Greatest Jewish Pitcher Of The Decade
12/27/2009 - 01:00
Jonathan Mark
Sunday, December 27th, 2009 With Jason Marquis signing with the Washington Nationals, here are some press notes (with assistance from Martin Abramowitz at www.jewishmajorleaguers.org, and BaseballReference.com). Of the 14 Jewish pitchers from 2000-2009, Jason Marquis was the decade’s dominant Jewish hurler with a record of 94-83; an era of 4.48, a WHIP of 1.42 and 867 strikeouts. He was the first Jewish rookie of the 21st century. At age 22, the pitcher in major league history that he was most similar to was Cloyd Boyer. At age 24, Pete Vuckovich. At age 30, Pedro Astacio. In terms of all-time Jewish pitchers, Marquis is now 5th in wins (Kenny Holtzman is first), 5th in strikeouts (Koufax is first. Jewish top leaders in every category can be found at the above link to JewishMajorLeaguers.) Marquis is the first Jewish pitcher since Sandy Koufax to record six consecutive seasons with double-digit wins. He’s the first Jewish Major Leaguer in the five-year history of the Washington Nationals – though the great Buddy Myer, out of Mississippi State in the 1920s, played on two World Series teams for the Washington Senators. (Buddy’s great-nephew Bob Myrick played for the Mets.) Jason Marquis lives on Staten Island, seems like a good guy, hosts Chanukah parties, and is intermarried, but that’s cool because we  really need someone to give us innings, true love is as hard to find as a good starting pitcher, and good pitching beats good hitting. In any case, when it comes to religion, I believe in free agency; “Jewish continuity” is a waste of money and energy, it’s just the old reserve clause in disguise, and I’m with Curt Flood, you don’t want to be on the team, goodbye, no hard feelings. “Outreach” is tampering. Here’s why I root for Jason Marquis and Orthodox Jews — sometimes they’re wild, but they want the ball, they play hurt, they give me innings. (And a note to all those who were troubled by the previous posting, “Christians Kill Jews.” The link with that post showed that I was only talking about a high school basketball game between Shoreline Christian and NW Yeshiva in Washington State. Shoreline Christian “killed” Yeshiva, as we say in sports. But everyone got home safely.)

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