Shalom Life | August 01, 2014

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.

The Top Ten Leonard Cohen Songs The Top Ten Leonard Cohen Songs TrendingJoan Rivers Defends Israel Again, Blames Pro-Gaza Opinions On Bad PR [VIDEO] Joan Rivers Defends Israel Again, Blames Pro-Gaza Opinions On Bad PR [VIDEO] TrendingDianna Agron Stars in New Sam Smith Music Video Dianna Agron Stars in New Sam Smith Music Video Trending
 

Spike Jonze to Guest Star on HBO’s ‘Girls’

August 01, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Spike Jonze to Guest Star on HBO’s ‘Girls’

The 'Her' director is joining an ever-growing list of celebrity guests stars

Read More

Drake Announces OVO Pop-Up Shop in Toronto During Music Festival [PHOTOS]

August 01, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Drake Announces OVO Pop-Up Shop in Toronto During Music Festival [PHOTOS]

A new clothing line will be premiered on Friday in Drake's hometown

Read More

Sarah Michelle Gellar to Host Mattel Party For Children’s Hospital

August 01, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Sarah Michelle Gellar to Host Mattel Party For Children’s Hospital

Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA is celebrating its 15th annual Mattel Party on the Pier.

Read More

Autism in the IDF: Meet the Soldiers of Intelligence Unit 9900

August 01, 2014 | By IDF Blog
Autism in the IDF: Meet the Soldiers of Intelligence Unit 9900

Special intelligence Unit 9900 is dedicated to everything related to geography, including mapping, interpretation of aerial and satellite photographs and space research.

Read More

Israel's Farmigo App Lets You Buy Food Straight from Local Farmers

August 01, 2014 | By Dyana So, NoCamels
Israel's Farmigo App Lets You Buy Food Straight from Local Farmers

Farmigo is more than just another eco-friendly startup embracing technology to improve lifestyles

Read More

New Israeli Study Links Alzheimer's to Brain Hyperactivity

August 01, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
New Israeli Study Links Alzheimer's to Brain Hyperactivity

Research offers the potential for restoring memory and protecting the brain of patients with this debilitating disease

Read More

How Humanitarian Pressure Helped Create Israel’s Terror Tunnel Problem

August 01, 2014 | By Josh Hasten
How Humanitarian Pressure Helped Create Israel’s Terror Tunnel Problem

Experts claim that pressure was mounting on Israel to transfer building materials, which, in a way, helped Hamas' efforts

Read More

US: Release Abducted Soldier

August 01, 2014 | By Ynet News
US: Release Abducted Soldier

Kerry speaks with Netanyahu, White House slams Hamas attack as 'barbaric' violation of ceasefire

Read More

More Headlines