Sunday, November 23, 2014

JMLB Offseason Movement

The baseball season might be over but the excitement is just beginning. As the White Sox and Cubs have made some really solid moves in Zack Duke and Adam LaRoche to the South Side and Manager Joe Madden to the Cubs, the Jewish ballplayers have been on the move as well.

Kevin Youkilis - After a year in Japan, Youkilis has finally announced his retirement. While he probably will not see the Hall of Fame, Youkilis had a very productive career mainly for the Red Sox. It will be nice seeing him on the ballot in 5 years.

Josh Zeid - After showing promise with the Astros and then struggling through an injury, Zeid is on his way to join Manager Brad Ausmus and 2nd Baseman Ian Kinsler in Detroit. This is a very solid move for the Tigers who need some young pitching in their bullpen.

Ike Davis - After breaking out of the Minors as a solid player, Davis has hit some bumps in the road over the last few years. The Pirates sent him to the minors, then quickly traded him to the A's.

Gabe Kapler -The former MLBer will take over the Dodgers farm system. Tapped by fellow MOT Andrew Friedman who is the news President of Baseball Operations.

Craig Breslow - The Red Sox have allowed Breslow to test free agency. We fully expect him to sign with a team soon.

Aaron Poreda - Poreda's major league resurgence landed him with the Texas Rangers. But he is taking his talents overseas and joining the Yomiuri Giants.

Josh Satin - Satin is staying in the National League signing with the Cincinnati Reds.

Stay tuned for more possible moves. With the signing by the A's of Billy Butler, what will that mean for Nate Freiman? Will Matt Kemp get traded to make room for phenom Joc Pederson? Can Jason Marquis continue his comeback?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mekel to the Lakers

The Lakers are taking a look at PG Gal Mekel. They are in need of a spark and Mekel has not been given a full chance to show his ability. Could be a nice fit. He looks nice in Yellow!

Coaching Headlines

100 Best Matches

Here is a link to the WWE's Top 10 Matches. Many Jewish Superstars on are the list including Dean Malenko, Randy Savage, and Goldberg. Click HERE to read.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mekel Joins Pacers...Oh Wait!


Second Israeli born player Gal Mekel, formerly of the Dallas Mavericks, we thought had caught on with the Indiana Pacers. Click HERE to read more. But here are some issues. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Edelman for Israel

Not only does he feel Jewish he is a proud supporter of Israel...and on my fantasy football team!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bizarre Break for Columbia's Star Alex Rosenberg


Because of Ivy League rules, Columbia's star players NCAA career may be over. Click HERE to read more. HERE is an interview we conducted with Rosenberg a while back.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Interview: IFL Commisioner Betzalel Friedman

Its not fantasy football but it is a football fantasy made real. Israel is going to the gridiron. Meet Betzalel Friedman, the commissioner of the Israeli Football League. Many of you, and myself, played flag football while studying in Israel on the beautiful Kraft Field in Jerusalem. Well things are taking off. We sat down with the IFL Commish to talk about the kickoff of Israeli Football.

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1) Please tell TGR a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Indianapolis, and (was) moved to Israel when I was 10. I learned in the Gush and served as an officer in the paratroopers. Married plus 3.

2) What is the IFL and how did it form?
The IFL was formed 8 years ago by a bunch of football enthusiasts, who teamed up with Patriots' owner Robert (and Myra z"l) Kraft to start the league. Kraft is still the main sponsor.

3) Where are the players coming from and how do you recruit?
Most players (over 70 percent) are actually Sabras. Recruiting is mostly by word of mouth, but the teams also go out to universities/ city centers/malls etc.

4) Is football growing in Israel? What cities are represented?
 Football is growing all over the country. We have teams in the Galilee, Haifa, Ramat HaSharon, Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, mazkeret Batya, Jerusalem (3 teams) and Beersheva. We also have 8 youth teams, plus flag football for men, women and children. 
5) Is football big amongst Israeli youth? Is it mostly American born interest or are native Israelis picking it up as well?

As I said we're over 70 percent Sabra, and that's the goal. The sport will not grow if it's only a niche sport for Anglos.

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6) Could you ever imagine a season like the IBL had with former NFLers?
We pride ourselves on being a grassroots organization and growing the sport from the bottom up, in stark contrast to the IBL which tried to start big and fizzled out quickly. I'd much rather see an ex-NFLer come to coach our guys than come to play.

7) What's next for the IFL?
We are trying to promote the sport in Israel and at the same time raise support abroad to help our efforts. We believe that football could and should be the 3rd largest team sport in Israel behind soccer and basketball.

8) Where can people follow the IFL? Social media? TV? Online?
9) Any last thoughts?
We've just started the Israeli National Team which will be quarterbacked by Alex Swieca and plan to compete in the 2016 Level C European Tournament.

Thank you to Betzalel for spending time with TGR. Look out for the documentry called Touchdown Israel at Jewish Film Festivals soon!

Photo Credits - Rick Blumsack and Stas Ivanov

Sunday, November 2, 2014

BBall Begins

Congrats to Cavs head coach David Blatt who secured his first NBA victory on friend as the Cavs edged out the Bulls in overtime. LeBron James celebrated with Blatt on the court. Click HERE for more.

Omri Casspi (2 games) - 7 PPG and 3 RPG
Jordan Farmer (2 games) - 3PPG and 1 APG

Unfortunately, the Mavs added JJ Barea and have waived Gal Mekel. Read more HERE.

Clippers Assistant Coach Lawrence Frank has remained out of the news.