Shalom Life | March 28, 2015

Former MLB Star says Israeli Baseball Team will contend for WBC

Manager Brad Ausmus has already recruited two former major leaguers

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: May 23rd, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

Former MLB Star says Israeli Baseball Team will contend for WBC

Team Israel could become the unlikeliest contender at the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Two former Major League Baseball players; outfielder Gabe Kapler and former Toronto Blue Jay Shawn Green, have agreed to suit up for Israel, team manager Brad Ausmus told the Associated Press.

Kapler, 36, last played in 2010 for the Tampa Bay Rays and Green, 39, hasn’t played since 2007 when he was with the New York Mets. Both could serve dual roles as player/coaches with the team, Fox Sports reported.

According to WBC rules, team rosters can include players who are eligible for citizenship, even if they are not actual citizens of the country which they are representing. Since Israel’s Law of Return grants automatic citizenship to anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent, approximately 15 current MLB players are eligible to play for Team Israel at the WBC.

Ausmus, a former All-Star catcher and currently a special assistant for the San Diego Padres, says he hopes to recruit a few more Jewish MLB players, including two-time All-Star Ian Kinsler, 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun and three-time All-Star Kevin Youkilis.

But Kinsler, Braun and Youkilis could also be invited to compete for Team USA at the WBC, creating a tough decision for these three American-born players to make.

“If you’re born in the US, it would be an honour to play for your country. We’re certainly going to respect what each player decides,” Ausmus told Fox Sports.

New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis, Minnesota Twins pitcher Jason Marquis and third baseman Danny Valencia, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Sam Fuld and Texas Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman could all potentially suit up for Team Israel as well.

“I feel pretty good about the potential of this team,” Ausmus told the Associated Press on Monday in Jerusalem, during his first visit to Israel. “I never guarantee anything in the sport of baseball, because you just don’t know, but I’m more than comfortable with the potential of this roster.

The 43-year-old manager and three-time Gold Glove Award winner says he has been in contact with every Jewish MLB player or their agents and while none have formally committed to play for Israel thus far, each says they would be “honoured” and would not rule out the possibility.

Israel is one of 16 teams invited to play a qualifying round this November in Florida, with the top four teams advancing to the WBC in March 2013. Israel’s preliminary round match-ups include Spain, France and South Africa.

“I'm not looking past the qualifier right now. The goal is to win the qualifier,” said Ausmus.

Op-Ed: Lena Dunham’s 'Dog or Jewish Boyfriend' Piece is Thoughtless and Offensive Op-Ed: Lena Dunham’s 'Dog or Jewish Boyfriend' Piece is Thoughtless and Offensive TrendingHarvey Weinstein Takes Home Humanitarian Award, Urges Jews To Kick anti-Semites "in the Ass” Harvey Weinstein Takes Home Humanitarian Award, Urges Jews To Kick anti-Semites "in the Ass” TrendingJason Segel Tapped to Write/Direct New 'Lego' Movie Jason Segel Tapped to Write/Direct New 'Lego' Movie Trending
 

Op-Ed: Obama, not Netanyahu, is Killing the Two-State Solution

March 27, 2015 | By Ben Cohen, JNS.org
Op-Ed: Obama, not Netanyahu, is Killing the Two-State Solution

The U.S. President has never really empathized with the emotions that govern Israeli perceptions of the wider region

Read More

Op-Ed: Lena Dunham’s 'Dog or Jewish Boyfriend' Piece is Thoughtless and Offensive

March 27, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Op-Ed: Lena Dunham’s 'Dog or Jewish Boyfriend' Piece is Thoughtless and Offensive

In her latest literary endeavour, 'Girls' star Dunham tries to come across as funny by comparing her boyfriend to a dog; she doesn't

Read More

James Deen to Play Himself on Showtime's 'Happyish'

March 27, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
James Deen to Play Himself on Showtime's 'Happyish'

The prolific Jewish porn star will appear in a cameo on the new show out on April 26th

Read More

Woman Exposes Herself To Minors At Arizona Bar Mitzvah

March 27, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Woman Exposes Herself To Minors At Arizona Bar Mitzvah

Lindsey Radomski is being charged by police after allegedly exposing herself to, and performing oral sex on, minors at a Bar Mitzvah this past Saturday

Read More

Association Assisting Holocaust Survivors Needs Your Help To Make Their Passover Seder Possible

March 27, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Association Assisting Holocaust Survivors Needs Your Help To Make Their Passover Seder Possible

The group, which holds an annual Passover Seder, is in danger of having to cancel their event due to the lack of funds needed to help the 450+ survivors who, without them, will be celebrating alone this year

Read More

Shortly Before they Died in Brooklyn Fire, the Sassoon Children Recorded This Emotional Song [VIDEO]

March 27, 2015 | By Tali Farkash & Liron Nagler-Cohen
Shortly Before they Died in Brooklyn Fire, the Sassoon Children Recorded This Emotional Song [VIDEO]

Song is their own version of Hasidic singer Yaakov Shwekey's hit "Cry No More"

Read More

Facebook Integrates Israeli App into Messenger

March 26, 2015 | By NoCamels Team
Facebook Integrates Israeli App into Messenger

Social media giant incorporates Magisto, an app that turns photos and videos into a short animated film

Read More

Toronto's Iconic Pancer’s Deli To Reopen

March 26, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Toronto's Iconic Pancer’s Deli To Reopen

The deli, which was sold five years ago and closed earlier this year, is back in Pancer's hands and won't be leaving them any time soon

Read More

More Headlines