Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Pillar’


Jewish sports update, January 31, 2018

Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan


Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors (40-11) suffered a rare blowout loss, dropping this one by 30 points to the host Utah Jazz, 129-99. Casspi showed signs of rust, playing 11 minutes, scoring two points, but committing three turnovers and two personal fouls.


Jason Zucker scored his 20th goal of the year, connecting on one of the four shots he took as the Minnesota Wild (27-18-5) beat the host Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, in a shootout. It was the seventh consecutive game with a goal or an assist for Zucker, who played 16:31 and served a two-minute penalty for delay of game. The Wild host Brendan Leipsic‘s Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. Leipsic took one SOG in 10:29 as the Knights (33-12-4) beat the host Calgary Flames, 4-2.

David Warsofsky was a scratch as his Colorado Avalanche (27-18-4) fell to the host Vancouver Canucks, 3-2.

Tonight, Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the NY Islanders while Andre Burakovsky and the Washington Capitols entertain the Philadelphia Flyers.


Alex Bregman is proud of his days at LSUis and vice versa.

The Jays Journal blog asks, “Is Kevin Pillar the next domino to fall to clear the outfield clutter?”

Ryan Braun is clearly on board with the direction his Milwaukee Brewers have taken.

Cardinals Brewers Baseball

MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig will explore the integration of America’s pastime and diversity in the game from 1945 through today during a discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee. The program will be part of the museum’s new exhibit, “Allied in the Fight: Jews, Blacks and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” which is on view until March 25.


JTA posted this piece on “5 Jewish storylines to watch” at the 2018 Winter Olympics, one to which the Jewish state will be sending its largest contingent to date.



Jewish sports update, January 30, 2018

Posted on: January 30th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan


Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors visit the Utah Jazz tonight.


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.


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.


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 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.




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:


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.


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.


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


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





Jewish sports update, January 17, 2018

Posted on: January 17th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.)


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


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.


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


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.



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