Saturday, August 1, 2009

20 comments The One Where I Possibly Piss Off Our Female Demographic

If we have any, that is. Ladies? Any out there? No? Okay, fine.

Before I get into anything, I want to tell you a story about how my day was ruined and how it all went terribly, terribly downhill very quickly.

I was chilling at home in my room just dicking around on my computer when I came upon this headline: And the List Goes On which was about, you guessed it, Ortiz being on the list of 104. After reading the news I did what any stereotypical new englander would do: I went to the liquor store and bought 1/5th of Skyy Vodka. Now, I dont know why I thought this would be a good idea, being as I havent had hard liquor in about 5 years, but I did it anyway. It went about as well as you think. After two (very stout) drinks I was BOMBED. During the course of the day I ended up losing my phone (has since been recovered), pissed off an ex, and just made a general ass of myself. Luckily, I was smart enough to set my alarm clock so I woke up at 6 am. However, for some reason, I thought it was six pm--this is where it gets reckless--I went downstairs AND MADE ANOTHER DRINK. So I finished the drink, went back upstairs, and thats when I had my OH SHIT! moment when I realized it was actually 6 am, not pm. Thank god I only live 1 mile from work and none of my bosses were there, otherwise things could've gone bad. So the moral of the story is: Dont drink when your pissed off, it never ends well.

I debated whether or not I wanted to do a post on this story. My plan was to start writing a draft and if I liked it I would post it. If you are reading this that means it went well, or at least I thought it did. Its going to make me sound like I'm a 50's style dad who thinks women belong in the kitchen. This is not what I am going for. I just dont think they should play with men in the major sports, is that so wrong? I'm all for female equality and all that jazz, and I think if they are good enough to compete at the highest level then they should be allowed to do so. But to just let them play to let them play is just ridiculous. Its an article by Kurt Streeter and its basically him and his interviewee lobbying for women in baseball.

The Dodgers and New York Mets were playing like girls.

Last I checked both teams had talented ballplayers--one is basically missing all their stars--who have penises, so therefore, are nothing like girls

Small ball was in full effect. There'd been no home runs, nothing hit deep to the warning track. This was about pitching, defense and fundamentals.

Just to give you guys a heads up: In this article you can replace the womens name with Eckstein and you could reprint it.

What a perfect game to watch with Jennifer Ring. "Look at this," she said, just after the second inning, the Dodgers ahead of the Mets, 2-0, on a warm May evening at Dodger Stadium. "What a cathedral! Look at that big, beautiful field . . ."

Is dodger stadium really that nice? I've never been, but I dont think I've ever heard it described as a "cathedral" before. Of course Fenway is considered one but take it from me: It is a really uncomfortable place to watch a ballgame. I actually wish they would build a newer, nicer, more comfortable ballpark.

Ring, a baseball fanatic who doubles as a social critic and political science professor at the University of Nevada, then tosses a grenade: "I love baseball, but baseball has a big problem.

Steroids? Racism? What could be this huge grenade that Mrs. Ring has lobbed in our general direction?

It's just a sham that our national game basically excludes half the population. Women are pretty much shut out of this game."

(blank stare on my face) I'm going to go out on a limb and say thats pretty low on MLB's priorities, as it should be. I dont know, not to sound all insensitive but I dont really consider this a huge travesty. If there was a female who was talented enough to be on a major league roster, they would already be there. Lots of GM's think outside the box nowadays. Look at the Pirates signing winners of a reality show. I dont think a woman would be out of the question if the talent was there.

I have to hand it to Ring. She's willing to hit a line drive -- straight into the system's teeth. This is why I invited her. Having read her book, "Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don't Play Baseball," I had come away deeply impressed by her sharp, thoroughly researched examination of gender discrimination in the sport. So impressed that I put out the call: Dodgers game, professor, on me.

I have to hand it to Eckstein. He's willing to hit a line drive--straight into the systems teeth. This is why I invited him. Having read his book, "Born to Hustle: How I over came height discrimination in baseball", I had come away deeply impressed by his sharp, throughly researched examination of height discrimination in the sport. So impressed that I put out the call: Dodgers game, grit, on me.

I think that flows so much better, dont you?

Women? As far back as the mid-1800s, they played baseball. Yet, by the 1930s, they had been, for the most part, not so gently excluded from the game

I actually did not know this. Thats pretty crazy because they were so looked down upon in the 1800's, and yet, they were allowed to play baseball. I mean, they werent even allowed to vote until after black people (and we all know how they were looked upon back in the day.) I feel like I should have the more you know star inserted here.

Down on the field at Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers-Mets game marched on. By now the action was devolving: scoreless inning after scoreless inning after misplay.

Is this how you watch every game? Because if it is, I dont think I want to go to a game with you.

When kids are little, they ought to play together, girls and boys," Ring said, watching another popup. "When they reach adolescent age, there's a difference in strength that develops, that is when the idea begins of who can play what. The question isn't, 'Girls should be playing major league baseball and we need affirmative action.' The question should be, 'If they are good enough, at any level, why shouldn't they get the chance?'

See, we can get along because thats exactly how I feel. I still dont know how a female would fit into MLB. What position would they be? Corner fielder? Middle Infielder? Pitcher? I guess a pitcher would make the most sense but I remember seeing this show once. It had Barry Bonds and Jenny Finch and they set up the softball mound for her and had Barry step in the box. She was trying all of her pitches to get one past Barry and he was just taking little check swings going "nope, I got that one. Nope, I got that one too." he was basically just toying with her. Although, granted, this was a historically great hitter and not your typical MLB scrub. But still, it was like he wasnt even trying, and she was putting so much effort into her pitches.

Given their back-seat status, you've probably never heard of that team, or know that women's baseball is making an official bid for inclusion in the 2016 Olympics

Your right, I didnt even know they existed until I read this piece.

The Olympics "would bring a huge difference in the popularity" of the game in America, said Harvey Schiller, president of the International Baseball Federation, which is leading the bid.

I dont think it would do much of anything. Look how successful the WNBA is right now.

One of Schiller's goals: break down barriers at the high school and college levels. He envisions women's baseball teams thriving at both levels.

okay, this is the set up sentence. He is going to make a comparison to a certain player and I think you all know who it is.

It will be a hard road but must be traveled. In our obsession with power we tend to forget it's the little guys, the 5-foot-7 David Ecksteins of the world, who often make big league games tick. If Eckstein can be a difference-maker, imagine if someone such as Martina Navratilova had trained since childhood to play the infield.

WHAM!!!!! Kurt Streeter hitting fools upside the head with an Eckstein comparison! Is there anyone that little dude cant inspire?

1. Eckstein might--MIGHT--be considered a difference maker on the joke of a team that is the Padres. Everywhere else he got held up on a pedestal because he was short, white, scrappy, and was a decent player.

2. Do they not have infield positions in softball? Am I missing something in that last sentence?

3. We are "obsessed with power" because it is the best way to score runs.

At Dodger Stadium, the 11th inning arrived. A Mets player, representing the go-ahead run, crossed the plate -- and was promptly called out. He had failed to touch third base. In the bottom of the inning, one of his teammates let an easy fly ball fall at his feet, loading the bases. The Dodgers, having stranded a battalion of baserunners during this game, won, 3-2, when another Mets player, trying to throw home, rifled the ball nearly into the stands, the last of the Mets' five errors.These guys played like girls? On this night, they should have been so lucky.

You were clearly very bored by this game. I guarantee you that if there was a female player, there would be a huge ratings boost until the novelty wore off.

-Dan Shaugnessy feel betrayed by the David Ortiz news.

David Ortiz lied to you. It seems safe to say that his entire Red Sox career is a lie.

I do remember him wagging his finger at all the fans and saying "I no take steroids, bro."

And those life-changing Red Sox championships of 2004 and 2007? Are they forever tainted?

You bet.

1996 New York Yankees: Andy Pettitte
1997 Florida Marlins: Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown.
1998 New York Yankees: Chuck Knoblauch, Andy Pettitte
1999 New York Yankees: Roger Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch, Andy Pettitte, Jason Grimsley
2000 New York Yankees: Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch, Andy Pettitte, Jason Grimsley, David Justice
2001 Arizona Diamondbacks: Matt Williams
2002 Los Angeles Angels: Troy Glaus
2003 Florida Marlins: Pudge Rodriguez (named in Canseco's book).
2004 Boston Red Sox: Manny Ramirez David Ortiz
2005 Chicago White Sox: Carl Everett (I dont think he was named but would anyone be shocked?
2006 St. Louis Cardinal: Scott Rolen
2007 Boston Red Sox: Same
2008: Philadelphia Phillies: Brett Meyers (he hit his wife, and is a scumbag)

I'm not even going to keep going because Dan does this all the time just to piss people off and I wont give him the satisfaction. Why does everyone feel betrayed? Shouldt he be writing about what a travesty it is the Donte Stallworth got 30 days in jail for killing someone while driving drunk?

Okay, fuck it, one more...

Ortiz was an average player when the Sox picked him up before the 2003 season. He’d been a big strikeout guy with the Twins. He could hit an occasional homer, but had a big hole in his swing. (emphasis mine)

Apparantely steroids are the cure all. Hole in the swing? Take steroids, it will fix it. Cant stop slicing your drives? Take steroids and it will straighten. Impotent? Steroids will give you that raging boner you crave.

This line puzzled me:

Overnight he became a baseball Rambo.

What the hell does that even mean? Anyone?

The 2004 Red Sox really were Idiots. Just like the Yankees and everybody else.

I think we should be a little more overdramatic, Dan.

Our cheaters were better than their cheaters.

There. Thats better. Now how can we send this piece off with a bang?


oooooookkkaaayyy. Not the way I would've ended it, but your the pro.

okay, I swear I"m done now. For reals, this time. Happy Saturday, everyone.


Bengoodfella said...

Ok, first off you are clearly a raging sexist. Stop promoting your phallic symbols and womenly oppressive music you male!

Second, if there was a woman who could hit a baseball well enough to play major league baseball, then any GM would be a fool to not sign her. This is a situation where a writer takes what a person says a little bit too seriously. I am sure this woman is very nice and has a lot of things to add to the commentary on sex relations in America, but I am not sure this is one of them.

Seriously, having affirmative action in baseball would defeat the entire purpose of a competition. There is a massive difference in not allowing minorities to play baseball because of racism and women not choosing to pursue baseball because they don't feel like they could play the sport. I can't recall one instance where a woman wanted to play baseball but could not because sexist men would not let it happen. Maybe I am naive.

On another note, why is it that it is fine to embrace and acknowledge our differences when it comes to celebrating different cultures and religions but it is not ok to discuss differences when it comes to other things in this world. Women can do a lot of things men can't and if there is a woman who can play baseball better than some players on the Braves, they had better sign that woman...and I am not counting Eckstein. I am not sure he is human, he is just a ball of grit and determination.

As far as Dan S., he made up a curse to sell books, he profited off the curse when it was broken, and now I don't listen to anything he says.

Fred Trigger said...

guilty as charged in regards to being a raging sexist!!

I agree, but the only players said woman would replace would be players like Scott Posednik and--GASP!-- David Eckstein. Thats why I used the Bonds-Finch thing I saw as an example. She was really trying to get the ball by him, from her pitching distance, and he was just laughing probably thinking "you know I'm the greatest hitter alive, right?" Maybe she could've gotten lesser hitters to look silly, but I dont know if she could do it from the MLB distance, using a baseball.

In those 4 paragraphs you pretty much summed up what I was trying to say way more clear than I did. I get going with a post and 9,000 things come to my mind at once and I tend to get off track. Eh, whatevs, I'll get over it.

Chris W said...

Show me a girl who could play major conference Division I college baseball without going oh-fer-her-career and I'll say "hell, give her a major league contract just to give her a shot".

Only problem is, you'll never find such a girl.

And pitchers? Even less likely.

Fred Trigger said...

see I would think pitching would be their best shot. I mean, it would have to be a submarine style junkballer, but I think they would have a better shot that way, rather than trying to be a position player. Actually dont they have a female over in Japan that is playing professionally? I think shes a knuckleballer, so that might explain it.

Yup, here it is.

Bengoodfella said...

A woman may be able to replace Eckstein, I have seen women throw a ball better and faster, but I just don't know if it could happen.

I think you did a great job on the post, you hit all the major points. It's so easy to call someone a sexist but I am not saying women can't hit play baseball well, I am saying I am not sure how successful a woman would be a the major league level against other good pitchers. I could not hit Jennie Finch's fastball probably, because I am not good enough to do it and I accept it, it's very similar in that MLB is a different level from everyone else. If you can hit, you can hit, it doesn't matter if you are a girl or not. No one is oppressing anyone in this situation, it's just a simple idea that women choose not to play MLB.

Chris, you are right. I would love to give ANYONE a chance if they can play, but to lower the standards of the highest level of baseball competition in the name of allowing others to play is just dumb.

Bengoodfella said...

A knuckleballer? Those people can do anything. See, it is possible for women to play and I encourage it. There is no grand scheme against it...though I am sure that makes other people feel good if there was.

Chris W said...

Knuckleballers still throw 80 MPH. I can't imagine a woman could consistently throw strikes that fast, but, hell, what do I know?

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, that would be fast for a woman to throw, at least most women I think, plus the fact a knuckleball pitcher still has a fastball he has to throw.

I think we are all raging sexists.

AwesomeSean said...

Great post Fred...Your nightmare day reminds of a day I've had. I call it Saturday.

Anyway, eff baseball! I am boycotting until domesticated animals are allowed to play! Why exclude all those mammals from this discriminating sport.

CHB is a sham. So is Schilling for that matter.

Sunday funday BOTB crew!

Bengoodfella said...

Exactly, can you imagine trying to turn a double play with a horse coming at you from first base? I think horses should get the benefit of the doubt and should be allowed to try and play baseball.

I am very interested to see what else Schilling has to say about the steroid scandal involving Ortiz and Manny. I don't think anyone is really trying to pile on the BoSox but with the massive popularity also comes a lot of scrutiny when something like this happens. I know Bill Simmons posted a list on his Twitter of Yankees players that tested positive or he suspected would test positive but he has to realize the BoSox are also enormously popular so everyone is going to make a big deal out of it.

Martin said...

I grew up with a friend who was the best athlete I've ever known on a personal basis, and he only made AA ball. He started playing mens fast pitch at the elite level a couple years later and dominated. I don't ever see a woman being able to become a position player when my buddy Fred only could get to AA ball.

The WNBA thing is a perfect example. I'm 6'3 and could dunk back in the day. I've never met a woman who could play as well as me. Strength is just too much of an issue. The regular male students who help Pat Summit with her womens team are better then the top college team in the country. Summit has said so herself.

We might make fun of the Furious Ball of Grit, but he's still a superior athlete with great hand eye co-ordination. Average baseball player, but still a damn sight better then any female player, without a doubt.

Chris W said...

That's the thing about Eckstein--he's better than the best player you ever played baseball against, just in terms of sheer physical ability. Unless, like, you played against Milt Pappas or something.

The fucking dude can hit a fucking major league pitcher 30% of the time. That's almost unthinkable to a normal human being...much less a GURL

AJ said...

Boston Red Sox - If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying!

I think thats their new team concept. Well not really new, but you get the point.

I dont read Simmons tweets or whatever they are, but thats typical that he runs down the Yankees.

I guess thats one way to break a "curse".

And I'm not sure, since I've been gone a week, but has any media talked about Manny testing positive in 2003 and then again in 2009? I mean put two and two together, the guy has been using for how long? 10 years? More?

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, it probably pisses a lot of people off to say but the worst man is probably better than the best woman in the major leagues. I guess we are all sexist.

Simmons just went ahead and implicated a few Yankees who have never tested positive. No big deal there. Evan was talking about that i the comments the other day about how Simmons will just randomly say someone is using steroids or is a druggie. No big deal...

It appears Manny has been using for a long time if the failed drug tests are to be believed.

The Girl said...

OMG u r all sexist pigzzz!!!

Kidding, kidding. I've been reading this blog a few months now and I figure it would be appropriate to make my first comment on this article representing your female demographic. Basically, I agree. I will say that there is bound to be an outlier female somewhere that would be able to at least make an MLB roster. I think the knuckleballer from Japan is a good example of that, but I would venture that at some point in history there had to have been a female that could have made a professional roster (based on skill, not gimmick) if she had dedicated the same amount of time and practice in her youth as a male MLB player. I think what I am saying is that in the history of female-kind and baseball, there has to be at least one chick who had the necessary physical attributes and athletic skill to play baseball in the MLB, but never pursued the sport to the level necessary to get to the pros.

Again, I am talking a single or small number of outliers here. The simple fact is that the vast majority of the population, male or female, will never play pro ball, and men just have a physical advantage at the elite level when it comes to what is required to play the game of baseball. I feel like that is just a statement of science, which is why I roll my eyes at stupid feminist power articles like this one.

On a related tangent, I can't see a situation where a woman who maybe had the requisite skills and such would want to dedicate her life to baseball. If it were me, I would take my athleticism and pursue any number of other sports that are more readily available to women--why would I want to isolate myself on a team of men where clubhouse atmosphere is so important or where I would be looked at as an oddity by the public? I can't see a situation where a female would want to go through little league, high school, and then college ball playing with only guys and truly feel camaraderie with male teammates (and vice versa). I just imagine the mental toll would make a person quit before making the jump to the pros ever became an option.

Bengoodfella said...

I like how your screen name is "The Girl." At least it is not "Anonymous" I guess. I think you are the one and only female to read this blog, and you call women "chicks," which is interesting.

Thanks for your perspective on this. I am sure there was one woman that could play on the same level as guys when it comes to baseball, she just did not choose to pursue it or went in another direction with her talent. I would think those kind of women are the minority though...but I am sure there have been more than one.

What I didn't like about the article is that they are talking about MLB, which as you said is an elite level of competition, so it's not like there are men or women who are supremely qualified to play and are being overlooked due to various reasons. Competitive baseball tends to weed out the "have-nots" after a while.

I don't know anything about this woman or what she writes about generally but I would think there could be better directions to put her efforts in because I don't know why a woman would want to try and break the gender barrier either. I am not sure I would want to hang out in a baseball clubhouse for 162 games a year. I don't see this as a major women's issue that needs to be addressed.

Not to quote Anchorman, but you are right, it's science that 99.9% of women can't compete on the same level as men at the Major League Baseball level. Hell, many men can't compete at the MLB level either. I just don't think is an area where equal opportunities for women makes sense nor is a path that a person would want to follow.

Thanks for being the only (known) woman who reads this blog.

Chris W said...

I don't know why it stands to reason that a woman somewhere should be able to compete in the MLB since in sports like Tennis and Golf where women train the exact same way as men and play by the same rules, no woman has been able to compete in the men's league almost completely owing to the deficit in physical strength.

And I don't believe that BJK v. Jimmie Connors counts because if I'm not mistaken he wasn't able to hack it on the men's tour at the time.

I hope this doesn't sound too sexist, but in a sport like baseball where strength is an even bigger prerequisite than golf or tennis, I don't see why we should assume some woman somewhere somehow is bound to be able to compete.

Hey look, I guess all I'm saying is that men are from mars and women are from venus

Martin said...

Well there is a difference between competeing and being elite/winning. I think Anika could have competed on the mens tour. Not elite, not winning, but manage to be one of those fringe players on the bubble every year.

Fred Trigger said...

Chris W:

Jimmie Connors was about 50 and old, while Bille Jean King was around her 20's and in her prime, if that tells you anything. It would be like Hale Irwin challenging someone young and talented on the LPGA right now (sorry, dont follow anymore so I dont know whos good right now.)

Bengoodfella said...

I still think you are all sexist.