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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Bleier’

 

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 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 6, 2018

Posted on: January 6th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Including events of Jan. 5…

In the only major pro action that featured a Jewish athlete, Brandon Leipsic took one shot on goal in 13:13 as the Vegas Golden Knights (28-10-2) won their ninth game in their last 10 games, 5-4, over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. Tonight, Michael Cammalleri and the Edmonton Oilers visit the Dallas Stars; Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Vancouver Canucks; Jason Demers and the Arizona Coyotes host the NY Rangers; and Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild visit the Colorado Avalanche.

Omri Casspi is listed as probable for tonight’s game between his Golden State Warriors and the host LA Clippers. He missed the last game with bruised ribs.

Today, Mitchell Schwartz and the Kansas City Chiefs hosts the Tennessee Titans in a wild card NFL playoff. Schwartz was named to the AP All-Pro team as the right tackle. This is second straight year being so honored for the 28-year-old Schwartz. His brother, Geoff — now an NFL analyst — offers this piece on what each team needs to do to win in the first round.

A Jewish quarterback in the New York area would be nifty, but would the Giants, who get a high pick, go for UCLA’s Josh Rosen? Maybe not, according to this article on NJ.com. “…as new Giants general manager Dave Gentleman attempts to rebuild the locker room, Rosen’s personality could be a big story in New York over the next few months. Already, scouts have begun to question Rosen’s motivation for playing the game and personality.” Ruh-ro.

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen passes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California in Los Angeles. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

Hard to believe — as I sit in NJ where the “real feel” factor is -12 — that spring training is just a few weeks away. The Baltimore Orioles are hosting a minicamp. Richard Bleier is on hand. Could he move from the bullpen into the starting rotation? The World Champion Houston Astros are embarking on one of those caravans. Alex Bregman will be one of the participants. Some people in the Milwaukee Brewer universe are complaining that they can’t move forward with outfield plans because Ryan Braun‘s contract (and no trade clause) are hog-tying them. Braun is set to make $20 million this year. Hey, no one forced them to give him that kind of money, so don’t blame him.

Moving to the Israeli figure skating scene (!)… Let’s kill all the lawyers. (Don’t blame me; that’s Shakespeare’s line.)

 

 

JML Update, Dec. 21, 2017

Posted on: December 21st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

I knew I forgot about one of the boys: Scott Feldman. The ill-lucked pitcher. who’s faced his share of injuries over the past couple of seasons, is a free agent. Perhaps the San Francisco Giants have an interest?

The Baltimore Orioles lost their closer, Zach Britton, to an Achilles injury that will supposedly keep him out of action for at least six months. Wonder if that will have an impact on the way they use Richard Bleier.

There are some in Tiger Town who think the trade of Ian Kinsler might have been a mistake, given the poor return they got on the deal. Oh well.

This Milwaukee Brewers blogger seems to think Ryan Braun will be just a part-time player in 2018. I wonder what gives him that impression?

 

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, Playoff edition

Posted on: October 16th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Once again, the NY Yankees find themselves in a 2-0 deficit following losses in Houston to start the American league Championship Series. Alex Bregman, batting eighth in the lineup, got one of the Astros’ six hits on Friday in their 2-1 win. The next day he was 0-for-2 with a walk as Houston won by the same score, this time snatching the victory in the bottom of the ninth behind the outstanding pitching of Justin Verlander, who went old school tossing a complete game five-hitter (Houston also manged just five hits) and striking out 13.

The venue changes to the Big Apple beginning tonight.

Meanwhile, the LA Dodgers added Joc Pederson to their roster following the sidelining of Cory Seeger. Pederson, who missed the NLDS, appeared as a defensive replacement in Saturday as the Dodgers beat the visiting Chicago Cubs, 5-2. Same thing the next day, only he had a chance to come to bat and produced a sacrifice in a 4-1 win thanks to a walk-off home run by Justin Turner. That series now moves to the Windy City.

In non-playoff news:

JML Update, games of 9/27/17

Posted on: September 28th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Alex Bregman singled, doubled (#38), and drove in a run as the Houston Astros (98-60) once again roughed up their intrastate rivals, the Texas Rangers, this time by a score of 12-2.  That was about the only highlight of the evening.

Richard Bleier gave up a hit in one scoreless inning of relief as the Baltimore Orioles (75-84) lost to the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-3.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (75-84) fell to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 10-7.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-4 as the Milwaukee Brewers (83-75) were shut out, 6-0, by the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

Ian Kinsler was 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored as the Detroit Tigers (62-96) lost to the host KC Royals, 7-4.

Joc Pederson flied out as a pinch-hitter as the LA Dodgers (102-57) beat the visiting San Diego Padres, 10-0. He remained in the game as the centerfielder.

Danny Valencia did not appear for the Seattle Mariners (77-82) in their 6-5 walk-off loss to the host Oakland As. Ryan Sherriff did not appear for the St. Louis Cardinals (82-76) in their 5-1 loss to the visiting Chicago Cubs. Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (71-87) in their 7-1 loss to the host NY Mets. Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (99-59) in their 4-2 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins.

JML Update, Weekend Edition (Games of 9/22-24/17)

Posted on: September 25th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Can it really be that we’re down to the last week of the regular season? Where did the time go?

Ian Kinsler picked a bad time to get hot. Over the weekend, the second baseman was four-13, with a double (#35) and two home runs (#22), four RBIs, and three runs scored. But the Detroit Tigers (62-94) remained true to form for the season and dropped all three games to the visiting Minnesota Twins. Friday’s shot was another solo blast but his most recent came with two out in the bottom of the ninth yesterday, a — gasp — two-run shot to make the final score 10-4. Was this Kinsler’s last hurrah in a Tigers uni?

Oh, and that talk about Brad Ausmus returning in 2018? Forget it. But the NY Mets will be looking for a new skipper… Just sayin’. Can’t really blame the front office. He was given a good team a few years ago but things never really gelled, between poor performances and injuries. Of course, those happen to every team. The evidence of a good manager is dealing with it and still managing to win. Ausmus did a nice thing here by defending Kinsler’s disappointing season.

Alex Bregman was 2-for-10 with his 17th home run, a two-run blast in yesterday’s game that gave the Houston Astros (95-60) a temporary 2-1 lead in a game they would lose to the visiting LA Angels, 7-5. It was their only loss in the three-game set.

Ryan Braun was 4-for-13 with two doubles (26), two runs scored and an RBI as the Milwaukee Brewers (82-74) hurt their post-season chances by dropping two of three to the visiting Chicago Cubs. What does the future hold for him?

Kevin Pillar was 2-11 with his 37th double and 15th stolen base as the Toronto Blue Jays (73-83) took two of three from the visiting NY Yankees, winners of one of the AL Wild Card spots.

Joc Pederson was 1-for-1 with two walks as the LA Dodgers (99-57) beat the visiting San Francisco Giants yesterday, 3-1, taking two of their three games. It was his only outing on the weekend. He also stole his fourth base of the year.

Danny Valencia entered the Saturday game between his Seattle Mariners (75-81) and the visiting Cleveland Indians as a pinch runner, remaining in the game to play right field and first base (not at the same time). He was 0-for-1 with a walk in the 11-4 loss, his only appearance in the series, which concludes today

Richard Bleier appeared in back-to-back-to-back games for the Baltimore Orioles in their series against the Tampa Bay Rays, combining for 2.1 innings, two runs (unearned), three hits, and two strikeouts as the Os (75-82) lost two of three.

Ryan Sherriff‘s only appearance: 9/22 in which he gave up a run on one hit in one-third of an inning, recording a “K” for the out the St. Louis Cardinals (81-74) held off the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (98-58) in their weekend set against the Mariners. He did get into a game on the 20th, walking the only batter he faced against the Angels. Prior to that, Breslow had not been on the mound since Sept. 9.

Max Fried gets the start tonight for the Atlanta Braves who visit the Mets. He has not been in a game since Sept. 16, where he struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect inning against the Mets in Atlanta.

 

JML Update, Games of 9/18/17

Posted on: September 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Only two Jewish hitters in action and both hit home runs.

Ian Kinsler blasted his MOT-leading 19th (another solo job) but the Detroit Tigers (62-88) fell to the visiting Oakland As, 8-3. Kinsler drove in another run with his 24th double, so he accounted for 67 percent of his team’s scoring.

Ryan Braun gave the Milwaukee Brewers (80-70) the only run they would need as they shut out the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-0. Braun’s 17th came in the fourth inning. He also singled and stole his 12th base.

Things were not so bright for Richard Bleier, who gave up a hit and was charged with a run without retiring a batter as the Baltimore Orioles (73-78) lost in 11 to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 10-8.

Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers (96-54) in their 4-3 loss to the host Philadelphia Phillies.

Everyone else had the day off.

Just FYI, the Cleveland Indians (Craig Breslow) and Houston Astros (Alex Bregman) have clinched their divisions (AL Central and West, respectively) while the Dodgers, despite their MLB-best record, have just secured a spot in the post-season (NL West). Mathematically, the Brewers, Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays (Kevin Pillar), and St. Louis Cardinals (Ryan Sherriff) are all still alive for a Wild Card berth.

 

JML Update, Weekend edition (9/15-9/17, 2017)

Posted on: September 18th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

NOTE: In the case of four-game series that began on Thursday, the numbers here cover only the games played Friday-Sunday.

Star honors for the weekend go to Ryan Braun, who was 5-for-13 with his 16th homer. He also had two doubles (24) and his second triple of the year. He drove in two, scored three, and walked twice as the Milwaukee Brewers (79-70) took two of three from the host Miami Marlins.

Ian Kinsler was 3-for-11 with two walks and two runs scored and his 14th stolen base as the Detroit Tigers  (62-87) split their four-game series with the visiting Chicago Cubs. Among the hits was his 23rd double of the year.

Kevin Pillar had just one hit in nine at-bats for the Toronto Blue Jays (70-80) but it was a home run (#16) and put his team on the scoreboard in an eventual 4-3 win over the host Minnesota Twins. Pillar also walked twice in that one and scored another run. All told, he struck out four times over the weekend. Now, I haven’t seen every great defensive play of the year, but I have a hard time believing none of Pillar’s web-gems were not worthy for consideration in this made-up award orgy.  Getting a bit tire of every single thing being “brought to you” or sponsored by some business entity.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-14 but  the Houston Astros (91-58) swept the visiting Seattle Mariners. Perhaps he’s still hobbled by that nagging hamstring injury. Danny Valencia‘s only appearance came as the starting first baseman in the middle game in which he was 0-for-1 with a walk before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.

Joc Pederson struck out two of the three times he came to bat between Friday’s and Saturday’s games. The LA Dodgers (96-53) won two of their three games against the host Washington Nationals.

Richard Bleier had a so-so weekend for the Baltimore Orioles (73-77), who lost three of four to the host NY Yankees. Bleier appeared twice, tossing two scoreless innings on Friday (two hits, including a home run, and two strikeouts) and retiring the only batter he faced on Sunday to earn his third hold.

Ryan Sherriff retired the only batter he faced for the St. Louis Cardinals (77-72) against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. The Cubs swept the three-game series.

The Cleveland Indians saw their winning streak stopped at 22 at the hands of the visiting KC Royals on Friday. Craig Breslow did not appear in that one. In fact, he hasn’t pitched since Sept. 9.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (67-81), who dropped two of three to the visiting NY Mets.

   
 

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