Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
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 email@example.com.
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Today is day six without a phone.
Besides for feeling slightly isolated, it’s not too bad.
I’ve been doing things that I know I would not be doing if my phone was sitting next to me, shiny screen beckoning.
Is anyone else alarmed by the way extended warranties are sold on just about anything and everything? It means one of two things – either someone has found a great way of getting consumers to part with more of their hard earned dollars or manufacturers have no faith in their own products. Neither of those options is particularly heartwarming.
As I described Gaon in a review in June 2001 (“In Search of Ancestors, Sculpture by Simon Gaon” at Yeshiva University Museum), his Bukharian Jewish roots are deeply embedded on both sides of his family, echoed in his early yeshiva education.
Let me begin by congratulating my dear machatunim, Soraya and Jay Nimaroff, on being the recipients of the Community Service Award at the Sderot Hesder Institutions 18th annual anniversary dinner.
Think of your issues this way: due to those different backgrounds, you have a “shovel” to deal with difficulties while he has a “spoon”.
Do you remember the good old days when kids were kids and there was never anything to worry about? Those days never really existed, but today there are issues kids worry about that weren’t issues for some adults. They include fear of bullying, natural disasters, divorce, and violence.
In Part I talked about celebrating 30 years of Regesh Family and Child Services providing services to children, teens and families. I shared the agency’s origin and the many lessons I have learned through this journey. As I mentioned, it is my hope that my experiences will add to your toolbox of life skills.
Unfortunately, a map of the Middle East with no mention of Israel is nothing new… It is surprising however, that the world’s largest publisher of children’s literature, Scholastic Books, has joined in this trend.
About six months ago my parents and I started discussing ideas for a mitzvah project in honor of my bat mitzvah. I wanted to do something unique that would be meaningful to me and also do something that my friends could participate in. Immediately I thought of an organization called Sharsheret.
“I’m disappointed that the agreement reached with Iran leaves our unfulfilled our ultimate objective: a complete dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program and related activities.
Southern NCSY will be holding a leadership training Shabbaton at the Young Israel of Bal Harbour December 6 and December 7. Rabbi Steven Weil, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union, will be the special guest speaker.
Is there a beginning and an end to the universe? What role can medical breakthroughs play in conception or genetic engineering? Can science help us pinpoint the end of human life? Does the soul emanate from the brain or vice-versa?
Last month’s column sketched the myriad of social programs in which the Orthodox American communal worker and leader Adolphus S. Solomons (1826-1910) was involved. Adolphus married Rachel Seixas Phillips (1828-1881), a descendant of colonial patriot families and together they had eight daughters and a son.
Brooklyn native Lipman Pike was one of baseball’s earliest paid players.
The World Series was born 110 years ago. So were the New York Yankees, as New York inherited the remnants of the old Baltimore Orioles, a charter member of the new American League that was formed in 1901. A year later the team was headed to last place and bankruptcy. Manager John McGraw jumped to the National League New York Giants to assume the same position and brought some Orioles players with him.
Rewind eight decades to 1933.
That year marked the rise of the greatest villain of our time and the biggest Jewish sports hero of all time.
The year 1973 was an interesting one indeed.
Forty years ago, the Conservative movement’s commission on law and standards adopted a new regulation admitting women into the traditional minyan.
“I had to grow a tough little hide as everybody was fair game to be razzed and needled.”
Rewind sixty years to 1953.
Television was considered kosher by most and featured the likes of Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, George Burns, Red Buttons, Perry Como, Arthur Godfrey, Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger, Dinah Shore, Red Skelton, Danny Thomas, Jack Webb as Joe Friday on “Dragnet” and many others who provided great memories.
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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/2010-season-preview/2010/03/11/
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