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Posts Tagged ‘Alex Bregman’

 

Let’s try this again: JMLs

Posted on: March 28th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

You don’t call; you don’t write…

Haven’t been blogging lately because I’ve been getting used to my new hours at work. In case you forgot or are new to the Korner, I lost my job at the New Jersey Jewish News in the fall of 2016. It was there I established this blog and it was part of my job description. But once I was no longer there, I had to decided whether to let it go or take it on myself. Problem is, working 4 a.m to noon or 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. doesn’t always lend itself to maintaining a blog, let alone three — I also host Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf and The Worried Journalist, both of which have also taken major hits when it comes to posting. The former is my first blog, so I’m most faithful to that one.

But now that the baseball season is upon us — not only the earliest Opening Day in history, but the first time all 30 teams share the date — I thought it was an apporpriate time to start up again and see what happens.

So without further ado…

The JML roster to start the 2018 season includes:

  • Richard Bleier, P, Baltimore Orioles
  • Ryan Braun, OF-1B, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros
  • Ian Kinsler, 2B, Los Angeles Angels
  • Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Kevin Pillar, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Danny Valencia, Utility, Orioles
  • Gabe Kapler, Manager, Philadelphia Phillies

Absent from Major League rosters but who appeared in 2017:

  • Craig Breslow, P, Blue Jays
  • Max Fried, P, Atlanta Braves
  • Brad Goldberg, Chicago White Sox
  • Ryan Lavarnway, C, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Ryan Sherriff, P, St. Louis Cardinals

In addition, pitcher Scott Feldman — who was 7-7 for the Cincinnati Reds — remains a free agent, as does Ike Davis, who is trying to reinvent himself as a pitcher.

A few notes: Braun will spend some time playing first this year, at least when some lefties pitch for tyhe opposition. Kinsler, of course, begins the year with a new team and might begin it on the bench due to an injury. And Kapler gets his first shot as a manager.

The big surprises — to me, at least — were Fried, Valencia, and Pederson. The Braves were considering using Fried as part of their rotation, but he begins the season in the minors. Valencia signed with the Orioles and made it to the OD roster. And Pederson, who’s had his ups and down, was looking at not being in LA when the bell rang, especially given his poor spring. Also, I have a soft spot for the ivy league-educated Breslow, so I hope he makes it back soon. Lavarnway was an invitee to the Pirates’ camp and did not make it.

No surprise that Bregman is the new big deal.

Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (2) enters the Astros dugout after hitting a walk off single that drove in pinch runner Derek Fisher and gave the Astros a 13-12 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the tenth inning of Game 5 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, in Houston. ( Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle ) Photo: Karen Warren, Staff / © 2017 Houston Chronicle

Hope I didn’t miss anyone. Didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to spring training. Fortunately Jewish baseball News did and kept track of the landsmen.

 

Jewish sports update, January 31, 2018

Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors (40-11) suffered a rare blowout loss, dropping this one by 30 points to the host Utah Jazz, 129-99. Casspi showed signs of rust, playing 11 minutes, scoring two points, but committing three turnovers and two personal fouls.

NHL

Jason Zucker scored his 20th goal of the year, connecting on one of the four shots he took as the Minnesota Wild (27-18-5) beat the host Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, in a shootout. It was the seventh consecutive game with a goal or an assist for Zucker, who played 16:31 and served a two-minute penalty for delay of game. The Wild host Brendan Leipsic‘s Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. Leipsic took one SOG in 10:29 as the Knights (33-12-4) beat the host Calgary Flames, 4-2.

David Warsofsky was a scratch as his Colorado Avalanche (27-18-4) fell to the host Vancouver Canucks, 3-2.

Tonight, Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the NY Islanders while Andre Burakovsky and the Washington Capitols entertain the Philadelphia Flyers.

MLB

Alex Bregman is proud of his days at LSUis and vice versa.

The Jays Journal blog asks, “Is Kevin Pillar the next domino to fall to clear the outfield clutter?”

Ryan Braun is clearly on board with the direction his Milwaukee Brewers have taken.

Cardinals Brewers Baseball

MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig will explore the integration of America’s pastime and diversity in the game from 1945 through today during a discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee. The program will be part of the museum’s new exhibit, “Allied in the Fight: Jews, Blacks and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” which is on view until March 25.

Misc.

JTA posted this piece on “5 Jewish storylines to watch” at the 2018 Winter Olympics, one to which the Jewish state will be sending its largest contingent to date.

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 30, 2018

Posted on: January 30th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors visit the Utah Jazz tonight.

NHL

After the All-Star break, action resumes tonight with Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets; Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Calgary Flames; and David Warshofsky and the Colorado Avalanche visiting the Vancouver Canucks.

Jason Demers is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury as the Arizona Coyotes prepare for their Thursday game against the Dallas Stars.

MLB

Kevin Pillar, aka “Superman” to his Toronto Blue Jay fans, “wants to fly higher than ever before.”

Ryan Braun will indeed start working out at first base for the Milwaukee Brewers to help with their overcrowded outfield situation.

Alex Bregman served as the keynote speaker for LSU’s First Pitch Banquet this past Sunday.

I guess you get stories like this one regarding Gabe Kapler during the off-season.

The Cleveland Jewish News weighs in on the local team’s decision to retire the Chief Wahoo logo. Next year.

Misc.

Quarterback Josh Rosen, who decided not to return to UCLA so he can go into the next NFL Draft, will participate in the 2018 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge this week. The competition will feature 24 players from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. The athletes will be divided into six teams based on their college conference. Each team will consist of four players from the same conference who will compete for conference supremacy in a series of skills competitions. The event will be televised on Friday, Feb. 2, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Former NFLer Geoff Schwartz on “Why everyone loves the underdog Eagles, especially the Eagles”

Soccer clubs across Germany pay tribute to Holocaust victims

Kenyan soccer kids receive Maccabi kits from the Australian contingent

Jewish sports update, January 12, 2018

Posted on: January 12th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Games of Jan. 11

NBA

No games last night for Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors. Tonight they visit the Milwaukee Bucks.

The sports management club at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, NJ, recently had the special opportunity to visit the offices of the NBA.

NHL

In the only NHL/MOT game, Andre Burakovsky was a healthy scratch as the Washington Capitols (27-14-3) lost to the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, 3-1.

Tonight, the Caps visit the Carolina Hurricanes while Michael Cammalleri and the Edmonton Oilers visit Jakob Chychrun, Jason Demers, and the Arizona Coyotes.

MLB

Mazel tov to Joc Pederson, who tied the knot earlier this month to Kelsey Williams..

Alex Bregman and other athletes helped out at a benefit skills camp.

Could Ryan Sherriff serve as the closer for the St. Louis Cardinals? Max Fried for the Atlanta Braves’ starting rotation? And could Danny Valencia wind up with the Colorado Rockies?

NFL

Mitchell Schwartz, the All-Pro offensive tackle for the KC Chiefs, looks back on an ultimately disappointing season.

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 6, 2018

Posted on: January 6th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Including events of Jan. 5…

In the only major pro action that featured a Jewish athlete, Brandon Leipsic took one shot on goal in 13:13 as the Vegas Golden Knights (28-10-2) won their ninth game in their last 10 games, 5-4, over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. Tonight, Michael Cammalleri and the Edmonton Oilers visit the Dallas Stars; Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Vancouver Canucks; Jason Demers and the Arizona Coyotes host the NY Rangers; and Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild visit the Colorado Avalanche.

Omri Casspi is listed as probable for tonight’s game between his Golden State Warriors and the host LA Clippers. He missed the last game with bruised ribs.

Today, Mitchell Schwartz and the Kansas City Chiefs hosts the Tennessee Titans in a wild card NFL playoff. Schwartz was named to the AP All-Pro team as the right tackle. This is second straight year being so honored for the 28-year-old Schwartz. His brother, Geoff — now an NFL analyst — offers this piece on what each team needs to do to win in the first round.

A Jewish quarterback in the New York area would be nifty, but would the Giants, who get a high pick, go for UCLA’s Josh Rosen? Maybe not, according to this article on NJ.com. “…as new Giants general manager Dave Gentleman attempts to rebuild the locker room, Rosen’s personality could be a big story in New York over the next few months. Already, scouts have begun to question Rosen’s motivation for playing the game and personality.” Ruh-ro.

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen passes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California in Los Angeles. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

Hard to believe — as I sit in NJ where the “real feel” factor is -12 — that spring training is just a few weeks away. The Baltimore Orioles are hosting a minicamp. Richard Bleier is on hand. Could he move from the bullpen into the starting rotation? The World Champion Houston Astros are embarking on one of those caravans. Alex Bregman will be one of the participants. Some people in the Milwaukee Brewer universe are complaining that they can’t move forward with outfield plans because Ryan Braun‘s contract (and no trade clause) are hog-tying them. Braun is set to make $20 million this year. Hey, no one forced them to give him that kind of money, so don’t blame him.

Moving to the Israeli figure skating scene (!)… Let’s kill all the lawyers. (Don’t blame me; that’s Shakespeare’s line.)

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 5, 2018

Posted on: January 5th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NHL

Jason Demers’ 10th assist of the year tied the game between the Arizona Coyotes (10-27-5) and visiting Nashville Predators at 2-2 in the third period. The Coyotes won in OT, 3-2. Demers had two shots on goal in 21:26 of ice time.

Zach Hyman took two shots on goal in 17:57 as the Toronto Maple Leafs (24-16-2) beat the visiting San Jose Sharks, 3-2, in a shoot-out.

Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights (27-10-2) fell to the host the St. Louis Blues, 2-1. Leipsic took one SOG in 12:43. The Knights visit the Chicago Blackhawks tonight.

Jason Zucker took two SOG in 16:43 as the Minnesota Wild (22-16-3) beat the visiting Buffalo Sabres, 6-2.

Michael Cammalleri took two SOG in 18:15 as the Edmonton Oilers (18-20-3) beat the visiting Anaheim Ducks, 2-1, ending their three-game winning streak.

MLB

A belated Happy Birthday to Kevin Pillar, who turned 29 yesterday. What do the Toronto Blue Jays have in store for him in 2018?

Alex Bregman, Spanish teacher?

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 4, 2018

Posted on: January 4th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Omri Casspi missed last’s game with a “mid-back strain,” as the Golden State Warriors (30-8) eked out a 125-122 win over the host Dallas Mavericks.

NHL

No games involving Jewish players last night. This evening features the full compliment of Jice-men, including, Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the San Jose Sharks; Branden Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visit the St. Louis Blues; Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild host the Buffalo Sabres; Michael Cammalleri and the Edmonton Oilers host the Anaheim Ducks; and Jason Demers and the Arizona Coyotes host the Nashville Predators.

NFL

Josh Rosen has announced he will leave UCLA and declared for the NFL draft. He was featured in the opening question on today’s Pardon the Interruption. The Cleveland Jewish News notes that the home-town Browns — who finished 0-16 — have the first pick and might go for Rosen. (Here’s the paper’s outlook for the city’s pro sports teams for the new year.)

MLB

The St. Louis Cardinals are showcasing pitcher Ryan Sherriff in the “winter cavalcade.” This is one way teams keep the fans interested during the dreary winter months. Ian Kinsler ranks fifth on the list of all-time  Detroit Tigers second basemen, following Charlie Gehringer, Lou Whitaker, Dick McAuliffe, and Placido Polanco. How much money do you think streaky LA Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson will make in arbitration? And will Alex Bregman join his Houston Astros teammates when the world champions visit the White House? After all, according to this piece in U.S. News and World Report, Bregman, “who called Trump a ‘joke’ before the 2016 presidential election, was recently asked whether he would accept an invitation. ‘I don’t know. I’m gonna do whatever Carlos Beltran and Carlos Correa do,’ Bregman said, referring to two of the team’s players from Puerto Rico.”

JML Update, January 1, 2018

Posted on: January 1st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Trying to get off to a good start. Like all resolutions, let’s see how far I can get. With a “sur-number” like 18, let’s hope it a lucky year for all.

First of all, Happy Birthday to Hank Greenberg, born on this date in 1911. And a belated HB to Sandy Koufax who turned 82 on December 30.

As for the extant JMLs…

Alex Bregman isn’t letting World Series stardom get in the way of preparing for the upcoming campaign (#NoOffSeason). But what should we make of this? Does it affect his religious identity in our eyes?

Ian Kinsler‘s home run in the finale of the World Baseball Classic ranks No. 9 on this list of memorable long balls for 2017 courtesy of RealSports101.com.Kinsler has found his new heavenly abode, joining the Angels of Wherever for the next season.

Here’s the text that goes with it:

The 2017 World Baseball Classic brought the game’s biggest stars into a tournament that was at its best this year. Despite it not getting much attention because the United States had not won the WBC in previous years, this year was a little different because the quality of play was insane.

The United States of America finally came through with the help of Ian Kinsler, whose home run sparked the Americans. The two-run shot was just the first two runs of the eight that the Americans would score in the final against Puerto Rico. Thanks to Kinsler, there was no worry about this being a repeat of previous games for Team USA.

Ryan Braun is 29 home runs shy of Greenberg’s 331, tops among Jewish Major Leaguers. He’s included in this piece on walk-off wins by the Milwaukee Brewers. Although he’s only 34, there’s been  lot of disparaging talk about his abilities. Yes, he’s a had a few injuries over the last two years. And yes, there’s that PED PR fiasco, but I’m hoping he has a great comeback year and shuts up a lot of these naysayers. Both he and Kinsler are mentioned in this piece about current players who are very good but might not get consideration for the Hall of Fame when their opportunities come up.

As far as the new kids go, Max Fried might be competing as the fifth starter spot for the Atlanta Braves. From Fansided: “Southpaw Max Fried (#8 Braves prospect) posted a 0.88 WHIP, 11.08 K/9, and a sparkling 1.73 ERA.  He proved dominant for most of the AFL season.  Of the five earned runs he gave up during the AFL, four of them came during one start.”

Image result for Gabe Kapler tattoosHeadline from the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Phillies manager Gabe Kapler has unorthodox ideas about his lineup. Get used to them.” Well, yeah. Orthodox Jews don’t have tattoos.

Nothing much to say about super defensive outfielder Kevin Pillar; disappointing second-year LA Dodger Joc Pederson, who managed to make a name for himself during the post-season and might have been a World Series MVP had the outcome been different; or pitchers Richard Bleier (Baltimore Orioles) or Ryan Sherriff (St. Louis Cardinals). Nothing at all to say about Chicago White Sox pitcher Brad Goldberg, who made a most inauspicious debut in 2017. And still no movement for the free agents Danny Valencia, Craig Breslow, and Scott Feldman. Here’s hoping they find professional homes soon.

It’s been a long, long time….. JML Update

Posted on: December 20th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Sigh.

Between my crazy work schedule and fatigue engendered by the above, it’s been hard to get in a groove regarding Jewish sports. My apologies to the millions of you out there (JK) who relay on the Korner for the latest info.

As we head into the new year, here’s an attempt to get back into focus.

Image result for ian kinsler angelsThe biggest news on the baseball front is the trade of all-star second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Detroit Tigers to the Angels of whatever geographic name they’re going by these days? Anaheim? Los Angeles? California? The transaction was made back on December 14.  The Tigers received just two prospects because of the difficulty they had trading Kinsler, who had veto power on any deal. Kinsler, an aggressive type who admits he may have lost focus a bit because the Tigers weren’t playing well over the past few years,  is apparently excited by the new opportunities in Cali, with a team that has made a number of moves in the right direction (as opposed to my Mets who are still disappointing). On the other hand, all players say pretty much the same when they relocate.

Kinsler played in the Motor City for four seasons, batting .275/.328/.764 with 78 home runs and an even 300 RBIs. Overall, he has 234 homers and 839 ribbies.

Here’s a piece on the “anatomy” of the deal from the Detroit Free Press.

Despite rumors, Ryan Braun remains a member of the Milwaukee Brewers for the time being, at least. Some baseball wonks are apparently not happy with the situation.

Alex Bregman continues to revel from being on a World Championship team. But it’s not necessary to always be in the news.

Joc Pederson, on the other hand, is facing a questionable future with the LA Dodgers. With one good year and one bad one, will they give him another real shot to see which is the real deal?

Kevin Pillar — also the topic of hot stove trade gossip — remains with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jewish free agents still available include Craig Breslow and Danny Valencia. Could he end up with the Boston Red Sox? Or perhaps the Angels? Could either of them be attracted to the Cubs based on a new kosher deli?

Max Fried, a promising pitcher with the Atlanta Braves, had a good showing in the Arizona Fall League. Could he make the big club as a fifth starter next year?

Nothing much to report on Baltimore Orioles reliever Richard Bleier or St. Louis Cardinals rookie hurler Ryan Sherriff.

Image result for Gabe Kapler, hanukkah

Yearend2017-S

Gabe Kapler, the new manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, participated in a giant menorah-lighting ceremony last week, getting off to a good start with the local Jewish community. Like Brad Ausmus, Kapler enters the role with no previous major league experience. Let’s hope he has better luck. RE: Ausmus, if this makes the list for top ten ejections in 2017, it must have been a very quiet year.

And sorry, but I still can’t see Paul Rudd played Moe Berg in the upcoming feature film, The Catcher was a Spy, based on the great book by Nicholas Dawidoff. According to IMDB, it’s set for release next month. Great cast, though, including Jeff Daniels, Tom Wilkinson, and Paul (son of Bart) Giamatti.

Save

JML Update, Hot Stove League (11/27/17)

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

The winter meetings are scheduled for Dec. 10-14, at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. But rumors have been swirling for weeks with lots of supposition about the 2018 homes for several of the MOTs.

Danny Valencia and Craig Breslow are free agents. I imagine the former, who has some pop (although he has played for many teams in a short amount of time), will get picked up by some ball club. Breslow, however, even though he’s a loogy, is getting on in years (he turned 37 in August) and has had some health issues over the past couple of seasons.

Add the New York Mets to the list of teams that might be interested in seeking the services of Ian Kinsler. So far I’ve read about the Angels, Giants, Dodgers, and cardinals in the mix.

Ryan Braun‘s name has been bandied about as well (Giants and Dodgers), although he seems content to finish his career with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Joc Pederson: does he have a future with the Dodgers?

Good to see that Kevin Pillar is staying in shape, even though he might not be with the Toronto Blue Jays come next year.

I was feeling pretty good about Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros’ World Series win until Ted Cruz got involved. It’s okay when we say it, Senator, not you. Hat tip to FOK (friend of the Korner) Maxwell Kates of Toronto, who sent in this story about how “Jewish Astros Leave Mark on Local History.” The piece originally appeared in the Pecan Park Eagle on Nov. 26.

Still feels a bit strange to say “Manager Gabe Kapler.” But unlike Brad Ausmus, who inherited a good team and failed to keep things going, Kapler is starting out with a poor team, so he has nowhere to go but up.

 

   
 

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