Monday, May 31, 2010

TGR Back in Chicago

TGR is back in Chicago, hopefully awaiting a Stanley Cup Championship and Lebron James. Speaking of Chicago here is a brief mention of the Bulls interest in Lawrence Frank. Click HERE

Also a mention of Omri Casspi who just missed being second team all rookie team. Click HERE.




Sunday, May 30, 2010

Interview with Israeli Basketball Legend Tal Brody

Before there was Omri Casspi there was a man by the name of Tal Brody. Brody was a sensational player for my Alma Mater, The University of Illinois. Brody was drafted into the NBA but a transformative experience at the Maccabi games changed his future and Israeli basketball forever. He lead Israeli to its first European title and Israeli basketball has been on the map ever since. TGR had the fortune to speak with Brody during my last few days in Israel. What better way to leave this amazing country and experience than with an interview for arguably the greatest Israeli basketball player ever.
INTERVIEW:

1) You played at the University of Illinois, how was that experience and do you still follow the team?
I follow the Illini. About 10 years ago I was invited back because I was elected I Man of the Year. At first I thought they had the wrong guy. Once I reached campus I remembered how cold Champaign can get. But it was very nice. They were playing Wisconsin and I got to be the honorary coach for the day and sat next to Lou Henson. I really enjoyed it.

Playing there was great too. We had good teams. I replaced Jerry Calangelo who graduated. I was a sophomore at the time. Back then freshman were not allowed to play varsity. We were ranked #3 in the nation. We won the holiday festival in New York where we beat Adolph Rupp's team. Unfortunately, we were knocked out of the tournament by Bowling Green. We were also the first team ever to play in Assembly Hall.

2) What was it like getting drafted to the NBA?
At the time getting drafted 12th out of 65 was a big deal. Jerry Sloan went in like the 4th round because there were only 9 teams. Unfortunately, the Baltimore Bullets were loaded with guards. After rookie camp everything was fine. I was asked to play in the Maccabi games and I needed to get the Bullets' permission. They let me go and once I got there everything changed. Growing up in Trenton, Israel opened up my eyes. I fell in love with the culture and every day life. Israel gave me a challenge to take Israeli basketball to the next level. NBA players were not getting paid all too much in those. It was not until David Stern took over that there were huge contracts. So my decision wasn't a financial thing. It was the challenge that brought me to Israel. I told the Bullets that if I did not receive a no-cut contract I would be staying in Israel. So I came and even got a masters degree. It was a bigger challenge to help a country rather than one team.

3) What was it like winning the European Championship?
It was a dream come true. It was the reason I came to Israel, to take Israeli basketball to the next level. It meant a lot to the country. We got passed the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds and had to play in Spain where we lost by 32 the first time around. This time we won by 32. Moshe Dayan started attending comes. It was a big deal. After my second year I got drafted to the US Army. After that I became a new citizen of Israel. Soon thereafter Mark Spitz and I participated in the Maccabi games. We won the gold in basketball.


4) How do you feel about what Omri Casspi has accomplished?
I think he has been the first Israeli to really achieve a success in the NBA. Doing what he did as a rookie, brought so much honor to Israeli basketball. I was at the NBA All Star game in Dallasand sat in a box. I saw him play in the rookie game and it was truly amazing. He did a great job and I felt proud of him especially in his first year. It was fantastic for world Jewry. At the game in New York they played Hatikva. Everywhere he goes fans have been coming out and cheering him on.

5) Any other Israelis to watch out for?
It is hard to say at this point. Young players should come along. Our players are all over Europe. Also the Israeli league is good and producing better players. Our biggest problem is that we do not have an abundance of tall players.


6) What are you doing these days?
I am in the 3rd stage of life. I sold my business and began working for the country. I am doing this on my own until something official comes out. I lecture the world about whats going on in Israel and on holidays. I search for friends abroad. Also, I help Children of Risk with Natan Sharansky. Basically I talks about using technology and reach out to friends all over the world. I hope that college age Jews and even non-Jews are not getting their information from anti-Israel proporganda. I am trying to combat that. I post on Youtube,  Canadian TV, etc. Here is a segment you should check out by Dr. Jaques Gautier who argues that Jerusalem is 100% legalized for Israel. I have asked the Israel project to validate it. http://ctstv.com/ontario/player.php?ctsvidID=17133&show=On

I have also helped and continue to help 100,000 boys and girls play basketball everyday. Its a program called the Spirit of Israel where I am the chairman. It is in Hertzaliyah. It won a European prize for helping children.


7) Most importantly where is your favorite falafel stand?
This little place in Hertzaliyah on Sokolv. When I played for Maccabi there was another place near the old basketball court called Shuk Bazalel but I am not sure if it is still there.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Friday, May 28, 2010

Shabbat Shalom from the Holy Land

Great week here at TGR. We had a couple thousand readers for the Lebron James article.

We announced the Oy! Chicago award and our summer lineup of interviews. Also, I am glad we could help everyone locate Jerry Krause.

POLL: 
Mike Cammalleri is destroying the competition. But there is another week to go.

TGR NEWS:
We believe we have found our summer intern.  We will keep you posted if it works out.

We are about a month away from our one year anniversary and our Dolph Schayes interview.

Have a great and spiritual Shabbat.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oy! Chicago Wins Award

Congrats to Oy! Chicago (who TGR writes for) on their prestigious award.

Last night, Oy!Chicago took home the top prize for best external website at the 2010 PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) awards dinner.  In the PR world, it’s a really big deal.


Where's Theo Epstein?

Recently Yahoo ran an article about Theo Epstein. Not about his Red Sox rather about his weird disguise at a recent Pearl Jam concert. Epstein was spotted at the concert sporting a fake mustache (picture below).
This is not the first time Epstein has done this. "At any rate, as this old Sports Illustrated article notes, Epstein has attempted to go incognito at Pearl Jam concerts before. In 2006, he attended a show 'wearing a fake mullet wig, glasses, a blue hat and a hooded sweatshirt so that he wouldn't be recognized.' Epstein then revealed his identity  to the crowd after joining the band onstage to play Neil Young's 'Rockin' In The Free World.'"

Not sure why Epstein feels compelled to hide himself only to reveal himself to the large crowd on stage. Maybe he is trying to blend in and doesn't want to deal with random annoying Red Sawx or even heckling Yankee fans. Regardless, I thought it was funny and odd so I am posting it. Next time you are at a concert look around to see if you can find Mark Cuban with a fu man chu or Larry Brown with mutton chops.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

All Star Summer Interview Line Up

We here at TGR are proud to announce our All Star Summer Interview Line Up.

June
Israeli Basketball Legend Tal Brody

July 
NBA Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes

August 
The MLB's First Ever Designated Hitter Ron Blomberg

Hopefully other guests will be announced as the summer goes on.

JPOST Posts Jewish Sports

Israeli becomes European taekwondo champion.

www.jpost.com/Sports/Article.aspx?id=175580

Below was sent in by the author Michael Freund about Israel and Baseball.

Fundamentally Freund: The great Zionist sport

http://www.jpost.com/Home/Article.aspx?id=176019

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Ever Happened To...Jerry Krause?

I love the game whatever happened to...

Think about it. Whatever happened to...Chris Shelton? Whatever happened to...Bob Hamelin? ...Dana Barros? ...Austin Croshere?

I know all of those players are "1-hit wonders." But seriously, what happened to those guys. I think there is one man who people say, at least in Chicago, whatever happened to...the most. That man is Jerry Krause.

Jerry Krause was responsible for putting together 6 championship Bulls teams before dismantling the dynasty. Many people blame Krause for Jordan's departure and the Bulls' failure to be a serious threat since. But give credit where credit is due. The man was a visionary when it comes to talent evaluation. Krause drafted Scottie Pippen, Wes Unseld, Earl Monroe, Jerry Sloan, and Elton Brand. He surrounded Michael Jordan with Horace Grant, B.J. Armstrong, and John Paxson. He later traded Will Perdue for Dennis Rodman. He knew talent.

But before Krause was picking Hall of Famers for the Bulls he was a baseball mind. He worked for the Chicago White Sox helping acquire Ozzie Guillen, Greg Walker, Kenny Williams, Ed Farmer, Greg Luzinski, and who could ever forget Tom Seaver.

Once Jordan left the Bulls and his Baby Bulls began to quickly crumble (Wow Ron Mercer and Corey Benjamin did not live up to the hype)  Krause left Chicago. He found himself back in the baseball world. He began scouting, what he does best, for the Cleveland Indians, Oakland A's, Seattle Mariners White Sox and the New York Yankees and Mets. But now Krause is back home in Chicago. The White Sox recently named Krause the Director of International Scouting. Krause will be in charge of restructuring the way the White Sox scout and head up recruitment in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

It is good to see Krause back home. Hopefully he can help bring 5 more White Sox rings to the city of Chicago.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Monday, May 24, 2010

TGR Summer Intern

TGR is looking for a summer intern. No crazy time commitment, age, or qualifications necessary. Just someone passionate about Jewish sports and wants to write about it. Possible interviews of professional athletes involved.

Interested? Email info@thegreatrabbino.com.

Blackhawks Going to The Cup

Nothing Jewish here. Just wanted to wish the Chicago Blackhawks a big Mazel Tov on getting to the Stanley Cup Finals. 4 More Wins!

CBSSportsline Cover Blasberg's Funeral

This past Wednesday Erica Blasberg, LPGA golfer, was laid to rest after her mysterious and sudden death. "Family members, friends and LPGA golfers praised Blasberg in person and on video during the service at Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona where she played as a high school athlete. Two golf bags stitched with her name stood by her silver coffin." - CBSSportsline

People spoke about her as a player and also about her great personality.

"Blasberg had her bags packed for a tournament in Alabama when she died suddenly on May 9 at her home in Henderson, Nev., about 15 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The cause of her death has not been stated pending blood and tissue tests that could take a month or more to complete. Police have not said whether they suspect foul play but have not ruled out any cause, including suicide... Friend and longtime LPGA player Irene Cho presented her parents with a flag signed by golf tour contestants that came from Blasberg's last tournament in Mexico." - CBSSportsline

Many others spoke at what was said to be a very emotional time. Her mother Debbie spoke about a text message she sent Erica shortly before she received the news that stated "How's everything?" Debbie "urged the attendees to remember their own children, saying that even if their children were only leaving to go to the next room, "just tell them you love them because you don't know the next time you're going to see them." - CBSSportsline.

May Erica's memory be for a blessing.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lebron James' Jewish Dilemma

Unless you are a Celtic or Laker's fan right now you can pretty much care less about the playoffs. I mean I guess there is a little bit of hope left in Phoenix, but really can anyone stop Kobe and Gasol. Seriously, the NBA should have vetoed the Gasol trade, arguably the most lopsided trade ever. Even though I love watching Kobe I could care less about the playoffs. And like most of you sitting at home I am just waiting for the finals to end so we can start the offseason.

The offseason has not even begun yet and there are crazy Lebron James websites, owners running their mouths, and Sportscenter and radio outlets everywhere are going crazy for whats about to unfold. The anticipation is almost as intense as tonight's LOST finale.

Mainly all of this because of LEBRON JAMES.

And as the Lebron James storyline becomes more intense I realized that this is a huge issue for the Jews. Cities, man, and values divided all over one the Lebron James Saga. Where should James go?

Well, most news outlets have the two major players for James's services, outside of Cleveland, to be New York (Knicks) and Chicago (Bulls). So let us begin there.

New York. What is more Jewish than New York? Seriously, they sell out the Garden for Maccabi Tel Aviv, imagine if King James came to town. If James took his game to NYC you know it'll be about 10 minutes before Rabbi Shmuely took him under his wing. And if the Messiah were to come and need to stop somewhere before Jerusalem, don't you think it'd be in NYC? Maybe a Crumbs Cupcake perhaps? James is as good as they come and New York is as Jewish as they come. Knick's jersey sales would sky rocket both in NYC and in Israel.  If James chooses NY he will be making a lot of Jews happy.
Then there is Chicago, which is another heavily populated Jewish city. But forget about that. The Bulls are owned by Jerry Reinsdorf. The Jewish owner won six titles with Michael Jordan in the drivers seat. If James came to Chicago he would make Reinsdorf a happy man. James could be like Isaac to Jordan's Abraham. Also, Chicago as a city pulling hard for James. Check out sendlebrontochicago.com.
Another Jewish owner recently got into the mix and made headlines. Dallas Maverick's owner Mark Cuban said on CNNMoney.com that "anybody" would be interested in Lebron James. He went on to mention a possible sign-and-trade deal with the Cavaliers. Cuban was later fined $100,000 for his comments because he was considered to have "tampered" with the free agency pool. But Cuban isn't the only one in Dallas trying to lore James to the great state of Texas. Check out lebrontothemavs.com.
Another site could be Miami. I acutally do not want to discuss this possibility because the idea of Dwyane Wade and James playing together scares me.
But James could very well stay in Cleveland. How is that Jewish? Well, James has eaten at the Kosher Subway in the JCC (that is a joke). But really Judaism has a principle of Shalom Bayit (Peace in the Home). If James left Cleveland there would be a lot of tears shed and many people upset. Maybe James would want to make his extended family of Ohio happy for a long long time.

I left out the Clippers and the Nets...well....because....they are the Clippers and the Nets. It would be exciting for LA to have Kobe and Lebron share a building. But they are the Clippers, so doesn't seem likely. And I am not sure if anyone else paid attention to the NBA this year but why would James want to leave Jamison and Mo Williams to play with Devin Harris and Brook Lopez? Maybe if the Nets landed John Wall, but that seems unlikely.

New York. Chicago. Dallas. Miami. Cleveland. L.A. N.J. Those are the rumored destinations. Where does TGR think he will end up. Well, in my heart of hearts I want to say Chicago. With James and DRose running the United Center for the next 10 years I think it would be safe to say there would be a few more rings to add to Reinsdorf's collection (6 Bulls, 1 White Sox). But honestly I think he is staying in Cleveland. Why leave? He is already bigger than life. The King of a city. What else could a man want? Maybe a Crumbs Cupcakes.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Interesting Girls BBall Article

I found this article in the NY Times a while back but never got a chance to post. Interesting read. Enjoy.

www.nytimes.com/2010/01/08/sports/ncaabasketball/08princeton.html

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shabbat Before the Final Lost

Its going to be hard getting through Shabbat knowing that on the other side is the final episode of Lost.  But I guess it will be nice to know answers.

Speaking of answers, we got one answer for the 76ers as the Larry Brown rumors are done as they have signed Doug Collins (a different coach of Michael Jordan).

Sad news about Odesnik.


Poll Results:
The world is correct. Mike Cammalleri is on fire. With another goal last night, that makes 13 for the playoffs and his Canadiens are still very much in it.

Check out the new poll which I have a feeling Mike Cammalleri will win again.


TGR News:
We learned late last night that TGR might be getting a press pass to a Sox/Rangers game to try to meet Kinsler and Feldman. We'll keep you posted.

This summer we are going to try to promote the blog more. Any ideas? We have some in mind.

TGR Fan Howie Labow sent in his recommendation for summer reading. Check out the book below.














And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Cammalleri's 13th

Mike Cammalleri's wrist shot in the 1st period helped the Canadiens get back into their series against the Flyers. The series is 2-1 in favor of the Flyers but the next game is in Montreal.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wayne Odesnik Gets a 2 Year Ban

 TGR doesn't cover too much Tennis. We did post an interview with Paul Goldstein, but really we have not done too much. The reality is while there are a bunch of good Jewish players, rarely do they make headlines. Shahar Pe'er occasionally is in the news and Andy Ram has been a successful doubles player. But this time its Wayne Odesnik made the headlines.

Who you ask? Odesnik is currently ranked 111th in the world and hasn't reached higher than 77th. He has played in 6 majors. His biggest wins came against Ivan Ljubicic in 2007 and in 2009 he beat Igor Kunitsyn. Nothing too substantial and he has never really been in the spotlight until now.

Odesnik recently received a two year ban from the International Tennis Federation because of importing Human Growth Hormones from Australia. Two months ago he pleaded guilty to the charges. Odesnik denied allegations of ever using HGH and has never tested positive for the substance. The ITF said, "Mr. Odesnik did not in fact obtain or apply for a therapeutic use exemption ... prior to obtaining it," the ITF said in a statement. "Accordingly, Mr. Odesnik's possession of the human growth hormone is an anti-doping rule violation." 

While this might not be a major blow to the tennis world, it is certainly a blow to the Jewish tennis world. Odesnik officially began his suspension on December 29th 2009. The story has just recently gone public. For more on Odesnik's situation click HERE.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jewish Baseball Books For Summer Reading

Occasionally, TGR will help promote a book and interview its author. We have spoken with Howie Megdal and Binnie Klein about their books. Soon we will have our interview with Ron Blomberg who tells his story as the Designated Hebrew. But today we wanted to share with you a list that will help you build your Jewish (Sports) library. We hope to bring you links to different books from time to time. Click on the link to find out more about the book. It will take you directly to the Amazon link and you can order them right from your computer. Happy Reading!  






















































And Let Us Say...Amen. -Jeremy Fine

Monday, May 17, 2010

Coaches Wanted?




Every offseason there is what sports fans call a coaching carousel. It mainly happens in college sports when a team did well and a better college program snatches away their coach. In the NBA teams usually look for one of four categories; coach with experience, coach who was a former player/leader on the court, an assistant coach, or a successful college coach.

The Jewish coach that has the most experience is Larry Brown. While he currently has a job with the Charlotte Bobcats and his former phenom Michael Jordan, there are rumors circulating that Brown has interest of heading back to the Philadelphia 76ers. A few weeks back Brown said that Charlotte would be his last stop, but it seems a potential Iverson-less 76er team is intriguing. While Brown has denied the rumors, the 76ers seem to be interested. To read more from CBSSportsline click HERE.

Another coach of Jewish interest is Lawrence Frank. Frank most recently coached the New Jersey Nets but was fired mid-season after a horrendous start. The New Orleans Hornets had Frank in for an interview last week. The Hornets have a long list of candidates but Frank seems to have as much a chance as anybody. The Nets did have a horrible season but the team he had to work with was pathetic to watch all season long, with or without Frank as their leader. With the Hornets he would inherit a solid foundation with All Stars Chris Paul and David West. Read more HERE.

The last coach to watch out for is Bruce Pearl. Yes, Bruce Pearl. While he won't be joining the professional ranks (I don't believe so), there is rumor that John Callipari might be headed to coach in the NBA either in Chicago or New Jersey. Callipari has repeatedly denied these rumors, but I am not sure he is such a trustworthy guy in situations where money is involved. If Callipari was to jump back into the NBA, Pearl would probably become the number candidate for the Kentucky job. After an Elite Eight appearance Pearl seems to be a likely candidate. Pearl was heavily rumored to be heading to Kentucky a few years back, but said to have never wanted to leave Tennessee. But if the price was right you never know what might happen.

This summer the world will be watching Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and others. But do not forget about the (Jewish) guys who coach them.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mom in Israel...Shabbat

Great week her at TGR. Thanks to those helping out my fantasy team.

Mike Cammalleri has been on fire. We will continue to follow him. Wonder who NHL Player of the Year will be?

Thanks to Sean Wallis for sitting down with us and congrats to Adam Stern on getting called up to the Show.

Sylven Landerberg and Jon Scheyer are going to be hot topics over the next month or so.

Thanks to the thousands of people who read the Al Davis/JaMarcus Russell story.

POLL:
Poll is still going on. Cammalleri looks to be the front runner.
Next week the TGR fans can vote for NHL POY.

TGR NEWS:
We conducted a huge interview this week with Tal Brody. It was nice for once not using my Magic Jack phone. Really nice guy oozing with Jewish pride.

Jewish Journal has featured one of our stories. Its a sad one about Erica Blasberg. Check it out HERE.

OyChicago.com is runnign our Sean Wallis article. Check it out.

Have a great Shabbat.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Cammalleri Features

Check this article out. Jewish Hockey Sensation Mike Cammalleri. Click HERE.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fantasy Baseball - The TGR Team

I have decided to reach out to the fans of TGR and find out how they think I am doing in fantasy baseball. I have made a bunch of moves already this season. My league had some scheduling issues and we ended up with a auto-draft. This put me into a bit of a whole since it auto-drafted me Javier Vazquez, Carlos Lee, and Derek Lee. So I have been active making two trades and 15 transactions. I started with my four keepers (Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Holliday, and Jonanthan Broxton). Here is how the rest of my team filled out via the auto draft.


1. (6)Joe MauerC
2.(15)Miguel Cabrera1B
3.(26)Matt HollidayOF
4.(35)Jonathan BroxtonRP
5.(46)Jacoby EllsburyOF
6.(55)Brandon Phillips2B
7.(66)Derrek Lee1B
8.(75)Carlos LeeOF
9.(86)Javier VázquezSP
10.(95)Ricky NolascoSP
11.(106)Rickie Weeks2B
12.(115)Jason BartlettSS
13.(126)Brett AndersonSP
14.(135)Chipper Jones3B
15.(146)Kevin CorreiaSP
16.(155)Alfredo AcevesRP
17.(166)Frank FranciscoRP
18.(175)Vladimir GuerreroUtil
19.(186)Casey Blake3B
20.(195)Juan RiveraOF
21.(206)Jonathan SánchezSP
22. (215)
Erik Bedard
SP





So that was the team dealt to me. I have definitely made some poor decisions but I think some good ones as well. Probably shouldn't have dropped Weeks and Sanchez but I think Heyward, Braden, and Hughes were great pickups. Help judge my moves below and maybe some advice on where I need to go from here:

1. Dropped Rickie Weeks
Added Magglio Ordonez
2. Dropped Alfredo Aceves
Added Franklin Gutierrez

3. Dropped Erik Bedard
Added Johnny Cueto

4. Dropped Jonathan Sanchez
Added Cole Hamels

5. Dropped Johnny Cueto
Added Jason Heyward

6. Dropped Casey Blake
Added Fausto Carmona

7. Dropped Juan Rivera
Added Erik Bedard (place on DL)

8. Added Chris Young

9. Traded Kevin Correia for Miguel Tejada (received Tejada)

10. Dropped Chris Young
Added Matt Capps

11. Dropped Frank Francisco
Added Ricky Romero

12. Dropped Erik Bedard (place Jacoby Ellsbury on DL)
Added Chase Headley

13. Dropped Cole Hamels
Added Dallas Braden

14. Dropped Brett Anderson
Added Phil Hughes

15. Dropped Chipper Jones
Added Brett Gardner

16. Traded Matt Holliday and Javier Vazquez for Ian Kinsler and Roy Oswalt

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Cammalleri Moves On

The Canadiens upset the Penguins (after having already upset the Capitals in round one) and move on to the semi-finals. And it took another great game by Mike Cammalleri, 1 goal and 1 assist, to make it happen. The guy is on fire. It was his 7th goal of the series. Congrats!. Cammalleri v.s. Blackhawks in the finals.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Interview: IHSA and NCAA Champion Sean Wallis


Ever meet a guy who just can't lose? Well, Sean Wallis is pretty close. He won an IHSA Basketball championship at GBN and 2 NCAA DIII championships at Wash U.  Wallis seems to win wherever he goes. The North Shore native is now weighing his options. If I had advice to give him it would be to go to Israel and have a great time. Knowing him he would probably come back with some hardware to put in his trophy case. Wallis is a really nice guy and surrounds himself with good people (he is facebook friends with my sister =)). We got a chance to speak with Wallis and below is the TGR exclusive.


INTERVIEW (Thank you to Danny Nathan for setting this up):
1) You played High School at Glenbrook North High School basketball with Jon Scheyer. What was that experience like?

I've actually been playing basketball with Jon since he was in fourth
grade and I was in fifth grade. Not only is he an incredible
basketball player, but he's an awesome person too. He works harder at
his game than anyone I've ever met and I couldn't be happier that he
had the year he did because no one deserves the success more than him.
I was lucky enough to get to go to Indianapolis and watch him and even
celebrate with him after they won which was an experience I'll never
forget. High school basketball was an awesome time for me-- not just
cause we won a state championship my senior year-- but cause we would
play in front of sold out crowds every night.

2) Who would win one on one, you or Scheyer?
The summer going into my senior year of high school Jon and me would
go to this half court gym and play a best of seven series four nights
a week. We probably played 100 games up to 11 over the course of a few
months... and I won... approximately six or seven... So that being
said, I think he'd win if we played. I could definitely score on him
here and there, but getting a stop is a really tough thing for me to
do against him.

3) You were a part of both the 2008 and 2009 Wash U Bear Championship teams, what was that like?

It was incredible and two very different experiences. In 2008 I
actually had a season ending broken leg in the third game of the
season. In 2009 I was Most Outstanding Player in the Tournament. While
people say "oh, but it's D3" it is the same national championship
trophy, we get the same hats and t-shirts, the same confetti raining
down, and we're on national TV also. I can't even begin to explain how
lucky I am to have gotten the chance to play with such awesome
teammates and win with such awesome teammates during my basketball
career.

4) Why did you decide to play ball at Wash U? Did you have a chance to play DI?
 
Wash U was the best combination of basketball, academics and location.
It had an undergraduate business school which I wanted and allowed me
to play in an awesome conference where I could compete for a national
championship. We fly more than a lot of DI teams as we travel to New
York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago and Pittsburgh during the regular
season which is awesome. I had the chance to walk on at some bigger
DIs and a few smaller DIs came into the picture after the state
tournament my senior year but I knew I wanted to use my basketball to
get me to a great academic school.

5) You were recently named DIII First Team All American, what was that like? Was it the highlight of your basketball career?

The individual accolades are a real nice honor, without a doubt. It
always feel great to be recognized for the hard work that's put in day
in and day out. But honestly the highlights of my basketball career
have been the championships I've won and the memories with my
teammates. There's nothing like celebrating in a locker room or at
half court with a group of guys you spend so much time with, it is
easy to call that the state and national championships the highlight.


5) What are your plans now that your collegiate basketball career has come to an end?

I'm still up in the air. I've been contacted by a few agents and even
teams about the opportunity to play basketball professionally over in
Israel. It is one of the premier leagues in all of Europe but being a
Jew has its advantage as I can obtain citizenship and not be
considered an "international" player but an Israeli. So that is one
possibility, but I also am looking at different opportunities in
strategy and management consulting in the Chicago area. Hopefully I'll
figure it out over the next month.

6) Living on the North Shore of Chicago, and we asked Colt Cabana this same question, what is your favorite Chicago Pizza?

Well this is a tough question for me. I have grown to enjoy deep dish
more and more as I've grown up (which is good consider when I was nine
I told Mark Malnati, the owner, I hated Lou Malnati's pizza without
knowing who he was). Even though it isn't very Chicagoan of me-- I
have to say that by far and away my favorite pizza is Barnaby's.
Nothing beats it.

7) You have one Bulls player ever to take the final shot in a championship game, who do you let take it John Paxson or Steve Kerr?

Funny question considering I'd kill to have either of their jobs right
now. Both hit NBA Finals game winners, Pax in Phoenix and Kerr against
Utah at a game I was at... but I'd have to say Pax just cause I grew
up going to his camps and know his son Ryan pretty well-- love that
jumper.

8) Any other Jewish college basketball players TGR fans should watch out for?

There are a couple of Jewish Americans I'd love to give a shout out to
that are playing over in Israel professionally right now. Both Todd
Golden and Ben Rudin have been really helpful in showing me the way
and telling me about their experiences over there. Todd was a great
player for DI St. Mary's (CA) and Ben was a big time DIII guard at
Middlebury.

To read more about Wallis Click HERE.
Thank you to Sean Wallis. Nice guy. See you around the burbs.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

TGR's 4th Story of the Day - Milwaukee's Manic Monday

It was an up and down day for Jewish baseball in Milwaukee.

Monday Night the Milwaukee Brewers placed Carlos Gomez (not Jewish) on the DL which made room for Adam Stern (Jewish) to become a reserve outfielder. This is Stern's third stint in the major leagues. He was first called up with the Boston Red Sox in 2005 where he played with Craig Breslow, Kevin Youkilis, and Gabe Kapler. There is had 35 ABs and batted .143. And in 2007 he got called up by the Baltimore Orioles but did not have an AB.

Stern has been solid in the minor leagues batting .346 with 1HR and an OBP of .429. Don't expect Stern to be in the majors too long, as Gomez is one of the young players the Brewers are counting on and his injury does not appear to be serious.

On the negative note, Ryan Braun who has been awesome all season long was hit by a pitch Monday night. The pitch came in the fourth inning when Tommy Hanson's fastball struck Braun's elbow. Braun is listed as day to day.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Erica Blasberg Passes Away

LPGA Golfer Erica Blasberg has passed away. She posted on her site that she is part Jewish. Its unfortunate that we at TGR never knew about her until this sad and unfortunate event. Click HERE to read the Fox News article.

Cammalleri Does It Again

Mike Cammalleri scored two more goals and helped the Canadiens force a game 7 against the defending NHL champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. What does Cammalleri have up his sleeve for game 7?

Landesberg Joins Scheyer

May 8th has passed and Sylven Landesberg has decided to remain in the NBA draft and end his college career at Virginia. Landesberg has been a solid player over his two seasons for Virginia. While his team struggled Landesberg excelled by averaging 16.6 ppg his freshman season. He followed that up with 17.3 ppg in his sophomore campaign. This past season he also grabbed 4.9 rpg and dished out 2.9 apg.

Landesberg was missing in the discussion of top NCAA players all season long because he played for a sub-par team. But he made national headlines when he struggled academically and was benched for his final ACC tournament. His negative publicity forced his hand to enter the draft. Now Landesberg will join Jon Scheyer with the hopes of getting drafted this summer. This could mean, if both players get drafted, that the amount of Jewish NBA players will double to four. Landesberg and Scheyer hope to have the same kind of success Omri Casspi enjoyed in his rookie season.

Keep an eye on both of them during the up coming draft.

With Jewish basketball on the mind I wanted to announce that for TGR's one year anniversary we will be releasing our exclusive interview with NBA Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes on July 8th. Check it out at WWW.THEGREATRABBINO.COM.

And Let Us Say..Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baseball Update plus Video of the Week

We thought now would be a good chance to catch up with how our Jewish Major Leaguers have performed this year. There has been some good and some bad, but overall the positives of Ryan Braun and Ike Davis outweigh the negatives. We could be witnessing a MVP and RoY in the same season. Below is how all the players have played up until this point.

Brad Ausmus (C), Los Angeles Dodgers (on disabled list) - Ausmus has basically spent the entire season of the DL. Its hard to judge him to this point since he only had 4 ABs. He might miss the entire season.

Craig Breslow (P), Oakland A’s - Breslow has struggled with elbow tendinitis. But he still has managed 11.1 innings and his era is under 4.00. He has 13 Ks in those 11 innings.

Ryan Braun (LF), Milwaukee Brewers - What can we say about Braun. He is right now one of the front runners for NL MVP. He is batting .364 with 6 HRs and 28 RBIs. He has posted a .447 OBP and .612 SLG. It will be awesome to see Braun continue his hot streak. Mind you he is doing all this without protection from Prince Fielder who has been in a slump all season long.

Ike Davis (1B), New York Mets - Since Davis has been in the majors he has helped the Mets turn their season around. He is hitting .296, with 3 HRs. He might be joining Braun with some end of the season hardware. Rookie of the Year?

Scott Feldman (P), Texas Rangers - Feldman has struggled. He is 1-3 with a 5.45 era. TGR had high hopes for Feldman this season. Hopefully he can find his stuff.

John Grabow (P), Chicago Cubs - Grabow has had the unfortunate experience of playing with losing teams throughout his career. But this season Grabow has been part of the problem. His era is 9.26 and his record is 0-2.

Gabe Kapler (RF), Tampa Bay Ray - Kapler is a bench player and has only had 38 ABs. He does have a home run and 6 RBIs in his limited role.

Ian Kinsler (2B), Texas Rangers - Since coming off the DL Kinsler has batted .343 with 4 runs. Expect his home runs and steals to pick up once he gets into a groove.

Jason Marquis (P), Washington Nationals (on disabled list) - Marquis was awful at the start of the season. In 3 starts he lasted a total of 8.1 innings and posted an ERA over 20. He landed on the DL with elbow trouble and hopefully he can come back and regain his 2009 form.

Scott Schoeneweis (P), Boston Red Sox - Schoeneweis has already pitched 12.1 innings for the BoSox. Yes, his era is over 8 but Boston continues to put him in games and eat up innings. He is 1-0 with 11 Ks.

Kevin Youkilis (1B), Boston Red Sox - Youkilis had a rough start to the season, but has been a monster as of late. He has upped his average to .306 with 5 HRs and 15 RBIs. He also has a solid 24 Runs.

Braun, Davis, and Youkilis have been great. Feldman, Grabow, and Marquis not so much. Kinsler and Breslow need to get over some injuries and should go back to 2009 form.

For more information I encourage people to check out www.jewsinbaseball.blogspot.com.

Below is the Jewish Baseball play of the year and video of the week courtesy of Ike Davis. Enjoy!

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Al Davis' Big(ger) Bust

As a Bears fan I know all about bad quarterbacks. In 1997 the Bears traded the 7th overall pick for an unproven Rick Mirer. In 1999 we had the unfortunate experience of drafting Cade McNown. We also experimented with Kordell Stewart and Henry Burris. But none of this compares to Al Davis' failure to make the right picks. Last year's pick of Darrius Heyward-Bay over Michael Crabtree looks to be just another pick in a long line of blunders.

But the biggest bust of Al Davis' ownership and maybe in the history of the NFL is JaMarcus Russell. With the number one pick in 2007 the Raiders thought they had found the future of their franchise. But once again Davis blew it. Russell has started 25 games over 3 years. Last year his job was taken away by nobodies after throwing 11 picks and only 3 TDs. Yikes.
Last week the Raiders let him go. The Raiders decided to part ways with the top pick in the 2007 draft a move that had to be done if the Raiders ever want to get back on track.

And now my bold statement.

I have been watching ESPN and reading online about who is the biggest bust of all time. Most, if not all, have chosen Ryan Leaf. And while the hype around Leaf was greater, I believe Russell is a bigger bust. I know Russell could still make it. He could sign on with another team and turn his fortune around. And if he does, props to him. But as of right now Russell is a bigger bust than Leaf. Why you ask? Well, on the surface Leaf went #2 and Russell went #1. The Chargers did not have a chance to take Peyton Manning. The Chargers took what fell to them. The Raiders chose Russell over everyone else. Over Calvin Johnson, over Adrian Peterson, and over Patrick Willis. Yes, the quarterback choices were horrible in 2007 (Trent Edwards, Brady Quinn, Tyler Thigpen and Kevin Kolb are the top QBs of that draft).

Since 1998 the list of number one draft picks include Peyton Manning, Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, Michael Vick, David Carr, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, Mario Williams, Jake Long, Matt Stafford, and Sam Bradford. The only players not to make a pro bowl are Couch, Brown, Carr, Smith, Stafford, and Bradford. Take Stafford and Bradford out of the equation because they are too young. Carr and Smith are still in the league and have lasted longer than Leaf and Russell. Brown got injured was forced to retire early so its hard to place him in same category. That leaves Couch, who by no standards had a successful career, as the only player left. Couch had one solid season in 2002. And that one season removes him from the conversation of BIGGEST bust.

Here is the list of number 2 picks since 1999 ('98 was Leaf). Donavon McNabb, LaVarr Arrington, Leonard Davis, Julius Peppers, Charles Rogers, Robert Gallery, Ronnie Brown, Reggie Bush, Calvin Johnson, and Jason Smith. Just the sight of Rogers and Gallery make me cringe. Gallery is still in the league, but like Rogers really never lived up to his potential. Both are in the conversation of BIGGEST BUST.

The point of the comparison is that since 1998 far more number 1s have had real success than the number twos. 16 pro bowls for the #2s and 19 for the #1s.

The Leaf to Russell comparison does not stop at where they were picked. In Russell's most important season he threw 3 TDs and 11INTs. Leaf, while he had more picks, threw for 11 TDs. He also got to play for a second team, a fate that Russell may or may not have. Even if he signs with another NFL team, what is the likelihood he sees the field?

I will give the Leaf supporters this much. Leaf, even though years away from the game, continues to sink further and further. Making negative headlines all the time.

I suggest that unless Russell wants to remain in such an elite category of failures, he get his act together and figure out how to win. And for Al Davis, its time to hire people who can scout talent. Stop taking risks. Stop betting on potential. Take the best player available.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jewish Baseball Books



Friday, May 7, 2010

Shabbat Shalom from Kibbutz Channaton

Nice week here at TGR. We want to thak Mike Rosenhouse for the interview.

Really cool time to be a Jewish hockey and boxing fan. The Canadiens/Mike Cammmalleri and Yuri Foreman continue to make headlines. Keep an eye on both.

A reminder if you have pictures feel free to send them in to info@thegreatrabbino.com

POLL:
Congrats to Omri Casspi winning the NBA Sportsman of the Year Award.
Check out our new poll.

TGR NEWS:
We have been in touch with Sean Wallis the point guard of the Washu U. 2008/2009 D3 championship teams. We will bring you his interview soon.

I will be leaving Israel in about a month. My hope is to interview Tal Brody before I leave. Once I am back in the states I will begin promoting the site more.

We were featured in Schmooze Magazine in their winter edition. Check it out if you can. Is only in the publication. Most Hillels and some other Jewish outlets (especially in Chicago) carry the magazine.

Have a Great Shabbos.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Interview: ESPN's Mike Rosenhouse

Thanks to correspondent Lauren Abraham and her father Jackson Salasky, TGR was able to catch up with Mike Rosenhouse. Mike is a really nice guy. But more importantly he holds a job every sports fan would love...working for ESPN (in Singapore). Below is our interview with Mike, enjoy.

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you into working for ESPN Star?
I've always wanted to be involved in sports broadcasting in some way, whether reporting, producing, working at a game, whatever.  So, when I was picking my college, I chose the University of Missouri.  At Mizzou, part of the classwork is reporting for the NBC affiliate in Columbia.  In my four years there, I just tried to do as much as I could-news and sports reporting, producing, shooting, anchoring.
After graduating, like so many others, I was pretty nervous about what job I would get.  Luckily, I was able to do sports reporting and news producing on a freelance basis at the NBC station in Denison, TX (an hour north of Dallas, where I grew up).
While still looking for jobs, a media consultant friend of mine told me I needed to be more active on the Internet and with social networking.  He said he had just put out a facebook post supporting me and my search, and of the two responses he got, one was from my future boss in Singapore!
I never studied abroad in college, so this was a great opportunity to see the other side of the world, especially in my early 20s.  Plus, this is the dream, getting to do what I love for a great company.


It really shows off the Wide World of Sports.  I mean, I've learned so much about sports I'd never even thought of.  Because of that, it's helps make my reporting stronger, helping me focus on what the real story is, and how will it appeal to a large audience.
2) What is ESPN Star?
ESPN STAR Sports (ESS) is a major sports broadcaster in Asia.  We have the resources of both ESPN and Star Sports, which is part of the News Corp. family. We broadcast all over Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, India, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines and many others.  It's not one channel though.  For example, India has ESPN India and Star Sports India, and there, we even have a third channel, Star Cricket.
I work on ESPNews here, which launched within the last 7 months. My role is as a producer/editor - I write, edit and voice content for the 24 hours a day network.  It's great, because I could be working on a story about almost anything - soccer from Europe and Asia, rugby, cricket, Formula 1, World Rally Championship, golf from around the world, plus the American sports like NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL.

3) What is the cooslest story you have ever covered? 
The coolest story I've ever done was while working in Missouri.   I was set to do a story on a high school basketball player that came from a successful sports family.  Right before we started the interviews, I found out the boy, Mason, had asked his family to adopt another kid on the team named Max.  The story just struck me.  Max had been bouncing around different foster homes, and here is his teammate, truly showing how connected they were. On both ends, what an impressive thing for a family to commit to, and how great it was for Max to finally have a real home.
As for my favorite story at ESS, I really enjoyed getting to do the highlights of David Beckham's first match against his former club, Manchester United, back in February.  Champions League soccer is so cool, and this game had everything an American sports fan could want.  It had two of the biggest clubs in the world, AC Milan and Manchester United.  There were plenty of stars, Beckham, Ronaldinho, Wayne Rooney and others.  But most importantly, it was exciting! A goal within the first ten minutes and scoring throughout, ending in a 3-2 Man U win.

4) Do you ever envision yourself as a Sportscenter anchor?
I'd love to eventually be a SportsCenter anchor.  I mean, who wouldn't?  My dream though is to be more of the Tom Rinaldi type, getting to tell the stories that aren't just about  sports, but about human triumph. As long as I'm involved in sports though, I'll be happy.

5) Is there Jewish life in Singapore?
The Jewish life here is very impressive.  I really didn't know  what to expect when I came here, but it's exceeded any expectation.  There are two communities here, an Orthodox Sephardic community and a Reform/Conservative one.  I like going to both and meeting more people.  It's great because there are lots of young people that are active in the synagogues. For such a small island like Singapore, it's really incredible how there are so many diverse religions with active congregations.

6) What are the main sporting events in Singapore?
I would say the biggest one is the Singapore Grand Prix - it's the Formula 1 race held here at night in September.  I haven't been here for that yet, very exited for it though.  Also, the PGA and LPGA have tournaments here.  Plus, they have a national soccer league.

7) Who are the American athletes that they root for in Singapore?
Currently, I think despite everything that's happened in the last year, Tiger Woods is still the most well known.  I'm sure support for him has gone down a bit, but he's still the biggest athlete in the world in my opinion.  Kobe Bryant is pretty big, and Lebron is starting to break in as well.  Tennis is also very popular, and people seem to root for the Williams sisters.

If you want to learn more about Mike and check out his website www.mikerosenhouse.com or his twitter account  twitter.com/mikerosenhouse.  Of course you can check out www.espnstar.com as well.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine