Yom Kippur is just about a month away.
Given that Kevin Youkilis has announced he intends to play for the Israeli team if it makes it past the qualifiers in September (an item on JTA would seem to give the impression that Youkilis will play in the qualifiers in Jupiter, Fla. next month, which is highly unlikely since the MLB season will still be in progress), I was wondering if this rekindled interest in heritage will have a carry-over effect and make the batch of JMLs consider not playing on Yom Kippur.
Every team that includes MOTs is scheduled to play on Sept. 25 (erev YK) and the 26th (YK proper).
* Youkilis and the Chicago White Sox will host the Cleveland Indians.
* Ike Davis and the NY Mets will host the Pittsburgh Pirates.
* Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers will visit the Cincinnati Reds.
* Ian Kinsler, Scott Feldman, and the Texas Rangers will host the Oakland As.
* In the biggest gathering, Ryan Lavarnway, Ryan Kaslish, Craig Breslow, and the Boston Red Sox will host Sam Fuld and the Tampa Bay Rays. Bear in mind that Danny Valencia is currently in the Red Sox minor league system and could be called up after Sept. 1, when teams can expand their rosters to 40 players. So other Jewish players, such as the Mets’ Josh Satin and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Michael Schwimer, could be called up.
* If he’s healthy and off the disabled list by then, Jason Marquis and the San Diego Padres will host the Los Angeles Dodgers. Interesting fact: Marquis, then with the Washington Nationals, pitched on erev Yom Kippur in 2010 and had the worst game of his career in the worst season of his career. He retired just one batter, allowing six earned runs on six hits, a walk, and a hit batsman to drop his record to 2-9. There’s a lesson to be learned somewhere in there. (Actually it was the second worst game: In an April 18 start, he failed to retire a single hitter, giving up seven runs on four hits, a walk, and two hit batsmen in an 11-7 loss to Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers; Braun had one hit and an RBI off Marquis. It was determined after the game that Marquis was trying to pitch through an arm injury. He was placed on the DL and missed most of the season before returning, perhaps ill-advisedly, in August.)
The Rangers are currently in first place in the AL West by 5.5 games. The White Sox are in first place in the AL Central by two games. The Rays are in the AL Wild Card hunt (remember, now two teams make it to the post season in that fashion). Mathematically — though not realistically — all the other teams are still in the Wild Card hunt.
So what will these guys do? If the Rangers and White Sox pull away, it’s conceivable that Youkilis and Kinsler could get the games off as one of those occasional days of rest (and Texas can certainly skip Feldman’s turn in the rotation if it comes on on YK).