Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jewish Fantasy Baseball: This Year, A Championship

There's an article in today's New York Times, about Hank Greenberg, superjew baseball hero, and his quest to break Babe Ruth's single season home run record. I'm not sure that I agree with Howard Megdal (author of The Baseball Talmud) that inflated walk rates towards the end of the season PROVE that anti-Semites kept Greenberg from breaking the record, but it does show that it was at least a possibility.

Antisemitism can rear its ugly head anywhere, even in America's pastime. And with that in mind, I'm putting together the Fourth Annual Jewish Fantasy Baseball Team.

My Longtime reader(s) may recall my previous Jewish Fantasy Baseball squads. Since my first Jew Crew, I've seen stars like Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler, and Kevin Youkilis, all with Jewish heritage in their blood, take center stage in the Major Leagues (and rise up Fantasy draft boards everywhere). I've also seen non-Jewish players with Jewish names, like Ryan Zimmerman, develop into phenomenal players--Coincidence? Or something more?

I'm in the process of assembling the team now. It's a bit harder than usual. Now that most of the mensches are high-round draft picks, I won't luck into getting all of them through the draft. I'm in the process of negotiating several lopsided trades to help everyone I need make aliyah to the Promised Team.

Here's some new Gefilte fans I have my eye on:

Adam Lind, OF/DH, Toronto Blue Jays. I don't know that he's Jewish. But the name fits. This forum includes him with no debate. Then there's this. And his name totally appears on this Reform Judaism website (though not likely the same person.) I'm callin' it like I see it.

Willie Bloomquist, 2B/SS, Kansas City Royals.
Willie probably isn't Jewish. But since David Eckstein, the only Jewish (in name only) is only eligible at 2B this year, I need someone to fill the shortstop position. Maxx Tissenbaum is several years away, I'd say, and so is Alex Silver. And I don't know what happened to Jake Wild. If only Ryan Braun, who once played shortstop, had stayed at the position!

Josh Whitesell, 1B, Washington Nationals.
A Jew! For realsies! He debuted with Arizona last season after a terrific minors campaign, but now he's on the Nationals, and buried on the depth chart behind Adam Dunn. Will he get another chance to smash a matzo ball out of the park?

Four years ago, I vowed not to finish in last place. This year, I'm setting my sights higher. Nothing less than a championship.

Hey, they once said Israel couldn't defeat the combined armies of Syria, Jordan and Egypt. How did that work out?

Stay tuned for more Jewish Fantasy Baseball team updates. Because as Hank Greenberg said, "Every time a Jew hits a home run, he hits a home run against Hitler."

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