McCarthy: What were you going to say, Mike? That the throw was a bar of soap that Garcia threw to home plate?
Schmidt: Well, he did kind of throw it a little… I don’t know… are you allowed to say, a little bit…
Schmidt: …girlish, so to speak?
This is sexist for a very obvious reason, one which was apparent to all three members of the broadcast booth once the words left Schmidt’s mouth. In fact, Stairs seemed to know what Schmidt was going to say when he interjected “no” before Schmidt said “a little girlish”. You could cut the awkwardness in the booth with a knife.
Calling a weak throw “girlish” implies that femininity is weak. I need not list examples of strong women because women are allowed to be weak as well as strong. Weakness is not specific to any gender. This works in the opposite direction as well: when an athlete does something that exhibits strength, we’ll laud it as manly, as if strength is something only people who identify as men can display.
The comment coming from Schmidt isn’t surprising, as baseball — as with all professional sports — has deeply entrenched misogyny.
Mike Schmidt and Paul Molitor watched an exhibition game Monday from opposite dugouts here at the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training camp. Historically, they belong to the same team, as Hall of Famers with plaques in Cooperstown, N.Y. But on an issue that divides so many in baseball, Schmidt and Molitor disagree.
Pete Rose, the career hits leader, has applied for reinstatement to Major League Baseball, which barred him for life in 1989 for gambling on games played by the Cincinnati Reds, the team he was managing. Rose’s request will be reviewed by the new commissioner, Rob Manfred, who succeeded Bud Selig in January.
Selig never ruled on the Rose case, effectively upholding the agreement Rose had signed under Commissioner Bart Giamatti, who died of a heart attack eight days later. Fay Vincent, who served between Giamatti and Selig, believes Manfred will not bring Rose back.
“I really don’t think it’s very difficult at all, and I don’t think Manfred is going to think of it as very difficult,” Vincent said in a telephone interview. “He’s going to think of it only in baseball terms.”