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Great moments in talk radio: "James Shields is pitching because he's a Jewish person"

Oct 5, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

This is why I don’t listen to talk radio.

A woman called into a sports radio show down in Tampa and opined that the Rays chose to go with James Shields in Game 2 of the ALDS “because he is a Jewish person.”  The caller — Linda, who claimed to be a Quaker “and has many Jewish friends” — thinks that “he’s not a very good pitcher” and that Joe Maddon felt pressure from the team’s “Jewish ownership” to start Shields over Matt Garza.

The hosts rightfully mock her — “then why isn’t Gabe Kapler starting?” — but it could have been better. For example: I wish someone would have asked her if Shield’s home/road splits and gopherball tendencies are a Zionist plot.  Maybe we all would have learned something, ya know?

  1. IdahoMariner - Oct 5, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    I would be speechless if I wasn’t 1) a Jew and 2) a Mariners fan. The first has involved reading about and listening to this stuff my whole life (I have no idea if the Rays ownership is Jewish, but I wish someone would give ME a sweet deal for being a Jew. That would be awesome. Maybe I should move out of Idaho. That might help.). The second, being a Mariners fan, has involved reading about and listening to similar stuff for the last ten years, about how Ichiro is only given so much attention/money/latitude because the ownership is Japanese…and not because, I don’t know, some minor thing like the fact that Ichiro’s been headed for the Hall of Fame since he graced our ignoble franchise.

  2. BC - Oct 5, 2010 at 11:48 AM


  3. John_Michael - Oct 5, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    Craig, that’s exactly why I tune into sports talk radio. I can’t stop laughing. At, not with.

  4. Detroit Michael - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    So did the caller think that Jeff Niemann should have been in the 4-man play-off rotation instead of James Shields? Really? Even ignoring the religious angle, the view seems wacko.

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    My favorite Christmas song…
    Intro: this is a song, that uh, there’s a lot of xmas songs out there, but not
    Too many about hanukkah, so I wrote a song for all those nice little jewish
    Kids who don’t get to hear any hanukkah songs–here we go…
    Put on your yalmulka, here comes hanukkah
    Its so much fun-akkah to celebrate hanukkah,
    Hanukkah is the festival of lights,
    Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights.
    When you feel like the only kid in town without a x-mas tree, heres a list of
    People who are jewish, just like you and me:
    David lee roth lights the menorrah,
    So do james caan, kirk douglas, and the late dinah shore-ah
    Guess who eats together at the karnickey deli,
    Bowzer from sha-na-na, and arthur fonzerrelli.
    Paul newmans half jewish; goldie hawns half too,
    Put them together–what a fine lookin’ jew! [esus]
    You don’t need deck the halls or jingle bell rock
    Cause you can spin the dreidl with captain kirk and mr. spock–both jewish!
    Put on your yalmulka, it’s time for hanukkah,
    The owner of the seattle super sonic-ahs celebrates hanukkah.
    O.j. simpson– not a jew!
    But guess who is…hall of famer¡ºrod carew–(he converted!)
    We got ann landers and her sister dear abby,
    Harrison Ford’s a quarter jewish–not too shabby!
    Some people think that ebeneezer scrooge is,
    Well, he’s not, but guess who is:all three stooges. [esus]
    So many jews are in show biz–
    Tom cruise isn¹t, [tacit] but I heard his agent is. [esus]
    Tell your friend veronica, it’s time you celebrate hanukkah
    I hope I get a harmonica, on this lovely, lovely hanukkah.
    So drink your gin-and-tonic-ah, and smoke your mara-juanic-ah,
    If you really, really wanna-kah, have a happy, happy, happy, happy
    Hanukkah¡­¡­. happy hanukka!

  6. Mr. Heyward - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Jewish resident of Idaho? Sounds lonely. In other related but old news, this is very funny:

  7. Jonny5 - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Even though I think her premise is wayyy off for why the Jewish pitcher was picked, she may be onto something here… I am thinking, only because i have seen it before, that Shields might just have “the eye of the Jew” Which is wayyy better than PED’s or any enhancement you could dream of. It’s like having the eye of the tiger, but better.
    “the eye of the Jew” is defined if you google it. It’s fer real….

  8. InnocentBystander - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Ridiculous. Thank god I’m an atheist.

  9. Jonny5 - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    That’s very unZappa like of you. Didn’t you name your kid Dweezle?? How wrong was that?

  10. IdahoMariner - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    that was awesome.

  11. Mike garner - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    I can certainly relate to that Pacific Northwest mentality. When I lived out there in the 80s, I was always that “Eye-Talian from New York” (real last name Guaragna)

  12. akbled - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    of course, that is why the Dodgers went with Koufax in game 1 of the ’63 world series 😉

  13. birdmancometh - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Can’t hit links because i’m at work, but I hope you’re referring to Beerfest.

  14. NickBach - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    let me start by saying – that if ANY team chose a player to start because of his/her religion.. that’s not only stupid, but irresponsible.. and yes Kapler would have made more sense… he seems more “devout”
    BUT Jews NEED to understand that there is a difference between ZIONISTS and the rest of the World’s Jews… Zionism promotes hate, genocide, violence among other evil things…
    So for any normal Jew out there who just lives his or her life and goes to work and thinks that people hate Jews simply because they are Jews.. wake up… most people who have problems with Jews base it off of two things – a Religious Intolerance.. and those people are just morons… or because they despise what Zionist Jews are doing and have done to the world..
    Just had to be said….
    btw – full disclosure.. I’m a reformed Roman Catholic who has Jewish ancestry and relatives who is now an Athiest…

  15. Jonny5 - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    The best movie ever made. EVER MADE!

  16. Jonny5 - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    If I were God, Puppies would never grow up and Dennis Leary would have never grown vocal chords. Two things that would make the world better in a minute flat ain’t too bad is it? I would be a good God I guess……..

  17. Buccofan - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    Garza wasn’t exactly dominating the last month. Shields was marginally better IMO. Maddon made a baseball decision, just as he did in hardly ever playing Kapler.
    Tampa Bay’s ownership isn’t like Marge Schott. They don’t give a damn about Shields’ religion, they care about winning AND making money.

  18. Bull Durham - Oct 5, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Glad to know that you’re only half a bigot but still a little disturbed that you thought this was a good forum for those views.

  19. scjosh - Oct 5, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    How have there been 18 comments on this post and not a single person brought up that Shields isn’t even Jewish? I mean, his name is James; I’ve never met a Jewish guy named James in my life. Also, there are plenty of websites which keep track of Jewish baseball players, maybe this caller should have looked to see if he was Jewish before coming to her conclusion.

  20. wickethewok - Oct 5, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    Since when is James Shields Jewish? Did he convert for the playoffs?

  21. paul-e - Oct 5, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Of course he converted. He wanted to pitch Game 2!

  22. scjosh - Oct 5, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    This is from Wikipedia, and is pretty consistent with what I’ve seen elsewhere. Just in case you were wondering about if there are any other players who may be favored throughout the postseason for their religious background (worth noting that the majority of these players don’t actively practice Judaism, but they do have a Jewish parent).
    Ten Jewish players were on Major League Baseball rosters at the start of 2010 season. They were:
    C Brad Ausmus (Los Angeles Dodgers)
    LF Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers)
    RP Craig Breslow (Oakland A’s)
    SP Scott Feldman (Texas Rangers)
    RP John Grabow (Chicago Cubs)
    RF Gabe Kapler (Tampa Bay Rays)
    2B Ian Kinsler (Texas Rangers)
    SP Jason Marquis (Washington Nationals)
    RP Scott Schoeneweis (Boston Red Sox)
    1B Kevin Youkilis (Boston Red Sox)
    Since then, three more Jewish players have been called up from the minors during the 2010 season:
    1B Ike Davis (New York Mets)
    OF Adam Stern (Milwaukee Brewers
    3B Danny Valencia (Minnesota Twins)

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