(JTA) — New York Yankees outfielder Harrison Bader, whose father is Jewish, shared this week that he will no longer play for Team Israel in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, citing a desire to remain healthy after an injury-plagued 2022 season. The 2023 Major League Baseball season begins only days after the WBC concludes in March.
But Bader did not rule out the possibility of playing for Israel in the future.
“When it comes back around and the opportunity’s extended, I would absolutely consider it much more, and we’ll kind of go from there,” he said on the New York Post’s baseball podcast.
Bader’s Yankee teammate Scott Effross, a reliever who posted a stellar 2.54 earned-run average in 2022, had also planned to play for Team Israel. But he had to undergo Tommy John surgery this fall, which will likely keep him off the field for at least a year.
Thanks to a recruiting effort by former All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler, who is now Team Israel’s manager after previously playing for it during the 2020 Olympics, the squad remains loaded with major league talent.
According to publicly released information and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s reporting, here are some of Team Israel’s key current roster pieces:
Pitchers: Dean Kremer (Baltimore Orioles), Jake Bird (Colorado Rockies), Eli Morgan (Cleveland Guardians), Zack Weiss (Los Angeles Angels), Richard Bleier (Miami Marlins), Jake Fishman (Marlins organization), Robert Stock (plays in Korea), Bubby Rossman (free agent)
Infielder: Ty Kelly (free agent)
Catcher: Ryan Lavarnway (free agent)
Outfielders: Joc Pederson (San Francisco Giants), Kevin Pillar (free agent)
All told, the Israeli team could feature up to a dozen major league players. One contributing factor is that Israel’s group in the WBC will play in Miami, close to many MLB team’s spring training facilities.
“Team Israel has shown well,” Kinsler told JTA in October. “Being in Miami makes [players’] decisions easier. All of those things led to more opportunities for more players. I think we get more accomplished players.”
Another element is Israel’s continued success on the international stage. The team reached seventh place at the 2017 WBC and was one of just six teams to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.
With the tournament still months away, the recruitment continues.
Houston Astros star Jewish third baseman Alex Bregman, who played for the U.S. team in 2017, does not plan to play in the tournament. Atlanta Braves ace pitcher Max Fried has thus far been noncommittal, according to Team Israel’s general manager Peter Kurz. Catcher Garrett Stubbs, a backup on the Philadelphia Phillies, is considering joining the team. Milwaukee Brewers slugging first baseman Rowdy Tellez, who has a Mexican father and Jewish mother, has committed to play for Mexico.
Kinsler said his biggest recruit so far — Pederson, who has become a star in recent years by helping multiple teams earn World Series victories — is helping with the effort.
“Joc’s making phone calls and sending texts and is doing his best,” Kinsler said. “He wants to play on a competitive team.”
Dr. NATHAN WISEMAN
Wiseman, Nathan Elliot
1944 – 2023
Nathan, our beloved husband, Dad, and Zaida, died unexpectedly on December 13, 2023. Nathan was born on December 16, 1944, in Winnipeg, MB, the eldest of Sam and Cissie Wiseman’s three children.
He is survived by his loving wife Eva; children Sam (Natalie) and Marni (Shane); grandchildren Jacob, Jonah, Molly, Isabel, Nicole, and Poppy; brother David (Sherrill); sister Barbara (Ron); sister-in-law Agi (Sam) and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Nathan grew up in the north end of Winnipeg surrounded by his loving family. He received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1968, subsequently completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Manitoba and went on to complete a fellowship in Paediatric Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University. His surgeon teachers and mentors were world renowned experts in the specialty, and even included a Nobel prize winner.
His practice of Paediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg spanned almost half a century. He loved his profession and helping patients, even decades later often recounting details about the many kiddies on whom he had operated. Patients and their family members would commonly approach him on the street and say, “Remember me Dr. Wiseman?”. And he did! His true joy was caring for his patients with compassion, patience, unwavering commitment, and excellence. He was a gifted surgeon and leaves a profound legacy. He had no intention of ever fully retiring and operated until his very last day. He felt privileged to have the opportunity to mentor, support and work with colleagues, trainees, nurses, and others health care workers that enriched his day-to-day life and brought him much happiness and fulfillment. He was recognized with many awards and honors throughout his career including serving as Chief of Surgery of Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, President of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and as a Governor of the American College of Surgeons. Most importantly of all he helped and saved the lives of thousands and thousands of Manitoba children. His impact on the generations of children he cared for, and their families, is truly immeasurable.
Nathan’s passion for golf was ignited during his childhood summers spent at the Winnipeg Beach Golf Course. Southwood Golf and Country Club has been his second home since 1980. His game was excellent and even in his last year he shot under his age twice! He played an honest “play as it lies” game. His golf buddies were true friends and provided him much happiness both on and off the course for over forty years. However, his passion for golf extended well beyond the eighteenth hole. He immersed himself in all aspects of the golf including collecting golf books, antiques, and memorabilia. He was a true scholar of the game, reading golf literature, writing golf poetry, and even rebuilding and repairing antique golf clubs. Unquestionably, his knowledge and passion for the game was limitless.
Nathan approached his many woodworking and workshop projects with zeal and creativity, and he always had many on the go. During the winter he was an avid curler, and in recent years he also enjoyed the study of Yiddish. Nathan never wasted any time and lived his life to the fullest.
Above all, Nathan was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, father-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, and granduncle. He loved his family and lived for them, and this love was reciprocated. He met his wife Eva when he was a 20-year-old medical student, and she was 18 years old. They were happily married for 56 years. They loved each other deeply and limitlessly and were proud of each other’s accomplishments. He loved the life and the family they created together. Nathan was truly the family patriarch, an inspiration and a mentor to his children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and many others. He shared his passion for surgery and collecting with his son and was very proud to join his daughter’s medical practice (he loved Thursdays). His six grandchildren were his pride and joy and the centre of his world.
Throughout his life Nathan lived up to the credo “May his memory be a blessing.” His life was a blessing for the countless newborns, infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers who he cared for, for his colleagues, for his friends and especially for his family. We love him so much and there are no words to describe how much he will be missed.
A graveside funeral was held at the Shaarey Zedek cemetery on December 15, 2023. Pallbearers were his loving grandchildren. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, in the name of Dr. Nathan Wiseman.
Bill Maher tells it like it is when it comes to what “the river to the sea” really means
Bill Maher cuts to the chase like no one else. Here’s a link to a segment from the most recent episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” where he exposes the total hypocrisy of the “useful idiots” everywhere chanting “from the river to the sea”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP-CRXROorw
Jewish community holds solidarity rally November 25
The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg held a rally in support of Israel on Saturday evening, November 25.
A number of speakers addressed the crowd of 800, including Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun-Herzlia Congregation; Members of Parliament Ben Carr & Marty Morantz; Yolanda Papini-Pollock of Winnipeg Friends of Israel; Paula McPherson, former Brock Corydon teacher; and Gustavo Zentner, President of the Jewish Federation.
Click here to watch Ben Carr’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crfREGNRKfg
Click here to watch a video of Marty Morantz’s remarks: https://studio.youtube.com/video/zHzC-iaqivg/ed
Click here to watch a video of Gustavo Zentner’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3M_cCYuLgs