By Mike Steffanos
Another day, another silly controversy. Now the Thought Police are after Keith Hernandez for questioning what a woman was doing in the Padres dugout. It started out as a valid point in that MLB rules state that only a trainer and assistant trainer can be in the dugout, and she was neither. But then Keith made the comment, "I won't say women belong in the kitchen. But they don't belong in the dugout."
It was a sexist statement, and reflected a somewhat old-fashioned attitude towards women in the game. The problem is now that there are some that would see Keith fired for making that statement. I'm sure the switchboard of SNY is lighting up right now with indignant callers, incensed that the color man on a baseball game felt that women didn't belong in the dugout. Oh, the horror! How will the women's movement recover from this setback?
In the Daily News, Bob Raissman quotes Kelly Calabrese, the team's massage therapist who Keith's statement was directed towards:
It amazes me that somebody of that caliber that has obviously played the game before and is in front of an audience of millions of people would say something like that. It's a little shocking, but you know what - it happens. He not only discredited me as a person, but he discredited women.
Okay, let me get this straight, because one 50-something former baseball player doesn't think women belong in the dugout, that somehow discredits women? So, if I can understand this correctly, anytime someone has an opinion I don't like, I can accuse him of some sort of blanket sin against a whole group?
Look, if Keith Hernandez was the head of a program that provided services to women, his statements would probably rightfully call into question his ability to do his job. As an analyst of baseball games -- not so much. Lisa, my partner of 12 years, who has a Master's Degree and an important job as coordinator of an AIDS program, heard Keith's comments and just laughed. She didn't agree with him, but she didn't feel threatened by what he said, either.
As a man of Italian descent, I am constantly bombarded by negative stereotypes in the media, where every Italian-American male is in the mafia, or is stupid, a womanizer, some sort of low-life slob, or all of the above. I deal with these stereotypes, because no laws were broken by the people that bring forth this garbage. (When I have to listen to some stupid, white-bread Mayflower descendent try to sound like Tony Soprano -- that really should be against the law, but that's another matter.) Well guess what, no laws were broken by Keith Hernandez, either.
It's entertainment, folks. Keith was made to apologize, let's just end this here. There is a difference between something that you don't agree with and don't like to hear and something that crosses the line into an offense against a segment of humanity. We all talk about tolerance, but that sometimes entails having a sense of humor and tolerating the rights of others to express views you don't agree with. And by the way, he was right on one point. Under the rules of baseball, as someone who was neither a trainer or assistant trainer, she really didn't belong in the dugout.
Bergen Record: Learn from the bad
Steve Popper quotes Victor Zambrano on his performance yesterday:
Pretty much the same. I'm not frustrated. It's a lot of things I can learn from the bad things. I'm very confident. I'm ready for the next game. It's a long season.
I've seen him attacked in print today for making this statement. Honestly, what do you want him to say? If he didn't feel that way, it probably would be Lima time already.
Mets Geek: A new Jose
Eric Simon has a revealing analysis of Jose Reyes' improved approach at the plate despite his current slump.