Posts Tagged ‘Bud Selig’


JML Update, Games of 8/8/17

Posted on: August 9th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan


Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Welcome to the club: Max Fried made his major league debut last night, tossing the final two innings in the Atlanta Braves’ 5-2 loss to the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. He walked two and gave up two hits while striking out one. Mazel tov, Max!

Alex Bregman had a two-out, game-tying, three-run triple (#4) for the Houston Astros (71-41) but the host Chicago White Sox (42-68) came back for an 8-5 win. Bregman, batting in the leadoff spot, was 1-for-3 with two walks. According to RotoBaller, he has 13 extra-base hits over his last 14 games. He wasn’t so great on the basepaths, however, getting picked off as well as caught stealing. Brad Goldberg did not appear for the Sox.

Ryan Braun, still batting in the second slot in the order, hit his first three-bagger of the year to go along with his 17th double and a single, but the Milwaukee Brewers (59-56) lost to the host Minnesota Twins, 11-4.

Danny Valencia hit a game-tying, pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the eighth inning as the Seattle Mariners (58-56) beat the host Oakland As, 8-7, in 10 innings. Ryan Lavarnway, whom the As had designated for assignment, cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA Nashville.

Ian Kinsler was 1-for-4 with a run scored but the Detroit Tigers (51-61) lost to the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-3. Here’s an interesting take on how players market themselves from FanGraphs.com:

MLB players haven’t become ubiquitous in popular culture the way stars in other sports have. While the players themselves have remarkable talent, and fans already watching the game will know the names Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Miguel Cabrera, but a casual observer or non-fan on the street would be hard pressed to pick those players out of a lineup. Whether it’s the structural problems the sport presents — star players are involved in a fraction of a Major League game, unlike in other sports, where teams can make sure their best players are involved on nearly every play — or the failings of the teams and the league itself to market their stars, baseball players just aren’t the marketing behemoths that basketball and football players often are.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities out there for players interested in marketing themselves, rather than leaving the heavy lifting to the league or their organization. What former Cubs catcher David Ross and Detroit Tigers second-baseman Ian Kinsler have done recently is demonstrate what happens when a player takes control of their own story, and uses the power of social media, television, and a bounty of available resources to help sell themselves (and perhaps a few products as well).

Kinsler has done well for himself on the field over the last several years, but has the kind of skills that often fly under the radar. He’s a career .275/.343/.448 hitter, a four-time All-Star, and a 2016 Gold Glove winner, but he’s not usually been regarded as a franchise player, despite performing like one. He’s precisely the kind of player who is beloved on his own team but gets little notice beyond that, in spite of turning highlight-reel double plays, or textbook perfect ball-drops.

Ian Kinsler is not a typical magnet for marketers. Because his appeal doesn’t have the same reach as bigger-name guys on the team like Miguel Cabrera or Justin Verlander, Kinsler is not the first choice for most companies. In spite of that, he has managed to craft an image for himself that mirrors his on-field persona.

In 2016, Warstic, the baseball bat company Kinsler co-owns with Ben Jenkins and White Stripes frontman Jack White, were approved for use in the MLB. Soon the bats were being sported by Kinsler and teammate Nick Castellanos in Tigers games and their popularity spread to other teams. Leading into the 2017 season, Kinsler and White loaned their individual talents to the promotion of Warstic by putting out a series of videos featuring Kinsler preparing for games as if he were a warrior heading into battle, while White’s music accompanied in the background. Kinsler, Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris, and Ben Jenkins were also featured in a short film ahead of the season in which the men learned sniper rifle techniques from Navy SEALs as a means to find their focus in the pressure of a game.

Even in a commercial where Kinsler promoted Beats by Dre headphones, his persona was the same. He is always careful about how he is portrayed, manipulating the medium to create a brand for himself. In every one of these ads he is the serious, contemplative warrior, preparing himself to face off against his enemies. The image crafted is that of a man who takes his sport and himself seriously. It is an effective method to maintain the image of a fierce competitor on the field, and a man whose life beyond the baseball diamond is a mystery, but one can almost picture him climbing onto a horse after the game and riding off into the sunset now that the battle is over.

Back to business…

Joc Pederson was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the LA Dodgers (79-33) lost to the host Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-3.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (53-59) beat the visiting NY Yankees, 4-2.

Richard Bleier did not appear for the Baltimore Orioles (56-57) who lost to the host LA Angels, 3-2.

Conflicting info re: Scott Feldman‘s return. One source says the Cincinnati Reds’ starter should be back by Saturday while another says he’s not as far along in his progress as had been hoped.

Correction: Yesterday I said that early 20th-century Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss was the only Jew besides Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax to have a plaque in Cooperstown. Add former commissioner Bud Selig to the list. Selig was among the latest batch of inductees to go into the Hall. HT to Bob Wechsler for the reminder.




Jewish Sports Heritage Association Announces Awards for 2015

Posted on: January 12th, 2015 by Ron Kaplan

Jewish Sports Heritage Association, a not-for-profit education organization dedicated to educating the public about the role Jewish men and women have played in sports, an area of Jewish accomplishment often overlooked, recently announced the First Annual Jewish Sports Heritage Association Awards.

“These men and women will show the public what Jews can achieve in sports,” said Alan Freedman, director of Jewish Sports Heritage Association, “and at the same time we hope will break down existing stereotypes about religious and ethnic groups.”

The awards:

The Helene Hines Courage AwardHelene Hines, a lifelong New Yorker, ran 27 marathons until MS took its toll on her, and now uses a wheelchair full time. Hines has won the hand-cycle category of the N.Y. Marathon and Boston Marathon several times.  She is the 2015 recipient of this award.

The Dr. Bruno Lambert Good Guy Award — named in memory of Bruno Lambert, physician, healer, athlete, and patriot. This years’ award recipient is Craig Breslow, major league pitcher. Breslow founded “The Strike 3 Foundation” in 2008 in order to heighten awareness, mobilize support, and raise funds for childhood cancer research. At age 14, Craig’s sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. More than 15 years later, she lives an unrestricted life as a cancer survivor. Breslow graduated from Yale as a molecular biophysics and biochemistry major in 2005 and he became the first Bulldog to reach the majors since Ron Darling. He currently pitches for the Red Sox.

The Lifetime Achievement AwardDavid Stern and Bud Selig. Stern began his career with the NBA as General Counsel and was soon named the league’s fourth commissioner. He wasted no time turning the NBA into the world’s premier sports league. Stern’s 30 year run as commissioner saw the game experience tremendous growth across all sectors, turning the NBA into a global phenomenon. Selig was the ninth commissioner of baseball, having served in that capacity since 1992 (acting commissioner). Selig oversaw baseball through the 1994 strike, the introduction of the wild card, interleague play, and the merging of the National League and American Leagues under the Office of the Commissioner. Selig introduced revenue sharing and he is credited with the financial turnaround of baseball.

Marty Glickman Broadcaster of the YearTony Kornheiser, co-host of Pardon The Interruption on ESPN since 2001, and he has hosted The Tony Kornheiser Show on radio in various forms since 2002, is the recipient of this award. In 2012, Kornheiser was ranked number 8 in the list of 100 most important sports talk radio hosts in America by Talkers Magazine.

The Sportswriter of the Year AwardJoel Sherman, sports columnist at the New York Post, began working at UPI in 1984. He joined the Post in 1989, serving as the beat writer for the Yankees from 1989-95 and has been the baseball columnist ever since. Sherman was chair of the N.Y. chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America from 1997-98, after serving as vice-chair the previous two years. He has served on several national committees for the BBWAA.

The Mike Freedman Outstanding High School Athlete of the Year (male & female) – Mike Freedman was an outstanding high school soccer player, as well as a wrestler and baseball player).

Benjamin Cohen, a student at Phillips Exeter Academy, who has been rowing since 2012. He finished 10th in the four at the 2014 World Rowing Junior Championships; 13th in the youth four with coxswain at the 2013 Head of the Charles Regatta. Cohen finished 1st in the eight at the 2013 New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championships. He is currently the All-School President at Phillips Exeter Academy.

Jemima Montag, an Australian, is a race walker who won the Under-10, 11-, 12-, 13-, and 14-year-old state race walk titles. At the time of the World Cup of race Walking in China in 2014, Montag qualified with a  best time of 47 minutes 00 seconds in the 10km race, at the time ranking her 6th in the world in the under age 20 category. She teamed with fellow Australian Clara Smith to win a team bronze medal and became the first Australian females to achieve a World Cup medal.

The Jay Fiedler Outstanding College Athlete of the Year Award (male & female) named in honor of Oceanside native, Dartmouth College graduate, and former NFL quarterback Jay Fiedler.

Emily Sklar, an All-ACC volleyball player at Duke University. The 6’3” Sklar was named AVCA All-America honorable mention and AVCA All-East Coast Region honors. She led the team in 2014 in kills, kills per set, and service aces. In high school, Skalr was named the 2011 California Gatorade Player of the Year.

Chase Buchholz, a sophomore at Harvard University, is a member of the U.S. Rowing Men’s Four; he finished eighth in the double sculls at the 2012 World Rowing Senior and Junior Championships. Buchholz won the single sculls and the quadruple sculls at the 2013 U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships. He won the double sculls at the 2012 U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships.

The Jewish Sports Heritage Association awards will be announced in the Spring issue of Jewish Sports Heritage magazine and on the Jewish Sports Heritage Association website.

The noive of these guys.

Posted on: August 8th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

The following comes from a Rob Neyer column on Baseball Nation on the PED suspensions:

What would Alex Rodríguez possibly have gained by meekly submitting to Commissioner Bud’s punishment? The undying love of Jon Heyman? Probably not:

The length of Alex Rodriguez’s suspension was said by baseball players union chief Michael Weiner to be “almost ridiculous.”

I agree. It is ridiculous.

It’s too light.


A-Rod got 50 games for violating MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement.

And 161 more for chutzpah.

That’s a good line! Nothing like a bit of Yiddish to spice up a baseball column.

I’m not sure an arbitrator will be super-impressed, though.

Sure, the Ryan Braun suspension suggests some penalty for chutzpah. But a 15-game chutzpah penalty doesn’t create the precedent for a 161-game chutzpah penalty. Braun got the penalty he got because Bud Selig doesn’t want to see him again this season. Rodríguez got the penalty he got because Bud Selig doesn’t want to see him again this season or next season … supposedly Selig’s last as Commissioner.


The Bud Selig farewell tour?

Posted on: June 21st, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

So far, the NY Yankees’ 43-year-old closer Mariano Rivera is second in the Major Leagues with 25 saves, the 16th time in 17 years he achieved that mark (and he probably would have done it last year too had he not missed most of the season with an injury). But he has announced his retirement at the end of 2013 so he’s getting a nice sendoff as he makes his final visit to opponents’ ball parks. Such treatment is a time-honored tradition.

Now it seems to be extended to MLB commissioner Bud Selig, who said he plans to step down after the 2014 season. Say what you will about how the sport has improved during his tenure (i.e., made more money), but right now, to some, he seems very vindictive in his unfailing desire to punish Ryan Braun, among others, for embarrassing the game with the crime of having his PED suspension overturned last year. Then there’s the constant refusal to make the game more accessible to younger fans by not having every post-season game begin at 9 p.m., and extending the baseball calendar to November. Okay, so that’s an exaggeration, but not by much.

Just sayin’.

The Bud that will not mature or fade away

Posted on: December 21st, 2012 by Ron Kaplan

From SB Nation, this item about baseball commissioner Bud Selig’s plans for retirement plans. Or not.

"I am this close to retiring."

Howard Bryant on Delmon Young (and the Korner on Howard Bryant)

Posted on: May 4th, 2012 by Ron Kaplan

Howard Bryant, an author of several excellent books, including The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron and Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston published this piece about the Delmon Young situation on the ESPN website  recently.

I have great respect for Bryant, but I’m still not exactly sure what he’s trying to say here as he discusses “Life after Delmon Young’s arrest.” I wonder at some of his comments, most of all why he feel compelled to point out that “Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, who is Jewish, suspended Young for seven days without pay”? Is Bryant implying that Selig’s religion has anything to do with the punishment, that it makes him predisposed to his decision? Would a non-Jewish commissioner have let off Yung with a stern reprimand? Would Bryant mention the religious affiliation of a commissioner who was Buddhist or Lutheran?

He also writes “[T]here are few more complicated relationships between groups than the longstanding tensions between blacks and Jews.” Anecdotal evidence aside, I haven’t read enough to know if this is especially true. I guess the use of the qualifier “few” would hold up, but, again, why single out the Jews? Were the jerk hockey fans who  insulted the Washington Capitols’ Joel Ward Jewish? Were the cops who beat up Rodney King?

In this day and age where everyone has a cameraphone to record events, I would be greatly interested to see something — unedited — from Young’s incident. Was he provoked somehow by the “yarmulke-wearing panhandler?” Did Young have one too many at the bar (not that that’s any excuse). Was he upset over not having played recently? You can never be in another person’s head, but I would love to know.


MLB suspends Delmon Young over anti-Semitic altercation

Posted on: May 1st, 2012 by Ron Kaplan

Funny, but when I first heard about his suspension, there was no mention of any anti-Semitic remarks, just that he had attacked someone. I wonder why that important little fact was omitted?

From the JTA:

Detroit Tigers left fielder Delmon Young, center, exits Manhattan criminal court with his attorney Daniel Ollen, left, after posting bail. (Louis Lanzano - AP)

Demon Young, the Detroit Tigers outfielder who was arrested in New York for allegedly attacking a group of men and making anti-Semitic remarks, was suspended without pay for seven days.

The suspension is retroactive to April 27, when he was placed on the restricted list. His loss of pay amounts to more than $250,000, according to the Detroit News. Young will not contest the suspension.

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced the suspension Monday night, saying that “Those associated with our game should meet the responsibilities and standards that stem from our game’s stature as a social institution. An incident like this cannot and will not be tolerated. I think that Mr. Young is regretful, and it is my expectation that he will learn from this unfortunate episode.”

Young is facing a misdemeanor aggravated harassment hate crime charge stemming from the April 27 incident outside the Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, where the Tigers were staying before the start of a series with the New York Yankees that night. He is scheduled to appear in court in New York on May 29 and faces up to a year in jail if convicted.

According to reports, a group of tourists staying at the hotel were approached by a panhandler wearing a yarmulke. Young yelled anti-Semitic epithets at the group. Young also reportedly shoved one of the men, who sustained minor injuries. Young was taken to the hospital after the incident.

A New York Police Department spokesman told the New York Post that it was unclear whether the alleged victim, described as a 32-year-old male, was Jewish.

Young, who endured a 50-game suspension in 2006 for throwing a bat at an umpire, apologized for the New York incident in a news release.

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement saying it was “deeply disturbed” by reports of the player’s outburst. “Bigoted words are unbecoming for any professional sports player and anti-Semitism certainly has no place in the game, either on or off the field,” the group said.

Tigers chief executive officer, president and general manager Dave Dombrowski told the Detroit News that some of the allegations reported in the media are untrue, but would not elaborate on which ones.


Selig back as MLB commish? (Updated)

Posted on: January 12th, 2012 by Ron Kaplan

Perhaps, according to MLB.com.

Update: Make that a yes.


Jews rule: One man's opinion

Posted on: November 15th, 2011 by Ron Kaplan

In this case, that one man is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. According to this piece on Forbes.com, at least three of the “seven most powerful people in  sports” are Jewish including MLB commissioner Bud Selig, NBA commissioner David Stern, ESPN chief George Bodenheimer. Cuban picks “The Fan” as No. 7, so you figure there have to be some MOTs in there.

Bud Selig

David Stern

George Bodenheimer

John Q. SportsFan

(Because Jews always talk with their hands.)

He said what? Ozzie Guillen

Posted on: September 21st, 2011 by Ron Kaplan

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen Photo by Tony Dejak/AP

Welcome to a new feature on the Korner. “He said what?” will highlight some of the dumber things sports people say.

First up: Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.

Guillen is no stranger to putting his foot in his mouth, much to the exasperation of the White Sox and MLB. He’s one of the prime reasons why some people shouldn’t be allowed to use Twitter or other social networking sites; he seems to have no filter and his comments have resulted in fines from time to time.

But this one seems to have gone undetected (thanks to KK chaver Jeremy for the lead).

The Sox are not enjoying a great 2011. As of this writing, they’re third in the AL Central Division with a record of 75-79. Guillen is signed through the 2012 season but wants to know if the team will be extending his contract. If not, he has said, he wants to start looking at other options.

In his pregame remarks before yesterday’s doubleheader with the Cleveland Indians, Guillen said,

“The future? Only two gods I know: Jerry’s God and the real God know what my future is being here.’’

Okay, everybody, all together now:

He said what?

The “Jerry” in this case is Jerry Reinsdorf the Jewish chairman of the White Sox (he is also owner of the Chicago Bulls).

Now, I’ve often been accused of being a “benefit of the doubt” kind of guy, preferring to wait and see — probably too long — for the good to come out of a situation, but there are two problems here (maybe more; math isn’t my thing).

First off, “Jerry’s God and the real God.” So does that mean Guillen thinks his boss is worshiping a false God, or that his and Reinsdorf’s are the only two gods, which, if that’s the case, is going to piss off a lot of Muslims, Buddhists, and anyone else not in “the club.”

Second, and at the risk of offending the sports media, how did no one pick up on that? Are they that insensitive to such a pronouncement? Or do they just not care, chalking it up to the ramblings of a loon, excusing it as Ozzie being Ozzie?

Third (I told you about the math), keep religion out of the locker room, okay? The White Sox do not have any Jews on their roster (rumors about Dylan Axelrod being MOT proved to be untrue), but Reinsdorf, you would think, would take exception. And don’t forget about Bud. (But then again…)

I received a call from the White Sox this afternoon. Their spokesperson, in fact, was quite responsive to the issue and wanted to reassure that Guillen was trying to be amusing, as he apparently is wont to do, and was not speaking in a religious tone. I’m willing to accept that there was no religious malice or anti-Semitism intended (benefit of the doubt guy, remember?) and I don’t expect Reinsdorf to issue a statement one way or the other.

On the other hand, just as Guillen was directed to take a sensitivity course for a homophobic slur he made in 2006, he needs to be aware of his reputation as a loose cannon and that his comments carry consequences. Falling back on a “free speech” defense or “I was just joking” isn’t good enough.

P.S. I also left a message with MLB’s media relations office. So far, nothing. Either they figure it’s an internal matter for the White Sox; don’t care; don’t consider it an issue; or just plain feel they don’t need to bother responding since this isn’t The New York Times or network TV.

Just sayin’.



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