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Posts Tagged ‘Gabe Kapler’

 

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 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 24, 2018

Posted on: January 24th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Missed the last couple of days, but rather than backtrack, we’re just going to pretend I’m current.

Just a quick congrats to the Robert Kraft-owned New England Patriots and Jeff Lurie-owned Philadelphia Eagles, who will face each other in Super Bowl LII on February 4.

In other football news:

As for the games played on Jan. 23:

NBA

Omri Casspi played just two minutes in last night’s 123-112 win for the Golden State Warriors (38-10) over the visiting NY Knicks.

NHL

Brandon Leipsic played 13:47 without taking a shot on goal for the Vegas Blue Knights in their 6-3 win over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.

Michael Cammalleri was a scratch for the Edmonton Oilers in their 5-0 loss to the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

David Warsofsky was a scratch for the Colorado Avalanche in their 4-2 loss to the host Montreal Canadiens.

And the “latest” on…

And lest we forget, Red Fisher, widely considered one of the best hockey writers in the game, who died last Friday at the age of 91.

MLB

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed catcher Ryan Lavarnway to a minor league contract. Lavarnway, 30, appeared in six games for the Oakland As in 2017. He made his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2011. According to MLBTradeRumors.com, “The Pirates announced a slate of non-roster invitees to Spring Training today, including catcher Ryan Lavarnway, whose minor league deals had not been previously reported. Lavarnway, 30, has appeared in parts of six big league seasons with the Red Sox, Orioles, Braves and Athletics. He spent the 2017 campaign in the Oakland organization, though he appeared in just six games at the Major League level. Lavarnway is a career .201/.262/.318 hitter through 420 MLB plate appearances, but he’s logged a much more palatable .274/.365/.421 slash in parts of seven seasons at the Triple-A level.” HT to Bob Wechsler and Jeff F. for the news.

More on…

I have to get a screener of this film about the Israeli National Team at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Remaining Jewish free agents: Craig Breslow, Scott Feldman, Danny Valencia

Tennis

Long story short, no Jewish players are still active at the Australian Open.

 

 

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 18, 2018

Posted on: January 18th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Image result for omri casspiOmri Casspi returned to action last night, playing 18 minutes off the bench with four points, four rebounds, and a steal as the Golden State Warriors beat the host Chicago Bulls, 119-112. It was the 14th straight road win for Golden State (37-9). From the Sacramento Bee: “F Omri Casspi played for the first time in a week after being sidelined by lower back soreness. Casspi was available for Golden State’s win at Cleveland, but Kerr held him out. ‘I wasn’t comfortable playing him yet, because he hadn’t really played enough with that bad back,’ [Coach Steve] Kerr said. ‘I’m a little sensitive to bad backs. I wanted him to get a good workout (on Tuesday).'”

NHL

No MOT games last night. Tonight, Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Philadelphia Flyers; Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visit the Tampa Bay Lightning; David Warsofsky and the Colorado Avalanche host the San Jose Sharks; and Jason Demers, Jakob Chychrun, and the Arizona Coyotes visit the Nashville Predators.

MLB

Your regular Gabe Kapler report.

MLB.com puts Atlanta Braves hurler Max Fried at #10 on the list of top lefty prospects.

MLB.com also says the recent acquisition of Ian Kinsler is a major upgrade for the Los Angeles Angels. Conversely, his departure helps make the Detroit Tigers one of the worst teams in the game at the moment, at least according to Bleacher Report. Well at least you can’t blame Brad Ausmus anymore.

NFL

“Despite his first season at center ending prematurely due to injury, Ali Marpet and an effective pass protection effort by the offensive line aided the Tampa Bay offense in setting multiple franchise records in 2017,” according to this player recap on Buccaneers.com.
Tennis

At the Australian Open, Diego Schwartzman and countryman Guido Pella of Argentina lost their doubles match to Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (Chile) and Andrei Vasilevski (Belarus) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6. Madison Brengle (USA) and partner Monica Puig (Puerto Rico) beat Alison Bai and Zoe Hives (both of Australia), 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, in the first round of women’s doubles.

Jewish sports update, January 16, 2018

Posted on: January 16th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Featuring games from Jan. 15…

NBA

Omri Casspi missed his third straight game after his recent back issues due to as the Golden State Warriors (36-9) beat the host Cleveland Cavaliers, 118-108. Although he had been cleared to play, he was kept out of action as a “healthy scratch.” His next opportunity will be tomorrow night when the Warriors visit the Chicago Bulls.

NHL

David Warsofsky is back! Who knew? He’s on the Colorado Avalanche now but he missed last night’s 3-1 win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks as a scratch. He was recently recalled from the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL. Warsofsky made his debut in 2013 with the Boston Bruins. he has also played for the NJ Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins. The 5’9″, 170-pound defenseman has two goals and four assists in 39 career games.

The professional life-span of an athlete is usually pretty brief; hockey players last five-and-a-half years, slightly less than a Major Leaguer which tops the sports world with 5.6 seasons. So it’s never too early to think about your next career, as Andre Burakovsky is doing. #Flipper.

Although the Arizona Coyotes didn’t play last night, you can still read about Jakob Chychrun.

Tonight’s schedule shows Chychrun, Jason Demers, and the rest of the Coyotes hosting the San Jose Sharks; Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting the St. Louis Blues; and Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Nashville Predators

Tennis

Israel’s Dudi Sela was knocked out of the Australian Open in the first round. Camila Giorgi (Italy) bested Anna Kalinskaya of Russia, 6-4, 6-3. Denis Shapovalov (Canada) beat Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece), 6-1, 6-3, 7-6,

NFL

Josh Rosen is becoming the subject of a lot of chatter for the upcoming draft. Could he be a good fit for the Denver Broncos?

An Algemeiner Journal headline: “New York Times Places Patriots’ Jewish Owner in Christian ‘Holy Trinity’.” Hmm.

MLB

His post-season may have bought him some time, but how much more patience will the LA Dodgers show for Joc Pederson?

How will the acquisition of Curtis Granderson (one of the class guys in the game and a favorite of mine) impact Kevin Pillar?

ThatBallsOutaHere — a Phillies-centric blog — tells fans why they should be excited about their new manager, Gabe Kapler.

MISC.

Goldberg, the wrestler, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Goldberg

 

 

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 9, 2018

Posted on: January 9th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Games of Jan. 8.

NBA

Omri Casspi had a pretty good all-around game off the bench for the Golden State Warriors (33-8) in their 124-114 win over the visiting Denver Nuggets. Casspi score four points in 12 minutes but also contributed four rebounds, one assist, a blocked shot, and a steal. Next up: the LA Clippers come to town on Wednesday.

NHL

Only one game on the NHL docket last night but it involved one of the boys: Zach Hyman took two shots on goal in 18:26 as the Toronto Maple Leafs ((25-16-3) fell to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime, 3-2.

Tonight, Michael Cammalleri and the Edmonton Oilers visit the Nashville Predators while Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild play host to the Calgary Flame.

MLB

Image result for ryan braun bobbleheadHoly cow. Spring training hasn’t even started yet but we get a headline like this? I almost feel sorry for Gabe Kapler; has to be tough being involved in any sport in Philadelphia.

Now this is what the off-season is for (Ryan Braun).

NFL

More Josh Rosen draft speculation.

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

   
 

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