Posts Tagged ‘Craig Breslow’


Jewish sports update, January 28, 2018

Posted on: January 28th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan


Omri Casspi, still recovering from the aftereffects of the flu, played just four minutes for the Golden State Warriors (40-10), making one steal which led to a Stephen Curry three-pointer.


No activity over the weekend because tonight is the NHL All-Star Game. No MOTs on the rosters, not too surprisingly.


Mazel tov to Alex Bregman, who was named “Headliner of the Year” by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

Could the Brewers be moving Ryan Braun to first base? Seems a shame as he looks like a pretty decent outfielder (to one who doesn’t watch him on a regular basis).

Will Craig Breslow return to the Cleveland Indians? The LOOGY has had two stints with the Tribe, the first in 2007 and the most recently last season. Overall, he’s appeared in 14 games, tossing 12.2 innings with no won/loss record or saves.

Kind of funny, some of the questions asked about teams. For example “Who will be the next Blue Jay to get 20 steals?” I mean, 20 is a pretty low bar to set. Kevin Pillar was the last Toronto player to swipe that many, by the way.

And FYI, pitchers and catchers start reporting for Spring Training on Feb. 12, although some teams haven’t officially set their dates yet.




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


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


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.


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.


JML Update, November 14, 2017

Posted on: November 14th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

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.

lsuarkansas.111217 HS 946.JPG

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, 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:

Round ’em up

Posted on: October 13th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

For the sake of time, I’m combining a few sports in this round up, including baseball, hockey, and basketball.


Well, so much for the possibility of Craig Breslow being added to the roster of the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series; his team was eliminated by the visiting NY Yankees on Wednesday, 5-2.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros host on the Yankees in Game One of the ALCS beginning tonight. No one could blame him if he’s still kvelling from his home run in the clincher.

So far, Joc Pederson is not on the roster for the LA Dodgers, who host the Chicago Cubs beginning Saturday. The Cubs won a corker over the hiost Washington Nationals last night, 9-8, overcoming a 4-1 deficit.


Jason Zucker scored his second goal and second assist of the year as the Minnesota Wild (1-1-1) scored four times in the third period to beat the host Chicago Blackhawks, 5-2, for their first win of the a season. Zucker was on the ice for 19:52, taking five shots on goal.

Jason Demers spent the second-most time on ice for the Arizona Coyotes (23:37) in their 4-2 loss to the visiting Detroit Red Wings. he took two SOG. The Coyotes have yet to put a win on the board with a record of 0-3-1.


Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors last played on Oct. 8. Their next game is Oct. 15. I don’t know how you can get any kind of continuity playing one a week. How much of an impact will Casspi have on the team?

Maccabi lost to the Indiana Pacers, 108-89 on Tuesday. They next face the Trail Blazers in Portland tonight. At this writing there are still 500 tickets available for as low as $2!!




JML Update, Post-season edition (Oct. 10, 2017)

Posted on: October 10th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Excelsior, Astros!

(“Onward and upward” for those of you who never too Latin…or read a comic book.)

Alex Bregman hit his second home run of the ALDS to help Houston beat the Boston Red Sox, three games to one. Bregman’s shot in the top of the eighth of Chris Sale tied the score at 3-3 in what was an eventual 5-4 win.

He also made two nice plays in the field: this one to double up a runner in the third

And this one to get the first out in the bottom of the ninth after Raphael Devers led off the inning with an inside-the-park home run to bring the Sox within one.

Bregman batted just .222 for the ALDS, but two of his four hits (in 18 at-bats) went yard, or as Red Sox Nation might say, “yaaaad.”

Houston now awaits the winner of the series between the NY Yankees and Cleveland Indians, which is knotted at two after the Yankees tied things up last night. The Indians — who left reliever Craig Breslow off their post-season roster — won the first two games at home but couldn’t put the Yankees once the venue moved to the Bronx.

Meanwhile, the LA Dodgers — operating without the services of Joc Pederson — won their NLDS set against the Arizona Diamondbacks, three games to one. he was a member of the teams “taxi squad,” kept nearby just in case of emergency.

JML Update, Divisional Series Edition (Games of Oct. 5 and 6)

Posted on: October 6th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Alex Bregman homered in his first at-bat of the ALDS  — his post-season debut — against the visiting Boston Red Sox’s Chris Sale to get the ball rolling, so to speak. The Houston Astros took Game One, 8-2, thanks mostly to Jose Altuve’s three home runs. Bregman also singled hard back to the box, the ball ricocheting off of Sale’s glove.

PHOTOS: Astros 8, Red Sox 2Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman celebrates his first inning home run during Game 1 of the ALDS at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Houston. ( Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle )Browse through the photos to see action from the Astros' Game 1 win over the Red Sox. Photo: Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle

In Game Two –just completed — Bregman doubled in five at-bats and scored run in the bottom of the third as the Astros once again put up an 8-2 win to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series).

Craig Breslow was not included on the Cleveland Indians’ post-season roster. They beat the visiting NY Yankees, 4-0. Same for Joc Pederson for the LA Dodgers, who take on the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks tonight. That could change, however, in the days and weeks ahead. Doubt it, though.


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.



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