Bintel Blog

Mighty Billy Crystal Has…

By Aram David

On the heels of a very serious brawl during one of their spring-training games, the Yankees managed to lighten the mood today by sending Billy Crystal out as their leadoff hitter against the Pirates.

Crystal — who had been signed by the Yankees to a one-day contract as a 60th birthday gift — managed to work the count to 3-1 before whiffing at two pitches by Pirates starter Paul Maholm to strikeout.

Crystal was set to come to bat again in the bottom of the third but, with a runner on first and two out, he was swapped out for star slugger Johnny Damon, who the Yanks apparently figured was their best chance to push the lone base-runner home. Damon came in, took one pitch and promptly grounded to third on the next pitch to end the inning.

They may as well have kept Crystal in. He, at least, in his lone at-bat, was close to working a walk against a pitcher who was at the top of his game, throwing four shutout innings of one-hit ball against some of the most powerful bats the Yankees could muster.

While Crystal may have finished his professional baseball career with a lifetime batting average of .000, perhaps for his next act — given his very disciplined at-bat — he could run a batting clinic for the free-swinging leadoff hitter for the Yankees’ cross-town rivals. We know Crystal already has a Mets’ hat he can wear if need be.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Baseball, Yankees, Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal Is Yankees’ ‘Designated Hebrew’

By Aram David

The Yankees have been without a significant Jewish player for quite some time, but that is all about to change with yesterday’s minor-league signing.

Billy Crystal — yes, that Billy Crystal — has signed a one-day minor-league contract with the Yankees and will be playing in an exhibition spring-training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. Crystal could be seen Wednesday taking batting practice and warming up with Derek Jeter in the Yankees’ Tampa facilities. The signing was a gift from the franchise to the famed comedian for his 60th birthday, thanking the life-long Yankees fan for his support of the team over the years.

But some fans and sports columnists have lashed out at the move, arguing that it undermines the seriousness of spring training. Others have objected to Crystal on the grounds that he is a part-owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who dealt the Yankees a crushing defeat in the 2001 World Series.

Not that this is the first time a celebrity has played in a spring-training game — Garth Brooks, Tom Selleck and Bruce Hornsby have all played in spring-training games before.

It is yet to be determined how many at-bats Crystal will get or whether he will play the field but, according to ESPN, when a fan asked him what position he will play, Crystal responded “DH — designated Hebrew.”

UPDATE: Watch Billy Crystal get ready for his big day:

Hat tip for the video: JTA’s Ami Eden


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Yankees, Baseball, Billy Crystal

The Yankees Look East to Zion

By Aram David

The Yankees may not have yet picked a successor for departing manager Joe Torre, but they have made some minor announcements in the past few days, signing two stars from this season’s Israel Baseball league to minor-league contracts.

The Yankees organization picked up Jason Rees, an outfielder with the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox who hit .362 and led the league in home runs and runs batted in, and Eladio Rodriguez, starting catcher for the Modi’in Miracle who was the co-winner of the Hank Greenberg Most Valuable Player Award. Neither player is Jewish.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Yankees, IBL, Israel, Baseball




Find us on Facebook!
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.