So I haven't blogged in a few weeks, partly because of a possible business project that has dominated my existence (and hopefully will for the next two months - and no, I can't tell you what it is), and partly because I haven't had anything to say (though I did have plenty to say about Derrek Lee breaking his wrist on Wednesday night, none of it printable on a family-friendly blog). But, alas, something has come up, and it also involves the world of baseball.
Seems that Keith Hernandez, a former Major League first basement of reasonable skills who has now become a TV broadcaster for the New York Metropolitans, was doing the Mets-Padres game in San Diego the other night when, early on, he noticed a woman in the Padres' dugout congratulating catcher Mike Piazza after he homered. To which he made the enlightened comment:
"Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair? What's going on here? You have got to be kidding me? Only player personnel in the dugout."
What Hernandez didn't know, or didn't care to find out before he opened his trap, was that the girl with the "long hair" was fully authorized to be there. She was Kelly Calabrese, the massage therapist for the San Diego Padres. In short, she had more business being in the dugout that Hernandez now has. Upon hearing that Calabrese was indeed street legal, he came around - not.
"I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout."
Now, I guess Hernandez can be forgiven for his thought process concerning this issue. After all, he cut his teeth in the '70s and '80s, when women were much more likely to be carrying out their baseball duties in the hotel rooms of traveling players than in the clubhouses or front offices. And, true, that's probably still the case in many cases. But in 2006, women are deeply involved in most aspects of the game with full legitimacy. There are female co-owners. A woman came very close to becoming the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers last winter. Oh, and by the way, Keith, women are also in Congress, in the president's cabinet, in CEO offices and currently are in harm's way, and sometimes beyond, on the front lines of Iraq. And I will tell Hernandez and everyone else something - there will come a day when a woman will be in uniform for a Major League Baseball team. And she will most likely be 6 feet tall and a left-handed pitcher, 'cause when you find a southpaw hurler with good mechanics and a wicked change-up, it won't matter much what chromosomes are in play.
And if Keith Hernandez doesn't like that prospect - well, I'm sure he'll tell us about it. Or he can just lock himself in a room and put his Seinfeldepisode on a loop on his DVD player and remember the "good ol' days," when women knew their place.
Three strikes, you're out.
Read the article describing this by clicking the subject line.
UPDATE: Hernandez "apologized" for his comments during Sunday's broadcast - while pointing out, without actually saying it, that Calabrese's presence in the Padres' dugout may have been against MLB regulations anyway because teams are only allowed to have the "head" and "assistant" trainers there during a game. Wow, Keith, good job there at being contrite. He'd be great as a politician. (The New York Daily News reports that his sorry act was kind of forced on him by his bosses at the SNY sports network, which further waters down its validity.)