- My, that was ugly. The Clippers beat their “cross-town” rivals, the Lakers, by 48 points. Jordan Farmar played 21 minutes off the bench and scored just two points, shooting 1-5 from the field. He had three assists and no rebounds but also committed three of the Lakers’ 22 turnovers in the 142-94 debacle that put them 20 games under .500 (21-41).
- Tonight the Portland Trailblazers visit the Dallas Mavericks while the Omri Casspi hopes to get some more playing time as the Houston Rockets host the Indiana Pacers in what should be an exciting contest.
- Saturday: And on the seventh day they rested.
- Sunday: The Lakers host the Oklahoma City Thunder. That should be fun. As of this writing, there are 1,179 seats available for as little as $9. Indiana plays at Dallas; Portland plays in Houston, essentially switching opponents on a Texas swing.
- Jason Demers picked up his 26th goal of the season in a 5-3 win for the San Jose Sharks (40-17-7) over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. Demers took one shot-on-goal in 21:38. Mike Brown was a “healthy scratch,” which is defined as “An uninjured player on the roster who does not dress for a game.Only 20 players are allowed to dress for a game, players who are not going to play are considered scratches.”
- Jeff Halpern played 9:57 as the Phoenix Coyotes (29-23-11) beat the visiting Montreal Canadiens.
- Eric Nystrom took one SOG in 15:47, as the Nashville Predators (26-27-10) lost to the visiting St. Louis Blues, 2-1.
- Tonight: The NY Islanders visit the Calgary Flames and Michael Cammalleri, the all-time Jewish goal scorer.
- Saturday: Montreal @ San Jose; Phoenix at Washington Capitals; Columbus Blue Jackets @ Nashville; Minnesota Wild @ Dallas Stars, Calgary @ Vancouver Canucks.
- Sunday: St. Louis @ Minnesota.
It should come as no surprise that the ESPN The Magazine article about Ian Kinsler referred to earlier this week, has generated some buzz.
In the grand scale of things, it won’t matter, but for now, with a routinely dull spring training under way, with A-Rod out of the picture, the media is looking for something to carp on. So when Kinsler says his comments were taken out of context, that he thought he was off the record, it’s no surprise that he’s getting guff from detractors and support from, well, supporters. Others are neither-nor, just trying to keep things honest with no agenda. One person said Kinsler is self-absorbed? What s shocker, for an athlete to be concerned about how he’s doing. Please.
Hint to interviewees: never assume anything is “off the record” or that you’re just having a casual chat with a reporter. If you’re face to face and you see a recording device, well, that should be a clue. If you’re talking on the phone, the reporter is obligated to ask if it’s all right to record the conversation or tell you s/he is doing so.
The context part is another matter. It’s interpretation. Could be something in the inflection of a voice or a smirk that means the differences between a misunderstood (or poor) joke and a beating by the press.
Odd day, even by spring training standards. Four games ended in a tie and three were cancelled by the weather.
Sam Fuld joins Ryan Braun as the only MOTs to homer. “Super Sam” hit his in the second inning, batting ninth and starting in left field in the As-Diamondbacks’ 8-8 tie. The solo blast was his sole hit in four at bats. Nate Freiman entered the game as a defensive replacement at first base was was hitless in his only plate appearance, dropping is batting average to .067. Jeff Urlaub did not appear in the game.
Ryan Lavarnway was 1-1 with a walk batting in the cleanup spot and starting at catcher for the Red Sox in their scoreless eight-inning tie with the Marlins. Craig Breslow? Nope.
Danny Rosenbaum took the loss in the Nationals’ 3-2 loss to the host Braves. Rosenbaum entered the game in the ninth, allowed one hit, walked one, and uncorked a wild pitch.
Joc Pederson was 0-1 following his insertion as a defensive replacement as the Dodgers and Angels ended in a 4-4 tie.
Braun did not appear in the Brewer’s 5-4 win over the visiting Rockies.
Aaron Poreda did not appear in the Rangers’ 8-4 win over the host Padres.
Ryan Kalish did not play in the Cubs’ 1-0 loss to the Indians.
Weather put a kibosh on games for Ian Kinsler (Tigers), Kevin Pillar (Blue Jays), Josh Satin and Ike Davis (Mets), and Josh Zeid and Scott Feldman (Astros).
Danny Valencia entered the game as a defensive replacement at third and was 0-2 as the White Sox and Royals battled to a 6-6 draw. His batting average drops to .188. Yeah, I know, batting average has fallen out of favor as a determinant in judging offensive performance, especially with a low number of at bats, but it still serves as a measuring device, so I’m gonna stick with it awhile. Who knows, a batter might be murdering the ball and he just has the bad luck to smack a line drive or have the defense make an outstanding play. As Crash Davis said in Bull Durham (zip to about the 1:05 mark; warning: a few f-bombs in the clip):
Similarly, one bad inning can appreciably inflate a pitcher’s earned run average, somewhat akin to batting average (Rosenbaum’s zoomed from 0.00 to 6.75). A ball that squeaks by a diving infielder can mean the difference between a run or two and a trip to the minors. I would hope, however, that the people in charge would be savvy enough to realize all this.
On the way in to work this morning I listened to an interview with John Feinstein, author of the engaging Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball on Wednesday’s Leonard Lopate Show. You know how they say about a ball game that there’s a chance you will always see something you’ve never seen before? The same is true for listening to authors talk about their work. As much as I know about baseball, there’s always a nugget or two I’ve chagrined to say I never though of before.
Here’s the segment:
And just because I have it handy, here’s a review I did on the book.
Like Adam Podlesh, Shahar Peer has been having a tough time of it lately. With her ouster at the Indian Wells event in California, she failed to make it past the first round for the fifth time in six tournaments.Like her game, her official website seems to be a work in progress.
After much speculation over the last few seasons, the Chicago Bears finally released punter Adam Podlesh. Can’t say the news is surprising; they’ve been badmouthing him for a long time. The good news, there’s lots of time for him to hook up with another team (as opposed to releasing him at the end of training camp). According to the official press release announcing the team’s decision, “In three seasons with the Bears (2011-13), Podlesh had 238 punts for 10,065 yards (42.3 gross average). He landed 82 punts inside-the-20 with just 12 touchbacks, one blocked punt and a net average of 39.4.”
Gabe Carimi, a former teammate of Podlesh, who was plagued by injury in his first few seasons in the NFL, has landed with the Atlanta Falcons. after being waived by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He signed a one-year deal in late February for $850,000.
Here’s wishing them both well.
- Omri Casspi played just two minutes in the Houston Rockets’ 101-89 win over the host Orlando Magic. Given that Casspi didn’t play at all in the Rockets’ win over the Miami Heat the previous night, you have to wonder, what’s up with that? Especially given that he scored 16 in his March 1 game against the Pistons, so it’s not like he’s performing badly. The Rockets are 42-19.
- The Dallas Mavericks (36-26) lost to the host Denver Nuggets, 115-110. Gal Mekel begins his comeback via the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ D-League team.
- Tonight: It’s an intra-city rivalry as the LA Clippers visit Jordan Farmar and the Lakers.
Michael Cammalleri became the all-time leader in Jewish goals scored in the NHL on Monday, when he netted number 224. He replaces Matthieu Schneider, who had 223 in 1,289 games from 1987-2010.Cammalleri did it in just 651 games. Last night he added No. 225 in a 4-1 win over the visiting Ottawa Senators. The shot, one of two he took in 20:53, was the final in the game for the Flames (24-31-7).
- The Toronto Maple Leafs put Trevor Smith on waivers at the NHL trade deadline and when no one picked him up, sent him down to their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. From HockeyBuzz.com: “Per Sportsnet’s David Alter, the Leafs have placed center Trevor Smith on waivers. Smith missed 24 games after suffering a broken hand in mid-December. The Leafs are likely waiving the 29-year-old Marlies team captain on the day before the trade deadline to try to improve the odds of getting Smith through waivers and down to the AHL. Smith is on a one-way deal making and waiving him down opens up another $550,000 in salary cap room before the trade deadline on Wednesday.”
- Tonight: Jeff Halpern and the Phoenix Coyotes host the Montreal Canadiens (one of his former teams); Eric Nystrom and the Nashville Predators host the St. Louis Blues; and Jason Demers, Mike Brown, and the San Jose Sharks host the Pittsburgh Penguins.
By Hillel Kuttler
PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — Celeste Morello isn’t Jewish or a sports fan, and has never attended a professional basketball game. But a passion for history — particularly Philadelphia history — prompted her to seek recognition for the hoops pioneer Eddie Gottlieb.
Morello succeeded last week when the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission approved her application for Gottlieb, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, to be featured on an official state historical marker.
The two-sided blue tablet with yellow lettering will be erected in Philadelphia, where Gottlieb lived most of his life and Morello now resides.
Gottlieb, who immigrated as a boy from Kiev, Ukraine, was a founder, player and coach of one of the most important teams in basketball history: the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association club known by its acronym, the Sphas.
Through the 1940s, the nearly all-Jewish Sphas won 10 championships in three leagues, out of which the National Basketball Association emerged in 1949 to become what today is a multibillion-dollar business.
Post-Sphas, Gottlieb coached and owned the Philadelphia (now Golden State) Warriors from 1946 to 1962. For a quarter-century he chaired the NBA’s Rules Committee, and for many years he plotted the league’s schedule of games using pen and paper.
Gottlieb died at 81 in 1979. By then he had been inducted into the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., basketball’s birthplace; the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Netanya, Israel; and the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
While a state historical marker was placed last year at the North Broad Street site of the Broadwood Hotel, where the Sphas played many home games in its ballroom, Gottlieb will “now have his own marker,” Morello said.
Writing to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission last Sept. 26, the NBA’s then-commissioner, David Stern, supported the initiative for the historical marker, calling Gottlieb “a leader and innovator in the early growth and development of professional basketball in the United States.”
Gottlieb’s legacy, Stern wrote, includes signing such all-time great players as Wilt Chamberlain, Joe Fulks and Paul Arizin; overseeing the adoption of the 24-second shot clock; advising three NBA commissioners — “a testament to his incomparable institutional knowledge” — and the Rookie of the Year trophy that bears Gottlieb’s name.
“Few men have contributed more to basketball and, in particular, to the development of the NBA during its nascent years than Eddie Gottlieb,” Stern wrote.
The marker’s possible sites, Morello said, include the corner of Broad Street and Snyder Avenue, outside South Philadelphia High School, where Gottlieb graduated in 1916; and 45th and Market streets, the site of the Warriors’ Philadelphia Arena.
Creating and installing the cast-aluminum marker atop a steel pole costs an estimated $2,600, she said.
Mike Bass, the NBA’s executive vice president for communications, said Thursday that the league will help underwrite the cost.
The NBA is “pleased that [Gottlieb] is being recognized with an historical marker,” Bass said, adding that “any time we can be involved with recognizing the great contributions to our game, we appreciate and welcome the opportunity.”
Harvey Pollack, director of statistical information for the Philadelphia 76ers and someone who knew Gottlieb well from their Warriors’ days, had approached the 76ers and the NBA to recommend honoring Gottlieb with the marker.
The woman who made it happen, Morello, is a historian who has written books and articles on organized crime. Of the approximately 40 historical markers Morello said her work has yielded, Gottlieb’s will be the third Jewish-American (following Revolutionary War patriot Haym Solomon and Rabbi Israel Goldstein) and the fifth in sports (the others are Connie Mack, Roy Campanella, Shibe Park and African-American baseball).
“What it means to me is that [Gottlieb is] a Jewish-American who’s getting this marker, and Jewish-Americans are underrepresented with historical markers in Philadelphia,” said Morello, a Catholic. “I believe in my heart that Jews who have achieved what Eddie Gottlieb did should be on historical markers. When you’re talking about Gottlieb, you’re talking about achievement. I’m happy he got it.”
Morello has traced her roots to 17th-century Sicily, and said her family research indicates that her ancestors were Jewish before being forced to convert during the Spanish Inquisition.
“I’m not of the Jewish faith, but I’m of the Jewish bloodline,” she said.
As to more contemporary history, Morello sees historical markers in her state, and generally, as bringing the valued past to anyone willing to gaze at them.
“These markers are a form of public history,” Morello said. “It doesn’t take anything to learn what these markers show.”
Found some nice bits and pieces about Youkilis, who was able to grow back his facial hair.
As a member of the Red Sox, Youkilis played in Japan in 2008.
You read a lot about the difficulties many Asian (and other non-English speaking) players have when coming over to play in North America (because, you know, Canada, too). The language barrier can be daunting. I watched the Youtube video below and thought about how isolating it must be for Youkilis. How many Japanese speak English? What do they think of him or any gaijin? Are they resentful that some foreigner is coming to take a job away, or are they happy for a real Major Leaguer to be part of their team? (Although it was a fairly cliche movie, I would still recommend seeing Mr. Baseball, starring Tom Selleck and featuring Dennis Haysbert, whom you might recall as Pedro Cerrano in the Major League movie franchise, and, hey, did you know there was a Field of Dreams 2?)
Thanks to Whiting, I found these interviews that Youkilis did with what I’m assuming are members of the local media there.
Youkilis already a main component of the team’s promotions
One of Youkilis’ teammates will be Andruw Jones, 36, who hit 434 home runs in a 17-year career in the Majors, mostly with the Atlanta Braves with stints with the Dodgers, Rangers, White Sox and Yankees. Jones, a five-time All-Star and ten-time Golden Glove Winner, “retired” after the 2012 season.
The regular season starts March 28. Sayanora for now.
There are currently 16 MOTS in spring training, FYI.
Ryan Braun hit his second home run of the spring, one of his two hits to help the Brewers beat the As, 7-2. The safeties raised his batting average to .857., with six hits in seven at bats. Does anyone have anything to say? Want to test him some more? Shut up.
Nate Freiman came into the game as a defensive replacement and struck out in his only at bat. Sam Fuld and Jeff Ulraub did not appear in the game for the As.
Ryan Lavarnway was 1-4, striking out twice, as the starting DH in the Red Sox’s 8-6 loss to the host Cardinals. Craig Breslow did not appear in the game and, in fact, has yet to pitch so far this spring.
Ian Kinsler batted leadoff and started at second base. He was 1-2 and was hit by a pitch and drove in a tun in the Tigers’ 3-0 shutout over the host Astros. Neither Josh Zeid nor Scott Feldman pitched for the ‘Stros.
The Mets lost both of their split squad games. Josh Satin started at third, batting cleanup. He doubled in three trips to the plate in a 602 loss to the visiting Marlins. They were also defeated by the Nationals, 11-5. Ike Davis did not play in either game.
The Blue Jays lost to the visiting Pirates, 6-4. Kevin Pillar entered the game as a defensive replacement and was 0-2 the rest of the way, dropping his batting average to .067.
Ryan Kalish led off and played left field for the Cubs in their 7-5 loss to the visiting Rockies split squad. He was 0-2 with a walk, but stole a base and scored a run.
Danny Valencia grounded into a double play as a pinch hitter and later single and scored in the Royals’ 6-5 win over the Diamondbacks.
Joc Pederson started in left and batted sixth –0-2 with a walk and two runs scored — in the Dodgers’ 10-3 win over the Reds.
Aaron Poreda did not appear for the Rangers in their 8-2 loss to the rest of the Rockies.
Danny Rosenbaum a pitcher in the Washington Nationals organization, will probably not break camp with the big club. But he’ll always remember the time he faced a certain future Hall of Famer for the NY Yankees.
On Monday, Rosenbaum came in to the game in the bottom of the second with the Nats starter Ross Detweiler having given up four runs. With runners on first and third, Rosenbaum induced Derek Jeter to hit into an inning-ending short-second-first double play. Very cool.
Thanks to Bob Wechsler for the info.