Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wild Call Up Jason Zucker

Minnesota Wild have called up Forward Jason Zucker. Click HERE to read more.

MLB Beginnings

Ron Kaplan at Kaplan's Korner had a nice write up about the beginning of Spring Training. Here is hoping Nate Freiman is the real deal.

pring training games are underway and some of the boys are getting off to a quick start.
Ryan Braun homered in his first at bat on Saturday to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Oakland As, 2-1.  He also walked.
Ike Davis was 0-2 with a walk in the NY Mets’ 5-3 opener against the Washington Nationals.
Josh Satin doubled twice, scored twice, and drove in two runs in yesterday’s 7-7 tie with the Houston Astros.
Danny Valencia played first base in the Baltimore Orioles’ 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue jays yesterday. He was 2-3 with a double.
Ian Kinsler has a double and an RBI in four at-bats over two games for the Texas Rangers.
Kevin Youkilis was 0-3 for the NY Yankees in yesterday’s opener, 1 2-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Sam Fuld was 0-5 over two games for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Ryan Lavarnway was 1-3 in yesterday’s 5-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Craig Breslowdid not appear in the game.
Scott Feldman joined the Chicago Cubs over the off-season. Thoughts differ as to whether he will be a starter or not. So far, he has not appeared in a game.
Similarly, Michael Schwimer and Jason Marquis have yet to appear for the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres, respectively.
Keeping my fingers crossed for Nat Freiman, the towering first baseman for the Houston Astros, who are going from a bade situation to one that’s potentially worse.
Over the past two seasons, the Astros went a combined 111-213. Now they move to the American League where they will have to get used to pitching to nine real  batters (as opposed to eight plus one pitcher) and all new competition. On the other hand, no one in the AL has played against the Astros on a regular basis so…Nah.
Anyway, Freiman was selected as a Rule Five draft, which means Houston pretty much has to keep him on the Major league roster for the year. Given their predicament, why not let him play? It’s not like the have anyone appreciably better, all due respect to Brett Wallace, the nominal starter at first.
Freiman has appeared in two games, stroking three singles in five at bats and driving in two runs.

Interview: NFL Propect Sam Schwartzstein

Over the last few years the NFL draft has brought us some great stories. Starting with Taylor Mays and Gabe Carimi. Last year Mitchell Schwartz got all the press, while Alex Hoffman-Ellis and Alex Gottlieb drew some attention as well. This year we have Sam Schwartzstein out of Standford. Below is a little bit about the determined Offensive Lineman.

1) Sam, welcome to TGR. Can you tell people a little bit about yourself?

I'm a interior lineman prospect at for the 2013 NFL draft and played at Stanford for the past 5 years. I'm from Texas originally where I went to school at Carroll high school in southlake

2) What was your experience at Stanford like? 
It was great had a lot of amazing experiences of going through a rebuilding process of a team going from the bottom of the Pac10 to the top of the PAC 12.

3) Which Harbaugh did you root for in the Super Bowl?
I was mostly an objective observer but parts of me wanted coach to win. He is a main reason why I chose Stanford and I thank him immensely for that.

4) What are your future career plans?

Hopefully a long NFL career but after that I want to work in a startup and create a new product or service. 

5) Will you be attending the combine or tryouts? Are you excited for the opportunity?

I will not be attending the combine but I will be participating in Stanford's pro day on March 21st. I'm extremely excited for the opportunity and that's all I want, is an opportunity to prove myself.

6) Where do you see yourself lining up in the NFL?
At one of the 3 inside positions. I played center the past two years but was a recruited guard. I have experience at all three spots.

7) Over the last few years Jewish NFL Offensive Linemen have been drafted high (Gabe Carimi & Mitchell Schwartz). Have you spoken to either of them about their experience? Who is guiding you on your journey? 
I haven't spoken to them but it is awesome to see their success. I spoke to Mitchell after we played Cal two years ago and it's one of those things where it's cool to catch and meet guys from a similar heritage. The guys who have helped guide me were David DeCastro and Jonathon Martin. They are exceptional players who understand the work it takes to be a true professional.

8) What was your Jewish upbringing like? Do you have a favorite holiday? 
I come from a split Jewish and Christian house where we practiced both holidays. My dad was Jewish and we often would look for the Jewish athletes out there. It was a prideful thing where a lot of people wouldn't give me the respect in sports because of the last name but it was a driving force to make me work harder to prove the doubters wrong. Favorite holiday would be Passover because my dad makes the best brisket.

Good luck to Sam. We will be watching out for you.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
- Jeremy Fine 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chicago's All Jewish Regional Final

Here is a press release from Ida Crown Jewish Academy. Pretty exciting news. ICJA suffered a loss to CJHS last weekend and will look to avenge that defeat. Go Aces!

Aces Face CJHS in First-Ever All Jewish Regional Finals

Our varsity boys face CJHS in the regional final tonight at 7:30PM at Christian Liberty High School in Arlington Heights. We will have a bus for students leaving at 6:25 to cheer on our team as they try to upset CJ (currently #2 ranked Jewish team in the country) and earn their first-ever regional title. 
For the second time in three years - and only the second time in ICJA history, according to ICJA sports historian Mr. Harris - the boys varsity basketball team advanced to the IHSA Regional Final by winning their first two games in their regional taking place at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights. In the opener, they defeated Cristo Rey St. Martin 74-40, led by Jonah Grant's 21 points. In the second round, they defeated the #2 seed and host school, Christian Liberty, in a game that the Aces seemed in control of early but then fell behind in the second half.
All eyes have now turned to--what is almost certainly for the first time ever in Illinois history--an all Jewish Regional Final, featuring the Ida Crown Aces vs. the Chicagoland Jewish Tigers.

Tipoff is at 7:30 and Ta'anit Esther ends only 90 minutes earlier. To overcome the challenge, the Aces family has drawn closer together, with ICJA alum/professional nutritionist Jodi (Buckman) Weinstein consulting on the menu for the break fast, team parents pitching in to coordinate the food, and a special student bus is bringing out extra fan support for the game. Go Aces!   

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Twitter Blowing Up

For those who want Jewish sports stories a little quicker follow me: 
@TheGreatRabbino and @RabbiJeremyFine.

Recently Bruce Pearl, former Illini Demetri Mccamey, and Omri Casspi tweeted us. 

Also here is a picture of Marc Trestman and Marv Levy having dinner. (Thank you to TGR fan Nat Sager for sending this in).