Monday, October 31, 2011

Orthodox Jews Playing Ball

Took this from (sent in by Howie Labow). Totally worth posting.

They play in black uniforms, hide their 'peyes' behind their ears. They don't have a budget or a seal of approval from rabbis – but they are well-equipped when it comes to faith. Meet Jerusalem's new smash hit: the Maccabi Mea Shearim basketball team.
This week, the team, whose members all live in or around the famous Jerusalem ultra-Orthodox neighborhood - faced a team of Zionist religious bachelors from the neighborhood of Rehavia, Yedioth Aharonoth reported.
One by one they come on court: Yitzhak Pinksi, 19, guard, a student in the well-known haredi yeshiva Mir, who came to Israel from Milwaukee. "I wake up very early to run, and one night a week I allow myself to leave the yeshiva early so I can play basketball," he says.
He is followed by Natan Frenkel, 22, married with two children who is known for playing in a wedding band.
The grandson of Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Yonatan Yosef, aged 31, is next, followed by Ari Gelhar, 24, a haredi working in the filed of communication.
The other two players did not wish to expose themselves: "It is not really accustomed in the haredi world. Some would look at us differently if we would come out with this hobby." It appears a basketball player does not rank high for a shidduch.
"We have decided to prove once and for all that haredi also know how to play basketball," says Gelhar.
And it appears he is right as the Mea Shearim team defeats the Rehavia team 24-17. "How are they in such good shape?" wonders Roi from the opposing team. "Aren't they supposed to be studying torah all day?"
The haredi team points to Yonatan's relation to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. "Maybe the good luck came from there."
Maccabi Mea Shearim is now seeking to join the city-sponsored synagogues league and take their hobby to the next level.

Congrats to Our 2011 MLB Winners

The results are in. This years Hank Greenberg Award winner is RYAN BRAUN.

Braun finished the year batting .332BA, 33 HRs, 33SB, 111RBI, 109 R. He will be in a close battle with Matt Kemp for MVP.

This years Sandy Koufax Award winner is SCOTT FELDMAN.

Feldman surprised some people to come on strong towards the end of the season. He finished the season pitching 3-1WL, 3.94 ERA, 22Ks, 32IP. Feldman made it to the World Series and pitched strong throughout the playoffs until games 6 and 7 of the WS.

Baseball over. NBA in limbo. Any story ideas?

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

Tough Way to Go Out

Congrats to the RedBirds and my good buddy Jon Hoffman on the Cardinals World Series win.

Unfortunately for the rest of the Jews it was tough to watch Ian Kinsler and Scott Feldman come so close to rings again. Kinsler was 2-3 with 1 BB in the final game. Kinsler had a great postseason, posting a line of .308/.438/.431 for an OPS of .868 in 65 ABs. He hit 1 HR, 5 doubles, drove in 11 runs, scored 10 runs, and stole 3 bases. His BB/K ratio was 14/9. He also had the important SB in Game 2.
Feldman pitched 2/3 of an inning and gave up 2 runs on 3 BBs (1 IBB) and 1 HBP. While Feldman had a rough game 6 and 7, Ron Washington showed confidence in him and he should certainly be back to have a solid 2012.

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

Friday, October 28, 2011

Feldman One PItch Away

Last nights World Series game was amazing. Unfortunately, Scott Feldman was part of the tragedy that was the Texas Rangers. I was all set to write a story on Feldman being the hero. The pitcher who finally stopped the bleeding. One more strike, but that was all Lance Berkman needed. Singling on a tough inside cutter. Feldman better be ready for game 7 right around the corner. What a series. (In other news Ian Kinsler had two hits). Good luck to Feldman and Kinsler.

For more click HERE.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Braun the Best in the Biz?

TGR has decided to find out whether or not Ryan is legitimately the best or one of the best players in baseball. The determining question; if you could start your team with 1 player who would it be?

For the sake of this article we have taken out pitchers from the equation. Then we have gone through the league and compiled a list of players who could legitimately be a part of the argument.  This list contains most players who have finished in a least one of the major offensive categories in the last 3 years. Below is the first list of the 27 best hitters in baseball, in no particular order:

1) Jose Bautista
2) Adrian Gonzalez
3) Robinson Cano
4) Mark Texeria
5) Evan Longoria
6) Paul Konerko
7) Joe Mauer
8) Justin Morneau
9) Victor Martinez
10) Miguel Cabrera
11) Ichiro Suzuki
12) Josh Hamilton
13) Adrian Beltre
14) Hanley Rameriz
15) Jose Reyes
16) Ryan Howard
17) Chase Utley
18) Joey Votto
20) Prince Fielder
21) Andrew McCutchen
22) Albert Pujols
23) Matt Kemp
24) Pablo Sandoval
25) Justin Upton
26) Troy Tulowitzki
27) Carlos Gonzalez

He have trimmed the list to 10 using factors such as age, having one very poor stat catergory, or inconsistency (for example Hanley Ramirez has been removed because of a down year, McCuthen's only hit .259, and Ichiro seems to be past his prime). Below are the top ten in no particular order.

1) Albert Pujols
2) Robinson Cano
3) Matt Kemp
4) Ryan Braun
5) Prince Fielder
6) Miguel Cabrera
7) Josh Hamilton
8) Jose Bautista
9) Adrian Gonzalez
10) Troy Tulowitzki

To cut this list it gets much harder. I want to take in down to 5. In order to do that I need to eliminate a few players for not stealing bases. But note all of these guys are awesome and I would be happy to start a team with any of them. Explanations below.

Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton, and Prince Fielder - All but lack one major category, none of these guys steal bases. If I am going to pick the best of the best I want that player to do everything. Bautista did steal 9 bases, but he also has only been really solid for two years not three. I kept Tulowitzki because he plays a much more desired position and Pujols because he is so dominant.

So I am left with 5.

I will now eliminate Kemp because in 2010 he hit .249.

I am left with the 4 guys that I cannot decide between; Braun, Pujols, Tulowitzki, and Cano. Over the last 3 years these have been dominant players.

So Braun is in a toss between these four. No real way to determine who is #1.

Anyone disagree?

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

Monday, October 17, 2011

7 Sports Ushpizin 2011

There is a tradition that we invite 7 Ushpizin (Guests) into our Sukkahs during Sukkot. I decided to look at the sports world and decide who I am inviting in.

Omri Casspi
It would be great to welcome Casspi into my Sukkah. Of course, I could work on my Hebrew while we enjoyed dinner in the Sukkah.

Barry Sanders
I would love nothing more than to have a conversation with Sanders to talk about his premature retirement and his career.

AJ Pierzynski
I am sure the most controversial man in baseball has plenty of stories to share.

Mark Cuban
We could talk NBA lockout and of course about his role on Entourage.

Mike Krzyzewski
Since John Wooden is no longer with us, Coach K is they guy and the best to shoot the breeze with about College BBall and hard work.

Michael Jordan
No question his is in the top two. Hanging out with MJ is every Chicago sports fan's dream.

Sandy Koufax
The most iconic Jewish athlete always has a permanent seat in my Sukkah.

Who would you invite?

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

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Radical Rad Joins the Tribe

Thank you to TGR fan Joseph Kraus for giving us a heads up on this. Unfortunately, Joe is a Cubs fan.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Best (Theoretical) NBA Stories for the Holy Land

With the NBA lockout looking more likely, TGR decided to look at who we would want to see in Israel (besides Jordan Farmar). Which NBA players would be the most intriguing stories and where should they go play.
Roger Mason Jr. 
Mason Jr. played two years for Hapoel Jerusalem and that was really the last time they were relevant. Maybe Mason Jr.'s return would bring them back.

Joakim Noah
Noah's athleticism and laid back nature would fit well in Israel. Can't you just envision Noah playing for Hapoel Eilat kicking back on the beach?

Lawrence Frank
Frank's not a player but as coach he still needs to work. Bring him to Israel and watch him work his magic (I'm sure he is hoping to pull some rabbits out of his hat in Detroit anyway).
Will Bynum
Bynum had good success for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Let's put him back in Tel Aviv for Hapoel Tel Aviv and see how he does.

Blake Griffin
Griffin is maybe the most exciting player in the NBA. His frame and athleticism would be attractive. Put them on Maccabi Tel Aviv and see how great he performs.

Deron Williams
Yes, we know DWill is in Turkey, but if we are looking at all NBA players, DWill fits in nicely. He wants to play and Israel likes passionate players. Also, many former Illini players have been bolting to Israel (Dee Brown, Brian Randle, Warren Carter, etc). Since will DWill is willing to take risks lets put him on Maccabi Rishon LeZion who played against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the semi-finals. Maybe he puts them over.

Omri Casspi
The favorite son returns. Where else? To his original team Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Anthony Parker
You can't begin to talk about Israeli basketball without mentioning Anthony Parker. He is a legend in Israel and I am sure they would welcome him back. Again, bring him back to Maccabi Tel Aviv where he belongs.

Amare Stoudamire
Stoudamire talked a lot about Israel and his passion for Judaism. He spent a lot of time touring Jerusalem. Lets bring him in for a year and have him play for Hapoel Jerusalem.

Lebron James
The games brightest star, James would bring credibility to Israeli ball. Maccabi Haifa is where I would like to see him. They have been trying new things (coming to the states for tryouts, TV shows, Jeremy Tyler, etc). James would be big news. Also, I would love to see him in his natural habitat, aka not surrounded by other stars.

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Regarding Theo Epstein

Regarding Theo Epstein going to the Cubs, we have no comment, will have no comments (unless he fails), and we will not be posting about Epstein if he is successful. This might sound harsh, but as many of you know I am a die hard White Sox fan.

Polls are Open

It would seem to me that Ryan Braun is the run away for the Hank Greenberg TGR MLB Player of the Year but we will let the voters decide. The candidates are below. The voting poll is in the side of the blog.

1) Ryan Braun - .332BA, 33 HRs, 33SB, 111RBI, 109 R
2) Ian Kinsler - .255 BA, 32 HRs, 30 SB, 77 RBI, 121 R
3) Sam Fuld - .240BA, 3 HRs, 20 SB, 41R
4) Danny Valenica - .246BA, 15HRs, 72 RBI, 63 R

As for the pitchers and the Sandy Koufax award , no Brauns or Kinsler in this group. But again we will let the people decide. Nominees below.

1) Jason Marquis - 8-6 WL, 4.43ERA, 76Ks, 132 IP
2) Craig Breslow - 0-2 WL, 3.79ERA, 44Ks, 59.1 IP
3) John Grabow - 3-1WL, 4.76ERA, 38Ks, 62.1IP
4) Scott Feldman - 3-1WL, 3.94 ERA, 22Ks, 32IP

Thanks for voting!
And Let Us Say...Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Monday, October 10, 2011

Al Davis Passes Away

The sports world said goodbye to one of the most well-known owners in Pro football Al Davis. Sportsline posted THIS article about the controversial Oakland Raiders' owner. The Raiders won an inspiring game over the weekend. The win was dedicated to the memory of Davis (read more HERE).

Davis actually died on Yom Kippur. Click HERE for an interesting article by Rabbi Hess.

May his memory be for a blessing.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rosenfels Returns to Miami

With the season ending injury to Chad Henne, the Miami Dolphins have added veteran Sage Rosenfels to the team. Rosenfels has most recently backed up Eli Manning in New York. This is Rosenfels second stint with the Dolphins. Click HERE for more.

Colt Cabana on His WWE Return posted an interview with Colt Cabana. Click HERE for  some highlights.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Playoff Update - Kinsler/Feldman Move On At Fuld's Expense

Sam Fuld and the Tampa Bay Rays have been ousted from the playoffs. Fuld pinch hit but struckout. On the flip side Ian Kinsler and Scott Feldman of the Texas Rangers moved to the second round. Kinsler helped the Rangers with his first home run of the playoffs. Kinsler finished 4 for 16 in the opening round. Feldman did not see action.

The Diamondbacks have battled back into their series with the Brewers manily because of Paul Goldschmidt who hit another home run, his second of the playoffs and this time it was a grand slam. Ryan Braun went 0 for 4. They play again tonight. Braun is 1 for 1 with an RBI double, while Goldschmidt is 1 for 2.

The playoffs are really been looking good for these guys. Sad to see Fuld go but Kinsler and Feldman will look to continue the Rangers post season success.

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

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Braun and Goldschmidt Homer

Here is a MLB update from the playoffs thus far:

Ryan Braun homered as the Brewers went up 2-0 in their series against the Diamondbacks. Braun is 6 for 8 with 4 runs and 3 RBIs. Paul Goldschmidt was 1 for 4 with a home run in game two.

Sam Fuld did not play in game one, although the Rays won. While his opponent Ian Kinsler led off for the Rangers and went 0 for 3 with a walk. Scott Feldman also came into the game for a relief appearance and pitched 3 innings allowing 2 hits, no runs, and struck out 4. The Rangers won game 2. Fuld pinch ran and then went 0 for 1. Kinsler went 2 for 5 with a double and 2 RBIs. Feldman did not pitch.

Good luck to the Jewish boys of October. Anybody willing to bet no one sits (willingly on Yom Kippur)?

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