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Jewish sports update, January 17, 2018

Posted on: January 17th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

NBA

No game for Omri Casspi and the olden state Warriors last night. Tonight they face the Bulls in Chicago. Casspi has missed the last three contests but he should be available tonight.

NHL

Zach Hyman played 19:05 without taking a shot on goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-4) fell to the visiting St. Louis Blues, 2-1, in overtime.

Brendan Leipsic was a scratch for the Vegas Golden Knights (29-11-3) in their 1-0 loss to the Nashville Predators.

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Jason Demers collected his 11th assist to put the Arizona Coyotes (10-28-8) on the board in the second period of a game they eventually lost to the visiting San Jose Sharks, 3-2. Jakob Chychrun played a team-high 23:25 without taking a shot on goal. How much longer will Demers (right) be on the team?

Another question: How long before the NY Islanders recall problem child Josh Ho-Sang?

No MOT games tonight.

MLB

How not to be an example: Kevin Pillar and the dangers of over-strenuous sneezing.

Tennis

At the Australian Open, Jonathan Ehrlich (Israel) and Daniel Nestor (Canada) lost to Radu Albot (Mondovia) and Hyeon Chung (S. Korea) in men’s doubles, 7-6, 6-3. Madison Brengle (USA) fell to Johanna Konta (United Kingdom), 6-3, 6-1. Denis Shapovalov (Canada)  fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in a tough one: 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6, 7-5.

Misc.

They made a movie about the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team. How about one an Israeli skeleton athlete?

Personal trainer sued for displaying swastika tattoo at Brazilian Jewish club

Jewish Sports Update, Weekend Edition (Jan. 12-14, 2018)

Posted on: January 15th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

NBA

Omri Casspi missed Friday’s game for the Golden State Warriors because of a bad back as his mates beat the host Milwaukee Bucks, 108-94. He also missed Saturday’s closer 127-125 win against the host Toronto Raptors. The Warriors are 35-9, with an amazing 19-3 mark on the road.

NHL

Andre Burakovsky missed the Friday game with his Washington Capitols due to illness. The Caps beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3.

Michael Cammalleri took took shots on goal in 14:16 as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Arizona Coyotes, 4-2 on Friday. The next night, he took four SOG in 13:40 as the Oilers topped the Vegas Golden Knights, 3-2, in overtime. Brandon Leipsic took one SOG in a game-low 7:13 TOI.

Jakob Chychrun‘s sixth assist of the season gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead in the first period. He took two SOG in his team-leading 22:45 of ice time. Jason Demers took a shot in 19:14 Friday’s game. He added his seventh the next night, but the result was the same: a loss, this time 6-5 in overtime to the host San Jose Sharks. Chychrun didn’t take any shots in 21:18. Demers took one SOG in 18:58.

Image result for jason zuckerJason Zucker‘s 16th goal gave the Minnesota Wild a 2-0 lead over the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. He took five SOG in 16:26. The Wild would go on to win that one, 4-2. They lost on Sunday in OT to the despite Zucker’s 17 net-finder which started the scoring in the first period on a a power play.

Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs did not play over the weekend, as part of their bye week, a new item in the NHL this year.

The New York Islanders were supposed to count on Josh Ho-Sang as a contributor this year. So far, it hasn’t worked out well. He’s having a tough time of it in the AHL.

MLB

Back in the early 1980s, when free agents didn’t get picked up, there was talk of collusion among the owners to keep salaries down. How does that compares to the situation now, where numerous FA’s are still available? Interesting piece in the New York Times on it.

Speaking of free agents, could Scott Feldman be joining the San Francisco Giants?

Joc Pederson avoided arbitration, signing a one-year deal worth a reported $2.6 million with the LA Dodgers. According to the fantasy baseball section  of CBSSports, “Last season was a trying one for Pederson, as he missed time due to injury and struggled at the plate, even earning a demotion to Triple-A for a while in the second half. He finished on a high note with two homers in the World Series, but Pederson will likely be platooned heavily again to begin 2018, and he could lose out on playing time against righties to Alex Verdugo if he gets off to a slow start.”

Kevin Pillar also avoided arbitration, signing with the Toronto Blue Jays for a nice raise of $2.7 mil, giving him him $3.25, which seems a bit ow to me, comparatively speaking.

Ryan Braun, first baseman?

Read all about Ian Kinsler in his interview with The Athletic (subscription site, ugh.)

Tennis

Image result for diego schwartzmanTime for the Australian Open again, this being the first day. Jewish players participating this year include Israeli perennials Dudi Sela and Jonathan Ehrlich. According to the Australian Jewish News, “Players who have secured their spots in the first Grand Slam tournament for the year include Sela (ranked 78 in the world), Argentinian Diego Schwartzman (26) and Canadian Denis Shapovalov (50) in the men’s singles, and Italian Camila Giorgi (100) and American Madison Brengle (92) in the women’s singles.” Schwartzman, right, won his first match, beating Dusan Lajovic of Serbia in five sets. Stay tuned.

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?

 

 

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.

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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.

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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

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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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:

   
 

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