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June 7, 2009

Prospectus Idol Entry

Yeah, That Girl Can Play

by Brian Oakchunas

Back in 2003, just after Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi had cut over 20 million from Toronto's payroll and was still managing to moneyball his way to an 86 win season, some members of the Toronto press foolishly accused him of racism. The accusations, which concerned the racial make-up of the team, were so crudely conceived and without basis in reality that they are not worth going into here, but, ironically, Riccardi was so concerned with finding undervalued players at the time that he'd have surely gone after a certain race if those players were devalued simply because of their skin color. In other words, he'd have loved nothing better than to pick up all the best Negro League players in 1940.

Still, there is a whole group of people that have been ignored by Riccardi and everyone else making decisions in the game. Thousands of players play underneath MLB's umbrella every year and not one of them has ever been a woman. While the debate goes on about whether women are qualified to compete alongside men, we will probably never find out as long as women are offered so little opportunity to play competitive baseball.

There was a time when Major League Baseball at least recognized female players. Back in 1943, Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley began the All-American Girls Softball League, which soon became the All-American Girls Baseball League (made famous in the film A League of Their Own). The AAGBL enjoyed some success, but never really took the playability of females seriously. At first, the league even subjected them to charm school classes where they learned such valuable baseball lessons as how to remain inconspicuous in public and how to keep their hair neat while on the field. Later, the league dropped charm school but it was certainly a little more concerned with Betty Booping it rather than intense preparation for a possible move to the majors.

Still, once these women played in front of crowds, they gained David Eckstein-like reputations for their work ethic and many people believed some of the women could play baseball on par with their tobacco-spitting counterparts. The league is the first evidence of the two baseball skills that women most often exhibit: pitching and speed. In fact, it quickly became clear that some of them performed these skills at a level far beyond their peers. Sophie Kurys, for example, seemed to master the art of teleportation: she had a season in which she stole 201 bases in 203 attempts. Nevertheless, Kurys and her teammates were never invited to so much as try out for the majors. Major League Baseball was a boy's club and they would not allow girls in their tree house.

Around the same time, a few women actually did play professional baseball with men in the Negro leagues. These women may not have been good enough to scramble with the guys in the majors, but they demonstrated that while some black women were good enough to play professional baseball, they could only do so as second-class players much like the black men. In other words, no one was rolling out the red carpet for women to play in white or mixed leagues regardless of their race or deftness for tossing around the horsehide.

In the fifty years since the AAGBL and the Negro leagues, women who want to play baseball have had as many options as Manny Ramirez and Pat Burrell have positions they're qualified to play: one and they can't play it the way they'd like to. Young girls often play baseball in Little League, but by high school they are usually forced down the softball path that rolls right into college. While some of the blame goes to MLB for continuing its all-male tradition, they would have to convert softball players to hardball because of the limited opportunities high schools and colleges afford to females who want to play baseball.

That is not to say that the conversion to baseball can't be a success. Take, for example, the Colorado Silver Bullets-a group of female softball players in the 90's who converted to playing baseball. They formed a team but didn't have a league in which they could play. So what did they do? They went barnstorming across the country, playing games against amateur and independent league men's teams. UCLA head softball coach Kelly Inouye-Perez trained with the team, and though she left the team for her current position before they went on tour, she kept up with the team and spoke to me about their transition from softball to baseball: "Hitting is the same. It's a skill and there are more ways to win than just hitting home runs. There were girls who could pitch and had some nasty stuff. Fielding is the same and all trained for the longer throws." While Inouye-Perez didn't imagine the team to be better than the men they played, they were still competitive and won some of their games. She said of women who play men, "Yes they can compete. Boys versus girls? Maybe not consistently beat them but there are girls that can flat out play either softball or baseball."

Unfortunately, the Silver Bullets don't play anymore, but once again, their existence puts a fine point on the idea that women don't have many opportunities in hardball: they didn't have a league to join, they were almost all softball players who had to convert, and they had to tour and schedule one-time exhibition games against all-men's teams. If more women played, they would have been in a much different situation.

More recently, some women have played collegiate baseball. Ila Borders, for instance, was the first woman to ever start an NCAA men's game when she did so in 1997. Certainly, the boy's team is uninviting to the girl who wants to play, but here again, there is a specific reason why women don't usually compete against college men even in the most inviting of circumstances. The best female high school players can usually get scholarships for softball but not for baseball, even if they managed to play baseball at their high schools. While it makes sense that a university would want them in the sport where they can be more successful, it is one more reason that women are pulled away from baseball at a young age.

While some women like Borders and Missy Coombes (one of the Silver Bullets) broke through to play on independent league men's teams, it is important to remember that for every one of them, there are hundreds of great softball players who never try and make the jump to men's baseball.

That does not mean that they are without significant achievements on the field, however. Take Katie Burkhart who was this year's number one draft pick in the National Pro Fastpitch, a professional softball league. While at Arizona State University in 2007, Burkhart struck out an amazing 517 batters in one season in what was only her junior year before going on to pro softball.

How does a number like 517 convert to success in minor or major league baseball? That is an answer I can't honestly give. Conversion statistics are based on actual conversions. For example, we project how Japanese players would do in the majors based on other players who made the jump. Because women have so little opportunity to do so, there is no way to know whether that equals success against professional men. It's even unclear whether an underhanded pitch would be legal in the majors-though Chad Bradford is permitted to dig up a scoop of dirt during many of his pitches-or whether softball pitchers are biomechanically suited to have a correspondingly successful overhand pitch. Until more women have opportunities, we won't know the answers to these questions.

All that's left is for us to dream whether women will ever compete alongside men at the highest levels of professional baseball. While it may seem hard to believe that women will ever hit bombs out of the park with the ease of someone like Ryan Howard, is it so hard to believe that some of the faster women could have a skill set similar to Juan Pierre or Scott Podsednik? The first female player could even be the breaking ball pitcher that baseball historian and filmmaker Ken Burns has suggested in interviews.

Either way, it seems not only possible but likely that the best female player in the world is better than the worst male minor league player and the reason she's not out there is because she hasn't been provided with the opportunity.

Maybe some ambitious GM will be the first to break the unspoken rule: "No girls allowed." Even unqualified men-and suspect entertainers-like Billy Crystal and Garth Brooks have been invited to camp, but never a woman. The first GM to try it, to discover it, will not only be the first to tap this possible hidden resource, but he will also have a significant footnote in this late addition to the women's rights movement. And then we will have the true people's game that baseball was always intended to be.

48 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Jivas
(649)

Christina,

As a former Sociology major who completed a research paper on gender sport socialization and Title IX, Billie Jean King is one of my heroes; however, Bobby Riggs was 55 years old when King beat him in 1973. It is fairly obvious that the best women tennis players simply cannot compete with the best mens tennis players, a fact which in no way minimizes the accomplishments or abilities of the women players.

King's victory over Riggs was an important moment, but it's equally important that we not extrapolate too significantly on the actual outcome - especially since Riggs soundly defeated Margaret Court the previous year.

Jun 07, 2009 10:40 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

jivas21: I agree with your statement, which goes into the necessary detail; that also isn't what was said beforehand.

Jun 07, 2009 10:46 AM
 
Jivas
(649)

Ah, yes, re-reading Will's comment I can see that. :)

I suppose my energies could have been better focused addressing the entry itself, which I enjoyed and about which I have much to say (though not necessarily the time or energy to do so).

Jun 07, 2009 11:17 AM
rating: 0
 
jrmayne

The Silver Bullets got routinely killed by men's teams of every level. To play them off as competitive isn't accurate, IMO.

Is it so hard to believe women can play? Yes. Yes it is. I'd like it to be otherwise, but I don't see it.

Jun 07, 2009 11:52 AM
rating: 2
 
Brian Oakchunas

In four years they went 58-127. That's far from great, but they had to have a few gals worth their salt to get 58 wins.

Jun 07, 2009 16:07 PM
rating: 5
 
badmonkey

The comparison to Riggs/King is poor--that is an individual sport in which the strength and speed of one competitor directly compares to that of the other. To the extent that the world's best male athletes are biologically disposed to have greater strength and speed than similar women, men will beat women in such contexts. And this is also true if we have a team of top male athletes competing against a team of top female athletes.

But context matters. On a team of nine players who do not compete against one another in the same way as tennis players (or even basketball players), and on a team that is co-educational as it were, the talents of a given player are valued differently. So, why can't we imagine that a top female athlete could be better than David Eckstein or Kahlil Greene or as good as Ichiro playing on a team with men and women? I personally CAN imagine such players, and it is to this point that the submission speaks I think, even if not as clearly is I'd like. This is what speaks to a cultural problem in talent selection.

Jun 07, 2009 12:43 PM
rating: 6
 
joshilles

I agree with Christina that the intro didn't work. It was an OK article as a whole, but not great by any means. But, if Brian's strategy is to get 100% of the female vote, and 50% or so of the male vote, which would inevitably get him through to the next round, then I admire his decision making.

Jun 07, 2009 13:07 PM
rating: -1
 
Sky Kalkman

If I read this as an article advocating that women be given a chance to show their stuff, it misses the boat. If I read it as a series of interesting vignettes, it's quite entertaining, although I don't know what the overall point would be in that case. I actually started out expecting not to like the article, but read the whole thing and enjoyed it.

Jun 07, 2009 13:29 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Liked it but didn't love it since it was more of an opinion piece and not overly analytical or persuasive. Why not use modern scouting tools like 40 yard dash times instead of stats from a 1940s league that is hard to compare.

Thumbs up but could've been better.

Jun 07, 2009 15:17 PM
rating: 2
 
G. Guest

Interesting, but this reads more like a CNN or Oprah article than BP.

That said, it seems like there would have to be some women capable of earning a living playing pro baseball. I read somewhere (I can't quickly find the source, but I will post it if I can find it later.) that something like 3% of minor league baseball players reach the majors. That's just reaching the majors.

I am curious what percentage of MiLB players have careers longer than 2 or 3 years. This makes the probability of a woman making it to the bigs even more unlikely.

However, I can imagine a female utility player or catcher making it someday.

Jun 07, 2009 16:57 PM
rating: -1
 
surveyzas
(119)

it's a worthwhile article, if only because it raises questions that should be more frequently discussed than they are. the piece has its faults - little substance to the conclusion, and could've delved more into the specific obstacles for conversion (perhaps detailing what processes and training the Silver Bullets went through to prepare, as an example). Brian still earned my vote for selecting an interesting topic, and sketching out the history of women in baseball. smart choice.

Jun 07, 2009 17:11 PM
rating: 2
 
dcarroll

I thought Brian's article was interesting but not convincing. He seems to be aiming low in mentioning Ilya Borders (who couldn't even get Northern League hitters out) and borderline/fringe major leaguers such as Bradford and Podsednik. Perhaps a woman might be able to achieve the level of success of these MLB players. But why would that be more significant than achieving greater success in a women's league similar to the WNBA?

On the other hand, if it is possible for a woman to be a major contributor to a MLB team, then the first woman should be chosen with the kind of care that Branch Rickey chose in selecting Jackie Robinson, as Christina has indicated.

Either way, I think the thesis needed to be worked out more carefully. I appreciate that Brian took on something so significant, but it really didn't work for me.


Jun 07, 2009 17:25 PM
rating: 0
 
Dr. Dave

No mention of Babe Didrikson? Pity.

A worthwhile article, if not great. It needed more emphasis on "how much of an outlier would an MLB-able woman be?" and "how much missing infrastructure in HS and the minors would there need to be for us to ever really find out?".

On a minor note, the sloppy style (in the MLA sense) still bothers me. "A League of Their Own" needs quotation marks or italics. Don't write "try and" when you mean "try to", even if that's how you talk at the water cooler. "[O]ne and they can't play it the way they'd like to" needs a comma. Etc. Making the editor work hard is not a way to win employment.

Jun 07, 2009 17:38 PM
rating: -1
 
Brian Oakchunas

I'm surprised I didn't attend to the movie title. Had I been cognizant of what I was doing I'd have probably underlined or italicized it.

Jun 07, 2009 20:18 PM
rating: 0
 
JayhawkBill

"How does a number like 517 convert to success in minor or major league baseball? That is an answer I can't honestly give. Conversion statistics are based on actual conversions."

When you had to write this, you lost my thumbs up. If you're going to write this article, you have to offer a rationale for an approximation to conversion.

***

I've thought for a long time that there are three roles at which the very best women might possibly compete in professional North American baseball:

1) LOOGY
2) Knuckleball pitcher
3) Second base

I was dying for you to come closer than a reference to Chad Bradford on how a particular female might break the gender barrier. This was a good topic. I wanted your article to succeed...for me it did not.

Jun 07, 2009 17:46 PM
rating: 1
 
jimnabby

I found this piece to be really weak. We get a paragraph about women in the Negro Leagues - something I didn't know - but it doesn't mention any names, give us any idea of how they did relative to the men, or even give us a single anecdote. The whole article's like that - passing mentions to things like Ila Borders and the Silver Bullets, but with no actual information that would be relevant to the main argument.

Jun 07, 2009 18:19 PM
rating: 0
 
DigBaseball

This article grabbed me on an emotional and spiritual level. Baseball is my religion, and if and when I have the opportunity to rear children, I want them all have the opportunity to play baseball for as long and at the highest competitive level as their abilities -- and desires --- carry them.

It doesn't bother me that the author did not spend more time vetting the lack of infrastructure that would enable my imagined daughter to reach the major leagues; rather, I embrace the thought that it is up to *us* create a better and fairer world for our children so that they can follow their dreams and maximize their opportunities, regardless of gender.

I'm glad to read an opinion piece here, on a subject that admittedly touches a nerve, and I am encouraged to see that the author was confident enough to write about something which certainly seems close to his own heart, rather than adhering to some sort of "formula."

Well done.

Jun 07, 2009 19:57 PM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

This was quite a fun read. Personally, though, I remained completely unconvinced we'll have a Juan Pierre or David Eckstein type. My understanding is that even exceptionally gifted women just don't have the fast twitch muscles that outstanding male athletes have. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see a woman some day make it as a finesse pitcher as Ken Burns speculates. (As I understand, you need a very large hand to throw a knuckleball properly.)

On to the quibbles: the paragraph on the Negro Leagues wasn't clear and contained a sentence that was way too long. Precisely how did these women fair in these leagues?

You needed to put those 517 K in some sort of context beyond "one season". How many innings was that? Was it a record? By how much? Have any male softballers had a similar stat?

If a woman was qualified to play for a men's university baseball team as much as some guy who did get a scholarship to play for that team, couldn't she sue if they refused to give her an equal offer? You could have used some specific examples of women who were qualified, but were turned away. They didn't turn away Ila Borders.

Jun 07, 2009 21:03 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

I didn't know about the large hand thing. I'm not a doctor but I remember reading somewhere that a woman's shoulder structure is different besides the aesthetic looks. If true, perhaps women can throw with a different kind of motion/torque/spin.

Also remember what we've seen of Japanese players... they tend to use a fair amount of deception in their pitching motions. If a Maddux or Glavine can be successful at the 85 mph range, it's quite possible for a female pitcher to throw that hard and be successful. It's a bit similar to the "four minute mile" barrier which has been shattered in recent years. All it takes is the right kinds of women to come along, a workout regimen designed on a woman's body type, and the chance to compete.

Jun 07, 2009 21:25 PM
rating: 0
 
jtrichey

After really liking Brian's entry piece, the next 3 have all just been skating along in the so-so range. This article is well written but just doesn't interest me. That could be as much my fault as the author.

Jun 07, 2009 21:41 PM
rating: -1
 
Brian24

This is a very interesting topic, but there wasn't a whole lot of substance to Brian's arguments here. I never knew that women played in the Negro Leagues--how did they perform? Knowing that would add some weight. You claim that the AAGBL players gained respect from fans, though you don't offer anything to back this up, and in any case it doesn't advance the argument that they could have played with the men.

I saw the Silver Bullets play back in the day. I have no doubt that a few of them could have played for some low-level minor-league teams, but none of them had anything approaching major-league talent. In fact, I think if a major league team found a woman so good that she had a serious shot at the majors, they'd snap her up. Imagine the marketing possibilities--the Danica Patrick of MLB! (Ok, to hit that level she'd have to be very attractive as well, but I think any woman who could play at that level would draw a crowd.)

Jun 08, 2009 00:38 AM
rating: 0
 
Brian Oakchunas

Toni Stone was the first and most famous woman in the Negro Leagues. It is hard to get line statistics on them as you can imagine, but they were good enough to play in the Negro Leagues but probably not the majors, as I mentioned. My intended point was that if women from a small segment of the population (black women) were good enough to play in a league drawn from the same population (the Negro Leagues), then it is entirely possible that there have also been women from the the larger population that were qualified for the larger league.

Jun 08, 2009 12:53 PM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

Perhaps - unless she was allow to play for the novelty of it. Just speculating, but somehow I imagine that the standings weren't taken as seriously as white people took their sacred league. They were competitive, I'm sure, but first of all, it was a show. At least, I'm guessing attendence probably wasn't as sensitive to the standings as it has been in the Majors. People came just to watch good baseball. I read "Only the Ball was White" a long time ago, so I am no expert, but that's my impression. It certainly wasn't as strictly organized as the Majors.

Jun 08, 2009 14:29 PM
rating: -1
 
Randy Brown
(189)

One aspect to women playing baseball that I haven't seen anyone mention yet: finite financial resources.

I'd love to let everyone retire at 35 and collect social security for the next 50 years, but collectively we can't afford it. It's also financially prohibitive to get a baseball infrastructure for women off the ground.

Even the optimistic view of success seems to hope for women who could succeed as situational relief specialists or speedy fifth outfielders. It's unrealistic to ask various government entities or MLB clubs to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to establish a baseball infrastructure for women, when the potential return on investment just isn't there.

Jun 08, 2009 06:55 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Isn't the same kind of argument used about the WBC involving teams from South Africa, etc? That there's no real baseball infrastructure there yet? Or that Indian reality TV show that gave the winners a minor league contract with the Pirates?

The operative word is "yet". It can happen.

Also, remember that there are people drafted by major league teams purely based on tools who have little/no baseball background. Academies in the Dominican start working with people as young as 14 or so. If inner-city programs like RBI are set up correctly, they can be used to recruit and trade women as well as men.

Jun 08, 2009 07:15 AM
rating: -1
 
Randy Brown
(189)

Methinks you prove my point without intending to. MLB invests in the Dominican because there is a financial incentive for them to develop and acquire players. MLB is investing in the WBC and China to expand their viewership, and thereby expand their revenue base. They have a financial incentive to do these things.

I'm pretty sure most girls in the United States are already familiar with this "baseball" that we speak of. I've even seen some at the ballpark a couple of times. I'm sure if a woman were to reach the majors, it would certainly be a story of interest for awhile, and MLB would get a temporary bump in revenue. Ultimately, it wouldn't significantly effect the talent base of the game, and it wouldn't effect revenues.

Jun 08, 2009 07:55 AM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

I'm not saying it has to do with revenues, but with cheaper expenditures. It's just a Moneyball concept. As foreign talent gets more expensive via bidding wars/posting systems or being incorporated into the June amateur draft, teams will start looking at domestic avenues again to exploit market inefficiencies. Wasn't it Herb Washington who had no baseball background but was signed solely to be a pinch runner? Perhaps the fact that women play less baseball means they have less bad habits to "train away" and their arms haven't been overworked as much as their male counterparts. All I'm saying is if teams use draft slots on tools-only players, it is entirely possible that a woman gets drafted. Heck, some teams use draft picks as personal favors to friends of the team... as I recall, Piazza was a 36th round pick because of some relationship to Tommy Lasorda. Anything can happen.

Jun 08, 2009 08:33 AM
rating: -1
 
evo34

If a woman had the biceps of Piazza, she might very well get a token a late-round draft spot... The idea that women might be undervalued because they have fewer developed bad habits and/or have fresher arms is truly absurd...probably the most inane comment made yet in the entire competition. There is no "inefficiency" resulting from the failure to draft and develop women; by contrast, it would be incredibly inefficient -- and thus beneficial to the competition -- to do so.

Jun 09, 2009 02:22 AM
rating: -3
 
Richard Bergstrom

You have a wonderful habit of repeatedly using little effort to call my comments "the most inane" that you have seen, so I would hate to disappoint you. I write a lot, and you don't, so I'm sure I provide lots of cannon fodder for your grapeshot.

Then again, it seems whenever I heard commentary about Piazza's attributes, his quick wrists were mentioned more than his biceps.

Anyway, there were racial stereotypes that led people to think that African-Americans couldn't compete with white major leaguers. There are also similar stereotypes about why white people can't play basketball as well as African-Americans. Both have been proven wrong so far, so we'll see if your stereotype of women also fails.

Jun 09, 2009 07:46 AM
rating: 0
 
hessshaun
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

I don't get the argument. This is not, ESPN's Michele Wie, 1947, or soup worthy. No soup for you.

Jun 08, 2009 07:57 AM
rating: -12
 
rbooth9

Here's a helluva feature story: interview the first guy to get cut/miss out on a roster spot because a woman wins the job. Now that's a unique story. Will it ever happen? I think it's certainly possible. We've seen crazier stuff happen in baseball history.

Jun 08, 2009 10:40 AM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

I enjoyed the article...it was different enough to be valuable without number-crunching.

One question: How could you fail to mention Jackie Mitchell, the girl who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game?

Jun 08, 2009 10:47 AM
rating: 0
 
Brian Oakchunas

I actually didn't know about her somehow. It is an interesting story. Thanks for passing along her name.

Jun 08, 2009 12:41 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

Not to be a complete killjoy, but there are more than a few suggestions that Jackie Mitchell's feat was staged. Barnstorming could involve different levels of seriousness, from slapstick right up to the proofs that African-American belonged on big-league diamonds delivered during Bob Feller's post-war barnstorming campaigns with Satchell Paige and the like (which John Sickels covered well in his bio of Feller, which in the interests of disclosure, I should admit I published with Brassey's Sports back in the day).

Jun 08, 2009 14:53 PM
 
ScottyB

I really liked this article. vety different from what one reads here, and I think this is good if the ultimate goal is to find a new "regular" BP writer

Jun 08, 2009 11:13 AM
rating: 0
 
keeperleaguegm

Sloppy...including spelling errors. If your intro is focused on JP Ricciardi, you need to spell his name right.

Jun 08, 2009 12:13 PM
rating: 0
 
Brian Oakchunas

You spelled it the same way and as far as I know it's correct. Maybe you're nit-picking my periods? I've seen it both ways.

Jun 08, 2009 12:37 PM
rating: 0
 
evo34

It was spelled correctly in the opening sentence, but then misspelled in the next two mentions.

Jun 09, 2009 02:08 AM
rating: 0
 
jdseal

Got nothing to do with MLB, but that's the week's theme, right?:

Every now and then you really do get a girl (I have a niece who was one) who makes it to 12 as a little leaguer and truly is the best player on the field, with the right kind of skills, not just early physical development, but real potential, at least to stand out in a local little league. When that 12 year old season ends, and the boys are ready to move on to bigger and better things, it truly is the end for her, and truly tragic. You can feel the pain of the girl who knows she never gets to play again. It's always painful (in any sport you love) when you finally reach the point where you're just not good enough to go on any longer. Most of us got there in high school or so, and I'm sure most of these girls would too, but to be told you don't even get to find out what that point is, is heartbreaking.

Jun 08, 2009 13:53 PM
rating: 0
 
misterjohnny
(925)

In today's world, if she truly has the skills to play, she will find a place to play. If she just has the skills to make the team, then she won't find a place to play because they will use that roster spot on a boy who has improvement potential.

Jun 08, 2009 14:00 PM
rating: -1
 
misterjohnny
(925)

Read the book, "Andy Roddick Beat Me With A Frying Pan". One of the chapters addresses women vs men. This is a tired discussion that has been beaten to death. There is maybe one woman in a 10 million that might have the inherent skills to compete with the very best men in baseball (Major Leaguers). But that woman will have to have been playing baseball for a lot of years to be able to make it. She will also be a great female athlete in a variety of women's sports, so she will make a lot more money away from baseball, thus that one in 10 million athlete will never sniff a baseball field.

Jun 08, 2009 13:58 PM
rating: 2
 
Richard Bergstrom

1 in 10 million? Heck, that's good odds for a male!

Jun 08, 2009 18:46 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

This article will almost certainly get my vote, but this isn't why I'm commenting. It seems to me that most comments here are focused on the issue of whether women (or even just a single woman) can make it to/in MLB. I don't know if how I read it was the author's intention, or just a side note, but I see this article as saying - MLB is not the big picture here - the big picture, the main problem, is that we, as a society, push the girls away from baseball at a very young age. Why can't baseball be co-ed - the best will play and that's it. I've played in league hardball games with former NCAA baseball players (men) playing with/against former NCAA softball (women) on the same field. The girl did alright. I'm not going to suggest she play in the minors, but why push her into softball if she wants to play hardball? Let these decisions be made by talent and desire, not by gender.
On a side note - I hate to have to be doing this the day before draft day.

Jun 08, 2009 20:55 PM
rating: 2
 
Brian Oakchunas

Definitely, the entire system is unfair. However, I have enjoyed the discussioin here about whether women can play in the majors. I was really hoping to get people involved in the topic this week so I'm happy to have done that.

Jun 09, 2009 08:29 AM
rating: 0
 
Llarry

I liked it. Kind of a Goldman-lite. Nice club to have in the bag...

Jun 09, 2009 08:33 AM
rating: 1
 
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INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2009-06-10 - Unfiltered: BP Idol: Week Three Results