Let my people go (to Dodger Stadium’s new kosher hot dog stand)!


The Red Sox have done it. The Yankees have done it. Even the Kansas City Royals have gone kosher. 

Now — finally — Los Angeles baseball fans can enjoy a glatt kosher dog. 

Jeff’s Gourmet Sausage Factory began offering a decidedly Jewish twist to the Dodgers’ traditional ballpark menu July 28, when it set up shop and began selling specialty items like jalapeno dogs and sweet Italian sausage with grilled onions and peppers. It will continue for 14 more games this season, including tonight’s.

WATCH: Do people prefer Jeff's Gourmet Sausage over Dodger Dogs? Story continues after video.

A native Angeleno, sausage master Jeff Rohatiner said he is excited to now serve fellow Dodgers fans with some consistency, after only doing so on occasion in the past.

“I hope that the option of kosher food will allow more Jews to fully appreciate the American pastime without worrying about any extra preparations,” he said. 

The stand is located in the right field plaza next to Tommy Lasorda’s Italian Trattoria. If it proves to be a hit — or, Rohatiner hopes, a home run — the menu options could expand in the future. 

Rohatiner had seen the need all the way from his restaurant in Pico-Robertson.

“Dodger fans regularly stop in to Jeff’s before a game and bring our food to the stadium, even if they have to eat it cold,” Rohatiner said. “Now they can have the pleasure of a fresh-cooked kosher dog at their seats.” 

Hebrew National hot dogs are served at Dodger Stadium, but for more observant Jews, the dogs still don’t cut the mustard. With Jeff’s grand opening, the Jewish community no longer has to worry about mixed facilities and the possibility of non-kosher buns.  

This culinary development makes sense for a team that currently has a Jewish player in center field, Joc Pederson, and other members of the tribe in the front office — President and CEO Stan Kasten and president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman. 

Fans have repeatedly lobbied for kosher food options at the stadium, but logistics have made it difficult. Michael Berenbaum, professor of Jewish studies and director of the Sigi Ziering Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Ethics at American Jewish University, has been a strong advocate for bringing kosher dogs to Chavez Ravine, and he visited the Jeff’s stand on its opening night.  

“It was inconceivable to me that the second largest Jewish community in America does not have a kosher dog stand,” Berenbaum said. “It felt absolutely terrific to have a hot dog with all the trimmings.” 

The Lou Barak Memorial Kosher Hot Dog Committee joined in the rejoicing. Named after group founder Paul Cunningham’s late father-in-law, the committee is made up of multiple professionals who have continuously fought for selling kosher hot dogs. 

“After wandering through the concession stands for years at Dodger Stadium, our people can finally eat,” Stuart Tochner, president-elect of the committee, wrote in an email to the Journal. “Given the Jewish fan base in L.A., we knew this day would eventually come. Let’s just say Sandy Koufax had an easier time pitching four no-hitters.”

Jewish and non-Jewish fans alike can enjoy these sausages at every home game except for those that fall on Shabbat and holidays. These dates include July 29; Aug. 2, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 30 and 31; and Sept. 1, 2, 20, 21 and 24.

Alex Rodriguez sues Major League Baseball, Selig


New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez has sued Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig and accused them of trying to destroy his reputation and his career.

The embattled third baseman, who was suspended for 211 games for his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs, claims the league and commissioner are engaged in “vigilante justice” and are interfering with his lucrative contracts and business relationships.

MLB and Selig are trying to make an example of Rodriguez, the lawsuit said, “to gloss over Commissioner Self's past inaction and tacit approval of the use of performance enhancing substances in baseball … and in an attempt to secure his legacy as the 'savior' of America's past time.”

Filed in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Thursday, the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

MLB responded to the lawsuit by issuing their own statement, denying the allegations made by Rodriguez and accusing him of trying to circumvent the grievance process of the league and its players.

“For the more than four decades that we have had a collective bargaining relationship with the Major League Baseball Players Association, every player and club dispute has gone through the jointly agreed upon grievance process,” MLB said.

“This lawsuit is a clear violation of the confidentiality provisions of our drug program, and it is nothing more than a desperate attempt to circumvent the Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

In August, MLB suspended Rodriguez through to the end of the 2014 season. He was one of 13 players suspended for alleged links with the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic in Florida that is accused of supplying players with performance-enhancing drugs.

Rodriguez, 38, has denied wrongdoing and appealed the ruling. He continued to play – to cheers and jeers – for the rest of the season, which ended for the Yankees last week when the team failed to make the playoff.

Hearings on Rodriguez's appeal began this week, but a decision is not expected until later this month or next.

The lawsuit claimed MLB also improperly collected evidence against Rodriguez, including buying what were described as stolen Biogenesis-related documents for $150,000.

A 14-time All-Star and three-time Most Valuable Player, Rodriguez is the only player challenging his penalty.

He claimed in the lawsuit that by publicly leaking information into its investigation, MLB has prejudiced his appeal, tarnished his character and damaged his efforts to land lucrative endorsement contracts.

“MLB's public persecution of Mr. Rodriguez has known no bounds,” the lawsuit said. “MLB has permanently harmed Mr. Rodriguez's reputation.”

The other players accepted offers of 50-game bans, but the player known widely as A-Rod received a stiffer punishment because he was accused of other offenses, including lying to the investigators.

“While we vehemently deny the allegations in the complaint, none of those allegations is relevant to the real issue,” MLB said in their statement on Friday.

“Whether Mr. Rodriguez violated the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by using and possessing numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years and whether he violated the Basic Agreement by attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation.”

Additional reporting by Karen Freifeld and Julian Linden; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Maureen Bavdek and Gene Cherry

Yankees offer Youkilis $12 million


The New York Yankees reportedly offered Jewish free agent Kevin Youkilis a one-year, $12 million contract.

Youkilis, a three-time All Star for the Boston Red Sox before being traded to the Chicago White Sox in June, was leaning toward accepting the offer, a source told The New York Times.

The offer would have Youkilis play third base, replacing Alex Rodriguez, who is expected to be sidelined until next June because of hip surgery. The Cleveland Indians are also said to be interested in signing Youkilis, according to the Times.