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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Youkilis’

 

JML Hot Stove Update, Jan. 2

Posted on: January 2nd, 2014 by Ron Kaplan

Hey, pitchers and catchers in less than two months!

So here’s a quick update at who’s where:

Ike Davis — Limbo. Will be be back with the Mets or not?

Josh Satin — Somewhat limbo, as his fortunes are no doubt tied to Davis’. Newly married.

Ryan Lavarnway — Since the Red Sox acquired A.J. Pierzynski as a backup catcher, his days in Boston may be coming to an end, so limbo for him, too.

Nate FreimanHeading to his second spring camp with the Oakland As.

Ian Kinsler — Takes his talents to the Detroit Tigers, where he’ll be under the leadership of rookie manager Brad Ausmus. One of these days they’re going to create for the non-techie sports person a computer interface in which you can ask any permutation of stats and get a response. For example, this one shows that Kinsler was among the few players in the 30 home run-30 stolen base club to strike out fewer than 100 times and get caught stealing less than five times. How do you even frame the question? Seems a bit out-of-the-air. Especially since this happened in 2011. As far as Ausmus goes, at least one prominent baseball “expert” is predicting a 2014 World Championship. More on that from the Forward. (When I have a few minutes, I’m going to go through the ESPN magazine football preview, which predicted the outcome of every regular season game, to see how accurate they were.)

Scott Feldman — Signed with the Houston Astros, his fourth team in three seasons.

Danny Valencia — Prepares for 2014 with the Kansas City Royals, his fourth team in three seasons.

Kevin Youkilis — Sayonara. Youk takes his talents to Japan.

Ryan Braun — Back with the Milwaukee Brewers after serving a season-ending 65-game suspension. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets, both from his hometown fans and when the Brewers are on the road. I’m guessing the fans would mostly “forget” about the PED business if the media let them. Like Satin, Braun is newly married.

http://www.blowoutcards.com/forums/attachments/baseball/157343d1373674640-new-project-jewish-baseball-players-pc-davisbraunyoukhammerinruby.jpg

Craig Breslow — Back in the Boston Red Sox bullpen after a World Championship.

Josh Zeid — Back in bullpen for the Houston Astros, the worst team in MLB with a 51-111 record.

Kevin Pillar — Hopes to be back in the bigs with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Ryan Kalish — Reuniting with former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, trying to make the 25-man roster with the Chicago Cubs.

Free agents — Sam Fuld, who spent last year as a defensive genius sub with the Tampa Bay Rays; Jason Marquis, previously with the San Diego Padres, who was on the way to perhaps his best season when an injury cut it short. His 121 victories ranks him third among Jewish pitchers behind Ken Holtzman (174) and Sandy Koufax (165). At 35, and with injury issues over the last few seasons, it’s questionable whether Marquis can last long enough to surpass either of his predecessors.

Wither Kevin Youkilis?

Posted on: October 31st, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

One of the ongoing debates is, who were the worst free agent busts in baseball.

Bear in mind, in many cases, we’re not talking about character. Sometimes it’s just bad luck. Barry Zito was classified as a “bust” for the San Francisco Giants, but most was forgiven in 2012 when he turned in a record of 15-8 and won the first game of the World Series.

Some disappointments come under the heading of underperformance, either with or without an accompanying injury (see, Kevin Brown, Mo Vaughn). Kevin Youkilis is the latest to fall into this category.

The New York Yankees signed Youkilis, a fan favorite when he was with the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox, to a one-year $12 million deal last season when they were worried about when/if Alex Rodriguez would return to action at third base. Unfortunately, Youkilis has become know for being injury-prone in recent years. He appeared in just 28 games for the Yankees, none after June 13. He batted just .219 with two homers and eight runs batted in.

So it’s probably not surprising that the Yankees, as of this point, have offered him another go, despite A-Rod’s unclear status as he battles a 200+ game suspension. In fact, at 35 and with that history of back problems, one wonders if anyone will take a chance on Youkilis as a full-time player. Of course, his representation tells everyone he’s just fine. One line in this story that caught my eye:  “Had the Yankees made it to the postseason, there’s a pretty good chance he would’ve been ready to play.”

Pretty good chance? That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but kudos for the honesty and not declaring that Youk would absolutely have been ready. Then again, at that stage, would the Yankees even have wanted him, given his long layoff?

Here’s wishing Youk luck. He seems to be a good guy, charitable, with a good sense of humor.

Plus he was in Milk Money (the big kid on the right shaking down a student for his, well, milk money).

 

How do they keep their jobs?

Posted on: October 25th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

The NY Football Giants (why do they keep calling them that? There haven’t been the NY Baseball Giants since 1957. Do they call them the Dallas Football Cowboys? Weird.) 3-4 at this point. Instead, they’re 1-6. Barely.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t won a game yet. They should be 5-2.

The Kansas City Chiefs? They’re pretty close to “expectations”: 7-0 instead of 5-2.

You have to give the folks at ESPN the Magazine credit; they’ve got chutzpa. Their Sept. 2 issue includes predictions for all 267 games for the regular season. (I’m certainly no math wiz, but that seems like a strange number to me since each team plays 16 games.)

I was listening to Hang Up and Listen, Slate’s sports podcast. One of the topics was the Red Sox-Cardinals World Series and how the two teams got there. Mike Pesca, one of the three regulars on the program, seem to take umbrage with the fact the Sox are being hailed for their worst-to-first comeback. (You may recall they finished last in the A.L. East under ineffectual lightning-rod manager Bobby Valentine). Pesca attributed Boston’s success less to the influence of manager John Farrell than the relative health of the team; the Red Sox had a huge number of injuries in 2012.

That’s a great part of the problem with sports predictions. You can never tell who’s going to be healthy and who will suffer from a debilitating injury. In some cases, it could be more than one impact player and there goes everything out the window. Gabe Carimi and Geoff Schwartz have been banged up of late. Kevin Youkilis was hoped to be an integral part of the Yankees season, filling in for an injured Alex Rodriguez, but missed most of the season with his own problems. Jason Marquis was on his way to a possible 20-win year before going under the knife for Tommy John surgery. Then there was superstar Ryan Braun, who missed 65 games because of his suspension. Not that his Milwaukee Brewers were going anywhere anyway.

General managers plan; God laughs.

 

Safe at home?

Posted on: October 4th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

Now that the baseball season is over for the majority of teams, the questions begin: how do we improve for 2014. For some, who enjoyed a decent 2013 (relative to not getting into the post-season), it In some cases, it’s a matter standing pat. But for others, it comes down to signing free agents, bringing up minor leaguers, or making trades.

A few thoughts:

The Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis to a one-year deal, but he missed most of 2013 with injuries. However, the status of Alex Rodriguez is very much a consideration. Will he get suspended for the 211 games that MLB wants? If so, can the Yankees afford to stick with the third basemen they used this season? According to baseball-reference, the Yankees trotted out 11 players at third base, including Youkilis, Rodriguez, Jayson Nix, David Adams, Mark Reynolds, Chris Nelson, Bret Lillibridge, Luis Cruz, Vernon Wells, Eduardo Nunez, and Alberto Gonzalez. Combined, they produced numbers that were next to last in the American League in hits, home runs (12!), and batting average and brought up the rear in runs batted in (52) and on-base-plus-slugging.

With Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte gone and Derek Jeter — the last member of the “Core Four” from the glory years of the mid-late 1990s (Jorge Posada retired after the 2011 campaign) — another question mark (he’ll be 40 next June), there’s a lot of talking about the Yankees rebuilding (i.e., being bad for awhile), it’s unlikely they’ll want to bring back Youkilis, who “earned” $12 million this season.

Youk fans hope this isn’t the end. He’ll be a 35-year-old with back problems for whom the past few years have not been kind. A shande for the three-time All-Star.

And what will the Texas Rangers do about Ian Kinsler? As Branch Rickey famously said, it’s better to trade a player a year too early than a year too late.

And don’t forget about Ike Davis, who was finally coming around with the New York Mets before an injury ended his season on the last day of August. With Josh Satin and Lucas Duda able to man first base, will the Mets look to move him or give him one more shot?

And then there’s the frustrating Scott Feldman, also a free agent. He actually had a decent season, split between the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore orioles, but his habit of good game followed by bad game can be maddening.

The Cincinnati Reds and Cubs have already fired their managers. Rumor has it that Brad Ausmus, who holds the all-time record for games for a JML (1,971) and who skippered the Israeli National Team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifiers, might be considered for the latter post. But also in the running: Yankees field leader Joe Girardi, a former Cubbie catcher who may be expendable given the Bronx Bombers’ circumstances.

JML update, final regular season edition

Posted on: September 30th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

Well that’s it. With the exception of Ian Kinsler, Sam Fuld, Craig Breslow, Ryan Lavarnway, and Nate Freiman, the season is over for out JMLs.

Kinsler and Fuld’s teams– the Texas Rangers and Tampa bay Rays, respectively — ended up tied for the second American League Wild card spot. They face each other tonight in a win-or-go-home situation.

Kinsler had the best position-player season of all the MOTS. Although he faced some injury issues which limited him to 135 games, he batted .275 with 13 homes runs and 71 runs batted in, flipping between his usual lead-off spot and batting third when manager Ron Washington felt the team was in an offensive funk (Kinsler batted .266 with just two home runs and 18 RBI in 154 at bats as the No. Three hitter).

Fuld was used most often as a defensive replacement by the Rays. Sadly, he could not get his batting average above the “Mendoza Line,” hitting just .194 with three triples, two homers, and 17 RBI.

Kinsler  was 8-30 with two doubles, one home run, and four RBI against Tampa Bay; Fuld was hitless in four at bats against the Rangers.

Breslow did his customary solid job as a loogy for the Boston Red Sox. He tossed 59.2 innings over 60 games, compiling a record of 5-2 with 14 holds and a 1.81 earned run average.

Breslow’s teammate (and fellow Yale grad) Lavarnway went back and forth between catching for Boston and Pawtucket. He just missed finishing with a .300 batting average by going hitless in tgwo at bats in his last game. Overall, Lavarnway — who tied a Major League record by allowing four passed balls in an inning (hey, it was a knuckleball pitcher, all right?) — appeared in 25 games, stroking 23 hits (seven doubles, one home run) in 77 at bats and driving in 14 runs.

Breslow and Lavarnway appeared as batterymates 12 times in 2013.

 

Like Lavarnway, the Baltimore Orioles’ Danny Valencia had an up-and-down season. When he did get a chance, he batted .304 in 52 games with some pop: 14 doubles and eight home runs in 161 at bats. he also drove in 23 RBI.

When he was good, he was very very good; when he was bad he was horrid. That sums up Scott Feldman‘s season, which began with the Chicago Cubs and finished in Baltimore. Feldman was 7-6 with the Cubbies, 5-6 with the Os. he beat the Padres 6-2 with a complete game three hitter in which he struck out 12, but in his last game of the season, he allowed eight runs in just 2.1 innings. Still, he’s a workhorse (181+ innings) and some team will be happy to pick him up if the Orioles don’t keep him.

Sophomore Josh Satin filled in nicely for the NY Mets at first base for an ineffective Ike Davis and third base for an injured David Wright, post a .279 batting average with 15 doubles, three home runs, and 17 RBI. He also drew 30 walks in his 75 games.

Rookie Freiman was a member of the AL West-winning Oakland As for the entire season, a requirement of his status as a Rule V draft pick. When given the chance to play, Freiman did pretty well. The hero of the Israel National Team in the World Baseball Classic qualifier last year, Freiman appeared in 80 games, going 52-190 (.274) with eight doubles, one triple, four homers, and 24 RBI. Unfortunately, an abdominal injury sustain in early September may keep him off the post-season roster.

Another rookie joined the JML ranks in 2013: Kevin Pillar (left), an outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, made his debut on Aug. 14 against the Red Sox, going 0-4. Pillar appeared in 36 games, batting .206 with four doubles, three home runs, and 13 RBI.

The last newcomer was Houston Astros reliever Josh Zeid (right). He appeared in 26 games (debuting July 30), tossed 27.2 innings, fanned 24, lost his only decision, saved one and had six holds.

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for a quartet of JMLs this year (’13 being an unlucky number it seems).

The NY Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis as a free agent for$12 million to fill in four Alex Rodriguez but injuries limited the 34-year-old to just 28 games, so you can pretty much throw out that .219 batting average with two home runs and eight RBI.

On the other hand, San Diego Padres starter Jason Marquis was doing pretty well: when he went down with an arm injury that would require Tommy John surgery, he was 9-5 with a 4.05 ERA and had a shot at winning 20.

Ike Davis‘ injury came late in the season, when he looked like he might reverse his terrible start. Following a demotion to the minors, Davis hit .290 in august but it just managed to get his season batting average over.200 (.205). Three of his nine home runs and eight of his 33 RBI also came in that month. His lack of production has made him a major question mark for the team’s plans for 2014.

Then there’s Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers’ All-Star/NL MVP, who was suspended for 65 games for his role in the whole PED debacle. Even before he left, Braun was playing with a sore thumb that limited him to 61 games in which he hit .298 with nine homers and 38 RBI. Be interesting to see how he comes back next season.

 

Breslow, Kinsler nominated for Clemente Award

Posted on: September 18th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

Craig Breslow of the Boston Red Sox and Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers have been nominated for consideration for the Roberto Clemente Award. According the the MLB website, the award “goes to a player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.” Each team nominates one player.

Strke 3 Foundation logoBreslow, who was also nominated in 2010 as a member of the Oakland As,  oversees the daily operations of the Strike 3 Foundation‘s all-volunteer organization, comprising lawyers, doctors, corporate executives, and other professionals who donate their time, services, and expertise. The charity has raised more than $1.5 million. The eight-year MLB veteran is consistently among the Red Sox’ most active players in interacting with children in need and in making appearances in the community.

According to the Rangers’ press release:

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/tex/images/community/y2011/kinslers_kids_649x488.jpgKinsler has donated over $325,000 to the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation over the last six years for Kinsler’s Kids, which has assisted a variety of programs in the DFW Metroplex. These include The Sunshine Kids, which provides activities for youngsters dealing with cancer; The Birthday Party Project, which allows children who do not have homes to celebrate their birthdays at local shelters; and the Summer Reading Club, which partners annually with over 20 local libraries and has the participation of nearly 20,000 youngsters.

Ian and his wife Tess have also been very involved with Heroes for Children, Make a Wish Foundation of North Texas, Metroplex YMCA of North Texas, and the Dallas Children’s Medical Center.

Kinsler
will be honored as the Rangers 2013 Roberto Clemente Award nominee during a pregame ceremony on Monday, September 23 when Texas hosts the Houston Astros.

You can vote for your favorite nominee at Chevybaseball.com through Oct. 6, but you have to fill out an annoying registration form, including info about the type of car in which you’re interested. God forbid they should be charitable about it and not use the occasion as a self-promotion.

Kevin Youkilis, then with the Boston Red Sox, was nominated in 2009.

JML update, Sept. 3

Posted on: September 3rd, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

Because of the Labor Day holiday, this isn’t going to be the usual weekend update.

Suffice it to say it’s been an interesting few days. On Friday, both Ike Davis and Danny Valencia homered. Davis’ two-run shot gave the NY Mets “the lead they would never relinquish” in their 3-2 win over the host Washington Nationals. Valencia’s home run, his sixth in a back-and-forth season, wasn’t enough to put the Baltimore orioles over the top against the host NY Yankees, who won 8-5.

On Saturday, Davis injured himself on a swing that drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in an 11-3 victory over the Nats. Looks like he’s done for the year, which has been, to say the least, a major disappointment and has raised all sorts of questions over his future with the team. September is the time when teams out of the running take stock and examine what their needs are for the next season. Davis’ inconsistency over the past two years have put his status into question.

Josh Satin will not doubt benefit once again from Davis’ absence. In his last three games, Satin had six hits (four doubles) in 13 at bats, plus two walks. The Mets lost a heartbreaker, 6-5, on Sunday night, televised on ESPN. As such, the game didn’t end until after 11. They then had to gather themselves and fly to Atlanta, where they arrived about 4 a.m.,  to play a one o’clock game. Add to that they had baseball’s slowest pitcher, the newly-acquired (and soon-to-be-released?) Daisuke Matsuzaka, and it’s no surprise the lost a snoozer, 13-5. In today’s NY Times article, Satin was quoted

“When guys are slow and methodical or nibble and don’t throw strikes, it’s harder to be into the game,” infielder Josh Satin said, speaking generally about deliberate pitchers. “Even if you’re at 100 percent focus, and you lose 1 percent, it makes a difference. It’s not on purpose. It’s natural.”

That might explain his error at third base in the eighth inning that allowed two runs to score.

Back to Valencia: He was 2-4 in that game and had two more hits in Sunday’s 7-3 Baltimore win over the Yanks.

Scott Feldman pitched well against the Yankees on Saturday, but the Orioles couldn’t must much offense, so he took a hard-fought 2-0 loss. Feldman allowed just one run on six hits in seven innings, walking one and fanning five.

Ian Kinsler is just 2-17 over his last four games with the Texas Rangers.

Nate Freiman started two of the last four games for the Oakland As, and was hitless in five at bats. Texas and Oakland are now tied for the top spot in the AL West.

Craig Breslow pitched in two games against the Chicago White Sox, both wins for the host Boston Red Sox. Breslow totaled two innings, giving up one run and picking up his 11th hold. The Red Sox brought back Ryan Lavarnway once the rosters expanded on Sept. 1. He has yet to play since his return.

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar was 1-7 with a run scored and an RBI over his last four games (three starts and a defensive replacement).

Sam Fuld appeared in three straight games as a defensive for the Tampa Bay Rays, all losses.

Josh Zeid appeared in just one recent game: a 7-1 Houston Astros loss to the visiting Seattle Mariners in which he allowed one run on two hits and two walks in just one inning.

Disabled list: Kevin Youkilis (Yankees; still eying a 2013 comeback), Jason Marquis (San Diego Padres)

Mazel tov to Youk: According to the Portland Press Herald:

The Sea Dogs announced the induction of Kevin Youkilis into their Hall of Fame. Youkilis becomes the first player from the Red Sox-affiliated Sea Dogs to be inducted. He played for the Sea Dogs in 2003, the first year Boston was affiliated with Portland, and hit .327 with six home runs in 94 games, with a franchise-record .487 on-base percentage. Youkilis reached the majors the next year.

Suspended: Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers)

 

You hear what you want to hear (Alex Rodriguez and other PED scoundrels)

Posted on: August 7th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

I imagine the overall (at least the “loudest”) consensus is that Alex Rodriguez and the “Twelve Men Out” are a disgrace to the game, to America, and to all that is sacred or holy. Monday’s Baseball Tonight podcast featured a conversation between host Buster Olney and The New York TimesTyler Kepner that took a strong look at Ryan Braun. I wish there was a transcript available, but you can listen to it at their website. Most of the conversation deals with how much Brewers ownership and fans have been let down by Braun’s selfishness and arrogance.

There are so many permutations to this unseemly stuff: are the players accepting their suspensions to be applauded for talking their punishment or are their ulterior motives (free agency, contract status, etc.)? Should those on post-season contending teams have appealed, therefor being allowed to continue to play in the interim? And what does this say about the teams? It seems that money and success come before ethics. Why else would the Yankees allow A-Rod to play (and I’m sure there are legal protections, given his own contract status that prevent them from tossing him overboard altogether)? Because they’re hoping he can give them that bit of offense that’s been so lacking this season and keep them close in the AL East.

The TimesHarvey Araton wonders why the Yankees have been so relatively accommodating:

Much like A-Rod, they needed attention and a compelling new story line in an effort to reverse plummeting television ratings and attendance in a fast-deteriorating season. His debut Monday night brought the highest Yankees rating on YES this season. And they could certainly use a few extra base hits if he could provide them in their faltering pursuit of a wild-card playoff spot.

Hence, Rodriguez’s return, for however long it lasts, has become a microcosm of baseball’s steroid era dating to the late 1990s. Like the drug-enhanced and now-disgraced blokes who pumped millions into the owners’ pockets, it is a marriage based on self-interest and without much regard for overriding principle.

(Araton also asks: “Would [Rodriguez] have even been rushed into the prestigious four hole or the lineup at all had Kevin Youkilis had a healthy and productive season as his replacement and the offense had remained formidable enough to keep the Yankees at the top of the American League East?”)

Rodriguez getting hit in last night’s game against the White Sox. (John Gress/Reuters).

Since Rodriguez has appealed, he will be allowed to play (as I understand it) until an arbitrator makes a decision, which will take time (unless things get expedited). So it’s conceivable that not only aren’t the Yankees saving the salary that A-Rod would be forfeiting, the actually might have to pay him an additional $6 million! That’s the bonus he would get if he hits 13 more home runs to tie Willie Mays’ career mark of 660. (How cool/appropriate would it be if Rodriguez managed 19 homers?) Of course, the right thing to do would be be for Rodriguez to give that to charity. The Brewers are using the money they would have paid Braun for the rest of his season to give every fan that comes to a home game this month a $10 voucher for food and/or merch.

It was refreshing to hear the latest episode of Hang Up and Listen, Slate’s sports podcast, dubbed “The A-Rod vs. Everyone Edition.” While everyone is dog-piling on the beset Yankee, Josh Levin, Stefan Fatsus, and Mike Pesca actually have some things to say on his behalf, kind of like the defense attorney who really knows his client is guilty but has to see that his rights are upheld anyway.

When Rodriguez returned to action on Monday, I had some evil thoughts: Maybe the White Sox pitchers will throw at his head. Maybe he’ll pull a hamstring or sustain another injury that will finish him for the season (Derek Jeter has been on and off the disabled list several times since his return on July 11). Wouldn’t that solve everyone’s problem?

JML update, July 24

Posted on: July 24th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

For the second game in a row, Ike Davis was instrumental in the NY Mets’ offensive attack. His sixth inning double drove in what would prove to be the wining run in a 4-1 contest over the visiting Atlanta Braves. He also scored the final tally. Despite his “heroics,” Davis is still batting way under .200 and one wonders if he’ll be able to crawl out of the hole he’s dug. Josh Satin did not appear in the game.

Ian Kinsler had a double in four trips to the plate as the host Texas Rangers fell to the NY Yankees, 4-3.

Danny Valencia was 0-2 as the starting designated hitter in the Baltimore Orioles’ 3-2 loss to the host Kansas City Royals. Scott Feldman did not appear in the game for the Os.

The Boston Red Sox beat the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, 6-2. No Jews were used in the making of this game (Craig Breslow, Ryan Lavarnway, Sam Fuld).

Nate Freiman did not appear in the Oakland As’ 5-4 loss to the host Houston Astros.

DL: Kevin Youkilis, Yankees; Jason Marquis, San Diego Padres. Marquis is apparently done for the season, ready to undergo Tommy John surgery. Youkilis, on the other hand, remains optimistic he’ll be back with the Yankees before the end of the year.

Suspended: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers. This piece in Forbes really pissed me off (pardon my French). Especially this

But the financial impact resulting from Braun’s decision making process over the last few years may be the least of his concerns.  ”[Ryan] Braun is going to be known outside of baseball and inside of baseball as a Lance Armstrong type of guy,” said a prominent baseball agent speaking on condition of anonymity to FORBES.  ”He killed his Hall of Fame chances.  He stole an MVP from [Matt] kemp.  He stole a Home Run Title from Mike Stanton.   His endorsements are shot, but way worse than anything financial, he will have a Scarlet Letter tattooed on his forehead for the rest of his life.”  That same agent also commented, “Even though I’m not Jewish, Braun is probably the most popular Jewish-American athlete of the last generation and what he has done is taken all the stereotypes that Jews hate the most and pointed them directly at himself.” [Emphasis added]

I mentioned this before: it’s a shame that a Jewish player, who admitted wrongdoing (albeit a bit late), is singled out by his religion where Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Raphael Palmeiro, et al, continue to deny without any mention of their faith. Also the assertions that Braun “stole” an MVP and home run title. Well, by that logic, Bonds and Clemens were master criminals: Bonds won seven MVPs and Clemens seven Cy Young Awards and one MVP.

I guess Jews are held to a higher moral standard. Marc Tracy, co-editor of Jewish Jocks, published this piece — “Ryan Braun has let us all down, but especially the Jews” — in The New Republic.

It appears I’m in the minority, but I baseball has always been a forgiving sport. Look at all the “second chances” people like Steve Howe and Dwight Gooden received. Maybe that’s because the drugs they took were basically self-destructive and didn’t help them on the field. Still seems like a double standard. Braun will no doubt take a lot of well-deserved heat and scrutiny; I’m hoping he can rise above it and continue to be productive.

 

No A-S JMLs in 2013

Posted on: July 9th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

How sad. No Ryan Braun. He received 2,331,774 votes, good for eighth place among National league outfielders. The top three spots went to Carlos Beltran, Cardinals (3,473,030), Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies (2,928,606), and Justin Upton, Braves (2,917,659). Braun was no doubt hurt by being out-of-sight, out-of-mind while he was on the DL (plus, perhaps, the ongoing cloud of PED allegations).

Ian Kinsler received 1,767,8061 votes for American League second basemen and there was no way he could approach the NY Yankees’ Robinson Cano, who led with 3,974,322, even if Kinsler wasn’t out for several weeks with injuries. Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox received 2,838,129 votes.

Kevin Youkilis was a non-factor. And Jason Marquis, who leads the suddenly stone cold San Diego Padres (who have dropped 10 straight games) with nine wins, was deemed not worthy of inclusion, unless he gets picked to replace someone else.

   
 

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