Arts & Culture

Shtickball: The Jewish Baseball Karma Edition

For some Jewish players, heeding the call of the shofar took a backseat to the diamond. Let’s see how they fared… Read More

By / October 17, 2011

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. You’re basking in your Frank Lloyd Wright inspired sukkah, the leaves are changing, and you’ve hopefully been absolved of all those pesky transgressions you committed this year. For some however, heeding the call of the shofar took a backseat to the call of the diamond. The MLB playoffs have ‘Jewish’ representatives in both the AL and NL in Ian Kinsler and Ryan Braun. Both have Catholic mothers but we’re not about to split hairs. Kinsler was raised celebrating Jewish holidays and Braun can eat all the bacon wrapped scallpos he wants and we’d still take him- he’s that good. Much has been made about Braun and Kinsler’s relationships to the Holidays, but we might as well go right to the source- the box scores. Since there is always a steady diet of late season/playoff games falling on the holidays, let’s examine Braun and Kinsler’s decision to play instead of pray and how they fared.

September 30th- Second Night of Rosh Hashanah

Game 1 ALDS- Rays 9, Rangers 0

Ian Kinsler- 0-3 with a walk and a strikeout

God was not smiling on Kinsler as he laced up his cleats while the rest of us were focused on hiding our naps from the rabbi during an interminably long service. The Rangers get trounced in Game 1 of the division series and Kinsler puts up a goose egg, unable to out-hit the Day of Judgment.

October 7th- Night of Yom Kippur

Game 5 NLDS- Brewers 3, Diamdbacks 2, Brewers advance to NLCS

Ryan Braun- 2-3, BB

Braun has another solid game, going 2-3 with a walk before Nyjer Morgan (aka Tony Plush) hits a walkoff single in the 10th. I’m sure Braun did his own Kol Nidre in the dugout and sources close to the team affirmed that he was wearing the family kitel right before he stepped into the batters box. In any case, Braun shrugged being smote by fire or plague or famine to help propel the Brew Crew into the NLCS.

October 8th- End of Yom Kippur
Game 1 ALCS- Rangers 3, Tigers 2

Ian Kinsler- 1-3, BB, RBI

Kinsler gets a pass here because the game started after the fast ended. Reports were that he had invited teammates for a pre-game break-fast of bagels and lox, egg salad, and chocolate pudding pie. Then he went out delivered a key RBI and helped the Rangers take a 1-0 lead over the Tigers. That’s Jewish commitment to excellence, and not a religious party foul in sight.

Update: The Rangers beat the Tigers to advance to the World Series, while the Brewers fell to the Cards last night to end their season despite Braun hitting like a menace the entire Playoffs. Ryan, time to make up for lost time and shake those species. You’re also just in time to booze it up with the chasids on Simchat Torah. Ian, if, unlike last year you manage to win it all, all is definitely forgiven. If not, I’d watch my back the next couple of weeks. God is one competitive dude, and takes ‘win or go home’ to a whole different level.