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The Jewish Sport Report: A Jewish guide to the 2023 MLB season

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Good morning!

The March Madness tournaments for men and women both take place in the Sweet 16 round and there is a Jewish star on each side that you should know about.

Abby Meyers, which I featured earlier this month, is a Guardian at No. 2 Maryland and helps the Terps win their first two games comfortably by taking No. 15 Holy Cross and No. 7 Tee off Arizona. Meyers grew up in a Reformed synagogue in Washington, DC and was involved in Jewish life on campus.

For men, Princeton No. 15 is perhaps the biggest upset of both tournaments. The Tigers stunned No. 2 Arizona in the opening round and crushed No. 7 Missouri in the second round.

Sophomore Guard Blake Peterswho lost 17 points in the win over Missouri, and assistant coach Sky Ettin, both represented Team USA at the Maccabiah Games last summer. NJ.com called Peters “the most interesting man in the NCAA tournament.”

And congratulations to the Jewish Sport Report supporter (and my roommates at Summer Camp 2008) Josh Hurwitzwho is currently leading our reader class tournament!

All the Jewish players to feature in MLB this year

baseball collage

Left to right: Rowdy Tellez, Alex Bregman, Harrison Bader, Max Fried, Joc Pederson, Garrett Stubbs. (Getty Images; Design by Mollie Suss)

Last season was a stellar year for Jews in baseball—and this season could be even better.

From stars like Max Fried And Alex Bregman to emerging talent like Harrison Bader And Dean Kremer — not to mention an impressive group of prospects poised to debut — the current crop of Jewish MLB talent is unprecedented.

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Team Israel’s roster at this month’s World Baseball Classic also gave fans a preview of the next wave of Jewish stars – players such as Matt Mervis, Zack Gelof And Spencer Horwitz. The Atlanta Braves’ best prospects Jared Schuster, who did not play for Team Israel, is having an excellent spring practice and could make a major league game this year. In fact, the Braves could start the year with three Jews on the list. dayenu!

As Opening Day on Thursday draws closer, we’ve got you covered with a full Jewish preview of the 2023 MLB season.

mid-term report

SEE YOU LATER. Team Israel leader and experienced catcher Ryan Lavarnway officially announced his retirement from baseball this week, ending a journeyman career that included multiple stints with Israel and a World Series championship with the 2013 Boston Red Sox. (Having met Ryan down in Miami, I can confirm that he is a certified human.)

LEVIATHAN ON TARGET. The Buffalo Sabers signed the 21-year-old goalie Devon Levi to a three-year entry-level contract. Levi has just had an impressive run at Northeastern, where he won the Mike Richter Award for Best College Goalie last season – and is a finalist again this year. Levi hails from the Montreal suburb of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, where he attended a modern Orthodox school.

KICK IT. Obed Hrangchal won Israel’s kickboxing title last week. Hrangchal immigrated to Israel as part of India’s Bnei Menashe community – a group that claims descent from one of Israel’s lost tribes.

YOU ASK, WE ANSWER. Mikaela Shiffrin won her record 21st giant slalom and her 88th career win this week, cementing her legacy as the greatest alpine skier of all time. Every time Shiffrin is in the news, fans wonder if she’s Jewish. The answer: not really. Shiffrin’s paternal grandfather was Jewish, but the tradition was not passed on.

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JUST KEEP SWIMMING. Speaking of Israeli victories, Shelley Bobritsky And Ariel Nasssee was the first Israeli to win a gold medal at the Artistic Swimming World Cup in Canada.

RED FLAG. A Jewish fan brought an Israeli flag and a sign with words of encouragement for a Jewish Australian Football League player Harry Shezel to a game – and was told his flag should have been confiscated. The fan says he obtained permission before the game and accused the AFL of anti-Semitism.

Team Israel’s Twitter account was the actual winner at the WBC

Avi Miller

Avi Miller, right, ran Israel Baseball’s Twitter account during the 2023 World Baseball Classic. (Left: Screenshot from Twitter, Right: Courtesy)

Israel didn’t have much success at the World Baseball Classic in Miami this month, but off the field, the team’s Twitter account was a hit. For jokes Storage of a cool box from Manischewitz in the shelter To leaning into the team’s “nice Jewish boy” vibeseemed to resonate with the report’s sense of humor.

I talked to Avi Miller, a marketing veteran and the man behind the puns. His goal for the account was aligned with that of the WBC itself: to grow the game.

“Of course virality is nice because it creates more followers. But if you have a following, what do you do with it?” said Müller. “So for me, and it continues even to this day, and it will be tomorrow and so on, it’s about creating engagement with people, generating interest in helping to create and raising the fundraisers, helping, helping, awareness to create for these programs.”

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Bill Sheikinan award-winning baseball writer for the Los Angeles Times, called the @ILBaseball page “the best social media account of the tournament.”

Read more about the Twitter account here – and check out some of his best jokes.

See Jews in sports this weekend

🏀 IN BASKETBALL…

Blake Peters and Princeton meet Creighton tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Abby Meyers and Maryland play Notre Dame tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. ET. Over in the NBA, Deni Avdija and the Washington Wizards host the San Antonio Spurs tonight at 7 p.m. ET and meet the Toronto Raptors Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. Ryan Turell and the Motor City Cruise are hosting the Cleveland Charge tonight at 7 p.m. ET. The Cruise have won five straight games and 12 of their last 15 games.

⚾️ IN BASEBALL…

With opening day on Thursday, Max Fried is expected to get another spring training start this weekend. The Braves face the Minnesota Twins tomorrow and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, both at 1:05 p.m. ET. Tonight at 9:05 p.m. ET, helpers Eli Morgan and the face of the Cleveland Guardians Joc Pederson and the San Francisco Giants.

🏒 IN HOCKEY…

Jacob Chychrun and the Ottawa senators face each other Jack Hughes and the New Jersey Devils tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET. Unclear when Devon Levi will make his NHL debut with the Buffalo Sabers, but one possibility is Monday when his new team hosts his hometown Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m. ET.

⛳️ IN THE GOLF…

Max Homa is in Austin, Texas this weekend for the World Golf Championships Dell Technologies Match Play. Homa appears to be imprisoned.

Schepping after

Last but not least, mazel tov went to the Denver Jewish Day School for winning a basketball state championship earlier this month — likely the third Jewish school in the United States to win a basketball state title, according to Intermountain Jewish News. Well done!

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