Sunday, April 23, 2006

Keith Hernandez - former MLB player, current Neanderthal hairdo ...

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.)


Beth said...

Ah, but I seem to remember from my anthropology days in college that women and men and their fundamentally different skeletons are indeed the reason that women "throw like girls." So I'm guessing that no girly girl could ever get a 96 mph fastball across the plate. And frankly, some sports aren't meant to be co-ed. So unless the Rockford Peaches are gonna make a comeback, I won't expect to see a woman on the mound with any of the "real" teams.

Beth said...

Oh, but to your point about Keith being a frickin' moron for his comment about women not belonging in the dugout: You got that right. What a tool.

Anonymous said...

Why is it men can not have 1 sport left to themselves. They have invaded all other sports. Basketball they are on the sidelines. Probably the worst is NFL reporters asking questions during halftime to 350 pound man eaters are all riled up, men should not be doing that either. NASCAR racing is the same way. The driver's wive's should NOT be in the pit area or any other woman for that matter. As for baseball. COME ON! The last sport left which has'nt been tainted by estrogen. Keith is very smart, knows alot about the game. Lots of great stories. He is good for baseball and good for him for standing up. By the way he was 100% right on with the rulebook. All other things aside she did not belong there! Period.

Dave said...

Great stuff, anonymous! And so brave of you to identify yourself. I'm sure such profound statements were made several decades ago when all of those Negroes got uppity and decided to try their hands at things such as baseball and the like. You know, places where they don't belong. But seriously, folks ... I do agree with you about sideline reporters, but it has nothing to do with gender. I think that speaking to athletes and coaches during ongoing games is intrusive, whether said reporter is male or female. And I hate to tell you this, but baseball already has been "tainted" by estrogen. As I stated in my post, women occupy positions in various levels of the game, from reporters and stadium announcers to assistant general managers and owners. Now, should Jamie McCourt, the co-owner of the Dodgers, be barred from the dugout or clubhouse even though she pays the million-dollar salaries of the players who work for her?

Of course you have every right to feel the way you do, as does Hernandez. But what I would point out to you is that if the San Diego Padre players had no problem with Kelly Calabrese being in the dugout with them, then why should Hernandez, or you? It doesn't mean the institution of baseball will crumble to the ground. Honest.