Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Masa Desert Sports Challenge Program - Take the Challenge

Recently TGR caught word of the Masa Desert Sports Challenge and we had to learn more. So we went to the source. Karen Kellerman coordinates the program and she is terrific. The program is cool and interesting, and most importantly a great way to experience Israel. We sat down with Karen and here is what she had to say.

Desert Sports Challenge.JPG

Interview with Karen Kellerman

1) Please tell the TGR universe a little about yourself?
My name is Karen Kellerman. Originally from the USA, I have lived and worked at Nitzana Educational Community in Nitzana, Israel for the last seven years. Our community is a thriving hub of a variety of people from different parts of the world attending varying educational studies. I am the coordinator for the Masa Desert Sports Challenge program.

2) What is the Masa Desert Sports Challenge program?
It is a 5 month Masa program that includes challenging sports activities of rappelling, diving, swimming, biking, hiking, navigation, running and jeeping. Our participants also study Hebrew, travel throughout Israel , learn about physiology, ecology, cooking and volunteer - all with amazing Israeli guides.

The program cost $8,225, which includes everything except airfare and your personal travel on free weekends, which is optional. We give a grant of $2,500 and Masa offers a grant of approximately $3,000, depending on individual situations, to help on tuition cost.

Our next session is August 5 - December 30, 2012 and we still have spaces available, so if you are 18-26 years old (exceptions made for up to 30 years old) and want to have a truly life changing experience, come and join us.

3) How does one sign up? Just go to our website at:
nitzana.org.il/104982/Desert-Sports-Challenge-1-1-1-1
and scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on "Sign Up" or click on "Nitzana Grant."

friends.JPG

4) What are some of the unique parts to this program?
I think being able to experience so many new things and meet new people within such a short period of time is really unique. In our program, one week you can be rappelling off the cliffs of the Negev Mountains and the next week, scuba diving in the Red Sea. Just by living in our community you will meet Israelis (12,000 students every year attend short term seminars), Jewish youth from the former Soviet Union who are making aliyah, volunteers that come from France, Canada, Switzerland, Spain and Israel. You will also meet young people from Eritrea and Sudan. You will train with young Israelis preparing for the army on a pre-army program. On Fridays and Sundays you will see students from Thailand and Vietnam who are studying agriculture. The environment of our community, along with the different activities and trips planned in the program makes for a very interesting 5 months.

5) How does this program engage athletes with Israel?
Participants are able to live and travel in Israel for 5 months. They study Hebrew and learn many day to day ways of the Israeli culture. Evening activities include studies of Judaism and Israeli history. Every other weekend is free for participants to travel and explore Israel on their own. Our community is very Zionistic (and pluralistic at the same time!!) and is located next to the Sinai desert where so much of our history started, prior to coming into the Promised Land. For many of our participants, a heart connection is made between them and the Land itself. There is no doubt that the seeds planted today through this program will bring an abundant harvest of strong Jewish identity and relationships in the future.

6) Anything else you would like to share with TGR?
Yes, there are two things that I would like to share. Sometimes people are frightened at the idea of our sports activities and feel as if they will not qualify physically. You should know that you are trained step by step in each sporting activity. You have special teachers for each sport and every day you will be engaged in some type of training or practice. You are never asked to do anything that you feel uncomfortable with or that would be unsafe. On the contrary, this program helps to build self confidence, muscles and endurance. I remember one beautiful young lady after running her first 10 K, she said to me, "Now I know that I can do anything." Learn, practice and train. There are minimum requirements before joining the program in running, biking and swimming which are stated on our website. The program is a great way to lose weight and to establish good habits of exercising every day.

Our community is located in the beautiful desert. Watch the movies below to find out about the program:


Check out our Facebook for more pictures:
www.Facebook.com/DesertSportsChallenge

To find out about our region


Thank you Karen for sharing your amazing program with us. Sounds like a great opportunity for anyone looking to explore Israel.

You can find more about the program also by going to TheGreatRabbino.com and click on their link.

And Let us Say…Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Top 10 Jewish Sports Trades of All-Time

With the great news of Kevin Youkilis being traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Chicago White Sox, TGR has decided to look at where the trade ranked on the list of All-Time trades involving Jewish athletes. Unfortunately, not all the trades ended in success although Youkilis did go 1-4 in his first start vs. the Twins.

Honorable mentions: Walter Samuel from Roma to Real Madrid (2004), Ken Holtzman from the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics (1971), Mike Cammalleri from the Montreal Canadians to the Calgary Flames (2012) and Scott Schoenweis from the Anaheim Angels to the Chicago White Sox (2003).

10) Taylor Mays from the San Francisco 49ers to the Cinncinati Bengals- In 2010 there was a lot of buzz around Mays. A freakish build and steady production in college led NFL teams to think highly of Mays. Drafted in the 2nd round, Mays showed a few signs of athleticism but he never reached the potential Coach Mike Singletary saw in him. In 2011 he was shipped to the Bengals and continues to underachieve. People are saying 2012 will be his year.

9) Danny Schayes from the Denver Nuggets to the Utah Jazz - In 1990 the son of legendary Dolph Schayes was having a solid NBA season averaging 10.3 PPG and 9.0 RPG while starting all 50 games. He was then shipped to Utah and road the bench. His production dropped to 7.3 PPG and 5.8 RPG and never lived up to the numbers he showed in early '90.





8) Sam Fuld from the Chicago Cubs to the Tampa Bay Rays - From 2007-2010 Fuld played sparingly whenever the Cubs called him up. In 2011 Fuld was traded to the Rays as a centerpiece of the Matt Garza trade. Fuld soon became Super Sam and found his way unto SportsCenter's Top Ten on a nightly basis. Fuld has been bothered by injuries but the trade gave him a chance to play every day.

7) Tamir Goodman from Maccabi Tel Aviv to Giv'at Shmuel - While technically this was a loan not a trade, it was the first sign of Goodman's basketball career coming to an end. While he inspired Jews everywhere with his cover of Sports Illustrated, Goodman never became the professional ball player many hoped he'd be. No Maccabi Tel Aviv no more Jewish Jordan.

6) Sage Rosenfels from the Houston Texans to the Minnesota Vikings - In 2009 Rosenfels was shipped to the Minnesota Vikings to finally get his chance at a starting position. He was brought in to compete with Tarvaris Jackson. Little did he know that a man by the name of Brett Favre (or some say Farve) would arrive in Minnesota shortly after, sending Rosenfels to QB3.

5) Jason Marquis from the Atlanta Braves to the St. Louis Cardinals/ from the Chicago Cubs to the Colorado Rockies/ from the Washington Nationals to the Arizona Diamondbacks - Marquis has been traded a few times, pretty much every time he has showed signs of life he is shipped off. Unfortunately, Marquis has never become a top of the line starter, but has looked solid for the Padres this season despite a 1-3 record.

4) Art Shamsky from the New York Mets to the St. Louis Cardinals - Shamsky was not happy about his trade in 1968 from the Cincinnati Reds, but it turned out to change his life. Shamsky went on to be a World Series Champ in 1969 with the Mets. Shamsky was tremendously important to that team down the stretch. In 1971 the fan favorite was shipped to the Cardinals and was soon thereafter released. Battling injuries, Shamsky never regained form.





3) Kevin Youkilis from the Boston Red Sox to the Chicago White Sox - The Youkilis trade ranks 3rd on our list. Simply put the Red Sox traded one of their all-time fan favorites. This sendoff was emotional for players and fans throughout the country. Chicago fans are excited to see what the all-star has left in the tank.

2) Omri Casspi from the Sacramento Kings to the Cleveland Cavilers - Jewish basketball is now synonymous with Casspi. He has captivated Israel and the United States and was doing it from Sacramento. His coach fell out of love with him and he was traded to Cleveland. Casspi is a site to see for Jews everywhere and for every game. He plays solid minutes but has yet to fully take off. But as Cleveland gets better, Casspi should fit into his role nicely. 

1) Hank Greenberg from the Detroit Tigers to the Pittsburgh Pirates - The greatest Jewish hitter of all-time was Hank Greenberg, no questions asked. He might also be the greatest player in Detroit baseball history (besides Ty Cobb). So it was a surprise to everyone when he was traded to the Pirates in 1947. Greenberg signed the richest contract in baseball history to return to the field after flirting with retirement. He led the league in walks and hit 25 HRs. 

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

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Youkilis to White Sox

Sunday after his start for Boston, fan favorite Kevin Youkilis was trade to the Chicago White Sox. Great news here at The Great Rabbino. Youuuuuuuuk!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Re-post: For Israeli journalist Gilad Shalit, a long, tough road to the NBA Finals

David Whitley AOL FanHouse Columnist - Sporting News
MIAMI – There’s a guy at the NBA Finals who was once traded for 1,027 other players.
If you think the Thunder was a cellar-dweller its first year, this guy spent five years in the basement.
Gilad Shalit was held by Hamas militants for more than five years. (AP Photo)

His name is Gilad Shalit, and he’ll have no bearing on Thursday night’s big event. If the Heat win the NBA championship, they will surely talk about all the adversity they had to overcome.
It’s true, but it’s so cliché. Almost as cliché as pointing out that sports stars don’t know what real hardship is.
Then you see why it’s not just a cliché. He is covering the NBA Finals from Section 332 at AmericanAirlines Arena this week.
Shalit is the Israeli soldier who was captured and held hostage for five years. It was in all the papers. Now he is writing for Yediot Aharonot, Israel’s largest newspaper.
It’s safe to say Shalit is the only sportswriter here who’s had thousands of people march on Jerusalem for his cause. And not even Stephen A. Smith has dined with the president of France recently.
Shalit is just another guy with a press credential in Miami. But back home, he is LeBron James. His co-writer, Arik Henig, wrote about that in their first column.
“Passers-by are hypnotized by him, as if something melts inside them when they see him in the flesh and blood, eating a chocolate mousse. Slowly and surely, Gilad is coming back to life.”
Shalit looked like a prisoner of war when he was released last October. He’s put on 15 pounds, but he’s still about half the size of the average American sports columnist.
He was downing a box of popcorn when I cornered him Wednesday night. Shalit speaks halting English and doesn’t really like all the attention that comes with being an accidental celebrity.
“It’s something different,” he said. “I just have to deal with it.”
With his glasses and shy demeanor, Shalit certainly didn’t fit the warrior image. I could just imagine what he looked like as a 19-year-old sergeant in the Israeli army when the bullets started flying.
Hamas and other militant groups crossed the border and attacked Shalit’s tank unit on June 6, 2006. Two Israeli soldiers and two terrorists were killed.
Shalit was dragged from the tank. He had a broken left hand from flying shrapnel and a shoulder wound.
An international incident ensued. It lasted 1,941 days.
Saving Sergeant Shalit became a rallying cry in Israel. It was as if the entire country adopted the boy from Mitzpe Hila, a village in Galilee.
He was a math whiz who loved sports, especially soccer and basketball. Shalit would wake up in the middle of the night to watch NBA games. He’s really impressed now that he’s seeing them firsthand.
“The game is very fast,” Shalit said. “And the players are very big and powerful.”
Seven days after he was abducted, Miami won the NBA title. Shalit didn’t hear about it.
He was in a basement somewhere in Gaza. The only light came from a few sunrays that leaked through a boarded window. He also missed the Spurs win ’07, the Celtics in ’08, the Lakers going back-to-back and Dallas winning last year.
You think the NBA and the players’ union had negotiating problems? Israel and the Palestinians have something of a history. They talked and fought and didn’t talk and fought over Shalit. His childhood pursuits helped keep him sane.
“I drew a lot of strength from sports activity, despite the conditions I was under there,” he wrote in his first column. “It granted me a break from the reality I was in.”
His captors eventually let Shalit have a radio and occasionally brought in a TV. It wasn’t quite like any bunch of guys sitting around a bar arguing whether LeBron is a choker, but those moments helped.
“We could talk about sports,” Shalit said. “It was a bridge, something similar.”
He wondered if he’d ever have a normal conversation again. Shalit went on a hunger strike last fall, hoping to force the matter. He figured Hamas would not want its prime bargaining chip to die.
The sides finally agreed to trade. Hamas got the release of 1,027 Palestinians. Israel got Shalit.
He was pale and gaunt and needed surgery on the old shrapnel wounds. He also needed time and space to adjust. How do you return to normal after spending five years in a basement?
Yediot Aharonot was a big editorial supporter of Shalit’s cause. Given his celebrity status, the paper offered him a job. It’s too soon to tell whether he’ll like writing.
“But I like sports,” Shalit said.
He really learned to appreciate them over the past five years. He knows they aren’t just fun and games.
Sports can bring old enemies together. They can help people come back to life. But you’ll understand if Shalit doesn’t get all choked
up Friday night.
Miami thinks it’s had a hard time getting to this point?
The Heat should check out the skinny guy in Section 332.
Read more: http://aol.sportingnews.com/nba/story/2012-06-20/miami-heat-okc-thurnder-nba-finals-2012-gilad-shalit#ixzz1yWsgJfeO

Gilbert Congrats Heat via Twitter

Arison Gets a Second Ring

Congratulations to Miami Heat owner Micky Arison on his second NBA Championship.That is really all
TGR has to say about this topic (not happy).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Julian Edelman to the Blue Jays???

We know that the Patriots Julian Edelman is an impressive athlete. He has played Wide Receiver, Punt Returner, Kick Returner, and Safety. But now he is headed to the Blue Jays?


To read more click HERE. Edelman hit 5 homers. Sign him up!

NFL Summer News

Miss football? Here are some stories to quench that thirst.





Monday, June 18, 2012

Searching for 2012/2013 NCCA Athletes

Dear Jewish Sports World,

We are updating our website and current player database. Below are the list of current Jewish (mother, father, convert or both) for NCAA D1 Football and Basketball (Men and Women) players. If you know of any others please comment or email us at info@thegreatrabbino.com.

NCAA 2012/2013 Football Players:
Jake Baratz - C/OG - Arizona - Junior (Father)
Nathan Bernstein - OL - Brown - Senior
Zach Boren - RB - Ohio State – Senior
Jeremy Dollin - TE - Virginia -Sophomore - (unconfirmed)
Sean Goldstein - LB - Miami  - Senior
Todd Golper - LB - UCLA - Junior (Father)
Jake Levin - FB - Colorado State - Junior (Father)
Ryan Lichtenstein - K- Syracuse - Senior
Robert Stein - K - Akron - Sophomore 
Stephen Stein - K - Bowling Green - RS Senior
Alex Swieca - QB - Michigan -Junior
Julian Tartacoff - WR - Rutgers - Junior
Josh Weinstein - WR - Northeastern - Junior
Andrew Shapiro - K - Florida State - Senior


NCAA 2011/2012 Men's Basketball Players:
Ben Altit - C - Bryant -  Freshman
Josh Bartelstein - G - Michigan - Junior
Eitan Chemerinski - PF - Cornell - Junior
Bryan Cohen - G - Bucknell - Senior
Jake Cohen - F - Davidson -  Junior
Josh Elbaum - G - Vermont - Sophomore
Zach Gordon - F - Penn -  Senior
Tucker Halpern  - F - Brown - Junior
Brian Katz - G - Yale - Senior
Jeremiah Kreisberg - F - Yale - Sophomore
Noam Laish - G - Maine - Freshman (Israeli)
Nate Lubick - F - Georgetown - Sophomore
Corbin Moore - C - Pepperdine -  Senior
Brandon Reese - G - Syracuse - Senior
Ben Resner - G - Stoney Brook - Junior
Zach Rosen - G - Penn - Senior
Danny Rubin - G - Boston College - Sophomore
Noah Springwater - G - Columbia - Freshman
Jacob Susskind - F - Maryland - Freshman
Hen Tamir - RS Freshman 2011-12 -  F - Jackson State (Israeli)
Chris Wroblewski - G - Cornell - Senior


NCAA 2012/2013 Women's Basketball Players:
Na'ama Shafir - G - Toledo - Senior

Jeremy Bloom Appears on The Choice


Fox's new dating show the choice featured former pro football player and professional skier Jeremy Bloom. Bloom was on the shows series premiere alongside Pauly D (Jersey Shore), Romeo (rapper), and Jason Cook (actor). Bloom ended up choosing a girl named Rachael (religion unknown). In episode 2 it was revealed that their date went nicely but it wasn't a match. To read more click HERE.

Watch a preview of The Choice

Kalish Back with a Fury

After so bad luck with injuries, Ryan Kalish made his return to Red Sox Nation as he helped Boston beat the Cubs in Wrigley. The lights were bright and Kalish took at advantage of it. Kalish single put the BoSox ahead 4-3 and they never looked back. Read more HERE about Kalish's return.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mitch Glasser Drafted

JewishBaseballNews.com is reporting that the Chicago White Sox (awesome) drafted Jewish ball player Mitch Glasser in the 39th round. Glasser has been playing at Macalester in St. Paul MN and was one of 12 Division III players selected. Congrats to Glasser and hope to see you in the Bigs.


Click HERE to read more about Glasser's playing days and HERE for some draft information.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Interview: Nationals Draft Pick Max Ungar

He is young, humble, and most importantly good. While the Jewish world was sparked by the Padres 7th pick in the draft Max Fried, it is Max Ungar who might be the most important Jewish pick in the entire draft. Ungar went in the 36th round (not quite the 7th pick) to his hometown Washington Nationals. But this kid is from an all Jewish high school, Charles E. Smith in Rockville Maryland. When asked how he wanted to be promoted, Ungar said to mention his coaches, family, and friends. So he can play ball and is a mensch. Below is the exciting story of Max Ungar, a kid with a bright future and someone TGR is rooting for.


1) Tell TGR a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up, family life, other interests besides baseball.

I grew up in Bethesda,Md with two sisters, one older (a professional ballerina) and one younger (an awesome soccer and guitar player). My family has always been the most important thing in my life and they have always supported me through my academics as well as athletics and I really want to thank them for everything they have done. Some of my other interests besides baseball include; writing a blog about dieting in college (cavemancollege.com), doing "crossfit" style of working out, hiking, and being in nature.

2) When did you start playing baseball?
I've been playing baseball since I can remember so probably around 3 or 4 years old. I have a great picture of me in the backyard with a wiffle ball bat and ball on a tee. When I started playing, I was always at an age where I could either be the youngest on the team or I could be the oldest, and that translated over to school as well. I was one of the younger kids in my class and I usually ended having to play on summer and fall teams where I was either the youngest or the oldest. This put me at somewhat of a disadvantage because when I was the oldest on the team, I wasn't playing the best competition that I could be playing, and I would go to showcases and the kids there would all be bigger and older than I am used to.

3) Congrats on being drafted by the Washington Nationals. When did you realize getting drafted was a possibility? What was that like?
I really never thought that I would get drafted. Being from such a small school that really hasn't produced the greatest athletes in its history, I was not really expecting this to happen. When I first got a call from Bobby Myrick, who scouted me, I felt like it was a possibility but I really did not think it would happen because, again of the small school. Getting that call was probably one of the coolest things that ever happened to me. My dad was actually the only one home and he picked up the phone and talked to him. When my dad told me the news, I was ecstatic. First off, it was really cool that my Dad told me because he has always been the one who goes out and tosses BP for me or throws with me. However, I still did not think it would happen, I knew then that it was a possibility and I kept it in the back of my mind since that happened, until I went to Israel.

4) What was draft day like and how did you find out?
Draft day was crazy. I had everyone in the neighborhood over and family over, all dressed up, and we had a huge feast and huddled around the T.V. waiting for my name to be called and then... No, just kidding not at all like that. I had actually kind of forgot that it was the last day of the draft and if it was going to happen, it would happen that day. I was more focused on my Orientation at Denison. So, it was pretty normal, I went to the gym, packed and left for Granville, Oh. My friend Jordan Tuwiner had texted me a few days before saying that if I was going to get drafted that he would tell me first (Jordan runs a baseball recruiting website http://orioles-nation.com/). So, I started driving to orientation with my mom (about a 6 hour drive) and my phone started to ring. I noticed that it was a (301) number so I thought I would pick it up (that was when I remembered that it was draft day). I picked it up and heard someone say "Hello this is the Washington Nationals, we just wanted to let you know that we will be drafting you in about 10 minutes so, you should turn on the broadcast on MLB.com and listen in, congratulations." When I heard that, I was at a loss for words, I think all I could come up with was "awesome, awesome, thank you." I started shaking a bit I think, and probably swerved a little bit on the road. I remember people passing me because I was all the way in the left lane and I started to slow down out of pure excitement. So, we frantically started calling everyone trying to tell them to tune in to the broadcast. Then, Jordan called and said they just drafted me. About a minute later we heard it over my moms iPhone on the car's stereo system. It was just a crazy moment. We pulled over and my phone, email, and Facebook just started to blow up. Every other second I was getting a phone call, text or Facebook notification. It was really awesome. All of my friends and family were really nice about congratulating and supporting me. 

5) Were you excited it was the Nationals, your home team, who drafted you?
It is awesome that the Nationals, my hometown team, drafted me. I have been to a bunch of Nats games and know some people who have worked for the nationals in the past. I even remember when the Nats came to town and it was a big thing to be a nationals fan. Now, they are doing so well, that there are a lot of Nats fans out there and people are impressed when they here the Washington Nationals. However, I am a Red Sox fan, first and foremost. A bunch of my family grew up in Boston and Red Sox nation has been instilled in me from the beginning by my uncle, aunt, cousins, grandmother, and mom. 
6) What is next for you? Do you plan on going to the minors or college? If you go to college do you loose your draft status?
I will be attending Denison University in the fall and playing for the Big Red in the spring. While it is really cool to have been drafted, my teachers and counselors as well as Baseball factory (a recruiting organization) have all taught me that my college education is more important for my future. Unless the Nats offer me a lot of money, I do not plan on accepting. After that, I will go to Denison and play baseball for them while nationals scouts and possibly other scouts follow me. After my Junior year of college, I can be drafted again by any team. 

7) What are your long term goals?
My long term goals are similar to most peoples long term goals. I want to be a family man first and foremost. If, to get there, the paths of life take me through professional baseball, then that would be really cool. If not, then that's okay also. I am interested in a number of things aside from baseball, and when it comes down to it, I have to make the best decisions for my family. One scenario that I especially want to avoid however, is getting drafted, signing, and then getting stuck in the minor leagues for a long time, where I can't really do much with my life except get better at baseball, where I have little money, and am away form home most of the year.

8) Which baseball player do you try to model your game after? Who is your favorite player?
I would say I try and model my game, and work ethic after Jason Varitek. I think Varitek is the epitome of a professional  baseball player. He really knows the game, can predict situations,and is prepared for them. He was one of the hardest working guys in the game of baseball, even if he wasn't the most gifted, or talented athlete, he always used his intelligence and work ethic to make him an all star and long tenured major leaguer.

9) If you had to start a baseball team which Jewish player would you start it with; Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler, Kevin Youkilis, or Jason Marquis?
Jason Marquis. Pitching is the key to success. But, I think Braun is a really great player and is going to surpass Shawn Green as the modern day Hank Greenberg

Good luck to Max in school (or scoring that huge lucrative deal). We will be following your story.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hey, Wha Happened? The Fall of the 4th Greatest Jewish Pitcher of All Time

In the famous words of the great Fred Willard (A Mighty Wind), “Hey, Wha Happened?” That’s what Minnesota Twins fans have to be thinking about Jason Marquis’ 2012 stint in Minnesota.


In 1991 Marquis was one of those kids destined to play in the Major Leagues. His first appearance came on ESPN came during the Little League World Series. While losing in the U.S. Final game, Marquis’ team did finish third beating Canada behind his no-hitter. It wasn’t only his little league experience that made those around him realize baseball was in his future, Marquis’ Bar Mitzvah even had a baseball theme.
Flash-forward nine years and Marquis had finally broken into the Major Leagues in 2000 with the Atlanta Braves. Marquis came up for the minors to replace, who else, Rockin’ John Rocker. In 2001 Marquis became a starter for a rotation that featured both future Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. In 2003, Marquis headlined a deal that sent him to the St. Louis Cardinals. There he became a full-time starter and went 15-7 with a 3.71 ERA for the National League Champs. This early success made Jews everywhere excited and made Marquis a sought after free agent. His next five seasons he posted double digit wins for the Cardinals, Cubs, and Rockies. He also had no less than nine losses in those seasons as well, which means he was good (not great), but durable.
After his 2009 All Star campaign with the Colorado Rockies, he signed a 2-year $15 million dollar contract with the Washington Nationals. This was one of the first big moves the Nationals made to bolster their rotation. Marquis was coming off his second 15 win season and was expected to be a top of the rotation pitcher. But injuries plagued his time in Washington which was disappointing, although he put up some solid stats in 2011 right before he was traded to the Diamondbacks. After three starts with the Diamondbacks, Marquis’ season was over due to a broken fibula.
So in 2012 Marquis was looking to start over. He signed with the Minnesota Twins (his first stint in the American League) figuring to fit in nicely into their rotation and be the veteran on a young and somewhat depleted pitching staff.
But after seven starts Marquis performed so poorly that he was designated for assignment and then released. Luckily, as of May 29th Marquis was picked up by the San Diego Padres and will first pitch in Double A to try to figure things out.
Marquis is the best Jewish pitcher since the Steve Stone and Ken Holtzman days. That does not say too much because Jews have lacked starting pitching throughout time outside of Stone, Holtzman, and that pitcher from the Dodgers…oh yeah, Sandy Koufax. Marquis gave us hope.
While he has been challenged by the Jewish media for pitching in meaningless games falling on Yom Kippur, Marquis is Jewish and Jews liked being able to claim him as a MOT. We hope Marquis can figure it out in a Padres uniform. If not let’s hope we don’t wait another 20 years for a consistent Jewish starting pitcher.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
(Article originally ran on TCJewFolk.com. Check it out HERE)

Clippers Dance to Israeli Hip Hop



Dudu Aharon's song "Tagido La" appeared during a timeout at a Clippers game as the dancers did their routine. Check it out HERE.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Satin Recalled

Josh Satin has been recalled by the New York Mets, The second baseman pinch hit last night, striking out with two runners on base. Satin replaces Max Baxter who is injured.

Another Jewish Baseball Player Drafted

TGR is happy to announce the Max Unger of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School was drafted in the 36th round by the Washington Nationals. Congrats to Unger. To read more click HERE.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

All Star Voting as of 6/5/2012


If the MLB All Star voting ended today both Ian Kinsler and Ryan Braun would be starting. Check out the results HERE.

Get Excited for Max Fried

In yesterday's Major League baseball draft with the 7th pick the San Diego Padres selected Max Fried out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, California. A highly touted 6'4 pitcher, who will undoubtedly spend time in the minors but has major league ability. 
We will no doubt keep an eye on his progress but he has serious potential to be the next great Jewish athlete. To read more on the Padres draft click HERE. The LA Times ran a story about Fried's admiration for Sandy Koufax two years back. Click HERE to read more.
Good luck kid, we will be watching.

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

Friday, June 1, 2012

Youkilis on the Block

With the Red Sox in last place of the AL East they are looking to make some changes. They might start with Kevin Youkilis. The Youk is a fan favorite (of TGR and Red Sox Nation). Click HERE to read more. HERE is more from the rumor mill.


Where might Youk land you ask? The White Sox, Rangers, and Dodgers have all come out to scout him. A move to the White Sox would fill their gap at 3B and add another veteran bat to their already hot lineup. Its obviously the TGR choice.

We will keep you posted on this situation.

Shabbat Shalom.

TGR Update

First, we would like to wish TGR WISE Intern Elan Kane a Yasher Koach on his presentation yesterday. Elan has done a great job writing and reporting for us and he has a bright future in whatever he decides to do. He is always welcome to write for TGR.

Second, TGR is MOVING!!! Well, the blog will still be here but I will be moving from NYC to the great state of Minnesota to be the new Assistant Rabbi at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul MN. In honor of the move we will have a few Minnesota Jewish sports stories.


Third, we would like to announce our new relationship with TCJewFolk.com which is a hip Jewish young professional blog based in Minnesota. Similar to OyChicago.com, TCJewFolk tries to understand and engage the young Jewish world. They have already ran a story about me (Click HERE) and soon will be carrying stories from TGR. They will also be launching another feature called Pop Parsha where I discuss various movies through a Jewish perspective.

Finally, the blog itself has been going through some maintenance and will continue over the next few months. We hope this makes the blog easier to navigate and has more accurate/interesting information.

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