Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Stuff You Should Have Learned in Junior High School

What a strange few months this has been. When Steve Cohen was approved as the Mets new owner it seemed that this offseason would be all about significant player moves and signings, something Mets fans like myself have been hoping to see for years. The trade for Francisco Lindor was all that and then some, but all of the extracurricular noise has overshadowed it a bit. In fact, I had to look up the exact date of the deal and was shocked to realize it went down less than a month ago. Then it occurred to me that it's only  been two weeks since Jared Porter was shown the door, and barely over three months since Steve Cohen's purchase was approved. Didn't he used to have a Twitter account, or am I remembering that wrong? I know time feels different since COVID-19 gummed everything up, but this is nuts. I picked an interesting year, indeed, to return to blogging.

Now we can add the news about Mickey Callaway to the rest of the drama, craziness and occasional creepiness of this offseason. Like Jared Porter before him, Calloway was too much of a he-man to accept no for an answer from the women who caught his eye. He knew that an unsolicited shirtless pic of himself would surely seal the deal with the most reluctant of female reporters stubbornly insisting on maintaining a professional relationship. I mean, access has to be worth something, am I right?

In the space of barely over two weeks, I have little doubt that the Porter/Callaway revelations will result in permanent changes to the Mets hiring practices. I'd be surprised if there was a single club in all of MLB that will fail to completely vet any major new hire for bad behavior. I think it's also a safe bet that the Mets organization will have a heart-to-heart with all of their existing employees about how to handle being in the same room with women without indulging in termination-worthy sleaziness.

If I was Sandy Alderson, tougher vetting rules and letting male employees in on the news that the Mets organization is no longer a boy's club would only be the starting point of adjusting to the new reality. I'd make sure that there was someone in position to serve as an advocate for woman who cover the team for print or broadcast media. No woman should feel like she has to tolerate adolescent behavior in order to do her job. The same would go for any woman working for or in conjunction with the ball club, period. Just like the Harvey Weinstein revelations have changed the rules for what is tolerated from men in the entertainment industry, a Jared Porter or Mickey Callaway type should never again feel free to harass a woman who's just doing her job.

As to whether the Callaway revelations, coming on top of the Porter embarrassment, will affect the Mets pursuit of Trevor Bauer, my guess would be no. In fairness, Bauer's transgressions were about bullying women virtually, not sending them pictures of his private parts. By all accounts, the Mets already have an offer out to the free agent pitcher, and I can't see them pulling it back now.

These past three months have been full of events that have run the gamut of emotions for Mets fans. I've been, in turn, elated, frustrated, euphoric, annoyed and confused — sometimes in the same week. It definitely hasn't been boring. Apparently boring moved out when the Wilpons packed up and left. My hope is that the events on the field will be even more compelling than the offseason drama, and there will no longer a need to discuss the bad behavior of self-entitled men.

Please stay safe, be well and take care.


 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos

5 comments:

  1. "I'd make sure that there was someone in position to serve as an advocate for woman who cover the team"

    The smartest thing I've heard today. Great idea. I understand the stigma the victims feel but sadly if they dont talk others get abused too. Maybe an advocate would help with that. Very thoughtful.

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  2. As I was out shoveling snow yesterday, I got wondering if Porter and Callaway are just the surface of the problem.

    In an industry - not just baseball but other sports as well that is so male dominated, and with the macho types involved, it seems to me that we may not have seen the last of this.

    The one thing that is definitely more gender integrated is the media, particularly the on the field and sideline reporters. In many ways, that is a symptom of the problem as the networks use the 'beautiful women draw male viewers' idea to get any bump to their ratings they can, similar to the way the football teams use cheerleaders. How many of these people with power think they can get away with these awful acts that, as you say, they should have learned in junior high.

    Are there a just couple bad apples out there, or is there an industry wide problem of abuse? We'll see. I hope not.

    In a related, but side note, there was an very good article in the Washington Post yesterday that dealt with this issue of abuse and trauma.

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  3. On the baseball side of things, my emotion at this point is 'tired'. I'm tired of rehashing the Bauer saga and the centerfield issue (if there is one). I'm tired of watching MLB and the MLBPA not get along and making some big boy pants decisions. Not having the DH issues closed by November was criminal to both the players and the clubs when planning and building their teams. Not having it by Feburary is unfathomable. Yea, I'm ready for some baseball.

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  4. Man, I second that on being tired of all of those things.

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