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Posts Tagged ‘Brad Ausmus’

 

JML Update, November 14, 2017

Posted on: November 14th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

The winter meetings begin today so it might not be too much longer before we learn the fates of players like Ian Kinsler, Craig Breslow, Danny Valencia, and perhaps even Ryan Braun.

I’m not looking for an immediate move re: Kinsler; neither are the Tigers, apparently.

Could Braun and Toronto Blue Jays super-defender Kevin Pillar be swapping team colors?

Alex Bregman continues to enjoy the adulation that comes with being on a world championship team. As a celebrity, he gets to weigh in on some strange issues.

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Alex Bregman, right, at a recent LSU football game.

Joc Pederson isn’t doing so badly himself either, even if there are some who think the Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfield is too crowded and he’s the one who should be traded.

In fact, what a great week it was during the World Series for past and present Jewish ballplayers and their fans, according to Steve Wulf on ESPN.

Big fish, small pond? Max Fried is the ninth-best prospect for the Atlanta Braves, the organization that is ranked second-best in the game.

Brad Ausmus “passed” on interviewing for the Yankees slot and reports indicate he wants to take some time off from managing. Sorry, but if no one invites you, can you decline an invitation?

And finally, guess who’s back in the Fuld. Our boy, Super Sam. (oooh, sorry) who joins fellow MOT Gabe Kapler on the Philadelphia Phillies. Fuld, who has been out of action for the past couple of seasons due to injury, decided to retire as an active player. He’ll be working on analytics for the Phillies front office.

 

 

JML Update, Nov. 8, 2017

Posted on: November 9th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

In case you’re wondering where I was, I had the honor of participating in the St. Louis Jewish Book festival’s “Sports Night” program on Monday, returning home last night. Almost didn’t make it. Somehow I managed to miss my 6:55 a.m. flight — despite the fact I was sitting right at the gate. Can’t explain how in the world that happened. Also couldn’t get on standby for the next flight. Fortunately, I was able to make a 3:20 flight that arrived in Missouri at around five, their time. Unfortunately, I missed the dinner with my co-presenters, John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro, authors of One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime. More on all that in a separate post. Suffice it to say, it was a great experience.

So, back to bidness…

Did you see Saturday Night Live? There was baseball to be found therein, specifically Jewish baseball, although a lot of people might have missed it. Leslie Jones was doing a bit about her love of the game on the Weekend Update segment, specifically mentioning Jose Altuve and George Springer. And all of a sudden, who do you think walks onto the set? Altuve and Springer. But they’re also joined by Alex Bregman. But you wouldn’t know it because his name is never mentioned! (Could it really be that he didn’t know SNL was, in fact, live?)

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Years ago, players would go on the post-season “rubber chicken circuit,” so named because chicken seemed to be the dinner of choice served at these affairs. That’s why they needed spring training: to lose all the weight they had gained. And players certainly continue to make their appearances these days. Enjoy it while you can, Alex; these things can be pretty fleeting.

Jewish media are also jumping on the Bregman bandwagon, as evidenced by this trivia quiz from the San Diego Jewish World. Stay tunedNot to throw cold water on the situation, but you know the champions of any sport usually have the opportunity to visit the White House. But under this administration, some of the athletes have expressed their reluctance. So what would Bregman do? Stay tuned.

Moving on…

Ian Kinsler did not win the Gold Glove Award for his play at second base. Same news for Kevin Pillar in center. Still hearing about the scenario where Kinsler might join fellow MOT Ryan Braun on the Milwaukee Brewers. Could the Toronto Blue Jays be looking to move Pillar?

Could Brad Ausmus wind up managing the Yankees, give us two Jewish skippers now that Gabe Kapler is at the helm of the Philadelphia Phillies?

Is it really so noteworthy that Max Fried had his first bad outing of his Arizona Fall League season? Come on, people; give the kid a break.

Jewish free agents include Scott Feldman, Danny Valencia, and Craig Breslow.

 

 

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JML Update, November 3, 2017

Posted on: November 3rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Good-bye, World Series. Hello, black void of baseball until the spring.

That’s not actually true. These days there’s always something going on, whether it’s award season or Hall of Fame announcements, or trade rumors. A very calculated effort to remain in the public eye and not lose to many fans to other sports.

Many of those rumors will have to do no doubt to the slew of Jews who might be on different teams in 2018, including Ian Kinsler, Ryan Braun, Danny Valencia, Scott Feldman,… indeed, at least half of the MOTs might be wearing different unis next year.

Alex Bregman might never get elected to the Hall of Fame, but his glove will be there, at least for the foreseeable future. There was a thread on Facebook asking whether he should be included among the 10 best Jewish players of all time. Child, please. He hasn’t even played two full seasons. How many phenoms have we seen, destined for a plaque in Cooperstown, that bottomed out after a year or two? Does the name Joe Charboneau ring a bell?.

So for what it’s worth, these are my suggestions for the top ten JMLs, not necessarily in order:

  • Sandy Koufax
  • Hank Greenberg
  • Al Rosen
  • Shawn Green
  • Ken Holtzman
  • Ryan Braun
  • Ian Kinsler
  • Brad Ausmus
  • Kevin Youkilis
  • Jason Marquis

Discuss.

Image result for joc pederson, alex bregmanMoving on, It’s understandable that we’re proud of both Bregman and Joc Pederson, the second-year outfielder for the LA Dodgers who went through a rather hellish season. But let’s not fall back into the sentiment that we’re still underdogs when it comes to perceptions (stereotypes?) about our athletic abilities. Pederson had three home runs in 18 World Series at-bats. Compare that with 11 in 273 during the regular season. In fact, he was doing so poorly that the Dodgers demoted him to the minor leagues for a time. So the fact that he was even on the roster for the Fall Classic was an accomplishment. Pederson led his team in just about every offensive category. And he did it with his brother, Champ, by his side the whole time. Sure, Pederson shows a lot of “youthful exuberance,” but so what? He’s a youth (or in the parlance of My Cousin Vinny, a yoot). I think it’s very sweet the way the brothers hang out and how much Champ is a part of Joc’s life.

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People should remember that Feldman was having a fairly decent — if typically uneven — season before he succumbed to a season-ending injury. (Does anyone even remember Jon Moscot?)

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So how do you think Gabe Kapler will fare as the newest manager for the Philadelphia Phillies? He seems pretty serious about getting the team out of its recent doldrums. Brad Ausmus took over the reigns of a powerful Detroit Tigers club but never really enjoyed success with them.

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Speaking of “phenoms,” Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried was named pitcher of the week in the Arizona Fall League.

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Finally, a reminder that I’ll be at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival on Monday evening at 7 p.m. at the JCC Staenberg Family Complex, Arts & Education Building. Had a great time there when 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die came out and expect the same this time around.

 

 

 

In other JML news

Posted on: October 30th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Baseball does not live in the vacuum of the World Series. So here are some tidbits on some of the other fine fellows…

Image result for Gabe KaplerCongrats to Gabe Kapler, right, the latest MOT to be named manager in the majors. He will take the reigns of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018. Kapler — who appeared in 1,104 games during his 12-year big league career — was a member of the Boston Red Sox when they had four Jews on the roster at the same time, back in 2006. Can you name the other three? (Answer below)

Where might Brad Ausmus end up, if anywhere? There are a number of teams still looking for new on-field leadership, including the NY Yankees, but I really doubt that will happen.

Ian Kinsler and Kevin Pillar were named Gold Glove finalists for second base and outfielder, respectively. Kinsler won the honors last year but Pillar has yet to match the feat. And it doesn’t look like he’ll do so this year, at least according to Jays Journal blogger Clayton Richer.

I would ask if Danny Valencia might join Kinsler on the Tigers but lots of wagging tongues don’t think Kinsler will be on the squad come spring training. If Valencia does change flannel, it will be his eighth team in nine seasons.

Atlanta Braves rookie pitcher Max Fried continues to impress in the Arizona Fall League.

(The other three were Kevin Youkilis, Adam Stern, and Craig Breslow.)

 

JML Update: The rest of the story

Posted on: October 23rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Still haven’t found the time for a comprehensive recap of the 2017 season, but here’s the latest about the JMLs:

JML Update, Playoff edition

Posted on: October 16th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Once again, the NY Yankees find themselves in a 2-0 deficit following losses in Houston to start the American league Championship Series. Alex Bregman, batting eighth in the lineup, got one of the Astros’ six hits on Friday in their 2-1 win. The next day he was 0-for-2 with a walk as Houston won by the same score, this time snatching the victory in the bottom of the ninth behind the outstanding pitching of Justin Verlander, who went old school tossing a complete game five-hitter (Houston also manged just five hits) and striking out 13.

The venue changes to the Big Apple beginning tonight.

Meanwhile, the LA Dodgers added Joc Pederson to their roster following the sidelining of Cory Seeger. Pederson, who missed the NLDS, appeared as a defensive replacement in Saturday as the Dodgers beat the visiting Chicago Cubs, 5-2. Same thing the next day, only he had a chance to come to bat and produced a sacrifice in a 4-1 win thanks to a walk-off home run by Justin Turner. That series now moves to the Windy City.

In non-playoff news:

JML Update, Weekend Edition (September 29-October 1, 2017)

Posted on: October 2nd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Note: This entry covers just the last weekend of the 2017 season. I’ll be spouting off on the entire JML season in greater detail in the days ahead.

Well, this was a letdown. Only three JMLs participated in their teams’ final games on Sunday: Max Fried, Joc Pederson, and Alex Bregman.

Fried started the game for the Atlanta Braves. He pitched — mixed. On the one hand, he struck out seven batters in just 4.1 innings. On the other hand, he pitched just 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on six hits. But just two of those were earned and the Braves (72-90, third in the NL East) beat the host Miami Marlins, 8-4. But Because Fried threw just 4.1 innings, he did not qualify for the win. He was 0-for-2 at the plate. P.S. Giancarlo Stanton did not homer in the finale, so he ended the season with 59. Kudos just the same.

Pederson entered the game for the LA Dodgers (104-58, first in the NL West) in their 6-3 win over the host Colorado Rockies as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the third. He had pair of RBI doubles in three-at bats.

Bregman was a pinch-runner in a 4-3 Houston Astros (101-61, first in the AL West) win over the host Boston Red Sox. He was 0-for-2 as he stayed in the game for the DH, Carlos Beltran. On Thursday, Bregman singled, doubled, and homered (#19 to tie Ian Kinsler for most among MOTs), driving in all three of the Astros’ runs in their 3-2 win. He was o-for-4 in a 6-3 loss but in his last seven games, Bregman was 12-for-31 (.387) with three home runs and 11 RBI. Fun fact: These two teams ended the regular campaign with a four-game series and will now play each other in the first round of the post-season, setting up the possibility for nine straight games. I’m guessing that’s never happened before in pro-sports.

As for those who did not appear:

  • Ian Kinsler did not appear for the Detroit Tigers (64-98, last in the AL Central and tied for the worst record in MLB; the worst team gets the first pick in the following year’s amateur draft, so it will probably be a coin flip) in their 6-4 loss to the host Minnesota Twins. That’s because outgoing skipper Brad Ausmus named him “manager for a day,” a practice sometimes given as a show of respect for veterans. Kinsler’s last game as a player came in Friday’s 6-3 loss in which he was 1-for-4 with a run scored and a walk. Also worth noting: Kinsler reached 600 plate appearances, so his option for 2018 kicks in. Don’t know what that means as far as where he’ll actually be playing . (Bonus Fun Fact: on Saturday, Andy Romine became the fifth Major Leaguer to play all nine positions in a single game. Makes for an interesting line in the box score.)
  • Kevin Pillar had a great reason for missing the last three games for the Toronto Blue Jays (76-86, fourth in the AL East): the birth of his child. The Jays dropped two of three to the host NY Yankees.
  • Ryan Braun, as the Milwaukee Brewers (86-76) beat the host St. Louis Cardinals, 6-1. He doubled twice in five at-bats the previous night in a 7-6 loss, driving in a run. On Thursday, Braun was hitless in four trips to the plate, grounding into two double plays in a 5-3 win. The Brewers just missed a wild card slot, finishing second in the NL Central.
  • Ryan Sherriff appeared for the Cardinals (83-79, third in the NL Central) in that one. He picked up his second win of the year, tossing one scoreless inning, giving up a hit, and striking out one. Sherriff did not pitch on Thursday.
  • Richard Bleier threw 1.2 innings of scoreless relief on Friday in the Baltimore Orioles’ 4-3 loss to the host Tampa Bay Rays. Bleier gave up a hit and struck out one for the O’s, who finished last in the AL East with a record of 75-87. That outing was enough to push his ERA to 1.99.
  • Danny Valencia missed the Seattle Mariners’ 6-2 loss to the host LA Angels. He was 0-for-3 with a walk in their 6-5 loss on Friday and did not not appear in Saturday’s 6-4 win. The Mariners finished 78-84, tied for third in the AL West.
  • Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (102-60, first in the AL Central) in their 3-1 in over the visiting Chicago White Sox. In fact. he did not pitch in any of the three final games. One has to wonder if he has a place on the post-season roster.
  • Ausmus got his fair share of criticism, but could he end up as the Mets manager next year? Stay tuned.

 

JML Update, Games of 9/13/17

Posted on: September 14th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ian Kinsler was 0-5 as the Detroit Tigers (60-85) went into the record books as the team that gave the host Cleveland Indians (90-56) their 21st straight win,  5-3. In fact it was Kinsler who made the final out of the game, lining to left in the record-setting event. Craig Breslow did not appear for the Indians. Manager Brad Ausmus was ejected again, this time in the third inning for trying to come to the aid of his catcher, James McCann, who was tossed for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Quinn Walcott.

St. Louis Cardinals’ rookie pitcher Ryan Sherriff had his first bad outing of his young career, he allowed to inherited runners to score, along with two of his own, by giving up a grand slam to the Cincinnati Reds’ Eugenia Suarez in the fifth inning of a 6-0 loss. The Cards are 76-9.

Danny Valencia was 1-for-4 and drove in a run on a sac fly as the Seattle Mariners (73-73) beat the host Texas Rangers, 8-3. He also made his 11th error of the season.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-4, splitting his time between thirds and second base defensively, as the Houston Astros (87-58) lost to the host LA Angels, 9-1.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (68-78) lost to the visiting Baltimore Orioles (72-74), 2-1. He struck out with the tying run on base to end the sixth inning and was smart not to throw the bat in disgust, thereby earning himself an ejection. Richard Bleier did not appear for the Orioles.

Ryan Braun did not appear for the Milwaukee Brewers (77-69) in their 8-2 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers (92-56), who beat the host San Francisco Giants, 4-1.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (66-78) in their 8-2 win over the host Washington Nationals.

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JML Report, Games of 9/12/17

Posted on: September 13th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ian Kinsler hit his 22nd double in four at-bats, but it didn’t matter: the Cleveland Indians (89-56) won their 20th in a row by beating the Detroit Tigers (60-84), 2-0. Craig Breslow did not appear for the Indians. And they’re still talking about whether or not to bring Brad Ausmus back as Tigers manager next year.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-3 as the Houston Astros (87-57) made the one run they scored in the second inning stand up for Justin Verlander, who threw eight shutout  innings in the 1-0 win.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-3 but scored the game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth following a lead-off walk. The Toronto Blue Jays (68-77) beat the visiting Baltimore Orioles (71-74), 3-2. Richard Bleier did not appear for the Orioles.

Ryan Braun was o-for-4 but scored one run and drove in another to help the Milwaukee Brewers (76-69) beat the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-3. Braun also stole his 11th base.

Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers, who broke their 11-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the host San Francisco Giants. Max Fried did not pitch for the Atlanta Braves (65-78) who fell to the Washington Nationals, 8-0. Danny Valencia did not appear for the Seattle Mariners (72-73) in their 10-3 win over the host Texas Rangers. Ryan Sherriff did not appear for the St. Louis Cardinals (76-68) who beat the visiting Cincinnati Reds, 13-4.

JML Update, Games of 8/28/17

Posted on: August 29th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Monday. Need I say more?

Danny Valencia highlighted the doings for the few MOTs in action. He hit home run #14, good for one run, but the Seattle Mariners (66-65) lost to the host Baltimore Orioles (66-65), 7-6. Valencia, who played right field and first base (but not at the same time), also had a single and a walk. Richard Bleier did not appear for the Os.

Kevin Pillar  doubled (#31) and scored a run in four at-bats, but the Toronto Blue Jays (61-70) lost to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 6-5. He did contribute this great catch (HT to Scott Barancik for the clip).

Ian Kinsler was 1-for-4 for the Detroit Tigers (57-73) in their 4-3 win over the host Colorado Rockies. Manager Brad Ausmus is still bemused by his recent suspension in the aftermath of the Tigers-Yankees brawls last week.

And that’s all she wrote.

 

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