The Evster Kicks Ryan Braun Out of the Tribe

The Evster Kicks Ryan Braun Out of the Tribe

I don't think you realize how devastating this whole Ryan Braun steroids thing is to Jewish people. To most non-Jews, it was just "another dude on PEDs" and doesn't matter because "the Milwaukee Brewers aren't even a real team" and another reminder that "I have to go to the dentist". But to an entire population of people whose greatest athletic achievement revolves around Corey Pavin's sweater vest collection, it was the ultimate kick in the pants.

And don't talk to me about Sandy Koufax! All us Jews have heard enough about Sandy Koufax! We're all very proud of Uncle Sandy thank you very much but dude hasn't painted a corner since the Johnson administration. And Hank Greenberg, yeah he was cool, probably as cool as you could be with a last name like Greenberg, but I'm not entirely convinced he wasn't juicing either. The guy had forearms like a mule. He might have actually been a mule. Sports medicine wasn't really a thing back in the 30s, so there's a very good chance that Hank Greenberg was in fact a mule. Ryan Braun though? Not a mule ... good-looking ... or at least not mule-looking ... Home Run Champ! ... MVP! ... Rookie of the OMG do you know who he's engaged to?!

Now that Braun's suspended for the year, we're left to cheer on Ian Kinsler as our best active Jewish ballplayer. Do you have any idea what it's like when a guy hitting TWO EIGHTY EIGHT is the best you've got? Remember in the 80s when you PRAYED that Von Hayes could get his average above .300 so that mayyyyybbbbeeee he could get his stupid name in the league leaders column? That's what it's like. Ugh, his hair was horrible. There's also Jason Marquis (who just had Tommy John surgery!) and Kevin Youkilis, known best for that ridiculous batting stance I mean seriously what are you doing dude just put your damn hands together and ugh, that goatee. Embarrassing.

Sue Birdenberg

Basketball's even worse. Amar'e doesn't count (but if he did, OH, BUT IF HE DID), no living person has ever seen Dolph Schayes play, and Omri Casspi straight up suckssssssss. So it basically comes down to Sue Bird. Not that I'm complaining about Sue Bird, I love Sue Bird -- as a player, not as a sex object (but also as a sex object) -- but c'monnnnnnnnnnn.

Football? Wanna talk football? Lyle Alzado is another guilt-ridden Jew who was all 'roided up. There's Sid Luckman, who was a phenomenal quarterback in an era when no one threw the ball. And the two-headed monster Dolphins QB Combo Platter of Jay Fiedler and Sage Rosenfels, who very well could be the same person. Also, I'm not kidding, there used to be an offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns whose name is ... and I'm being 100% dead serious here ... are you ready for it ... this is real ... his name was ... Lennie ... Friedman.

LENNIE FRIEDMAN.

HIS NAME WAS LENNIE FRIEDMAN.

FIRST NAME LENNIE.

LAST NAME FRIEDMAN.

NO COOL PERSON IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD HAS EVER BEEN NAMED LENNIE FRIEDMAN.

Swimming though, we've got some great swimmers! Dara Torres, Jason Lezak and MARK SPITZENBERG. But then again, swimming! This might be a good time to mention that Olympic Gymnast Mitch Gaylord is Jewish. Then there's Goldberg, the wrestler, who was a fantastic champion in a sport centered around the wonderful world of make believe.

Bonkers

In The Bleacher Report's list of the 25 Greatest Jewish Athletes of All-Time, #13 was Marty Hogan, A RACQUETBALL PLAYER. Now don't get me wrong, racquetball is intense, but I guarantee you that the 13th guy on the bench of the 1990 UNLV Runnin' Rebels was a far better athlete than Marty "Blue Balls" Hogan.

And I'm not trying to disrespect racquetball, I'm really not. That sport is bonkers. I played last week with a friend and almost died. At first I thought I was going to die from a good ole fashioned backhand to the throat, but turns out the easiest way to die on the court is heart palpitations. You know those movies from the 80s where some hot shot Wall Street exec invites the sweet, young up-and-comer to play racquetball in an attempt to humiliate him and let him know who's boss? That was me, except in the movies, the young guy who struggles at the start eventually gets his wind, figures out the angles and ends up giving his boss a run for his money. The longer I played the more time I spent doubled over in the corner, weeping. When I wasn't chasing after balls and bashing into solid plaster walls, I was chasing after balls and bashing into solid plate glass windows. Later, after taking a shower in the locker room, I didn't realize LA Fitness is B.Y.O.TOWEL, so I had to dry myself off with my shoe. I also witnessed an old Asian dude blow dry every part of his body besides his full head of hair, even going so far as to PUT HIS FOOT UP ON THE SINK to dry off his nibblers.

He was very agile, this Asian fella, very agile.

What was this post about again?

Right, Ryan Braun.

The thing is, yeah, we love controlling Hollywood, and dominating the comedy scene, and the Beastie Boys have done more for our people than Moses himself, but sports, everyone just wants to be good at sports. When you're good at sports, people like you. Chicks wanna bang you. Dudes give you dap. As I sit here at my cubicle, typing on this stupid computer while my co-worker Lorraine talks into her HANDSFREE HEADSET, I still have to believe that there's no sweeter life to lead than that of an all-star athlete. (Well, except for being a rap star or a giraffe photographer.) And Ryan Braun was doing that, as a Jew, representing an entire nation of scrubs -- and he was actually good! Really good! A lot better than Shawn Green and Mike Lieberthal and he even had potential to be better than -- hold your breath now, Jewish people -- Sandy Koufax.

And there's a gaspppppppppp from the congregation.

Please be seated.

But now Braun is a liar, and a bum, and a disgrace to the chosen people, relegated to the status of just another corny Jewish dude named Ryan. We all know Ryan. He works at his dad's law firm. He has a weirdo kid who he posts pictures of on Facebook. He hangs out in Margate. He sucks at softball.

So the search is on for the next great / decent / somewhat better than mediocre Jewish athlete. It doesn't seem like Jordan Farmar's career is gonna pan out quite the way I once envisioned. And it turns out that Max Scherzer is actually not Jewish (which we should have known by his 14-1 record and 3.14 ERA). I'm starting to think that maybe Amar'e Stoudemire is Jewish? Pretty sure I went to Hebrew school with a guy named Amar'e. Mighta been Ari. Mighta been like 45 different kids named Ari. But did you know that Amar'e is currently an assistant coach for the Canadian Maccabi team? You gotta be pretty friggin' Jewish to wanna hang out with that many other Jewish people. I don't even know what that means, but I'm pretty sure that with a little convincing, Amar'e could easily become my Uncle Ivan's favorite athlete of all time.

Well, except for Sue Bird.

Whose mother is Christian by the way.

Is there any way that one day racquetball becomes one of the four major sports?

How 'bout dentistry?

I cannot tell you, how absolutely ecstatic I am, that Shawn Bradley is a Mormon.

Follow The Evster @TVMWW.

Best of MLB: Beltre's 2 home runs lift Rangers over A's

Best of MLB: Beltre's 2 home runs lift Rangers over A's

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre hit his second home run of the game with two outs in the ninth inning, a two-run shot that rallied the Texas Rangers past the Oakland Athletics 7-6 on Monday night for their third straight win.

Beltre, who finished with four hits, had two singles in his first three at-bats before hitting a solo homer in the seventh. His game-winning drive came on the first pitch from Ryan Madson (3-4).

Until then, Texas had trailed since Danny Valencia hit a two-run homer for Oakland with two outs in the first. All 13 runs in the game were scored with two outs.

Texas turned three double plays behind starter Martin Perez, who has induced a major league-best 25 in 21 games.

Valencia also had the first of three run-scoring doubles in a three-run third that gave the A's a 5-1 lead (see full recap).

Blue Jay's Aaron Sanchez wins 10th straight decision
TORONTO  -- Aaron Sanchez pitched seven shutout innings to win his 10th consecutive decision, Kevin Pillar had three hits and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the San Diego Padres 4-2 on Monday night.

Sanchez (11-1) became the first Blue Jays pitcher to win 10 straight since Roy Halladay won 15 decisions in a row in 2003. Halladay and Roger Clemens (1998) hold the club record.

Making their first appearance in Toronto, the Padres were held scoreless until Alex Dickerson hit a two-run homer off Bo Schultz in the ninth.

Dickeerson's drive into the fifth deck extended San Diego's team-record streak of games with at least one home run to 23. The 2006 Atlanta Braves were the last National League team to homer in 23 straight games.

Roberto Osuna replaced Schultz and got two outs for his 21st save (see full recap).

Orioles top Rockies for 5th straight win
BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones scored the winning run in the 10th inning on a low throw to the plate by pitcher Jordan Lyles, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

Jones reached on a one-out single off the third-base bag and took third on a single by Jonathan Schoop. Manny Machado followed with a comebacker to Lyles, who fumbled the ball before throwing home. Catcher Nick Hundley caught the ball near the ground and lost the handle while attempting to tag the sliding Jones.

Lyles (2-3) was charged with an error on the play.

Getting two RBIs from Jones, the Orioles climbed a season-high 18 games over .500 (58-40) and improved to 37-14 at home.

Chaz Roe (1-0) worked the 10th for the win (see full recap).

Trade candidates — especially Jeremy Hellickson — lead Phils to shutout of Marlins

Trade candidates — especially Jeremy Hellickson — lead Phils to shutout of Marlins

BOX SCORE

MIAMI — Jeremy Hellickson was standing in front of his locker speaking with reporters after his second strong outing in a week against the Miami Marlins when Cameron Rupp walked by an offered his take on all the trade talk surrounding the veteran pitcher.

“He’s not going anywhere,” Rupp said loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.

Hellickson laughed at his catcher’s commentary.

“I hope not,” he said.

If Hellickson really wants to stay with the Phillies and finish out this rebuilding season instead of moving to a contender for the final two months — and possibly beyond — he did himself a disservice Monday night.

He enhanced his attractiveness to potential buyers by pitching six shutout innings in the Phillies’ 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins (see Instant Replay).

Hellickson, who sports a 3.65 ERA in 21 starts, needed just 70 pitches to get through the six innings. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter with runners on second and third and two outs in a scoreless game in the top of the seventh. Ryan Howard struck out, following Cody Asche and Peter Bourjos, as the Phillies whiffed on a golden scoring chance.

“I hated taking Hellickson out of the game there, but we had an opportunity to score and I had to go for it,” manager Pete Mackanin said.

“After we didn’t score, I didn’t think we had a chance to win this game. I just thought that with their bullpen we were in trouble.”

The Phillies ended up winning with a rally against Miami’s bullpen. Tommy Joseph delivered a clutch, two-out double against Fernando Rodney in the eighth to score Maikel Franco from first. That was the only run the Phillies needed. They tacked on three against the sloppy Marlins in the ninth to finish it off.

Hellickson, David Hernandez, Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez then combined to allow just one base runner in three innings to finish off the Phillies’ 11th shutout of the season. That’s the most in the majors.

“Our bullpen did a great job,” Mackanin said.

Three of the four pitchers that the Phillies used in the game — Hellickson, Hernandez and Gomez — are very much available for trades. They all pitched well with a gaggle of scouts sitting behind the backstop. A number of contending clubs — the Cubs, Orioles, Giants, Rangers and Blue Jays — had scouts at the game. Pitching, starting and relief, is high on the needs list for most of those teams.

Of course, the Marlins are looking for pitching, too. They have interest in Hellickson, though it’s not clear whether he is a top target of theirs. Maybe he will become a top target after what he’s done to the Marlins in the last week. Hellickson has pitched 14 innings over two starts against the Marlins. He has given up just six hits and a run.

“Just executing,” said the pitcher, explaining his success. “In my last two games the ball has been down for the most part. I’ve just gotten a lot of easy outs. The ball's down and not missing too many spots right now.”

Hellickson will be a free agent this winter and does not appear to be in the club’s future plan. Nonetheless, he has steadfastly said he would like to remain with the club for the rest of this season. Phillies management is not opposed to keeping Hellickson. He provides veteran stability and innings to a young rotation. But management would move Hellickson for a player that has the potential to help in the future.

Trade rumors can be distracting for a player. But Hellickson, who has been dealt twice in his career, is locked in.

“It doesn't bother me,” he said. “Once I'm in this locker room — obviously you still see it on TV and stuff — my focus is on helping us win today. Now it's on to the next start. It's been like this for a few years now so it's pretty easy to go out there right now.”

Mackanin said he had no idea what will become of Hellickson’s fate. But if the pitcher stays, he won’t complain.

“At this point, I don’t want to lose him,” Mackanin said. “I wish he could stay here. He’s that solid for us. He’s been like that the whole year.”

The Phillies needed a good pitching effort to pull this one out. Their hitters struck out 13 times, left 11 men on base and went just 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

“We don’t show plate discipline,” Mackanin lamented. “We’re taking fastballs early in the count that are hittable pitches. If you’re going to take fastballs early in the count that are hittable pitches, you cannot swing at breaking balls in the dirt. That’s all I can say about that. We have to have more plate discipline.”

On the positive side of that, Franco and Rupp both walked three times, and Franco’s two-out walk in the eighth became the biggest run of the game on a night when Jeremy Hellickson and his status with the Phillies was the biggest storyline.

Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Marlins 0

Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Marlins 0

BOX SCORE

MIAMI — Jeremy Hellickson continued to enhance his trade value and Tommy Joseph had the big hit in the Phillies’ 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins on Monday night.

Hellickson shut down the Marlins for the second time in a week. The next time he pitches, it could be for them. The Marlins are one of the teams interested in the veteran right-hander. Scouts from several other contending teams were in attendance for Hellickson’s strong outing.

Joseph’s two-out double in the top of the eighth broke a scoreless tie.

Phillies pitching held the Marlins to two hits. The Phils have 11 shutouts this season.

Starting pitching report
Hellickson pitched six scoreless innings and gave up just a hit and a walk while striking out one. He exited for a pinch-hitter after just 70 pitches. The right-hander has pitched 14 innings and allowed just one run in his last two starts, both against the Marlins. He has lowered his season ERA to 3.65.

Miami’s Jarred Cosart came up from Triple A and pitched five scoreless innings. However, he threw 92 pitches. He allowed three hits, a walk and struck out one.

Bullpen report 
Trade candidate David Hernandez pitched a strong seventh inning for the Phils, picking up the win. Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez closed it out.

Miami right-hander Kyle Barraclough came up big in the top of the seventh inning. He struck out Cody Asche, Peter Bourjos and pinch-hitter Ryan Howard with runners on second and third to preserve a 0-0 tie.

Marlins right-hander Fernando Rodney struck out the first two batters in the eighth then gave up a four-pitch walk to Maikel Franco before Joseph’s two-out double delivered the game’s first run.

Rodney took the loss.

A.J. Ramos was charged with three runs in the ninth, two unearned.

At the plate
The Phillies survived 13 strikeouts, a 1-for-9 performance with runners in scoring position and 11 men left on base to score the win.

The Phils had just six hits. Joseph had a pair of them and now has 25 RBIs in 54 games.

Cesar Hernandez gave the Phils some cushion with an RBI single in the top of the ninth. Miami’s defense fell apart after that and the Phils scored two more runs to put the game away.

Asche had a hit to break an 0-for-26 skid. Bourjos is 0 for his last 17.

Trade talk
Andres Blanco is out for six weeks so he’s no longer a trade candidate, but others are (see story).

Up next
Jerad Eickhoff (6-11, 3.98) pitches against Miami right-hander Tom Koehler (7-8, 4.42) on Tuesday night. Koehler pitched eight innings of two-run ball in beating the Phillies last week at Citizens Bank Park.