Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hernadez: Dugouts 'Just For Men'

Keith Hernandez had a long and storied career--including a 1979 MVP award, and a classic 1986 World Series championship—and ultimately placed him into the Hall of Fame. Now we can add another attribute to Hernandez’s list: misogynist. We already had more than a few reasons why ex-athletes often make terrible commentators—boring, inarticulate, egotistical, un-objective—but sexist? Now that’s a new one.

Sitting in the broadcast booth Hernandez spotted San Diego Padre’s trainer Kelly Calabrese high-fiving Mike Piazza after he hit a home run.

“Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair?” He asked. “What’s going on here? You have got to be kidding me. Only player personnel in the dugout.”

Strike one!

He could have stopped there and just sounded foolish. But, after being informed that Calabrese was player personnel, he persisted. “I wont say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don’t belong in the dugout,” he said.

Strike two!

What’s going on here? Who’s the fool in the broadcast booth? You’ve got to be kidding me. Hey, Keith, welcome to 2006 where women can not only vote, own property, but even get paid to play sports! Holy cow!

“You know I’m only teasing. I love you gals out there – always have,” Hernandez added.

Strike three, you're out!

What a stud. You too could date an ego-driven ex-athlete! The only difference between him and most other men is the “ex-athlete” label, which has probably given him license to act all sexist and cavemanish for the better part of thirty years. Oh, did I just stereotype? I'm only teasing.

It has to be hard being a woman. I hear horror stories about bad first dates and now I think I know why.

Keith: So, uh, you played softball in college.
Woman: Yes, I did, third base.
Keith: Cool. I’ll bet you didn’t throw like a girl, huh? Hey, did I mention I was a baseball player? 1979 MVP?
Woman: Yeah, you did, twice already…that’s a nice rookie card.
Keith: How much time do you spend in the kitchen? Just curious…not that I care.

Personally, I think if a man can dye his hair, as Hernandez does (ironically he sells ‘Just For Men’) women should be allowed to have careers that place them in a dugout. Maybe someday they’ll even sit on the Supreme Court. Oh wait…wow, they’ve done that too? Someone take a memo.

Padres manager, and contemporary of Hernandez, Bruce Boche commented, “I didn’t think gender was even an issue anymore.” Sadly, it is.

In contrast to Hernandez’s comments, Calabrese was extremely articulate and thoughtful. “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,” she said. “He not only discredited me as a person, but he discredited women.”

I think 'Just For Men' has the perfect man for the job. And if they don't bench him, I think he should stick to hawking the hair dye, and strick to the script as written. Just smile and look pretty, Keith. Atta boy, just like it’s 1979 all over again, baby.

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