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July 20, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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July 20, 2012

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 20, 2012 Jewish Major Leaguers: a midseason report By Ron Kaplan New Jersey Jewish New The All-Star break marks the unofficial--if not statistically accu- rate-midway point of the baseball season, so this seems like a good time to evaluate how the fellows have done so far. Eleven Jewish Major Leaguers have appeared in 2012, although not all remain on big league ros- ters. A few have started off slowly and, to be honest, haven't performed up to expectations. As a group, JML batters are hitting .243, with 70 doubles, sev- en triples, 54 home runs and 195 RBI. JML pitchers have won only seven of 23 decisions, striking out 144 while walking 62 in 189.2 innings (5.03 ERA; statis- tics as of July 8). Ike Davis spent most of the season with a batting average under .200 for the New York Mets. He batted just .170 for the first two months, with a mere five home runs and 21 runs batted in and there were murmurings of send- ing him to the minors. But Davis turned things around dramatically in June, practically doubling his April and May output with six homers and 24 RBI while batting .264. Kevin Youkilis never really hit it off with new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who questioned his dedication to the game, even as the popular ballplayer battled inju- ries. Like Davis, Youkilis struggled from the outset, missing 22 games. His replacement performed so well that Youkilis turned into a man without a po- sition and was a constant subject of trade rumors. Fortunately, he has found new life with the Chicago White Sox: Since going over in a June 24 trade, Youkilis has batted .347 (17-49) with two doubles, three home runs, and 14 RBI in just 13 games. Ryan Braun has cer- tainly shut up a lot of people by showing that his talent is pure. His stats are even better than those at a similar point last year: Ike Davis Ryan Braun he leads the NL in home runs and is second in RBI and in the top 10 in five other categories. That his Milwaukee Brewers are not performing well is attributable to pitching woes and the loss of Prince Fielder to free agency, which makes Braun's ac- complishments even more remarkable. Ian Kinsler is having a typical season for the Tex- as Rangers, who lead the AL West. The feisty second baseman--who like Braun was named to his league's All-Star team--is batting .279 with 26 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 15 stolen bases, 41 RBIs and 63 runs scored, which leads the AL. Kinsler's teammate Scott Feldman was given the chance to start but didn't make the most of it. When the Rangers brought up Roy Oswalt, Feldman was sent to the bullpen. He's appeared in 16 games, 10 as a starter, with a 3-6 record and a 5.89 earned run average. Philadelphia Phillies reliever Michael Schwimer is riding high after some troubles earlier in the year. In his first stint with the team, he was horrid: 6.1 innings and an 8.57 ERA in five games in April and May, which earned him a demotion. Since his return at the beginning of June, however, Schwimer has appeared in 15 games and allowed just two runs in 13.2 innings. Craig Breslow has done a good job for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He's 2-0 with four holds, striking out 34 batters in 37 in- nings over 34 relief ap- pearances (2.92 ERA). Jason Marquis got a late start with the Minnesota Twins because of a family health crisis. He was out of sync when he finally joined the team after an extended spring training and never had a chance to work out of his difficulties. He was 2-4 with an 8.47 ERA in seven starts before the Twins released him on May 28. He signed with the San Diego Padres and is 1-5 with a respectable 3.71 ERA since making his debut with them on June 7. With 104 career victories, he's just three behind Steve Stone for third place among Jewish pitchers. The Red Sox called up outfielder Ryan Kalish in mid-June. He appeared in 18 games, batting .271 (13-60) with no home runs and five RBI. Kalish was returned to AAA on July 7. Unlike Davis and Youkilis, Danny Valen- cia couldn't quite come around and the Twins evidently lost patience with their third baseman, sending him to the minors in early May after he hit just .190 with one home run and 11 RBI, striking out 23 times in 100 at bats. Josh Satin was up for a cup of coffee with the Mets, striking out in his only appearance with the team. Ron Kaplan is features editor at the New Jersey Jewish News, from which this article was reprinted by permission. PAGE 11. Single Jewish Female [Seeks Male Looking for Marriage TJCDato Profile: Yifet613 ABOUT ME: Creative, funny, warm-hearted, religious, and a great cook! Looking to settle down, but not to settle. MY LIFE & AMBITIONS: I'm a graphic designer, sick of doing bar mitzvah invitations, looking to take my career to the next level. ON OUR FIRST DATE, REMIND ME TO TELL YOU THE STORY ABOUT... How a refrigerator light left on over Shabbat led to my losing a roommate. DON'T BOTHER ASKING ME TO... ...Come to your Shabbat dinner if your idea of a fine wine is "the blue bottle."