Kaplan's Korner

Jews are known as "the people of the book," but they're also the people of the ball and bat and net. Kaplan's Korner, a new blog from New Jersey Jewish News, is dedicated to bringing the latest sports news and commentary on Jews in sport at a local, national, and international level.

Kaplan's Korner on Jews and Sports © 2016 New Jersey Jewish News

Daniel Braverman: Newest JFLer?

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Mon, 02 May 2016 20:22:16 | by Ron Kaplan

The NFL Draft was held last week, seems like all week.

I’m sorry, I don’t play fantasy sports for the most part and if I do it’s just casual. But they can actually find people who will pay to sit through these things? I mean, I’m a fan but, no.

http://buckeyextra.dispatch.com/content/graphics/2015/09/gameday-w-mich/wmu700.jpgAnyway here’s hoping the Chicago Bears’ Jewish pick — Daniel Braverman — will fare better than their last Jewish pick, Gabe Carimi, who has been judge one of the team’s worst selections of all-time.

Braverman, a 5’11″, 170 pound  wide receiver from Western Michigan, was the ninth pick in the seventh round, 230th overall (so don’t get your hopes up). NFL.com gave him a “grade” of 5.4 on a scale of 5-10, which translates to “backup or potential starter (1 “10″ is considered a “once in a lifetime player; Jared Goff, the No. 1 player picked in the draft, merited only a 6.5).

But, it seems, Braverman has spunk.

JML update, weekend edition (April 29-May 1, 2016)

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Mon, 02 May 2016 15:10:58 | by Ron Kaplan

Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

  • Friday: 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in a 6-3 loss to the visiting Miami Marlins
  • Saturday: 1-4 with an RBI (# 18) in a 7-5 loss to the Marlins
  • Sunday: 3-5 with two runs scored and two RBI (20) in a 14-4 win over the Marlins

Craig Breslow, Miami Marlins

  • Saturday: Allowed two inherited runners to score and gave up two of his own without retiring a batter. Breslow gave up two hits, including a home run.
  • Sunday: Mopped up with 2/3 of an inning, allowing an unearned run

Scott Feldman, Houston Astros

  • Saturday — Relegated to the bullpen, Feldman turned in his best outing of the year, pitching three hitless innings and striking out three in a 2-0 loss to the host Oakland Athletics

Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers

  • Friday, 1-3 with a run scored, two walks, and two stolen bases in a 9-2 win over the host Minnesota Twins.
  • Saturday: 0-4 in a 4-2 win over the Twins.
  • Sunday: 0-5 win a 6-5 win over the Twins for the three game sweep and perhaps securing manager Brad Ausmus‘ job for a few more days.

Jon Moscot, Cincinnati Reds — Did not appear in the weekend series against the host Pittsburgh Pirates. His next scheduled start is tomorrow when the Reds host the San Francisco Giants. He was removed from his last game, against the NY Mets earlier this week, when he experienced some shoulder pain. But if the baseball thing doesn’t work out, he can always fall back on a career in the movies.

Joc Pederson, LA Dodgers

  • Friday: Did not appear in a 5-1 loss to the visiting San Diego Padres.
  • Saturday: 0-1 with a walk in a 5-2 loss to the Padres, coming out of the game for a punch-hitter in the seventh inning.
  • Sunday: Did not appear in the Dodgers’ 1-0 win over the Padres.

Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays

  • Friday: 0-4 in a 6-1 win over the host Tampa Bay Rays.
  • Saturday: 2-3 with a double (# 5) and his first home run of the year in a 4-3 walk-off loss to the Rays. The solo shot broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning.
  • Sunday: 1-4 in a 5-1 win over the Rays. He was also called out on a questionable (to me) play when he was caught in a rundown.

And no, that’s not Bernie Sanders throwing out the ceremonial first pitch in Friday’s game.

Danny Valencia, Oakland Athletics — On the disabled list since April 20 with an injured hamstring, Valencia is expected to return to the As on Friday. The news is not so good for his teammate, Sam Fuld, who is scheduled for shoulder surgery on May 18 and will possibly miss the rest of the 2016 season.

In other news: First baseman Nate Freiman, recently released by the Washington Nationals, signed with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.

Ryan Kalish got off to a good start in his return to pro ball, stealing second and third before scoring the only run of the game on a sacrifice fly in a 1-0 win for his Iowa Cubs against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on Friday.

Jice playoff update, April 28, 2016

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Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:21:56 | by Ron Kaplan

Well, the Nashville Predators made it into the next round of the post-season, scoring twice in the first period and holding on for the 2-1 win over the host Anaheim Ducks. Eric Nystrom did not appear in any of the seven games for Nashville. Doesn’t seem to bother him much (at least outwardly).

The Predators move on to face the San Jose Sharks in Round Two.

The Washington Capitals and Andre Burakovsky go up against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins beginning tonight.

Jason Demers (formerly of the Sharks) host the St. Louis Blues beginning Friday.

Navigation error makes Israeli cop London Marathon’s last starter

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Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:17:32 | by Ron Kaplan

From the JTA:

A police officer from Haifa was the last runner to start this year’s London Marathon.

http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Hagai-Penkar.jpgInterviewed by the BBC near the starting line, Hagai Penkar explained that he first arrived at the finish line on Sunday due to a navigation error and lost 38 minutes dealing with London traffic.

Running the 26 miles in 5 hours, 12 minutes and 18 seconds, Penkar finished ahead of some 8,000 runners, according to Haaretz. The race had 39,045 registered runners, including eight Israelis.

Penkar looked on the silver lining of his mistake, telling the journalist: “It took me time to get to the start line, but I met you and I’m speaking and I’m fresh.”

Noticing his interviewer was out of breath from running alongside him, Penkar told her: “Start running more so next time you will be in better shape.”

He added: “I love the United Kingdom and wish everybody in the race, feel well at the end line and a good time.”


Dutch Noah’s Ark replica sailing to Brazil for Olympic Games

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Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:13:45 | by Ron Kaplan

From the JTA:

A Dutch Christian organization is planning to sail a “replica” of Noah’s Ark to reach Brazil during the Summer Olympics and the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Longer than an official soccer field, the vessel was built following the biblical measurements given in Genesis 6:15, the director of the Ark of Noah Foundation, Herald A.M.A. Janssen, told ABC News.


The voyage, which is still in its planning stages, intends to stop at multiple port cities in Brazil as well as Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia, before coming to the United States.

The Olympics start in August and the Paralympics the following month.

The ark, which spans five floors and can hold more than 5,000 people, weighs roughly 2,500 tons and is 95 feet wide, 410 feet long and 75 feet tall. Carpenter Johan Huibers said he began building it after dreaming about an intense storm that flooded his hometown in the Netherlands.

“And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred 8 cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits,” the Bible passage reads.

By reviewing multiple historical measurement units in the various ancient cultures, Huibers created a measurement scale to use while building his ark. Since its completion in 2012, hundreds of thousands have visited the ark, which became a multi-floor interactive exhibit focused on the spreading of religious teachings from the Bible for Christian educational purposes.

Tourists who visit the ark encounter Bible-based stories and exhibitions, attractions, a movie theater and more.

“We are so pleased with the very warm support of the private community in Fortaleza, our first stop in Brazil after crossing the Atlantic Ocean,” Janssen said. “The target is to reach Fortaleza in July, and reach the Paralympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro by Sept. 7.”

JML update, games of April 27, 2016

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Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:10:10 | by Ron Kaplan

Oh well. On the one hand, I’m thrilled the Mets won their sixth game in a row and are no just one game out of first place after a slow start. On the other hand, I’m disappointed it came against Jon Moscot. He deserved a better fate: an error by outfielder Scott Schebler let to two unearned runs in the bottom of the first to drop the second-year pitcher to 0-2. In all, he allowed three runs (one earned; he actually lowered his ERA from 5.06 to 4.02) on four hits, including a home run, walking four and striking out two in the Mets’ 5-2 win. But this didn’t look good. Let’s hope it doesn’t develop into something.

Ian Kinsler was 1-2 with a walk and scored two runs in the Detroit Tigers’ 9-4 win over the visiting Oakland Athletics. Danny Valencia is on the DL for the As.

Curious as to the meaning of this headline from the Fansided website: “Detroit Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus Has No Control.” Does that mean the Tigers’ early-season problems aren’t his fault? Or is it that the team isn’t repscting him?

Kevin Pillar was 1-3 as the visiting Chicago White Sox shut out the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-0.

Joc Pederson walked as a pinch hitter and remained in the game in center field as the LA Dodgers were shut out on two hits by the Miami Marlins, 2-0. Craig Breslow did not appear for Miami.

Scott Feldman did not appear in the Houston Astros’ 7-4 win over the host Seattle Mariners. With Houston at 7-15, the team is looking to shake things up a bit, which includes sending Feldman to the bullpen for the immediate future.

The game between Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers and the host Chicago Cubs was postponed by rain.

Will this nightmare never cease?

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Wed, 27 Apr 2016 21:00:31 | by Ron Kaplan

I guess fans of justice and right (and I don’t mean the Davids) should be happy that the NFL didn’t let this drop, but welcome back to Deflategate.

The 2-1 ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the league’s ban of Tom Brady for his shenanigans during the 2015 playoffs in which he allegedly (can we still use that word) mucked around the the footballs, making them easier to handle en route to another Super Bowl win for Robert Kraft’s New England Patriots.

The NFL had suspended Brady for four games, but he appealed the ruling and never served the sentence. Will he now? Will it be four games? Two? One? Will this continue up the ladder, perhaps as high as the U.S. Supreme Court. Is this the best use of their time? I guess, philosophically-speaking, a wrong is a wrong and should be addressed. Still, this is taxing on my delicate sensitivities.

So close and yet so far

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Wed, 27 Apr 2016 19:58:03 | by Ron Kaplan

If the measure of success in sports is nothing short of a championship, wouldn’t it be something if the Golden State Warriors fell short of the mark after their record-setting season?

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2016/04/AP_540389120515/lead_960.jpg?1461648671The Warriors topped the Chicago Bulls of 1996 by winning 73 games during the regular campaign. They lead the Houston Rockets three games to one in first-round playoff action, but their shining star, Steph Curry, will be out for some time — at least two weeks, according to reports — due to an injury sustained at the end of the first half of Sunday’s game.

As Dave Sims notes in his article on TheAtlantic.com,

In the hours after news of Curry’s injury broke, Vegas oddsmakers dropped the Warriors, overwhelming favorites to win the title for the entire season, down behind the San Antonio Spurs. If Curry returns to the court after two weeks, he’d be back in the middle of the second round of the playoffs. But he might take a little longer to rehabilitate, or return in a slightly diminished state, and those variables could be enough to knock what was statistically the greatest team in NBA regular-season history…into also-ran territory.

Kinda sad.

On the other hand, as Tony Kornheiser noted on Pardon the Interruption, this could actually be a good thing for the NBA in that viewers who anticipated — and perhaps were bored by — a Warriors championship now have a reason to watch and see how this thing falls out.

Injury has also claimed to of the Los Angeles Clippers biggest stars: Blake Griffith (hamstring) and Chris Paul (broken hand). Both will be out of whatever games the Clippers have left. They are tied in their series with the Portland Trailblazers at two games apiece.

Kornheiser also spoke at length about this, crying the Clippers were doomed because the team was poorly constructed during the ownership of disgraced MOT Dan Sterling, who was banned for life by the NBA in 2014 for racist comments.

Stay tuned.


JML update, games of April 26, 2016

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Wed, 27 Apr 2016 14:36:05 | by Ron Kaplan

Not a great night for their teams, but on an individual basis, not a bad night for the boys.

Ian Kinsler knocked two of the Detroit Tigers’ six hits and scored their only run in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Oakland Athletics. Danny Valencia is on the DL for the As. And who knew broadcasting was such a dangerous job?

And sure enough here are a few pieces I found calling for Brad Ausmusdismissal, or at least consideration thereof.

Kevin Pillar was 1-3 for the Toronto Blue Jays (one of the four hits) in a 10-1 shellacking at the hands of the visiting Chicago White Sox. Even down 9-1, he still had the drive to make this great catch. And who knew getting the ball back from the catcher was such a dangerous job?

Ryan Braun‘s back is still healing from off-season surgery so he gets a day off once in a while, especially with last night’s game-time temperature of 40 degrees in Chicago. But he was called on to pinch hit for the Milwaukee Brewers who were trailing the host Cubs 4-1 in the eighth inning. Braun delivered a two-run double to close the gap, but that was as far as it went.


Joc Pederson cracked his fourth double of the year (and didn’t strike out in any of his other three at bats), one of the LA Dodgers’ six hits, in a 6–3 loss to the visiting Miami Marlins. Craig Breslow bounced back from a rare (to this point) shaky outing, allowing two hits but no runs in 1.2 innings to earn his second hold of the season.

Scott Feldman did not appear in the Houston Astros’ 11-1 loss to the host Seattle Mariners.

Jon Moscot gets the start tonight for the Cincinnati Reds against the host NY Mets. I always feel conflicted. On the one hand, I want the MOT to do well; on the other, not against my team. So Moscot should pitch six shutout innings and the Mets win it at the end of the game, as they did last night, scoring four runs in the seventh to defeat the Reds, 4-3.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-54109eca/turbine/chi-ryan-kalish-starts-in-center-field-2014091-001/650/650x366If past is prelude, we should expect to we see Ryan Kalish in the Big Leagues sometime this year. He was recently signed to a contract by the Iowa Cubs, but given how well their parent affiliate is doing, he probably will be down there for a bit. He’s been in The Show in every even-numbered years since his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2010 . He was back up with the Sox in 2012 and signed with Chicago as a free agent in 2013, making their roster the following season.

JML update, games of April 25, 2016

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Tue, 26 Apr 2016 15:12:58 | by Ron Kaplan

Joc Pederson walked as a pinch-hitter in the LA Dodgers’ 3-2 loss to the visiting Miami Marlins who did not avail themselves of the services of reliever Craig Breslow.

The Toronto Blue Jays gave Kevin Pillar the night, even though he’s had three straight games with two hits. Seems odd. They could have used him: the dropped a 7-5 decision to the visiting Chicago White Sox.

Ian Kinsler was out of action for the Detroit Tigers with the dreaded “flu-like symptoms.” Unlike Toronto, however, the Tigers beat the visiting Oakland Athletics, 7-3. Danny Valencia is on the DL for the As.

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Houston Astros in their 3-2 loss to the host Seattle Mariners.

Jon Moscot did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds in their 5-3 loss to the host NY Mets. He’s scheduled for the start on Wednesday against Matt Harvey.


Jice update, playoff edition

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Tue, 26 Apr 2016 14:56:23 | by Ron Kaplan

The Nashville Predators beat the visiting Anaheim Ducks, 3-1, to force a Game Seven. Eric Nystrom was once again a scratch. So far, he has not appeared in the post-season.

David Blatt reportedly on list for Lakers post

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Tue, 26 Apr 2016 14:51:00 | by Ron Kaplan

From the JTA:

David Blatt, the Israeli American who was fired this season as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, reportedly is under consideration for the same post with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Blatt was listed this week in an ESPN report, citing unnamed league sources, as one of 10 potential candidates on the NBA team’s “long list” to replace Byron Scott, who the Lakers announced Sunday will not be returning next season. Scott, a former Lakers’ player, coached the squad to its two worst seasons ever.

Blatt has been rumored as in the running for head coach of the New York Knicks, though reports circulating this week say his candidacy for the position is a smokescreen to hide the team’s intention to hire interim coach Kurt Rambis. Blatt played basketball at Princeton University with the Knicks’ general manager, Steve Mills, in the late 1970s and early ’80s.

At the time of his firing in January, Blatt said he wanted to remain in the NBA, as opposed to returning to coaching in Israel and the European leagues, where he led Maccabi Tel Aviv to five national titles and the 2014 Euroleague championship. He also guided the Russian national team to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

At the time of his dismissal, the Cavaliers had the best record in the Eastern Conference. Some claimed the team’s superstar, LeBron James, undermined the coach. Blatt had led the Cavs to the 2015 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

JML update, Weekend edition (April 22-24, 2016)

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Mon, 25 Apr 2016 20:10:13 | by Ron Kaplan

Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians: Friday — Scored the only run in a 2-1 loss; was 1-4 at the plate. Saturday — 0-3 in a 10-0 loss. Sunday — 1-5 with a run scored in a 6-3 loss. The Tigers are 8-9. How soon before manager Brad Ausmus starts feeling the heat?

Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies: Friday — 1-3 with a walk in a 5-2 loss. Saturday — 3-5, including his fourth home run, in a 10-6 loss. The two-run blast came in the third inning and tied the score at 3-3. Sunday — 2-4 with his fifth home run, and two runs scored in an 8-5 win. This one came in the bottom of the fourth and the Phillies leading, 2-0.

Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Oakland Athletics: Friday — 2-4 batting seventh with a run scored and two RBI that brought the Jays to within a run in the eighth in an eventual 8-5 loss. Saturday — 2-4 batting ninth with a double (#4) and two runs scored in a 9-3 win. Sunday — 2-4 batting seventh with a double (#5) and and RBI (#6) in a 6-3 win. (Aside: Ugh, and after I spent all that time coming up with a mnemonic device to remember Chris Colabello‘s name, he goes and gets suspended for PED violations.)

The As placed Danny Valencia on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 21. He injured his hamstring in the April 20 game against the NY Yankees when he tried to score on a fly ball to the outfield.

Joc Pederson, LA Dodgers @ Colorado Rockies: Friday — 0-3 with a walk and a run scored in a 7-5 loss. Saturday — 1-3 with a run scored, a walk, and a strikeout in a 4-1 win. Sunday — walked three times so only one official at bat, but he made it count with a solo home run in the third (#3). The Dodgers scored five runs in the ninth to win, 12-10.


By the way, a belated Happy Birthday to Pederson, who turned 24 on Thursday. Twenty-four! I’ve got socks older than that. No, seriously.

Not for nothing, but should he be doing stuff like this? His season went downhill after his participation in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game last year. I can’t imagine ‘smashing stuff” can be very good for you (although hitting a tiny paintball at 200 MPH is pretty impressive).

Scott Feldman, Houston Astros v.s Boston Red Sox: Sunday — did not get out of the fifth, allowing five runs (three earned) 0n eight hits (no home runs at least) with four walks while striking out three in 4.1 innings. He was not involved in the decision as the Red Sox won in 12, 7-5.

Craig Breslow, Miami Marlins @ San Francisco Giants: Friday — did not appear in an 8-1 loss. Saturday — allowed two runs on four hits in just one-third of an inning in a 7-2 loss. His ERA jumped from an even 1.00 to a still-respectable 2.89. Sunday — did not appear in a 5-4 win.

Jon Moscot, Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs: Friday — took the loss (0-1) by giving up four runs (three earned) on three hits (one home run) and four walks as the Cubs took the game, 8-1. Moscot didn’t help himself on defense when he threw the ball away on a sacrifice bunt attempt. He struck out two.

In other news:

  • The Syracuse Chiefs, the AAA affiliate of the Washington Nationals, released Nate Freiman.He was batting just .154 (4-26) in eight games with a double, a triple, and one RBI.
  • The Texas Rangers restored Ike Davis from the disabled list and optioned him to their AAA team, the Round Rock Express.
  • Sam Fuld is still on the DL for the As, but that doesn’t mean he’s not keeping busy.



A Zissen Pesach

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Mon, 25 Apr 2016 16:44:58 | by Ron Kaplan

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e5/59/6d/e5596d06e51d52dbe571d5bd1c972c8e.jpgWhile there are a lot of Jewish sports media folk out there, I rarely come across material that is MOT-related. Phil Mushnick of the New York Post published this in tribute to the holiday.

Have to admit, my memories of changing the dishes and cookware are nowhere near this nostalgic. I was just thinking, as we prepared to hold our seder on Friday to the largest group ever (for us; stop laughing), that we didn’t have enough place settings and silverware for nine (I said stop laughing!). Where did it all go? I got my mother’s Pesach dishes when she passed. It’s very nice, very old. But very incomplete; I remember a lot more of it when I had to climb up and down the ladder while I was living at home.

Jewps/Jice playoff update

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Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:46:37 | by Ron Kaplan


That’s all she wrote for Jordan Farmar and the Memphis Grizzles. Their 116 to 95 loss to the visiting San Antonio Spurs completed a four game sweep in the first round of the playoffs. Farmar played 28 minutes as the starting point guard and led the team with just five assists to go along with six points.


Andre Burakovsky played 9:28, second lowest on the team, as the Washington Capitals completed their opening round series win over the host Philadelphia Flyers with a 1-0 shutout. The Caps won the set, four games to two. They had a 3-0 lead, but the Flyers bounced back with consecutive wins, including Friday’s 2-0 shutout win in which Burakovsky played 13:27.

Jason Demers and the Dallas Stars defeated Jason Zucker and the host Minnesota Wild, 5-4. Demers took one shot on goal in a team-high 23:04. Zucker played 13:34. Like The Caps, the Stars took their series four games to two. Minnesota won the previous meeting, 5-4,  in overtime in Dallas. Zucker took one SOG in that one in an even 14:00. Demers took one in 20:07.

Concentrate, dammit!

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Thu, 21 Apr 2016 16:29:14 | by Ron Kaplan

Nattering off about this story on the front page of today’s NY Times by Andrew Keh: Trending at Halftime: N.B.A. Players Checking Their Phones.


Of course, back when I was manager of the baseball team in college, there were no cell phones or social media (heck, there was no Internet at all).

Does everyone have an attention deficit problem? Can they concentrate on one thing for a few hours without having to text, tweet, post, snapchat, vine, etc.? Or are their egos so small that they need to see what people are saying about them (or so big that they think people need to know what they’re thinking?)

Where are the coaches, managers, and front office in all this? These athletes shouldn’t have to be told to leave their electronics at the door during the game.

And get off my lawn!

Fool me once…

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Thu, 21 Apr 2016 15:34:54 | by Ron Kaplan

Guess Curt Schilling won’t be needing that microphone anymore.

ESPN fired baseball analyst Curt Schilling yesterday for another social media gaffe.

In his story in today’s New York Times, Richard Sandomir wrote:

Schilling, who had worked for the network since 2010 and most recently offered analysis on “Monday Night Baseball,” was dismissed after sharing a Facebook post this week that appeared to respond to the North Carolina law that bars transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not correspond with their birth genders.

The post showed an overweight man wearing a wig and women’s clothing with parts of the T-shirt cut out to expose his breasts. It says: “LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die.”

To that, Schilling added: “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”

Sandomir, the Times‘ sports media columnist, reminded us that this was not the first foray into stupid for Schilling: “He was suspended for a month after he posted a comment on Twitter in August that compared radical Muslims to Nazis.”

Then you have the “first amendment” people who believe you should be able to say anything, common sense and political correctness be damned (see, Trump). Not going to get into that here, but just happy to see Schilling gone. Sometimes the sports media like ESPN and the MLB Network get all giddy about having former players on their shows, the bigger names, obviously, the better. But, in fact, IMO, they’re not better just because they had success on the field. Although I’m frequently impressed about the depth of knowledge a lot of these guys have about the intricacies of the game, they can’t always translate it eloquently via the TV camera. Some of them get by on a combination of flash, animation, and personality. Just sayin’.

JML update, games of April 20, 2016

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Thu, 21 Apr 2016 14:20:14 | by Ron Kaplan

Ian Kinsler was 2-4 with a double (#2) and drove in the first (with a double) and last runs for the Detroit Tigers in their 3-2 win over the host Kansas City Royals, who made it close by knocking back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the ninth. His 12 RBI are good for fifth in the American League.

Ryan Braun was 2-3 with two walks, two runs scored, and one RBI to help the Milwaukee Brewers to a 10-5 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins. The ribbie came on a bases-loaded walk in the fifth to give Milwaukee a 2-1 lead.

Danny Valencia injured his left hamstring when he was tagged out at the plate trying to score on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning of the Oakland Athletics-NY Yankees game. Valencia got on base via a single, his only hit in two at bats. The As won, Valencia’s status is day-to-day.

Joc Pederson was 1-4 with an RBI (#8) as the LA Dodgers outlasted the host Atlanta Braves 5-3 in 10 innings. He struck out once and was caught stealing.

Kevin Pillar was back in the eighth spot in the lineup, but went 0-4. I always check the MLB highlights because there’s a good chance Pillar will make a “Web Gem.” So even if he goes hitless, he can make a contribution on defense. Not last night, though.  Unless he did something that’s become so commonplace –for him — that they just don’t bother featuring it.

Craig Breslow allowed one hit and struck out one in 2/3 of an inning forth e Miami Marlins, who lost to the visiting Washington Nationals, 3-1.

Scott Feldman did not appear for the Houston Astros in their 2-1 loss to the host Texas Rangers. Jon Moscot did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds in their 6-5, walk-off win over the Colorado Rockies.

Shamless self-promotion: Speaking engagements

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Wed, 20 Apr 2016 17:45:41 | by Ron Kaplan

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I do do it on occasion. Case in point, Sunday’s discussion on “Jews and Baseball” at Temple Sholom in Scotch Plains, NJ. I’ve been the guest speaker at a number of events, including numerous synogues/men’s clubs, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater MetroWest NJ, the Yogi Berra Museum, the St. Louis and San Diego Jewish Book Fairs, and other venues.

With all due modesty — and assuming the audiences weren’t blowing smoke — these appearances about Jews and sports are pretty well-received. So if your group is looking for a speaker about Jews and baseball; Jews and sports in general; Jewish sports and pop culture (books, movies, television, music), etc.,  feel free to reach out.

In addition, with the 2017 Maccabiah Games on the horizon, I hope to become one of the “talking heads” on that subject as well.

So if you’re interested, please contact me at rkaplan@njjewishnews.com or maccabiahbook@gmail.com.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Hot stove San Diego



Jewps/Jice update, games of April 19, 2016

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Wed, 20 Apr 2016 15:36:46 | by Ron Kaplan


Didn’t think it was possible, but the Memphis Grizzlies played even worse than in their series opener against the host San Antonio Spurs. They lost that one 106-74. Yesterday they lost 94-68 and I have a feeling (didn’t watch the game), it wasn’t as close as they score indicated.

Jordan Farmar got the game start at point guard and scored just eight points in 31 minutes,adding one rebound, two assists, and two steals.


Eric Nystrom was once again a scratch for the Nashville Predators, who were shut out by the visiting Anaheim Ducks, 3-0. The Predators still enjoy a two games to one lead. Nystrom has not appeared in any of the three meetings.

Andre Burakovsky and the Washington Capitals could wrap up their series against the Flyers in Philadelphia tonight. Hope the home team isn’t giving anything away that the fans could throw on the ice.

Also on  tonight’s docket: The Jasons face off again, Zucker for the Minnesota Wild and Demers for the Dallas Stars, who lead that series two to one.