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December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Cohen’

Torah Tidbits has Big ‘K’

Monday, May 21st, 2012

In Torah Tidbits’ historic 1,000th week in franchise history, pitcher Rabbi Jonathan Cohen struck out five, using the timely ‘K’ to hold the lead and record a 6-4 win over Jerry’s Kids.

The Tidbits scored 6 runs in the bottom of the first, and then held off numerous Jerry’s Kids’ rallies, thanks to Cohen’s clutch strikeouts on the mound.

“I wish for myself as a pitcher, the same thing that I wish for Torah Tidbits and our team manager and TT editor and creator Phil Chernofsky,” said Cohen. “Another big K, and success and growth for years to come – and a touch of that Willie Mays magic.”

Café Rimon 14 – Lakewood Heimishe Bake Shoppe 6

In a highly-anticipated showdown, Nussi Jacobovitch and Chaim Schone led a Café Rimon offensive onslaught to retain first place.

Jacobovitch opened the scoring in the first with a sacrifice fly. Schone then singled, Chaim Webber doubled, and Shimon Cohen tripled them both home.

Jacobovitch knocked in more runs later, doubling home Schone and Pinny Itzkowitz. In the fourth, Schone hit a 3 run homer over center, before Jacobovitch launched a monster shot deep over left field.

For Lakewood, Dovid Blieman homered over the left field wall, and Shloimy Gruen sparked a 4-run rally with clutch hitting.

Segwayz 6 – Bagelsbergs 5

With the score tied at 4 in the penultimate inning, Segwayz and Bagelsbergs traded shots, with Segway staying a step ahead thanks to a pair of runs in each of the last two innings.

For all the latest news, schedules and scores, visit www.israelsoftball.com . 

Is Netanyahu Ready to Demolish Ulpana Hill? The Settlers Don’t Think So

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Makor Rishon reported Tuesday morning that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not see a way to prevent the court-ordered demolition of the Ulpana Hill neighborhood of Beit El in the Benjamin region of Judea and Samaria.

Responding to a question from senior Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development and the development of the Negev and the Galilie Silvan Shalom, and other MKs, in a meeting of the Likud faction in the Knesset, Netanyahu said that “the jurists can’t find a solution” and that “the problem is that the land owner doesn’t want to sell.”

The Prime Minister referred to a dispute regarding the legality of the sale of the land on which Ulpana Hill was built nearly two decades ago, a dispute which Israel’s Supreme Court, based on the findings submitted by Deputy Attorney General Mike Blass, is seeking to remedy through the demolition of the densely populated apartment buildings and returning the land to an Arab who claims he is its rightful owner.

Jewish Home faction’s MK Zevulun Orlev and National Union faction Chairman Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) have both submitted “regulation legislation” which, in general terms, seeks to remedy the same dispute by awarding the claimant the value of his land or comparable land of equal value, should he be able to substantiate his claim in district court (where, perhaps paradoxically, the rules of evidence are stricter than in the Supreme Court).

But Likud Faction Chairman Zeev Elkin, according to the report in Makor Rishon, said that in his estimate neither of the proposed bills would pass in the House. This despite the fact that a clear majority of the Likud faction, and, supposedly, Netanyahu himself, don’t wish to see the demolition of the neighborhood.

Spokesman for the Ulpana Hill Neighborhood and assistant to MK Katz Harel Cohen told the Jewish Press the Makor Rishon headline did not responsibly represent the actual content of the piece.

The real story is that the AG staff are telling Netanyahu that there is no solution other than demolishing the neighborhood, says Cohen. “But in the story [faction chairman Ze'ev] Elkin is saying that if Netanyahu won’t release the ministers to vote as they see fit there won’t be a majority” for the new regulation bills.

“In other words,” Cohen emphasized, “There is a majority support for the bills, all it takes is for Bibi to release the ministers.”

Coalition government ministers, as well as MKs whose factions are part of the coalition government, are called on occasion to vote a strict party line as indicated by the Prime Minister, rather than based on their own choices. Failure to obey a directive on a key vote may lead to the expulsion of a faction from the government.

When asked by the Jewish Press why the Ulpana Hill have been hesitating to speak critically of Netanyahu, Cohen answered, “We don’t criticize the good efforts which are being made. Netanyahu is seeking a solution – that’s a fact. There are various suggestions out there – that’s a fact. He wants to resolve this in a positive way – that’s a fact. He said [the demolition order] is a decree the public cannot sustain, meaning he would lose the public if it does happen – that’s a fact.”

Cohen said he is strongly critical of Netanyahu, “who has an almost innate talent of getting himself stuck further and further in needless problems. Like a child who gets entangled in his mother’s yarn and instead of cutting loose just keeps on turning and getting roped in more yarn.”

Cohen says Netanyahu’s biggest mistake is to continue to rely on those same jurists who have misled him in the first place, and even misrepresented his own government policy before the Supreme Court. “What is he expecting, that the same people who stuck him in it would find a solution for the mess?”

According to Cohen, the solutions exist, and they will be employed eventually. He just wishes that the solutions are taken up sooner rather than later, to prevent even more anxiety and fear among the residents of the threatened neighborhood.

Makor Rishon also reported on a heated confrontation several weeks ago, between Deputy Prime Minister Moshe (Bogie) Yaalon and Deputy GA Blass, who was responsible for the report to the High Court on the legality of the Ulpana purchase.

In a discussion team assembled by Netanyahu to discuss Ulpana’s future, Yaalon attacked Blass, telling Blass he had misled him, Yaalon, when he announced the intent to demolish the neighborhood.

“You are conducting a contrarian policy, and we need to replace you,” Yaalon charged. “You have a vested interest in helping the Arabs and destroying Jewish interests. Every solution you’re being offered to help Jews is no good.”

Blass responded with his own outburst, saying, “There’s a limit to how much I can absorb.” Blass also argued that Yaalon himself had “signed off on the orders to demolish the neighborhood, and even added his comments on them, you have no basis to come complaining now.”

Fear of War Crimes Indictment Could Spur Demolition

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that any expropriation of Palestinian owned land to be developed by Jews in Judea and Samaria could lead to the transfer of the entire settlements matter to the International Court in The Hague.

According to Ha’aretz, Weinstein told Netanyahu the Court in the Hague was liable to indict senior Israeli government officials for war crimes.

Apparently, Weinstein’s warning was the reason behind Netanyahu’s approval for Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s request to evacuate the Machpelah Building in Hebron, about a hundred yards from the Cave of the Patriarchs, on the eve of Passover last month, despite heavy pressure exerted by many Likud ministers.

Security forces evacuated Machpelah House, which had been purchased and settled legally by several Jewish families a week earlier.

According to Ha’aretz, on the morning of the evacuation there was a three-way meeting between Weinstein, Barak and Netanyahu, during which the AG told the PM that failure to keep the law zealously would get Israel in trouble in the international arena and could lead to the indictment of senior Israeli officials on war crimes. This is why Netanyahu finally approved the evacuation.

Weinstein has repeated his warnings regarding the pending legislation which is intended to prevent the demolition of the Ulapana Hill neighborhood, according to Ha’aretz. The proposed new bill states that if the government had mistakenly built a Jewish settlement on privately owned Palestinian land, the owners would be compensated with money or with land of comparable value.

The new bill also introduces a statute of limitation that sets a time period after which the Jewish tenants would be protected from evacuation.

Israel’s Justice Ministry is concerned that seniorl officials could be prosecuted in the criminal courts in The Hague, which have been in operation since 2002. Israel initially supported the establishment of the court, but later withdrew its support. One of the major reasons for that change in policy has been the issue of the settlements, or, rather, the court’s questionable interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention which defines as a war crime the transferring of an occupying population into an occupied territory.

In 2004 the International Court of Justice declared the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria were illegal because they constitute an occupying population moving into an occupied territory.

But several legal experts over the years have pointed to the lack of international recognition of Jordan’s 1949 occupation of those same areas, which, essentially, meant that when those territories fell into Israeli hands in 1967, they had not been taken from their legitimate owner and therefore should not be considered occupied.

Harel Cohen, a representative of the residents of the Ulpana Hill neighborhood, who is also a spokesman for National Union MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), told the Jewish Press he didn’t think Netanyahu and his ministers should fear the international court, saying that “the Jewish nation has been plagued by fears for 1900 years. In 1948 the nation has begun to be liberated from those fears.”

On the other hand, Cohen continued, “the demolition of 9000 populated housing units is, itself, a crime against Humanity—even if they’re ‘merely’ homes belonging to Jews—which is why the prime minister declared this is a decree that the public cannot sustain, and it will not come to be.”

Cohen, who has been assisting MK Katz during the time the latter was working for Ariel Sharon when Sharon was Housing and Development Minister—a period of enormous growth of the Jewish settlements—disagreed with Ha’aretz’ assertion that Netanyahu had capitulated to the AG’s argument regarding the threat of a war crimes indictment.

“If he (Netanyahu) had given in, he would have handed Machpelah House back to the Arabs,” Cohen said. “I’m not defending his move to evacuate the Jewish residents, but as the case stands, once their ownership of the house is clarified in a court of law, the Jews will be permitted to resettle there.”

Play Ball!

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

The 2012 baseball season should be a most interesting one.

Every game is important. No longer can a team just play for the Wild Card spot and have an equal shot with the three division winners at participating in the World Series (as St. Louis did last year).

This year, as you may know, there will be two Wild Card teams in each league fighting it out in a one game winner-take-all for the right to advance with the three division winners to the playoffs.

Every game means something as the Wild Card club with the most wins will have home field advantage for the one-game playoff. But teams will play hard to win their division as that will assure them of a postseason playoff spot. Plus, with a couple of extra days’ rest as the Wild Card clubs battle it out using their best pitchers, the three division winners will be resting their top starting pitchers.

In my opinion, the six top clubs among the 30 major league teams are the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies.

In the American League, Detroit has the biggest advantage as they have by far the best team in the Central division. In the East, the Yankees have to contend with Boston, the great young pitching staff of Tampa Bay, and an improved Toronto team.

In the West, the Texas Rangers added the much-publicized pitching star from Japan Yu Darvish. However, the Rangers lost free agent pitcher C. J. Wilson to the Angels and the California club also added superstar Albert Pujols via a mega-contract his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals, couldn’t match.

In the National League East, the Phillies will have to fight off young and talented Washington and Miami teams that could easily top Philadelphia if injuries to veteran players linger too long. And, of course, there are the always-contending Atlanta Braves.

In the N.L. Central, the Milwaukee Brewers lost free agent Prince Fielder to the Tigers and replaced his bat, somewhat, with free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez from the Cubs. St. Louis is weaker without Pujols, and the Cubs and Houston Astros can only hope to win as many games as they lose. The Cincinnati Reds strengthened their pitching staff and have a potent lineup that should dominate the weakened division.

Out west, catcher Buster Posey is back from missing most of last season with a broken leg and should push the Giants higher. The Arizona Diamondbacks are capable of winning more than they lose; Colorado, while not as good, should be in the middle of the pack, while the southern California clubs battle it out to stay out of last place.

Here’s how I see the final standings:

American League East: New York Yankees; Boston Red Sox; Tampa Bay Rays; Toronto Blue Jays; Baltimore Orioles.

American League Central: Detroit Tigers; Minnesota Twins; Cleveland Indians; Kansas City Royals; Chicago White Sox.

American League West: Texas Rangers; Los Angeles Angels; Seattle Mariners; Oakland Athletics.

National League East: Philadelphia Phillies; Miami Marlins; Washington Nationals; Atlanta Braves; New York Mets.

National League Central: Cincinnati Reds; St. Louis Cardinals; Milwaukee Brewers; Pittsburgh Pirates; Houston Astros.

National League West: San Francisco Giants; Arizona Diamondbacks; Colorado Rockies; Los Angeles Dodgers; San Diego Padres.

As stated above, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miami and Washington finish ahead of the injury-riddled Phillies. And, of course, injuries at the end of the season will play a major role in determining which teams advance to the World Series.

Enjoy the season, and as always, it’s nice to hear from Jewish Press readers.

Author, columnist and lecturer Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years before earning a World Series ring while working in a major league front office position. Cohen, the president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul, may be reached in his dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net. His column appears the second week of each month.

US Court Rejects Rabbi Milton Balkany’s Appeal from Prison

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Rabbi Milton Balkany’s claim that jurors should have been allowed to consider if he was entrapped, saying “Balkany failed to present any evidence that the government ‘induced’ him to commit the crimes charged,” Bloomberg reports.

The NY Post reports Balkany, 65, is currently serving four years in a federal prison in Miami for trying to shake down billionaire Steve Cohen’s hedge fund with allegations of inside trading, as a means of raising $4 million in donations to the Bais Yaakov girls school.

The ruling says “As the government notes, the evidence with respect to the extortion, wire fraud and blackmail counts established that it was Balkany who made the first unsolicited call to SAC (Capital Advisers), claiming that he had damaging information that Cohen had engaged in insider trading which he urgently wanted to share.”

The ruling continues: “As the government notes, the evidence with respect to the extortion, wire fraud and blackmail counts established that it was Balkany who made the first unsolicited call to SAC (Capital Advisers), claiming that he had damaging information that Cohen had engaged in insider trading which he urgently wanted to share.”

Bloomberg reports that the unsigned decision by Judges Amalya Kearse, John Walker Jr. and Gerard Lynch also shot down Balkany’s argument that he was convicted of making a false statement through a “perjury trap” set by the feds, noting that “Balkany was under no obligation to speak to the federal investigator to whom he lied.”

At Catcher… Myron Ginsberg

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Sixty years ago and fifty years ago. 1952 and 1962. They were memorable years for many of us.

In 1952 we – my parents, grandparents, brother and sister – lived in a lower three-bedroom flat on the west side of Detroit. Upstairs lived my best friends, the Carlebach boys, now superstars in the yeshiva world in Jerusalem. We played and attended many a ballgame together and spent time in front of my parents’ big television with the small black-and-white screen watching the Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy.

We knew the names of the horses of all the television cowboys and the batting averages of many major leaguers. We also swapped baseball cards.

For youngsters like us, having a new brand of baseball cards to collect made 1952 unforgettable. The new Topps cards were a bit bigger and more colorful than the smaller Bowman cards we were used to from the previous year.

By the time yeshiva day camp rolled around in the summer, we were all collecting the Topps brand. The card that stood out for our class was number 192 of the 350-card set: Myron Ginsberg.

That didn’t sound like a ballplayer, it sounded like the accountant down the block who went to the Young Israel. Also, Ginsberg’s card showed him wearing a chest protector from his catching gear. Myron Ginsberg’s middle name was Nathan, but during his tenure with the Tigers the radio broadcasters and newspaper reporters all referred him as Joe.

Fast forward ten years.

The half-hour TV cowboy shows aimed at youngsters were long gone. In its place were hour-long adult westerns – “Gunsmoke,” “Rawhide,” “The Virginian,” “Wagon Train,” and my favorite at the time, Clint Walker in “Cheyenne.”

Joe Ginsberg’s 1952 Topps baseball card.

Also gone were the Jewish players who’d appeared in the first-ever Topps set ten years earlier – Cal Abrams, Sid Gordon, Saul Rogovin and Al Rosen.

Only one thing remained the same: Joe Ginsberg was still in the major leagues. Ginsberg dreideled around from Detroit, the city where he grew up and the team for whom he made his big league debut, to Cleveland, Baltimore, Chicago (the White Sox) and Boston sandwiched between minor-league stops.

In 1962 Ginsberg was an original Met in the team’s inaugural season at the Polo Grounds under manager Casey Stengel. Ginsberg became the answer to a trivia question: Who was the first Met to take the field in the team’s home opener? (Hobie Landrith had been the catcher in the team’s Opening Day game in St. Louis.)

Ginsberg wasn’t a Met for long; after playing in two games and going hitless in five at-bats, he was released. He took his .241 career average back to Detroit and became a popular salesman for the Jack Daniels adult beverage company.

Having finished with my teen years when the Mets were born, I was also interested in the “real” news of 1962. As the Mets were losing most of their games, Adolf Eichmann was hanged on the last day in May at Israel’s Ramleh prison. As requested in his will, Eichmann’s body was cremated and the ashes scattered in the Mediterranean outside Israel’s waters.

Five days after the United States Supreme Court decided against the recital of prayer in public schools, Sandy Koufax pitched his first career no-hitter – against the New York Mets, naturally. Koufax started his June 30 gem by striking out the Mets on nine pitches in the first inning.

Anxiety reigned over the final weeks of the baseball season, and through the World Series won by the Yankees over the Giants, as reconnaissance photographs showed Russian missile sites in Cuba capable of housing missiles with a 2,000-mile range. President John F. Kennedy ordered a blockade of Soviet ships approaching Cuba.

During the long standoff between the world’s nuclear superpowers, air-raid drills were held in American cities, schools and offices. Finally, with the help of United Nations Secretary-General U Thant in what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles if the United States agreed not to invade Cuba.

With the Cuba crisis and World Series over, we went back to watching westerns.

 

Author, columnist and speaker Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years before earning a World Series ring while working for a major league team. Cohen, the president of a Detroit area shul, may be reached in his dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.

A Pair Of Pitchers… And Some Welcome Changes

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Craig Breslow and Jason Marquis will be wearing different uniforms this season.

The two pitchers also share a unique trait among those labeled “Jewish players” by the media: Breslow and Marquis both have two Jewish parents.

Most of today’s so-called Jewish players just have one Jewish parent (usually the father) and had no real connection with Judaism while growing up. Assimilation has taken its toll on baseball, too.

Marquis, pronounced Mar-kee, grew up in a family that attended a Conservative synagogue, and he had some Hebrew education and a bar mitzvah. Marquis made his baseball reputation playing ball in the Staten Island area and made his big league debut at 22 in 2001.

He dreidled around with six National League teams since then before signing as a free agent with his seventh – the Minnesota Twins. Last year Jason had a good start with Washington, going 8-5, with a 3.95ERA before being dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He didn’t impress his new team, losing his only decision and posting a high ERA of 9.53 before an injury shelved him for the rest of the season.

Breslow,31, has never started a major league game while with five big league teams. A valuable lefty reliever, he was traded by Oakland to the Diamondbacks, his sixth team. He’s equally tough against right-handed and left-handed batters, with righties hitting a combined .224 against him and lefties just .227

Breslow grew up in Connecticut and attended a Reform temple in Bridgeport before heading to Yale. He majored in biochemistry and molecular biophysics and is considered by most as the smartest player in the big leagues.

Breslow has talked about going to medical school after his playing career. He’s been particularly interested in childhood cancer research since his sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 14.

* * * * *

Baseball finally got it right: Fifteen teams in each league; three divisions of five teams each in both the A.L. and the N.L.

Moving the Houston Astros from the National League to the American League’s West division rights a longtime wrong. The A.L. West had only four teams and the American League had one fewer team than the National.

And Houston’s being in the same division with the Texas Rangers will create an instant rivalry in the Lone Star State.

MLB also created another Wild Card slot for the postseason, with a one game winner-take-all for the right to be the Wild Card team in the playoffs. The one game gives the division winners an extra day off. Sure, the one game means the team with the inferior record might beat the Wild Card club with a better record, but that’s why teams have to try harder to win the division.

Before, a team – such as St. Louis last season – just had to win the Wild Card to get into the postseason. Now managers have to shoot for winning their division.

It should translate into much more interesting Octobers. But we will have to wait until 2013 for its implementation.

Author, columnist and lecturer Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years before earning a World Series ring in a front office capacity. Cohen, the president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul, may be reached in his dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/baseball-insider/a-pair-of-pitchersand-some-welcome-changes/2012/01/11/

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