Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
As we clean for Pesach, several players will be cleaning out their lockers after being released by teams paring down their rosters for Opening Day.
While released players have their dreams shattered, we dream of our favorite team playing in the postseason and winning the World Series.
Last year’s World Series teams – the Yankees and the Phillies – are better now than they were last October and are sure bets for postseason spots again.
Here are my predictions for this season.
National League East
The Phillies are the best team in the NL and the third best team in all of baseball, behind, in my opinion, the Yankees and Red Sox. It will be a fight for second place between the Florida Marlins and Atlanta Braves. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez anchors the young Marlins while veteran Chipper Jones does the same for the more experienced Braves. Both teams have good pitching but can’t match the Phils.
The Mets are loaded with more questions than kids at a Seder. If they don’t stay injury free they may have to activate Mr. Met. Washington has some pretty good offense from the middle of the lineup and we’ll be watching pitching sensation Stephen Strasburg. The Mets will be looking over their shoulder all season to stay out of last place. It’s not that the Mets are a bad team, it’s just that Washington may be the most improved team over last season.
National League Central
St. Louis has big boppers Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols and good enough pitching to top the division but the Cubs could shuffle to the top of the deck if the Cards suffer any injuries to a key hitter. Milwaukee has an awesome lineup with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder but not enough pitching over the 162-game schedule to finish higher than third. Cincinnati has an under-the-radar club that could surprise us as young players start to jell. Houston plays tough but the Astros have some age and not enough talent to launch a pennant drive.
Pittsburgh plays in baseball’s best stadium, the 38,496-seat PNC Park, which offers great views of bridges, water and skyscrapers. Via big trades and a bunch of new players wearing the Pirates uniform, fans will be treated to a different looking last place team. This will be the 18th consecutive losing season for Pirates.
National League West
The Dodgers have a good nucleus of pitchers and good young hitters. They also have an overpaid, supposedly steroid free but aging Manny Ramirez. But the team may be good enough to find themselves in the postseason again. The Colorado Rockies have a talented young lineup and some pretty good pitchers to challenge L.A. all the way.
San Francisco has the best pitching staff in the division but a lack of hitters will keep them from the postseason. Arizona made changes and may have enough pitching and hitting to rise above fourth. San Diego is loaded with young players who have yet to prove themselves as belonging in the major leagues. The Padres must trade popular hometown first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who hit 40 homers last year, to bring in more prospects while the team rebuilds.
American League East
The Yankees are built to win but must stave off baseball’s second best team, the Red Sox. The BoSox can match the great pitching staff of the Yanks and might pass the Bronx Bombers if Big Poppy doesn’t start 2010 as he did 2009 by being Big Popup. Tampa Bay has a tough-to-beat club but will have a tough time beating New York and Boston.
Toronto has some good young arms and a lineup sprinkled with a couple of good bats but will have its hands full staying ahead of the improving Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore has better hitting than the Blue Jays but comes up short in the pitching department.
American League Central
The Tigers and White Sox are a bit better in the pitching department than Minnesota but the Twins have a better lineup. The Twins also have a beautiful 39,800-seat outdoor ballpark 12 blocks from their old downtown domed home. But the risk of being thought of as a “homer,” I’m going with the pitching of Detroit its Johnny Damon-led lineup to finish first.
Kansas City has lots of promise and Zack Greinke but will have its mitts full staying ahead of the rebuilding Cleveland Indians.
One of the most knowledgeable readers of this column, Yank Poleyeff, is out in Arizona watching his favorite team, the Indians. Yank, a New Jersey resident who works in Manhattan, reminds us that Cleveland has four Jewish players in camp hoping to wear a big league uniform: Pitchers Jason Knapp and Eric Berger and outfielders Brian Horwitz and Jason Kipnis. Knapp was the best boy in Lakewood with the Phillies’ A-ball team the Lakewood Blue Claws and was the key to the Cliff Lee trade from Cleveland to Philadelphia last summer.
American League West
This is the only division in the major leagues with four teams. None of the four would have a chance to top the other two divisions in the AL or even place second. Texas is my choice to advance as the Rangers posses some pretty good hitters. One young pitcher on the Rangers to watch is 21-year-old Neftali (not Naftali) Feliz. The righthander starred last season after being brought up from the minors by allowing only 13 hits in 31 innings while striking out a whopping 39.
Seattle lured Chone Figgins from the Angels (.298 batting average and 42 stolen bases) and has Ichiro Suzuki at the top of its lineup to scare pitchers but the rest of the lineup is fair at best. But even the great Felix Hernandez (19-5, 2.49 ERA) and reliable Cliff Lee, acquired from the Phillies, are just not enough to pass Texas.
The Los Angeles Angels will finish the season in third place. The Angels filled holes but didn’t patch with good enough talent compared to what they lost to free agency. The Athletics should be located somewhere other than Oakland as they play in baseball’s ugliest ballyard.
The 50,069 Oakland-Alameda County Stadium has more seats in the top deck for football, but the A’s drew only 1.4 million last year and are hampered by a limited amount of revenue coming in. However, general manager Billy Beane always manages to assemble a competitive club. This year, though, the team is built for last but does have a brighter future.
I’ll give you my postseason picks next month. In the meantime, send me your predictions.
Irwin Cohen, the author of seven books, headed a national baseball publication for five years before earning a World Series ring working as a department head in a major league front office. Cohen, whose column appears the second week of each month, is president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul, and may be reached in his dugout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Jewish Press columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder and president of Hineni, the international Torah outreach organization, recently addressed an overflowing audience at the Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine in southern California. Rebbetzin Jungreis’s address theme, “Making a Good Relationship Magical,” was apropos for the evening’s main mission: raising funds for the Irvine community’s mikveh.
You have probably been planning your marriage since you were about three. Let’s fast-forward to a big milestone– your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over twenty one!) Now, would you appreciate your husband buying you a dozen roses that some florist recommended?
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
While all the flowers that grace your Shavuos table will surely be a delight to your eye, these will be a delight for your palette as well. Create them at any level, simple or sophisticated; any way you make them they’re sure to be a sensation.
Readers of my monthly Baseball Insider column may have noticed its absence last week (the column appears in the second issue of every month). The reason for that is I have something more serious and personal to share with you, something that didn’t seem appropriate for a baseball column.
Let me tell you about my new book.
Like you, I’m interested in Jewish baseball players and Jewish history. So, after years of research, first-hand observations and interviews, I combined the aforementioned information from the post-civil war era to the present and came up with a book titled Jewish History in the Time of Baseball’s Jews: Life on Both Sides of the Ocean.
Many of the baseball beat writers feel the Detroit Tigers are the best team in the major leagues. While I haven’t seen all of the pre-season articles, the ones I have read pick the Tigers to top the Central division in the American League.
A few months ago I wrote about the passing of my brother-in-law, Rabbi Shmuel Kunda, z”l, and how he never got around to a project I urged him to take on. I wanted him to title it “Boruch Goes to Ebbets Field” and tell the story of how Boruch bonds with Brooklyn’s beloved Dodgers – with Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and the rest. (The Duke was my brother-in-law’s favorite.)
Last season the Philadelphia Phillies had a Rosenberg, the St. Louis Cardinals had a Rosenthal, and the Arizona Diamondbacks had a Goldschmidt.
As of early December, some 72 former major leaguers had died in 2012. The number is much higher than any of us would have guessed.
What an unusual postseason it was.
The Yankees looked inept against the ferocious Tigers and the Tigers in turn looked toothless against the San Francisco Giants as they were swept in the World Series.
Ralph Kiner turns ninety on the 27th of October.
Where have the years gone?
Many Jewish Press readers grew up watching Kiner’s Korner, the post-game television show featuring yesterday’s heroes and the Mets’ one-day wonders.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/2010-season-preview/2010/03/11/
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