Table of Contents

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Today in Baseball (4/24/06)

Three things to comment on:

First, big props go to Brandon Phillips for an amazing debut with the Reds that has netted him the National League Player of the Week Award. Thus far, through 12 games, he has hit 0.372/0.372/0.698/1.070 for the Reds. Absolutely fantastic numbers. ... though I am concerned that he hasn't walked yet: he can't produce at this level all season--heck, I'm not sure that anyone can--and a decent walk rate will help you maintain productivity through slumps, and will be correlated with working the count to get good pitches to hit. But whatever. I'm enjoying his hot streak while it lasts!

Second, props to Elizardo Ramirez for overcoming a somewhat shaky first inning to pitch seven strong innings for the Reds today and pick up his first big-league win. It's always great to see young guys come in and have success. He did walk his first batter of the season (triple-A and MLB), but also struck out 4 and did not allow a home run in a very impressive season debut. That should secure him the #5 starter job, for now.

Finally, via JD, are these comments by Keith Hernandez during a Mets broadcast Saturday after Mike Piazza high-fived trainer Kelly Calabrese in the San Diego Padres' dugout:
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.
I can understand his fretting if he thought this was a fan or a family member in the dugout--I agree that those folks don't belong in there--but he should have realized that a woman can work for a major league team. When he was informed later that the "girl" is a member of the Padres' training staff, Hernandez showed even less class:
I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout ... You know I am only teasing. I love you gals out there - always have.
He may love you, but he sure as hell doesn't respect you. He owes her a substantial and direct apology. Nevertheless, I do want to give props to Bruce Bochy for his comments:
Kelly is a part of this ballclub. She's a part of the training staff. I don't know the actual comments, I just heard about it, but she's been here for a while and played a major role with this club in getting guys ready to play a ballgame...I didn't think gender was even an issue anymore.
It shouldn't be, but sports, unfortunately, are a place sexism is still often seen as perfectly acceptable. Comments like Hernandez's really irk me.

SportsNet New York has reprimanded Hernandez, and he issued a fairly unapologetic "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" sort of apology during Sunday's game. But I'd hope that it goes a little bit further than that. I'm not saying he should be fired, but a suspension wouldn't be inappropriate if he's not willing to make a stronger statement in support of women in baseball.

For her part, Kelly Calabrese appealed to Hernandez to use his position in the public eye to "bring some positive light and give kids, give women, give boys, anybody, the encouragement they need to follow their dreams." Well said.