabiah swimming competition

The swimming events at the 20th Maccabiah will get under way at the … and is hoping to pick up his first gold medal of the Games in the evening final.
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Maccabiah 2017: Day Four Live

GB made it two wins from three games as they recorded a comfortable win over the table’s bottom side. Jonathan Novak, Eli Miller, Ethan Kaye and …
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7 Blue Devils Set for Maccabiah Games

DURHAM, N.C.—A collection of seven Duke University student-athletes will take to the mat, pool and strip this coming week at the 20th World …
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Maccabiah Games live blog, Day 3

Perhaps the best story to come out of the games so far isn’t even a sport story at all. Canadian ice hockey player Avi Steinberg proposed to and then …
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Larry Summers and Stuart Weitzman Are Playing Ping-Pong in the Jewish Olympics This Week

Held every four years, the Maccabiah Games attract 10,000 athletes from all over the world. “There are literally thousands of athletes, all Jewish, from …
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First Read For July 7

At the opening ceremony yesterday for the 20th Maccabiah Games, Canadian ice hockey player Avi Steinberg proposed to his girlfriend Rachel and …
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We lost 17-0 to Argentina, and next up it’s Ronaldo’s son

The tiny British overseas territory of Gibraltar has dispatched two futsal teams to the 2017 Maccabiah Games, held in Israel. Futsal, a fast-paced indoor …
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Israeli Leaders, Jewish Groups Enraged by ‘Delusional’ UNESCO Decision Declaring Hebron’s …

JNS.org – Israel kicked off the 20th Maccabiah Games Thursday night with a record 10,000 athletes. “Welcome to Jerusalem and welcome to.
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The Olympics of Jewish innovators

As the so-called “Jewish Olympics” (the Maccabiah Games) kicked off this week in Israel, another Olympic-style Jewish event sought to ignite global …
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The JC Leader, July 7 2017: The lure of false allies

With 10,000 competitors from 80 countries, the Maccabiah Games is one of the largest sporting contests on earth. The British delegation of 385 …
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Brilliancies at the 20th Maccabiah

In the current edition of the Maccabiah games six different tournaments are being held with players from 16 different countries: Two GM groups, two IM …
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Zimmerman on Maccabiah Games: ‘Atmosphere is electric’

Cayman’s Doran Zimmerman says it was an electric atmosphere at yesterday’s opening ceremonies of the 20th Maccabiah Games. “It was vibrant and …
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Blogging with Ben: A Look at the Maccabiah Games

Rising sophomore Ben Sharf is competing with Maccabi USA Hockey at the 20th World Maccabiah Games in Jersusalem, Israel. Follow along over the …
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U SPORTS athletes and coaches to compete in 20th Maccabiah Games

Fourty athletes and coaches with ties to U SPORTS athletic programs are heading to Israel this week to compete in the 20th Maccabiah Games.
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Macie Tendrich to Represent United States at 20th Maccabiah Games University of South Carolina …

Macie Tendrich to Represent United States at 20th Maccabiah Games The program’s all-time wins leader will compete July 9-13 …
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Maccabiah Games to host athletes from 80 countries

Judoka Ori Sasson, rhythmic gymnast Neta Rivkin and judoka Arik Zeevi at Maccabiah Games 2017 press conference. Photo via maccabiah.com.
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Windsor Woman Heads to World Maccabiah Games

“When I first heard about the Maccabiah Games, I had just started fencing about three months before,” she said, referring to her decision to pick up the …
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Motosikiliztim and the making of the first Maccabiah

Could Maccabi in any country afford to send athletes? How would Jewish athletes even hear of the games Yekutieli called the Maccabiada?
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Pennridge’s Sophie Cweiber, Central Bucks West’s Julie Krieder ready to represent USA at World …

Central Bucks West’s Julia Kreider (left) and Pennridge’s Sophie Cweiber will be part of the USA team competing in the World Maccabiah Games in …
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British Maccabiah squad arrives in Israel

The British team for the 20th Maccabiah Games arrived in Israel today with the hope of improving on the 24 medals it won at the “Jewish Olympics” …
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Israeli teen can’t play on national cricket team because she is a girl, court rules

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli teen cannot play with the national cricket team in the Maccabiah Games, an Israeli court ruled. Naomi Eytan, 14, has …
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https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/511UyHtRgVL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThat should keep you busy for a while. Carry on. And remember, if you want to learn more about the history of the event, with all due modesty, I literally wrote the book: The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games.

 

Maccabiah report…or not

Posted on: July 12th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Unfortunately, I don’t have the time I used to to post everything about the Maccabiah Games, which began July 4, so I’m trying this — cutting and pasting from my Google alerts on the topic. Sorry, but that’s the best I can do right now and I hope it gives some insight as to the festivities. This is the most recent list. I’ll be working backwards until I catch up.

Carry on. And remember, if you want to learn more about the history of the event, with all due modesty, I literally wrote the book: The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games.

Ervin Opens Maccabiah Games With 100 Free Gold

Anthony Ervin won the men’s 100 free on day 1 of the Maccabiah Games in a time of 49.76. Archive photo via “Rafael/Domeyko Photography” …
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Murez Picks Up 2nd Gold Of Maccabiah Games With 1:59 200 Free

Andrea Murez picked up her second gold in as many days at the 2017 Maccabiah Games. Archive photo via Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com ...
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Gordon Wolf earns silver medal in freestyle wrestling at Maccabiah Games

Wolf is one of 12 wrestlers representing the United States at the Maccabiah Games, with all 12 competing in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.
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Maccabiah Games live blog Day 7

MEDAL ALERT A silver medal for the Lacrosse for the girl’s team their first ever Maccabiah Games. A defeat to USA but still a notable achievement.
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Rivlin hints at disunity in address to Maccabi World Union

Eyal Tiberger, executive director of the Maccabi World Union, who was the moderator of the event, enthused that the first Maccabiah Games had been …
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Austin Treubert Named to US U-23 National Rowing Team

“MIDN 1/C Treubert, along with fellow Navy Lightweight, 3/C Noah Chaskin (currently competing at the 2017 Maccabiah Games) have demonstrated …
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Social Media Roundup: American Classic, New Elites, P&Gs Excitement, & More

Elites were in full swing (literally) this weekend. The American Classic went down in Huntsville, Texas, and there was plenty of buzz and excitement …
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Meet Keren Zibner: An Israeli swim champion, model and industrial engineer

… an Israeli Olympic swimmer, swam her first meet in the 2017 Maccabiah, looking to add new medals to her current collection of eight from the games …
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Israeli Tourism Breaks All Records in First Half of 2017

And despite a summer heat wave with temperatures in the 90s, more than 10,000 athletes are taking part in the 20th Maccabiah Games throughtout …
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Record-breaking day in the pool led by Aussie Levy setting world mark

The 30-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, is competing in the Maccabiah for … After breaking the Games record in the 100m free on Sunday, Andrea …
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Category:Competitors at the 2017 Maccabiah Games

Pages in category “Competitors at the 2017 Maccabiah Games“. The following 3 pages are in this category, out of 3 total. This list may not reflect …
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Shameless self-promotion: Upcoming Hank Greenberg events

Posted on: July 12th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

I’ve been looking to participate in Gelf Magazine’s “Varsity Letters” program for years. The dream comes true July 24. Hope to see you there. Here are the details:

Varsity Letters logo Baseball Night

Varsity Letters is back at The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge on Monday, July 24, with four authors of recently released books about baseball:

• Sports Illustrated writer Jay Jaffe, author of The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques

Ron Kaplan, author of Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War

• MLB.com executive reporter Mark Feinsand, author of The New York Yankees Fans’ Bucket List

• Faith and Fear in Flushing blogger Greg Prince, author of Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star

Graphics by Mister Lister.

Event Details:

The Gallery at LPR (Official site, map)
158 Bleecker St. (between Sullivan St. and Thompson St.)
New York, NY 10012
Blocks from ACE/BDF/MNR/1/6 trains

Doors open at 7.
Event starts at 7:30.
There is no admission charge.
Attendees must be 21 or older, as per Le Poisson Rouge rules. (Email varsityletters@gmail.com if you are under 21 and would like to attend. The farther in advance, the better; no guarantees.)

Baseball Hall of FameThen, on August 16 at 1 p.m., I’ll be serving as “closer” for the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Annual “Author’s Series.” From the Hall’s announcement:

Our Authors Series brings noted baseball authors to Cooperstown for special lectures and book signings during the summer months. These programs are included with the cost of admission.

On Wednesday, August 16th at 1pm, the Hall of Fame will welcome author Ron Kaplan as he talks about his new book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

From his first day in the big leagues, Hank Greenberg dealt with persecution for being Jewish. The Hall of Famer always did his best to shut out the bigotry, but in 1938, that would prove more difficult then he could have imagined.

Author Ron Kaplan examines Greenberg’s 1938 season in incredible detail. While Greenberg was battling at the plate, the Jewish people overseas were dealing with a humanitarian crisis. Adolf Hitler had taken direct control of the country’s military in February of 1938 and then began a methodic takeover of all neighboring countries, spreading Nazism and the Holocaust.

Hank Greenberg in 1938 chronicles the events of 1938, both on the diamond and in the streets of Europe. As Greenberg took aim at Babe Ruth’s home run record, Hitler’s “Final Solution” was beginning to take shape. Jews across the United States, worried about the issues overseas, looked to Greenberg as a symbol of hope. Though normally hesitant to speak about the anti-Semitism he dealt with, Greenberg knew that he was batting for so many of his own people, particularly those living with life and death on the European continent.

The program includes a presentation in the Bullpen Theater, followed by a book signing in the Library Atrium. Presentation at 1 pm. Book signing at 1:30 pm.

For more information call (607) 547-0362.

 

JML Update: A “Mid-Season” Review

Posted on: July 11th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Put in quotes because it’s technically not the midseason, but close enough for government work.

First of all, a correction: there have been 11 MOTs in the Majors this year, not 12. I had inadvertently counted names rather than players in included Scott Feldman twice since he appears on the JewishBaseballNews box score as a pitcher and a batter.

So, on with the show. Stats courtesy Baseball-Reference.com.

If you don’t have your health…

Ryan Braun has missed more than half of the Milwaukee Brewers’ 91 games so far. All things being equal — a phrase I love to use — he could be among the league leaders in home runs. If nothing dramatic happens in the second half, he’ll join Hank Greenberg and Sean Green as the only Jews with 300 or more home runs. A bit tougher will be the 40 RBIs he needs for 1,000. He was placed on the 10-day DL (which is a misnomer, since he spent a lot more than 10 days there the second time) twice in May for a calf strain that stills bothers.

 

 

Alex Bregman is going through some growing pains for the Houston Astros. You may recall he got off to a horrendous start as a rookie before catching fire. This season, he’s probably been somewhat of a disappointment to himself and the team. Fortunately, the Astros are doing so well, few seem to be worried about him. And with a good second half he could wind up with 20 homers and 20 stolen bases. Knock wood, he’s been one of the healthy ones.

 

 

Ian Kinsler spent some time on the DL with a hamstring issue. His absence was more notable because the Tigers are doing so poorly. His name has popped up in trade rumors. Always a streaky guy, he had a little string of three games with home runs (June 20-22) and only one since. He has a way to go before joining Greenberg, Ryan, and, presumably, Braun, in the 300 club.

Last but least, there’s Brad Goldberg of the Chicago White Sox. he made his only Major League appearance — maybe for his career — on June 3 against the Tigers in which he gave up four runs on a walk and three hits (including a home run) in just one-third of an inning for an ERA of 108.00 and a whip of 12.000.
 

 

Ryan Lavarnway, one of the favorites for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic, got a brief call-up by the Oakland A’s when catcher Josh Phegley went on paternity leave. Lavarnway was 0-for-2 in his only game and was designated for assignment on July 8.

 

 

Joc Pederson was a head case for the LA Dodgers, placed on the DL for a concussion he suffered when he collided with Yasiel Puig on a play in the field. Despite his obvious power and superior defensive skills, he’s missed a fair amount of games for righty-lefty reasons.

 

 

Kevin Pillar didn’t miss time because of a physical injury he received, but rather an emotional and societal one he inflicted when he uttered a homophobic remark at an opposing player. That caused quite a reaction outside the normal baseball rank and file, as one might expect. The Toronto Blue Jays have no questions about his glovework, but his offense is extremely inconsistent. At one point before his suspension, Pillar was hitting .303; now it’s .256. The team has shuffled him all over the lineup, mostly in the leadoff spot where he had an on-base percentage of just .306, but also sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth. That’s a big difference in responsibilities. Pillar has a good shot at the “20/20” club … if he can stay healthy.

 

 

Danny Valencia has been brilliant and disappointing. He’s enjoyed several multi-hit games for the Seattle Mariners — his seventh team in eight seasons — including four each of four and three hits. And his 43 RBIs leads all Jewish players. Knock wood, he hasn’t been on the DL and could set career-highs in most offensive categories.

 

 

So quickly summing up the batters, apart from Lavarnway, every one of the batters should reach 10 home runs easy, maybe even 15. Twenty might be asking a lot.

Richard Breier has to be the most pleasant surprise among the JMLs. The lefty reliever for the Baltimore Orioles has appeared in 25 games and has acquitted himself most admirably. Okay, so he’s not blowing anyone away with just 14 strikeouts, and yes he does have a relatively high WHIP (walks + hits per inning pitched), but he gets the job done much more often than not.

 

 

Craig Breslow was going along swimmingly until his last few games when he just seemed to fall apart. On May 28, he had an ERA of 1.47. The next day it rose to 2.89 after he gave up three runs in just one-third of an inning. A blip, perhaps, since he pitched scoreless ball in his next two outings. But since June 11, Breslow as given up 11 earned runs in just eight innings. And he ended up on the disabled list. Here’s hoping for a full recovery and a trip to his usually reliable self.

 

 

Scott Feldman has always been an anomaly to me. One game he’s great, the next he’s terrible. He’s always given up his share of home runs (153), so there’s little margin for error, especially with a team like the Cincinnati Reds who are last in the NL Central. As the saying goes, he pitches just well enough to lose. As the only pitcher who gets to bat on a regular basis, Feldman is just 1-for-31 with 15 strikeouts, a far cry from his season with the Cubs in which he hit .176 with two doubles, his only home run, and eight RBIs. He also could wind up being trade bait.

 

JML Update, Weekend Edition (Games of July 7-9, 2017)

Posted on: July 10th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ryan Braun served as the designated hitter in the Milwaukee Brewer’s 9-4 win over the host NY Yankees on Friday. Evidently his calf is still give him problems and the Brewers probably didn’t want to tax him too much right before the All-Star break. Braun hit his 11th double, walked, and scored two runs. He did play left field in the following game, going 0-for-4 at the plate as the Yankees won on a walk-off home run. And sure enough, he came out of that one with a cramp. Braun was excused from Sunday’s rubber game, won by the Brewers (50-41), 5-3.

Alex Bregman had two hits in 11 at-bats for the Houston Astros in their weekend against the host Toronto Blue Jays (the two teams began their series on Thursday) and both went for doubles, giving him 21 on the year. The latter came in the Astros’ 19-1 laugher. He also walked twice and scored three runs. Kevin Pillar was also 2-for-11, but only one of those was a double, his 23rd. He did make another nifty catch on an otherwise dismal Sunday. The Astros, at 60-29, how have the second-best record in the Majors (see below).

Danny Valencia stroked three hits —  a double (#12) and two singles — on Friday for the Seattle Mariners in a 7-2 win over the visiting Oakland As. They were his only hits in 10 at-bats over the weekend. He scored four times as the Mariners (43-47) split their four-game series with the A’s (39-50). Ryan Lavarnway started Friday’s game behind the plate and went 0-for-2 before coming out for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. He was designated for assignment the next day.

Joc Pederson hit a two-run homer on Saturday (his ninth) to get the LA Dodgers — who sport baseball’s best record at 61-29 — on the scoreboard in their 10-inning, 5-4 win over the visiting KC Royals. He also nailed a runner at the plate in a Statcast-worthy clip. It was one of two hits he had on the day. He had gone 1-for-4 on Friday and did not play in Sunday’s game, as the Dodgers completed the sweep.

Ian Kinsler drove in the first run for the Detroit Tigers (39-48) who held off the host Cleveland Indians for a 5-3 win on Sunday. Overall, Kinsler was 3-for-11 with a walk and a run scored as the Tigers lost two of their three-game set.

Richard Bleier finally gave up a run in 2.2 innings as the Baltimore Orioles (42-46) beat the Minnesota Twins (45-43), 11-5, on Sunday. It was the first run he’s allowed first since June 22 and it was unearned. In fact, Bleier  has given up just one earned run in his last 20 appearances. According to TwinsDaily.com, “Craig Breslow made his first rehab appearances and saw a runner score after he gave up a walk and a double with two outs.”

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (39-49) who took two of three from the host Arizona Diamondbacks.

As we head into the All-Star break, there have been a dozen MOTs who have appeared in a Major League game this season. Unfortunately, many of them have spent time on the disabled list for one reason or another. I’ll go into that in more detail in tomorrow’s entry. Shalom, y’all.

 

So long, Sela

Posted on: July 10th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Well, it was fun while it last. Dudi (David) Sela beat John (Goliath) Isner but couldn’t repeat against his next Wimbledon opponent, losing to Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday, 6-1, 6-1, so thanks for the memories. Sela also lost in men’s doubles.

Meanwhile

  • Seth Lipsky (USA), lost in his men’s doubles and mixed doubles matches.
  • Jonathan Ehrlich (Israel) lost ion his men’s doubles match.
  • Camila Giorgi lost her singles match.

I’m not aware of any other Jews besides Justin Gimmelstob (USA) and Peter Polansky (Canada) who participated in Wimbledon, but I don’t really consider their games along the same competitive lines, just as I didn’t incl;ude Israel’s other entry, Yshai Oliel, who was entered into the boys singles and doubles categories.

 

 

JML Update, Games of July 5, 2017

Posted on: July 7th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Don’t know how I managed to miss posting this yesterday. Apologies. I know you’re all waiting bated breath…

Kevin Pillar cracked his 10th home run of the year to help the Toronto Blue Jays (39-45) beat the host NY Yankees, 7-6. His shot came in the fourth to give the Jays a 4-2 lead. Pillar also singled and walked in four plate appearances and stole his 12th base. The probability is high that we could have all six position players hitting double-digit homers; all of them have at least eight at this point. Maybe the Jays are looking to deal him someplace?

Ian Kinsler was 2-for-5 and drove in a run, but the Detroit Tigers (37-46) lost to the visiting San Francisco Giants, 5-4. The Tigers scored all their runs in the seventh but couldn’t quite make it all the way.

Ryan Braun singled and scored a run in four at-bats as the Milwaukee Brewers (47-40) shut out the visiting Baltimore Orioles (40-44), 4-0. Richard Bleier did not appear for the O’s.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-4 and walked as the Houston Astros (58-27) beat the host Atlanta Braves, 10-4.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-2 in the LA Dodgers’ 1-0 win over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. He came out for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. The Dodgers (57-29) could only muster four hits so he was in good company.

Danny Valencia was 0-for-4 with a walk as the Seattle Mariners (41-45) lost in 10 innings to the visiting KC Royals, 9-6.

Ryan Lavarnway, recently called up by Oakland A’s (37-48), did not appear in their 7-4 win over the visiting Chicago White Sox.

Scott Feldman didn’t pitch horribly, but the Cincinnati Reds (36-48) still lost to the host Colorado Rockies, 5-3. Feldman (7-6) gave up four runs on five hits, two of which were home runs. He walked one and struck out six. Maybe the Reds are looking to deal him someplace?

Craig Breslow remains on the disabled list for the Minnesota Twins. He’s scheduled to do some bullpen work today then appear in a rehab game on Sunday. The Twins (43-41) lost to the visiting LA Angels, 2-1.

 

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JML Update, Games of July 6, 2017

Posted on: July 7th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ryan Braun hit his 10th homer of the season to help the Milwaukee Brewers (48-40) destroy the host Chicago Cubs, 11-2. He also walked twice before coming out for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. That two-run shot was part of the seven the Brewers put up in the third inning.

Danny Valencia hit #9 (#9, #9…Beatles reference), a three-run blast in the ninth, but the Seattle Mariners (41-46) lost to the visiting Oakland A’s, 7-4. Ryan Lavarnway did not appear in the game for the A’s (38-48).

Alex Bregman had two doubles (19) and a single in three at-bats (plus a walk) and scored twice but the Houston Astros (58-28) still lost to the host Toronto Blue Jays, 7-4. Kevin Pillar hit his 22nd two-bagger and singled in four at-bats for the Jays (40-45), who scored five of those runs in the fifth inning. Yesterday I mentioned that all the regular JML position player could wind up with double-digit home runs, but could Pillar end up in the 20/20 club?

Ian Kinsler continues his months-long slump. His 0-for-4 night dropped his batting average to .239. The Detroit Tigers (38-46) beat the visiting San Francisco Giants, 6-2.

Joc Pederson walked  as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and scored a run as the LA Dodgers put up a four-spot in their last at-bat to beat the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-4.

Richard Bleier pitched another scoreless inning of relief for the Baltimore Orioles (40-45), who lost to the host Minnesota Twins (44-41), 6-4. He struck out one and allowed two hits.  Craig Breslow was scheduled to do a bullpen session then reporter to Rochester for a rehab game on Sunday.

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (37-48) in their 6-3 win over the host Colorado Rockies.

 

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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.

 

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