The title of this post comes from the famous chant of New York Jets football fans. Here is a rendition on youtube.
On Friday, September 21, the “Israeli” national baseball team, which is actually composed of mainly Americans with at least some connection to Judaism, defeated a “Spanish” team stocked with ringers from Cuba, Venezuela and the U.S. In winning, the “Israelis” advanced to the finals in one of the four qualifying rounds of the World Baseball Classic (WBC), to be played on Sunday, September 23 at 5 PM in Jupiter, Florida. The other qualifiers are being contested in Germany, Panama and Taiwan.
All games in the qualifying rounds of the WBC are being streamed live at the WBC site. The four winners advance to the main tournament which is to be held at various locations in the U.S. with the finals being played in San Francisco.
The New York Times published an insightful piece on the Israeli team which analyzed its Jewishness in a way that other articles avoided. The article was titled, “Wanted: Jewish Ballplayers” by New York Times sports writer, Barry Bearak.
Below is letter I wrote to Barry Bearak praising his article.
As an old Jew who frankly thinks this “Israeli” team is a mishugah violation of the ethics of sports and a completely offensive use of baseball for personal and political gain, I thoroughly enjoyed your incisive and informative article. Frankly, I never would have believed the New York Times would have let it run, so good for you for getting it in the paper.
I changed the “T” on my Jets jersey to a “W” and have been rooting my brains out for these mostly faux Israelis and Jews to make it to the main tournament. At that time, it is my hope that this fakakta dèmarche will then be given the appropriate lambasting in the press that it deserves. I am not holding my breath though.
By the way, if you are watching the games, I suggest exchanging the beer and potato chips for a Dr. Brown’s and a knish.
My prediction is that if the “Jews” win on Sunday (which is no given since the Spanish team which is packed with ringers from Cuba, Venezuela and the US is almost as bogus as the Israeli one) they will be matched up early in the tournament with the American team. (This is what the promoters of the Jewish team want.) If Braun, Kinsler, [two Major League stars] et al. join the Jews, then you will really have something to write about.
Just to be clear, I do not assume that you agree with my point of view (which by the way is detailed on the Net).
Again, congratulations on the wonderful article.
L’shana tovah and best to you,
Update: Spain defeated South Africa yesterday and will play Israel in a rematch today. The winner will join 15 other teams in the main World Baseball Classic tournament in March 2013.
Update: Spain beat Israel 9-7 to advance to the World Baseball Classic.