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Ian Kinsler to play for Team Israel in the Olympics

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Right now it’s unclear whether the Tokyo Olympics will go off on schedule — here’s the latest on that, by the way — but if they are played, this summer or at some later date, a famous, recently-retired big leaguer will be suiting up for Team Israel: Ian Kinsler.

That’s the report from The Jerusalem Post, which called Kinsler “the greatest Jewish second baseman of all time.” I think that’s a pretty dang fair claim. A lot of people believe that Rod Carew is Jewish thanks to the shoutout to him Adam Sandler’s ‘Chanukah Song” but, despite the fact that he married a Jewish woman and raised his children Jewish he did not actually convert. Besides, he played 54 more games as a first baseman than as a second baseman, so I give the nod to Kinsler anyway.

Anyway, the news was subsequently confirmed by this video from Israel Baseball:

Israel is one of six teams that will play in baseball’s return to Olympic competition following a multi-Olympic hiatus.

Kinsler announced his retirement from baseball in December following a 14-year career in which he made four All-Star teams, won two Gold Gloves, and put together a career line of .269/.337/.440 with 257 home runs and 243 stolen bases for the Rangers, Tigers, Angels, Red Sox and Padres.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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