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 © 2017 New Jersey Jewish News

Shalom, y’all

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Tue, 13 Sep 2016 18:16:53 | by Ron Kaplan

This marks the final entry for Kaplan’s Korner, at least in this iteration.

The NY Jewish Week assumes control over the New Jersey Jewish News tomorrow. They have decided not to continue the blog (or my relationship with the organization).


With Bruce Beck and Ian Eagle.

It’s a business decision, and I get it. I foolishly thought that, as a niche publication serving a specific community, the Jewish News might be able to merrily roll along while papers like The New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, et al, were all suffering drastic changes, reducing personnel and output  to the point where the pages produced are barely enough to properly line our bird cages. Like I said, foolish. I thought that the fact the the Korner was the most all-encompassing Jewish sports presence out there might be worth keeping around. Evidently not.

When the Jewish News suggested a sports blog several years ago to take the place of a stand-alone sports section in the print edition, I was skeptical. Although I absolutely hate the joke about the thinnest book in the world (I think you know what I mean without my having to say it), I was worried about finding enough material to make this a viable and sustainable presence. How wrong I was.

With John Thorn, official historian of Major League Baseball

With John Thorn, official historian of Major League Baseball

Hosting Kaplan’s Korner (the name was not my idea, by the way) gave me the opportunity to meet some amazing people in the sports world, from executives, to writers, to athletes, to fans (thanks for all the phone calls and e-mails).

It afforded the opportunity to participate in synagogue discussions, academic conferences, and Yankees fantasy camp. I even made it into the Times as a source for a story about baseball and the Yom Kuppur dilemma.

The blog gave me enough of a standing in the community  — shameless self-promotion ahead: 2014 Best Blog of the Year as per the New Jersey Press Association — to publish The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games, which in turn led to my current project, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

My only regret is that I never got to interview Tony Kornheiser. Maybe next time. (No, seriously, if some one knows Mr. Tony, let him know I’ve been looking for him.)

Plans for what, if anything, happens next are up in the air; I hope to know more in the coming weeks. If anyone is interested in keeping informed if and when this happens, you can contact me at kaplanskorner@gmail.com.

So in closing let me just quote from one of the late Douglas Adams, one of my favorite authors, when he said.



NBA’s Bulls owner Reinsdorf inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

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Tue, 13 Sep 2016 16:35:15 | by Ron Kaplan

From the JTA:

Jerry Reinsdorf, who as owner of the Chicago Bulls has won six NBA championships, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Reinsdorf was officially enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Sept. 8, alongside players including Allen Iverson, Yao Ming, Sheryl Swoopes, and Shaquille O’Neal, as well as others.

Led by superstar Michael Jordan, the Bulls dominated the NBA in the 1990s.

Reinsdorf also is an owner of the Chicago White Sox.

He said he became hooked on the NBA, and in particular the New York Knicks, when he entered high school in Brooklyn.

“(O)ne of the benefits of being a high school student in New York was that your student ID card got you into Madison Square Garden for 50 cents,” Reinsdorf recalled. “I was there anytime I could cobble together 50 cents plus the 10 cents for car fare.

“1949 was also the year of my bar mitzvah. A bar mitzvah is the time in his life when a Jewish boy realizes he has a better chance of owning a team than playing for one.”

His son, Michael, president of the Bulls franchise, sat next to him during the ceremony, according to the Chicago Tribune.


Israelis pull down medals at Paralympics

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Tue, 13 Sep 2016 14:44:57 | by Ron Kaplan

Rower Moran Samuel became the first Israeli to win a medal (a bronze) at the Paralympics, the set of games designed for “other-abled” athletes.

From left, szilver medalist Lili Wang of China, gold medalist Rachel Morris of Britain, and bronze medalist Moran Samuel of Israel pose with their medals in Rio,

Yesterday, Doron Shaziri won a bronze in men’s R7-50m Rifle 3 Positions, coming behind Laslo Suranji of Serbia, who took gold, and Abdulla Sultan Alaryani of the United Arab Emirates, who took silver.

Doron Shaziri, who won a bronze medal at the Rio Paralympics, September 12, 2016.  (Facebook, Israel Paralympic Committee)

JML update, games of Sept. 12, 2016

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Tue, 13 Sep 2016 14:37:02 | by Ron Kaplan

Richard Bleier had the longest outing of his young Major League career — four innings of shutout, hitless relief (one walk, three strikeouts) — as the host NY Yankees lost to the visiting LA Dodgers, 8-2. Joc Pederson was 0-3 and came out for Yasiel Puig, who slugged a pinch-hit for solo home run the eighth.

For the seventh time this year, Ian Kinsler led off the game for the Detroit Tigers with a home run (number 26 for the season). He also drove in what proved to be the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning as his guys beat the visiting Minnesota Twins, 4-2. The seven initial blasts ties a franchise record set by Curtis Granderson. It was the 39th lead-off shot of Kinsler’s 11-year career, good for seventh on the list. Rickey Henderson, the all-time leader of leading off with a four-bagger, cracked 81 in 25 seasons.

Danny Valencia and the Oakland A’s got a small measure of revenge for their terrible season, beating up on the host KC Royals, 16-3. Valencia was 2-4, including his 20th double, scored twice, and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Kevin Pillar hit his 32nd double as the Toronto Blue Jays held off the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2.  Scott Feldman, who seems to have fallen out of favor with the Jays, did not pitch in the game.

Ryan Braun was 0-3 with a walk as the Milwaukee Brewers were shut out by the host Cincinnati Reds, 3-0.

Hey, it happens. Alex Bregman was 0-3 with three strikeouts as the Houston Astros lost to the visiting Texas Rangers, 4-3, in 12 innings.


JML update, weekend edition (games of Sept. 9-11, 2016)

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Mon, 12 Sep 2016 18:17:00 | by Ron Kaplan

Ryan Braun did the NY Mets a big favor when he led off the ninth inning of yesterday’s game against the host St. Louis Cardinals hit a home run (#27). That gave his Milwaukee Brewers the 2-1 win and put the Mets a half-game up over the Cards for the second NL wild card spot.

Alex Bregman, what can you say about this kid. He had his eighth home run and 12th double to go along with another couple of singles as the Houston Astros’ dropped two of three to the visiting Chicago Cubs.

Joc Pederson hit two on Saturday to help the LA Dodgers to a 5-0 win over the host Miami Marlins. Both were solo shots, giving him 22 for the season. He also singled…

and made this nifty defensive play:

Kevin Pillar was 2-10 as the Toronto Blue Jays lost two of three to the visiting Boston Red Sox. Scott Feldman had one of those games in Friday’s 13-3 defeat. He retired the only batter he faced to end the sixth inning. Problem was, he came back out for the seventh. The result: Home run, double, error, home run. Gone.

Ian Kinsler had three singles in 11 at-bats, scored once, and drove in the only in the Detroit Tigers’ 3-1 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles yesterday. The teams split the other two games.

Danny Valencia was 0-6 with a walk on Saturday and Sunday for the Oakland A’s. He did not play on Friday as the team dropped all three to the visiting Seattle Mariners.

The NY Yankees recalled reliever Richard Bleier. He three 2/3 of an inning in Saturday’s 5-1 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays.


Happy Anniversary Sandy

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Fri, 09 Sep 2016 17:28:48 | by Ron Kaplan

Today marks the 51st anniversary of Sandy Koufax’s perfect game and the last of his four no-hitters.


Kicking it around

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Fri, 09 Sep 2016 17:19:39 | by Ron Kaplan

The NFL season began last night with the Denver Broncos beating the visiting Carolina Panthers, 21-20. The Broncos ushered in the post-Manning era with Trevor Siemian at quarterback while Cam Newton was behind center for the Panthers. he took a viscous shot to the had at the very end of the game, leading to much hand-wringing over protecting players.

As for the trio of Jewish players:

  • Ari Marpet and the Tamppa Bay Buccaneers visit the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
  • Nate Ebner and the New England Patriots play the night game against the host Arizona Cardinals. Tom Brady is on suspension for the first four games of the season.
  • Mitchell Schwartz and the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the visiting San Diego Chargers.

JML update, games of Sept. 8, 2016

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Fri, 09 Sep 2016 17:06:17 | by Ron Kaplan

After a light game on Wednesday when he was only 1-5, Alex Bregman put up  another impressive performance: a double (#11) and a puddle-aided triple (#3) in five at bats, a walk, a run scored, and three RBI, giving him 30 in just 41 games. Yet the Houston Astros managed to lose to the host Cleveland Indians, 10-7. Over a full season, those numbers project to 43 doubles, 12 triples, 28 home runs, and 119 RBI. Haven’t really been paying attention but I wonder where this puts in for Rookie of the Year contention.

Ryan Braun was 0-3 but still scored once and drove in a pair on a grounder to the infield and a sacrifice fly and  as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the host St. Louis Cardinals, 12-5.

And that’s it.

This weekend:

  • Danny Valencia and the Oakland A’s host the Seattle Mariners.
  • Ian Kinsler and the Detroit Tigers host the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Joc Pederson and the LA Dodgers visit the Miami Marlins.
  • Kevin Pillar, Scott Feldman, and the Toronto Blue Jays host the Boston Red Sox.
  • Braun and the Brewers continue their visit in St. Louis.
  • Bregman and the Astros host the Chicago Cubs.

In other Jewish baseball news:


JFLers and the Yom Kippur dilemma

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Thu, 08 Sep 2016 15:53:52 | by Ron Kaplan

This year, the Day of Atonement begins on a Tuesday night and ends the following evening, so Ali Marpet, Nate Ebner, and Mitchell Schwartz don’t have to worry about missing a game.

Offensive liner Geoff Schwartz. Photo: Twitter.Mitchell’s brother, Geoff, an offensive lineman recently released by the Detroit Lions, is making the rounds to promote Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family, and Faith, which they released earlier this month. He was on NPR’s Brian Lehrer Show on Tuesday and the issue came up.

Schwartz said ”there is a “’high standard’ people believe athletes with Jewish roots have to ‘live up to’ in regards to keeping Judaism. He referenced former baseball player Sandy Koufax, who famously refused to pitch in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

“Schwartz, who used to play for the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, explained on the radio show that a move like Koufax’s would not be acceptable in the NFL.

“‘It’s different in football,’ he said. ’In college you have 12 [football] games a year; in the NFL you have 16. You train for six months for this opportunity, so it’s hard to be starting off as an offensive lineman and then [you] tell your coach, “Hey, I’m not gonna be here this week to play a game.” It doesn’t really work that way.’

One of the first sports stories I did for the Jewish News, pre-Korner days, was a profile of Josh Miller, a punter for the Pittsburgh Steelers and other teams. Quoting from the story which originally appear in October, 2004:

Miller took a fair amount of criticism when he was with the Steelers and decided to play the Oct. 6, 2003, night game against the Cleveland Browns — erev Yom Kippur. He defended his position, telling the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “In reality, it’s my job. I need to be there…. I have to show up regardless of how I feel about it.”

Miller pointed out that as a punter, a very specialized position, the team didn’t have the luxury of backups as they do for other position, so the pressure to play was even more intense.

Of course, people will tell you a principle is a principle and sometimes it’s not easy to make that difficult choice. It always easy to tell other people what they should do. But when it comes time to put metal to the pedal (or however that phrase goes)… not so easy.

Open and shut

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Thu, 08 Sep 2016 14:52:33 | by Ron Kaplan

Been remiss about reporting on Jews in the U.S. Open. For the most part, Israel sent the usual suspects, minus Shahar Peer, who’s been off the Grand Slam circuit lately.


Other Jews who participated in this year’s event included:

  • Camila Giorgi, Italy
  • Peter Polansky, Canada
  • Scott Lipsky, USA

Anyone I overlooked? Let me know.


JML update, games of Sept. 7, 2016

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Thu, 08 Sep 2016 14:37:17 | by Ron Kaplan

Like most of the Detroit Tigers, Ian Kinsler didn’t have a very good game. Returning a day earlier than expected because of a finger injury, he was 1-4 at the plate, made an error, and got picked off of first base. The Tigers lost, 7-4, to the host Chicago White Sox.

Ryan Braun singled twice in three at-bats and drew a walk in the Milwaukee Brewers’ 2-1 win over the visiting Chicago Cubs.

Alex Bregman is human after all. He was 1-5 for the Houston Astros, who lost to the host Cleveland Indians, 6-5.

Kevin Pillar was 0-2 with a walk and a strikeout as the host NY Yankees swept their series against beating his Toronto Blue Jays by taking the finale, 2-0. Scott Feldman did not appear for the Jays.

Looks like Joc Pederson was one of the few LA Dodgers not to get into their 3-1 win over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers used seven relief pitchers after starter Brock Stewart threw the first five innings. You want to speed up the game? A. Limit the number of relievers a team can use. B. Reduce the number of warm-up pitches they can throw once they enter they game; they’ve been warming up in the bullpen, for crying out loud. C. Move the bullpen under the stands, near the clubhouses, so the travel time from pen to field comes down. They have batting cages under the stadium, why not bullpens.


Danny Valencia did not appear in the Oakland A’s 4-1 win over the visiting LA Angels.

Raisman: I’ll be back

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Thu, 08 Sep 2016 14:22:14 | by Ron Kaplan

From the JTA:

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman said she is planning to compete in the Summer Games in Tokyo in four years.

Raisman told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday that she plans to take a break before returning to training for the 2020 Olympics.

“That’s the goal,” Raisman said. “I’m going to take off a little bit of time just because I think I need a little bit of a break. I took a full year off in 2012 and I’m going to do the same thing, and then I’ll begin training again.”

Raisman told DeGeneres that she keeps “getting better with age.”

“I thought I was in the best shape of my life in 2012, but it was even better now, so I’m excited to see what will happen in 2020,” she said.

Raisman, at 22 the oldest member of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, served as its captain and was nicknamed “Grandma” by teammates.

The Massachusetts athlete appeared on the talk show wearing the three medals she earned in last month’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: a gold in the team all-around, and silvers in floor exercise and the individual all-around.

Raisman also won three medals at the 2012 games in London, including two golds: in the team all-around and floor exercise.

Football chatter

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Wed, 07 Sep 2016 14:55:17 | by Ron Kaplan

Geoff Schwartz remains a player without as team as the season kicks off tomorrow. Maybe he can take some solace as the new book, cowritten with brother Mitchell (now with the KC Chiefs) starts to garner attention, including in this piece from the JTA.

Geoff and Mitch Schwartz

I received a review copy of Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family, and Faith a few weeks back. I was impressed that they start off with the faith part, discussing family gatherings at Hanukka. Had to put it aside though, as the deadline for my own book — Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War – looms closer (Shameless self-promotion).

JTA also ran this profile on Mark Wilf, co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings. (More SSP: Here’s the story I wrote about his brother Zygi, when the Wilfs took over the team in 2006)

Mark Wilf, a co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, at the team's gigantic Nordic horn in its new $1.1 billion stadium. (Hillel Kuttler)

So right now, the only Jews in the NFL are, by my count

  • Mitchell Schwartz
  • Nate Ebner, New England Patriots
  • Ari Marpet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

And no, Julian Edelman is still not Jewish according to the regs of the Jewish Sports Review.


JML update, games of Sept. 6, 2016

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Wed, 07 Sep 2016 14:02:55 | by Ron Kaplan

Ryan Braun was 2-5, including his 26th homer, a three-run opposite-field shot in the in the sixth to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 9-3 lead over the visiting Chicago Cubs. He scored three and drove in another run in the 12-4. He also made a nice defensive play in the fourth.

Alex Bregman had just one hit in five at-bats for the Houston Astros, but it was a triple that drove in what proved to be the winning run in a 4-3 decision over the host Cleveland Indians.

Kevin Pillar had three of the Toronto Blue Jays’ 11 hits, including his 31st double which drove in two runs to give his team a 4-3 lead over the host NY Yankees. But the Bronx Bombers scoring six runs in the seventh and eighth innings and held on for a 7-6 win. Scott Feldman did not appear in the game for the Jays.

Joc Pederson was 1-2 with two walks as the LA Dodgers turned back the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-2.

Danny Valencia was 0-4 with two strikeouts, but the Oakland A’s still beat the visiting LA Angels, 3-2.

Ian Kinsler did not play for the Detroit Tigers in their 2-0 loss to the host Chicago White Sox. He injured a finger on his throwing hand making a defensive play on Sunday and it looks like he’ll be out until Friday.

JML update, Holiday weekend edition (games of 9/2-5)

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Tue, 06 Sep 2016 16:21:57 | by Ron Kaplan

The holidays were homer happy as the MOT contingent belted seven long balls.

Alex Bregman continues to improve on a daily basis. In his four games (one win and two losses against the host Texas Rangers; a win yesterday vs. the host Cleveland Indians), the Houston Astros rookie had nine hits in 19 at-bats, including his sixth and seventh home runs, his first triple, and his 12th double. Oh, and his first stolen base. Bregman is currently batting .266 with a .475 slugging percentage and 26 RBI in just 38 games. Not bad considering he had just two hits in his first 38 at-bats.


Joc Pederson cracked two homers to reach 20 for the second time in two full seasons. No. 19 accounted for the LA Dodgers’ total offense in a 4-2 loss on Friday to the visiting San Diego Padres.

His 20th came yesterday, one of four home runs hit in the fifth inning against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks in a 10-2 win.

Ryan Braun and Ian Kinsler each hit their 25th home runs on the year. Braun’s came yesterday to give the Milwaukee Brewers their final run in a 7-2 loss to the visiting Chicago Cubs. Kinsler hit his solo shot on Saturday in a 5-2 loss to the host KC Royals. The 25 represent his best output since 2011 when he hit 32. He also knows how to play hurt. Braun’s figure matches his total for 2015.

Finally, Danny Valencia hit home run number 16, a two-run blast in the Oakland A’s 10-7 loss yesterday to the visiting LA Angeles.

I don’t know who, if anyone, keeps track of these things, but I would imagine this has to be some kind of record.

The only JML (batter) batter to miss out on the fun was Kevin Pillar who had three singles in 10 at-bats for the Toronto Blue Jays against the host Tampa Bay Rays. He was 0-4 yesterday in a 5-3 loss to the host NY Yankees. Don’t know if it’s my imagination or coincidence or nothing, but Pillar hasn’t made one of his signature outstanding defensive plays since he got hurt and spent time on the disabled list. Scott Feldman pitched a scoreless inning on Sunday, striking out one.

As of this writing, no additional Jewish players have been called up to the big  leagues since the teams were able to expand their rosters on Sept. 1.



Canadian football team signs player who called Jews ‘devils’

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Tue, 06 Sep 2016 14:19:33 | by Ron Kaplan

From the JTA:

Khalif MitchellA Canadian football team has signed a player who tweeted anti-Semitic messages even after being fined in 2015 for doing so.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League signed lineman Khalif Mitchell Wednesday, drawing criticism from a Canadian Jewish group.

“We are deeply troubled that Mitchell is continuing to spread messages of hate against the Jewish people,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, according to The Toronto Sun. “Clearly, Mitchell has not learned from his past mistakes. We have engaged with the CFL and the Saskatchewan Roughriders and they have assured us they are investigating.

In May 2015, the CFL fined Mitchell, a Virginia native, for sharing anti-Semitic posts on Twitter. One of his posts included a link to a YouTube video that called the Holocaust “The Greatest Lie Ever Told.”

The following month, Mitchell was released from his team, the Montreal Alouettes.

But Mitchell has has since called Jews “devils posing as God’s people” and referred to late Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel as a “thief of the holy people” on Twitter, according to a July report. He has also made derogatory comments about people of Chinese descent, according to the Sun.

CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge said Thursday in a statement that the organization would monitor Mitchell closely and that any further comments “will result in his immediate dismissal.”

On Thursday, Mitchell called reactions to the tweets “far-fetched” and claimed he was researching his own “Hebrew Semitic” heritage. He said his mother and father are from the “tribes” of “Juda” and Benjamin, respectively.

“I just think a lot of the reaction was based off a lot of misinterpretations about myself that were far-fetched,” he said. “A lot people look at me as someone the media portrayed as an anti-Semitic type of person. All I was doing was finding my own Hebrew Semitic backgrounds and my own source of where I’m from.”

Mitchell’s Twitter account has since been made private.

JML update, games of Sept. 1, 2016

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Fri, 02 Sep 2016 15:47:30 | by Ron Kaplan

This hasn’t happened in a while: none of the games involved MOT. Of course there were only four games…

Sept. 1 is when major league rosters can expand to 40 players. During last night’s Mets game, the broadcasters discussed the repercussions this could have on pennant races as clubs bring up youngsters no one really knows anything about. That can really throw a monkey wrench into the works , dealing with someone you haven’t really scouted.

Photo of Ty KellyThe Mets recalled Ty Kelly, a 27-year-old utilityman, from their AAA club in Las Vegas. Why do we bring him up? Because he was named to the roster of the Israeli team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic qualifier. But, Ron, you ask, is Kelly Jewish? Why have we not heard of him before, like when he made his debut for the Mets in May (he has appeared in 24 games, batting .245 with a double, triple, home run, and six RBI.

You have no heard of him, my friends, because, going by the guidelines of the Jewish Sports Review, Kelly is not a MOT: neither of his parents are Jewish nor is he a convert. But according to Jay Horwitz, the Mets’ vice-president of media relations, Kelly has Jewish grandparents, which is basically all one needs to compete for a national team. I’m not sure what the Mets would do with him, or what his choice would be, come time for the WBC games: would he still want to represent and would the Mets allow it? Would they continue to pay his pro rated Major League salary (doubt it).

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, as of this writing, no other Jews were promoted to the big league level.

Non-MOT follow-up: A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Coco Crisp, a teammate of Danny Valencia on the Oakland A’s  and how it looked like he would not get the requisite number of games to kick in a hefty bonus. Well, the A’s traded him on Aug. 31 to the Cleveland Indians. So what happens to that bonus now? Maybe that’s a trick question: since he needed 130 and  currently has just 102. That means he would have to play in each of the Indians’ remaining games to get to that plateau. Ah, but then who pays? Does he carry over that clause to the new team? Did he have to waive it? Kind of seems unfair, but then, it is a business.



JML update, games of Aug. 31, 2016

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Thu, 01 Sep 2016 15:41:21 | by Ron Kaplan

Heading into the last month… where did the time go? (Stats are for the season through last night; Feldman’s numbers for the Astros and Blue Jays are combined.)

Ian Kinsler singled and doubled (#25) in four at bats and scored the game-tying run as the Detroit Tigers beat the visiting Chicago white Sox, 3-2 on a walk-off sacrifice fly. They trail the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians by 4.5 games and are tied for the second Wild Card spot with the Baltimore Orioles.

129 579 528 97 145 25 3 24 70 13 4 38 102 .275 .335 .470 .805

Alex Bregman was 0-3 but scored twice (including, like Kinsler, the game-tier) and drew a walk as the Houston Astros beat the visiting Oakland A’s, 4-3. Danny Valencia struck out twice in four at bats for Oakland. The Astros are second in the AL West, 8.5 games behind the Texas Rangers. They are one game out of the second Wild Card spot. The A’s, on the other hand, are last in the division with the third-worst record in the league.


34 153 139 23 33 9 0 5 20 0 0 13 36 .237 .301 .410 .711


106 419 387 56 114 18 1 15 45 0 1 28 93 .295 .346 .463 .809


Joc Pederson broke an 0-16 slump when he went 1-4 with an RBI, and scored the final run in the LA Dodgers’ 10-8 nightcap win over the host Colorado Rockies. He did not appear in the first game in which the Dodgers were shut out, 7-0. The doubleheader — split of course so the Rockies could charge two admissions — was necessitated by a rainout on Tuesday. The Dodgers lead the NL West by 1.5 games over the San Francisco Giants. 

112 397 343 52 82 24 0 18 53 5 2 48 105 .239 .336 .466 .802


Ryan Braun hit his 22nd double in four at bats as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the host St. Louis Cardinals, 3-1. The Brew Crew is in fifth place in the NL Central, 28.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs, so they’ll probably be mathematically eliminated with a few days.

112 468 423 67 132 22 2 24 74 14 3 40 79 .312 .374 .544 .918


Kevin Pillar was hitless in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 5-3 win over the host Baltimore Orioles, striking out twice. Nevertheless, he’s fast becoming one of the “faces” of the team, as evidenced by his appearance in videos from companies like American Express and this one from Coldwell Banker

Scott Feldman struck out one of the two batters he faced. Toronto leads the AL East by two games over the Boston Red Sox.


116 470 451 50 119 30 2 7 46 11 5 14 75 .264 .294 .386 .680


7 4 .636 3.65 36 5 12 74.0 84 37 30 8 16 55 322 1.351

Cardinals release Jake Bernstein

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Tue, 30 Aug 2016 16:41:15 | by Ron Kaplan

Another Jewish (potential) NFLer was released yesterday when the Arizona Cardinals parted ways with Jake Bernstein, an offensive guard out of Vanderbilt.

Bernstein signed as a free agent as undrafted free agent in April.


JML update, games of Aug. 29, 2016

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Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:43:13 | by Ron Kaplan

Kevin Pillar was 1-4 and scored a run in the Toronto Blue Jay’s 5-1 win over the host Baltimore Orioles. Scott Feldman did not appear in the game.

For the first time since June 2 (when he batted seventh) Ian Kinsler did lead off for the Detroit Tigers. He hit second, getting one hit in two official at-bats and walking twice in a 4-3 win over the visiting Chicago White Sox.

Alex Bregman was 1-4 and drove in two runs for the Houston Astros in their 6-0 win over the visiting Oakland A’s. Danny Valencia was 0-3 with a walk for the A’s.

Ryan Braun was 1-4 with a walk and a strikeout as the Milwaukee Brewers blew a 5-3 lead in the eighth inning in an eventual 6-5 loss to the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

Joc Pederson struck out twice in four at bats as the LA Dodgers lost to the host Colorado Rockies, 8-1.

Wishful thinking? “Will Red Sox call up Wellesley favorite Nate Freiman on Sept. 1?” If they do, he’s no longer on the roster for the Israeli team at the World Baseball Classic qualifier.