Sorry, but I’m not going to link to all the sites that comment on the revelation that Ralph Branca’s mother was Jewish. Too many people and sites jump all over themselves with news like this. Suffice it to say it was a bug surprise to Branca’s fans, a “how about that” moment and let’s move on (and I’m not just saying that because the Times didn’t ask for our input).
* You’ll be sorry when I’m gone. This piece by Ben Rogers on ESPN: Dallas warns fans they better start appreciating Ian Kinsler, despite the inconsistent season the Rangers’ second abseman is having. His manager, Ron Washington, is certainly a supporter. According to a piece in the Dallas Morning News of Aug. 15,
Though Ian Kinsler’s 42-game errorless streak came to a halt Sunday when a ground ball went between his legs, it didn’t stop … Washington from praising his second baseman’s fielding this year.
“He’s been outstanding,” Washington said. “I think Robinson Cano , Dustin Pedroia and Ian are all pretty close, but nobody turns the double play as well as Ian does. He may be the best in all of baseball at that.”
Pedroia won the AL Gold Glove at second in 2008 on the way to the AL MVP. Cano won it last year for the first time. Kinsler and Cano each have eight errors while Pedroia has four. In the more advanced defensive metric of Ultimate Zone Rating, which tries to calculate a fielder’s overall worth, Pedroia leads all of baseball at 14.6. Kinsler is second at 9.8.
* Are the Red Sox on the verge of adding two more MOTs? Don’t be surprised if Ryan Kalish and Ryan Lavarnway get a September call-up.
* I love him as much as the next fan, but Kevin Youkilis, an MVP candidate? This year?
And a few other baseball odds and ends:
- Howard Megdal, author of The Baseball Talmud, gets the profile treatment for his latest book, Taking the Field: A Fan’s Quest to Run the Team He Loves.
- Rebecca T. Alpert, author of Out of Left Field, which considers the role of Jews in black baseball, published this piece about the connection Jews have with the national pastime on the Religious Dispatches website.
- The first four chapters of the Lions of Zion baseball fiction by Ross Ufberg are up on the Forward website.