Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Watching Like a Girl: How mainstream sports reporting gets female fandom wrong

If it weren’t for women at baseball games, us stat nerds would never know what one looked like!

Men hold an overwhelming majority of the power when it comes to creating mainstream sports culture, whether it’s by being a player, a fan, or a sportswriter. Take, for example, Tom Maloney’s piece in last Friday’s Globe and Mail, titled “A new generation of baseball fans in Toronto are young, hip and cool.” The article, which breaks down results of an in-stadium survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid, reinforces the very same exclusion and hostility that I have front of mind every time I pick my seats. In it, the author attempts to explain an “astounding” jump in women’s attendance at Rogers Centre from 2010 to 2012 by lazily hypothesizing that these young women aren’t really baseball fans at all.

Through some rather biased quotation choices (“it’s the best patio in the city, the best people-watching in the city”; “we can ‘watch’ the game—in quotations”), Maloney paints a singular portrait of a woman out for a night of beer and boy watching. “Along with a number of other women interviewed for this story, she indicated the club’s eye-appealing roster has enhanced her interest,” he writes of one subject. By cherry-picking comments and manufacturing conclusions, he does his part in contributing to a long-standing image problem that many female fans rail against.

To the media at large, baseball fans of the female persuasion tend to be seen as vapid, bored, and distracted, either dragged along by boyfriends or there to party and pick up, all the while wearing their Victoria’s Secret Jays tees and drooling over Brett Lawrie. Women are there for a ladies night or a bachelorette party—certainly not for any “real love” of the game, yet they do come in handy as the occasional pretty face for Sportsnet to zoom in on.

I certainly don’t deny that these kinds of fans exist—but I cannot agree that they’re a problem. The actual problem lies in consistently putting this very limited depiction of women’s relationship to sports into the world. It does real exclusionary damage in terms of attracting new fans, a project that both makes good economic sense and goes far in improving the overall experience for everyone.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 01, 2013 at 02:21 PM | 124 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fans, toronto, women in baseball

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: August 02, 2013 at 01:47 AM (#4510895)
I showed this excerpt to my wife. She scanned, said "Yep", and walked away.
   2. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:01 AM (#4510897)
If the survey of the female attendants are coming back with these comments in them and the marketing department of the Blue Jays are stressing them, I assume they are if reporters are getting survey releases from them, then that would seem to me to mean that in fact a large majority of female fans are coming to the game because of this. Either that or the Blue Jays figure that the amount of "hardcore" female fans that already come to the game or spend money on the team is already at saturation point and is either not going to grow or grow rather slowly. So their best bet is to grow the market segment that simply want to have a nice night out or to cater to that segment since it is already a larger customer base for them than the hardcore female fan customer base. For the most part marketing departments aren't stupid. They are chasing the dollar not trying to reinforce supposedly sexist stereotypes just for the fun of it.
   3. morineko Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:05 AM (#4510900)
I've never had a problem with being harassed at ballgames (but just watch, next time I go...) at 5 different MLB parks and 2 minor league ones. I don't doubt that it happens, but it looks like the problem here lies with 1) drunks and 2) the Toronto Blue Jays being totally unresponsive to fan complaints of harassment.

My efforts in finding a "female fandom," well, as a stat-oriented fan you either have to deal with environments full of men of various levels of hostility or you end up in an all-girl group where the majority thinks "math is hard" and has a fandom that consists of reblogging pictures of "hot guys" on Tumblr and/or writing dirty fanfic about said hot guys. Help me.
   4. Ron J Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:12 AM (#4510905)
#3 I strongly suspect that what you're looking for doesn't currently exist.
   5. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:59 AM (#4510911)
The pink hats are a lie! /faints

My efforts in finding a "female fandom," well, as a stat-oriented fan you either have to deal with environments full of men of various levels of hostility or you end up in an all-girl group where the majority thinks "math is hard" and has a fandom that consists of reblogging pictures of "hot guys" on Tumblr and/or writing dirty fanfic about said hot guys. Help me.

You could try hanging out with the male sportswriter contingent, who think "math is hard", and write dirty fanfic about Jeter's calm eyes...
   6. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2013 at 07:42 AM (#4510941)
I certainly believe there are many female real fans, but for every 10 women at the game, 7-8 are there for the social interaction and eye-candy. Men like watching hot chicks (hence the market for strip clubs) and women like watching hot guys (hence The Bachelorette). Fighting human nature is pretty silly.
   7. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2013 at 07:54 AM (#4510947)
Why does it have to be either or? They might both like baseball and like the eye candy. When I had Timber wolves season tickets I enjoyed the basketball and looking at the women (FWIW - Lakers and Rockets brought out the best looking women to games).

In my experience Title IX has generated increased interest in sports in women, and on average the younger age cohorts are more interested in sports. One of the many good things from Title IX.

   8. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 02, 2013 at 07:55 AM (#4510948)
I certainly believe there are many female real fans, but for every 10 women at the game, 7-8 are there for the social interaction and eye-candy. Men like watching hot chicks (hence the market for strip clubs) and women like watching hot guys (hence The Bachelorette). Fighting human nature is pretty silly.

If they are going to baseball games for the eye candy, then they picked the wrong sport...
   9. Lassus Posted: August 02, 2013 at 07:55 AM (#4510949)
I certainly believe there are many female real fans, but for every 10 women at the game, 7-8 are there for the social interaction and eye-candy.

Men like watching sports a lot more than women. Noted and accepted.

I personally think the notion that 4 out of 5 women at MLB games aren't there for the game is a very biased, subjective opinion.
   10. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: August 02, 2013 at 07:56 AM (#4510950)
You could try hanging out with the male sportswriter contingent, who think "math is hard", and write dirty fanfic about Jeter's calm eyes...

This deserves a Primey.
   11. villageidiom Posted: August 02, 2013 at 07:56 AM (#4510951)
Men are notoriously bad at being able to tell what's going on inside the mind of a woman, even when he asks and she answers. I am just going to pass on this one.
   12. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2013 at 08:04 AM (#4510957)
If they are going to baseball games for the eye candy, then they picked the wrong sport...


Which is one of the reasons why my wife doesn't like watching baseball nearly as much as I do (she tolerates it). She surprised me the other night when she told me she wished I was a soccer fan.
   13. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2013 at 08:05 AM (#4510958)
Men are notoriously bad at being able to tell what's going on inside the mind of a woman, even when he asks and she answers.


You can only control for so many variables.
   14. ASmitty Posted: August 02, 2013 at 08:05 AM (#4510959)
I see lots of women at Comerica Park, some are just getting bombed, but that's true of the men too. Most seem to have a familiarity with the game and team that is on par with the average fan. They may whoop for specific hotties, but whatever, the field is populated entirely by members of the opposite sex.

I do not know any women who are hardcore MLB-wide baseball fans, but I know lots of women who are perfectly typical fans of the home team.

EDIT: Hell, even I'm not a hardcore MLB-wide fan; I have only a passing notion of what's going on in the NL.
   15. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 02, 2013 at 08:07 AM (#4510961)
Which is one of the reasons why my wife doesn't like watching baseball nearly as much as I do (she tolerates it). She surprised me the other night when she told me she wished I was a soccer fan.

Of course. Toned bodies, short shorts, tight fitting tops that they are knowen to lift or remove on occasion... better hair too.
   16. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2013 at 08:15 AM (#4510963)
The ex occasionally remarks that basketball was better back in the days of tight shorts (but is otherwise only really a fan of horse racing and such - so an Arod fan I guess).
   17. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2013 at 08:27 AM (#4510968)
Yep, that John Stockton really got their juices flowing.
   18. zonk Posted: August 02, 2013 at 08:55 AM (#4510980)

If they are going to baseball games for the eye candy, then they picked the wrong sport...


I'd say hockey games for eye candy (fandom, I mean)-- and FWIW, and maybe this is because I'm more of a casual hockey fan - they also tend to know their stuff.

I dated a girl in college and and a bit post-college that was a big baseball fan. This was pre-analytics days - but her knowledge of the Twins rivaled mine of the Cubs and she probably had as many dog-eared BJ Baseball Abstracts as I did from the 80s. It worked out quite well - we'd go to Comiskey for Twins/Sox games and both be rooting for the Twins, and in return, she'd wear a Cubs cap and join me in rooting for the Cubs when we hit Wrigley.

In fact, with one or two exceptions among my male friends who could keep pace with her - I'd say we probably had better conversations on the game than I had with most other people I went to games with. We both thought the sac but was overused, both considered the White Sox and Yankees dominions of evil (I guess I could only get her to classify the Cardinals as "probably evil", though I would only that far concerning the Brewers, too - so we were even on that account).

In retrospect, I'm thinking that letting her get away might have been a mistake...
   19. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:05 AM (#4510990)
In retrospect, I'm thinking that letting her get away might have been a mistake...


Absent any other information, then yeah, sounds like it.
   20. Greg K Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:11 AM (#4510999)
Why does it have to be either or?

I recall baseball chick was a particular fan of Brad Ausmus, and not because of his all-star bat. And I'm pretty sure no one here would try to claim that she isn't also a real baseball fan.
   21. Greg K Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4511006)
I'd say hockey games for eye candy (fandom, I mean)-- and FWIW, and maybe this is because I'm more of a casual hockey fan - they also tend to know their stuff.

In Toronto anyway I'd say the Leafs have no shortage of female fans who know their ####. Of course the Leafs have no shortage of fans in any category really.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4511011)

Agreed, although her lust was not reserved solely for Ausmus iirc. An OF or two as well, am pretty sure.
   23. ASmitty Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4511018)
I recall baseball chick was a particular fan of Brad Ausmus, and not because of his all-star bat.


My mother is an exemplary baseball fan, but she only ever referred to Ausmus as "Cute Brad Ausmus." I've never heard her call him anything else.
   24. Matthew E Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4511020)
In Toronto anyway I'd say the Leafs have no shortage of female fans who know their they're ####.
FTFY.




(Referring to the Leafs, of course; not the fans themselves.)
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4511022)
My efforts in finding a "female fandom," well, as a stat-oriented fan you either have to deal with environments full of men of various levels of hostility or you end up in an all-girl group where the majority thinks "math is hard" and has a fandom that consists of reblogging pictures of "hot guys" on Tumblr and/or writing dirty fanfic about said hot guys. Help me.


I don't know of anything, sorry. I can see how that would be frustrating.

Maybe this is one of those "be the change you want to see" situations. Have you thought about starting your own stats-oriented site for female fans? I bet there's a market for it.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4511027)
Is bbc chick the only regular female poster on this site?
   27. Greg K Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4511031)
Is bbc chick the only regular female poster on this site?

There is another one that posts sporadically, (Devil In a Blue Cap?...or is it red?)
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:44 AM (#4511044)
My efforts in finding a "female fandom," well, as a stat-oriented fan you either have to deal with environments full of men of various levels of hostility or you end up in an all-girl group where the majority thinks "math is hard" and has a fandom that consists of reblogging pictures of "hot guys" on Tumblr and/or writing dirty fanfic about said hot guys. Help me.

I'm wondering who all these men are that are hostile to knowledgeable female baseball fans?

How do they function in the real world? Practically every work place these days has large numbers of smart, accomplished women, and if you're in a quantitative field, they're good at math too.

I've always enjoyed working for and with women, better than working with most men. Much less ego-driven bullshit.
   29. Greg K Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:51 AM (#4511047)
I'm wondering who all these men are that are hostile to knowledgeable female baseball fans?

Another question might be how this hostility manifests itself. An individual can be a jerk without him* thinking of himself as a jerk in a plethora of ways.

*Or "her" obviously.
   30. morineko Posted: August 02, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4511050)
Have you thought about starting your own stats-oriented site for female fans? I bet there's a market for it.


I have zero time for it. It's more a wish for a generalist forum, anyway--I find that Brew Crew Ball on SBN is a generally non-sexist environment, stat-friendly, with enough female members who know their stuff.
   31. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4511062)
I've always enjoyed working for and with women, better than working with most men. Much less ego-driven ########.


I totally cosign this. I much prefer having female management. They (in general) listen so much better and there is much less BS. Some of that might be biased samples though. Since I am in IT, which is male dominated, the females that do make it in management are pretty much the best of the best.
   32. DL from MN Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4511069)
The Twinkie Town SB Nation site is female friendly too. Aren't we post-gender on the internet anyway? I like talking baseball with people, doesn't matter to me what gender as long as they like baseball. My daughter's the biggest baseball fan in my house after me.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4511076)
I totally cosign this. I much prefer having female management. They (in general) listen so much better and there is much less BS. Some of that might be biased samples though. Since I am in IT, which is male dominated, the females that do make it in management are pretty much the best of the best.

I've noticed that I get along better with managers/peers/superiors that are female, or men at least 10-15 years older.

Men around the same age generally seem to view me as a threat, especially the ones whose schtick is to be "the smartest guy in the room".

Thankfully, my current boss is an exception to this "threat" paradigm, despite being almost as smart as me ;-)

Edit: and, before someone gets snarky, I know the correct grammar for that last clause. I just choose not to use it b/c it sounds stupid.
   34. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4511079)
Aren't we post-gender on the internet anyway?


Getting there. Step by step. It will happen at roughly the same time we are post-racial, which will mean the end of my favorite A-Rod meme.
   35. Ron J2 Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4511084)
#31 I work in IT and have been generally pretty lucky with the people I've worked for. One of the truly awful persons I've worked for was female. Which is no biggie of course. She wasn't awful because she was female. She was awful because she used Dilbert's PHB as a role model.
   36. ASmitty Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4511091)
I totally cosign this. I much prefer having female management.


Every female partner I worked for was an absolute nightmare. I think this had a lot to do with the profession and firm, however, since it was a fairly sexist environment and the women who climbed the ladder usually had to be, or felt they had to be, unrelenting ball-busters.
   37. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4511105)
I thought Stacey Gotsulias and some other female baseball bloggers started some female-centric baseball site but I cannot recall the name of it.

There are enough good female baseball writers out there - Emma Span, Amy K Nelson, Susan Slusser - its kinda weird that the notion of women watching baseball to enjoy baseball is not more widespread.
   38. Lassus Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4511113)
The Twinkie Town SB Nation site is female friendly too. Aren't we post-

Imma let you finish, but Batgirl of Twins fandom was the greatest baseball blog of all time. OF ALL TIME.
   39. Greg K Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4511128)
There are enough good female baseball writers out there - Emma Span, Amy K Nelson, Susan Slusser - its kinda weird that the notion of women watching baseball to enjoy baseball is not more widespread.

For the life of me I cannot remember what inspired it, but for some reason I remember looking up Emma Span because she once wrote something that made me very angry (and I've been angry about 3 times in the past 15 years). Something to do with being a Yankee fanboy, or fangirl as the case may be.

EDIT: Sadly I missed most of the Batgirl blog. Though I do recall a lego recreation of a brawl in which Michael Barrett and AJ Pierzynski featured prominently which was possibly the greatest thing I've ever seen.
   40. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4511148)
Is bbc chick the only regular female poster on this site?
Re-read post 3.
Not sure how regular is defined. There were at least one or two others besides her, bbc, and the lurking Devil.

Batgirl was pretty great. She had a graphic with Joe Mauer that I've looked for a few times since that site's demise - I wanted it as a t-shirt or poster.
A different thing, but I liked marinerds.blogspot.com (Deanna Rubin) as well.

My ex-FIL (banking IT) used to only hire women, using thinking along the lines of #36.
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4511155)

Getting there. Step by step. It will happen at roughly the same time we are post-racial, which will mean the end of my favorite A-Rod meme.


I think you mean post-species-ist.
   42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4511159)
I'm wondering who all these men are that are hostile to knowledgeable female baseball fans?


The same ones who listen to sports talk radio.
   43. zonk Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4511161)
I've always enjoyed working for and with women, better than working with most men. Much less ego-driven ########.


Ditto. Especially in IT, I've found that women that have risen to leadership levels really, really know their #### -- I work with a lot of dev leads -- and while the number of females in those positions is much smaller relative to general leads, the percentage of them that are really crackerjack developers who also are very helpful is much higher.
   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4511167)
The closest thing I have to a professional mentor is a female. She just gave me an outstanding reference for a job I landed. OTOH, the worst boss I ever had was a female. Its almost like they are not a monolithic block of people you can safely fit into one description.
   45. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 02, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4511173)
41 - i thought the same thing
43 - agree w/ developers, not necessarily w/ leadership roles.

It's almost like they are not a monolithic block of people you can safely fit into one description.

what what what? yeah, i had a similar thought.
i like working with women as well, but that's 'cause i mostly work with dudes. when i mostly worked with women, i liked it when more guys joined the team. more diverse/representative employees tend to produce better functioning groups in my experiences/work.
   46. Obo Posted: August 02, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4511180)
43 - agree w/ developers, not necessarily w/ leadership roles.

Same here.
   47. zonk Posted: August 02, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4511184)
Coincidental to what I said in #43 above -- I'm actually working through an issue right now that starkly illustrates this.

At a large enterprise level, IT tends to be very, very silo'ed. The dev lead I've been working with for the past 3 weeks is a female - and she readily concurs about the silo'ed nature of development. She's one of two leads on the team specifically tasked with building an API to enable to some cross-platform interactions. There are about half a dozen other development teams handling various layers of work (Content supply chain and content delivery, UI development, web services development, et al). For the past few weeks, we've been collaboratively working through problems -- a whole lot of "That's a good question", followed by she starting at one end of the whole end2end chain, me starting at the other, and we've always managed to meet up precisely where the issue lies, collectively put together the analysis for the fix, and get the issue routed to the right team.

She's out of the office today through the middle of next week -- so I've been working with her colleague, a male at the same level (another "lead"). Literally just traded IMs with him on a particularly messy issue. These are his responses, as I attempted to trace back the issue in a similar fashion to how we'd worked through problems with his currently out-of-office female colleague:

"I don't know"

"Not my problem"

"I know for certain my code is right"

"I don't care if it doesn't work - my code is correct"
   48. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 02, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4511191)
that says more about him than her, doesn't it?
   49. zonk Posted: August 02, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4511200)
41 - i thought the same thing
43 - agree w/ developers, not necessarily w/ leadership roles.


I guess it's just anecdotal... so obviously, YMMV

I've been with the same company for 15 years now -- I've had 6 different bosses at various levels, 3 females, 3 males. One of the males was a dreadful disaster, another is just addled, but nice enough, I guess, while a 3rd is OK. One of the females was addled, but nice enough -- but the other two were absolutely stupendous to work for.

In fact, the last female boss I had -- she was the division "director" level -- was very much who I would consider my greatest 'mentor' professionally. She just retired this winter - but I owe a ton of my professional growth to her. She was extremely patient and helpful - and also took mentoring of her reports very seriously/put a lot of time and effort into it.

Not to resort to stereotypes or anything -- but I've noticed this paradigm seems almost universally true: The women I know and have worked for or with over the course of my career have almost all - whatever other faults or failings they may have had - be extremely good at career development/mentoring to their reports. The men tend to be noticeably worse. There are exceptions to both, I guess -- but if I were to rank the 100s of managers I know/have known well enough to make such a judgement, there's more than just statistical variance here... It's more on the order of 80%/20% great mentors on the female side, while 20%/80% good/bad ratio on the male side. I've often wondered if it's sort of a maternal instinct vs paternal instinct thing.
   50. zonk Posted: August 02, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4511204)
that says more about him than her, doesn't it?


I guess... but the thing is - technically he's kind of right (assuming his code IS correct, and I'm not certain of that). The difference is that I've found female devs generally seem a lot better/more willing to wade outside their specific areas and assist in these sort of analyses, while the male devs seem much more likely to play turf war games/turf isolation games.
   51. Shredder Posted: August 02, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4511231)
It seems to me like there are a lot of women who are big fans of certain teams, but not necessarily of sports in general. For example, there seem to be a lot of women who post on some fansites that I follow, like Halos Heaven. But there are almost none here. In that sense, there may be a lot of female Blue Jays fans, who understand the game just fine and really enjoy following their team, but they may not be MLB fans necessarily.

It's not altogether different from the position I'm in these days. I still watch every Angels game (for reasons that I can't quite figure out), but I don't think I could name more than two of the Pirates starting position players. I just don't really follow the rest of the league as much anymore. I live a ten minute walk from Wrigley field, and the stadium is usually full of women that could be considered "not real fans" and "just there for the beer and boys", but I'd venture to guess that 98% of them probably know a hell of a lot more about the Cubs than I do.
   52. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4511265)
I like how a comment thread from an article about how a female fan dislikes being pigeonholed by a sportswriter into a stereotype of "girls are there for the party and the hot bods" turned, within five or six posts, into a question of whether or not female fans were smart enough to recognize properly what hot bods they were all there to see, rather than realizing the hotter bods are in soccer.

Party on, Garth.
   53. eddieot Posted: August 02, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4511280)
Batgirl of Twins fandom was the greatest baseball blog of all time. OF ALL TIME.

Sigh. Miss her terribly.
   54. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 02, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4511305)
(“it’s the best patio in the city, the best people-watching in the city”;

Welcome to the 21st century mallpark.
   55. zonk Posted: August 02, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4511310)
FWIW, if you're looking for women who know baseball -- you could also do a lot worse than the nuns that seem sometimes ubiquitous at Wrigley.... I've had seats by the occasional groups of nuns out to see a game 3 or 4 times.

On one memorable occasion, I got into a pretty good argument with one such sister about Cubs 3B historically... We both agreed with Santo atop the list - but had significant disagreements regarding the order of Aramis, Stan Hack, and Bill Madlock (she ranked them Hack/Madlock/A-Ram.... I put them A-Ram/Hack/Madlock). It devolved into a career vs peak discussion - and it was only about 2-3 years into A-Ram's Cub career. She accused me of lacking historical perspective -- I accused her of being old.

It really got really heated/amusing for people sitting near us when I tried to add Ron Cey's name into the mix (he was my favorite Cub growing up, even though his time was short). She said that if I was allowed to bring my boyhood crushes into the it, then she going to bring Handsome Ransom Jackson into the mix... She then also went on to say if you wanted a statue with fall-down left/fall-down right range into the mix, Andy Pafko played some 3B so he should be in the discussion, too.

At that point, I questioned whether Jesus would approve of her being so mean... which I'm pretty sure means I lost the argument.
   56. The District Attorney Posted: August 02, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4511319)
she ranked them Hack/Madlock/A-Ram.... I put them A-Ram/Hack/Madlock
I tried to add Ron Cey's name into the mix... She then also went on to say if you wanted a statue with fall-down left/fall-down right range...
She utterly schooled you, no pun intended.
   57. zonk Posted: August 02, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4511325)
Yeah, well... I lapped her at least once over on beers per inning, so I won that one... which might also be why I lost the first one.
   58. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 02, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4511418)
The best female-written baseball blog I've seen is this one, written by an American Hokkiado Nippon Ham Fighters fan who spent several years living in Japan. Unfortunately, she has not posted much the last couple of years (he last post is from April of this year), but back in the day, I learned more about Japanese baseball from this blog than from any other source. And it's not just NPB; her knowledge of Japanese college and other amateur ball is astounding. But to give an example, when she went back to Japan for a couple of weeks this year, she attended 16 games in 16 days. That's a fan!
   59. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4511434)
Batgirl created the "remake a game via Lego players" bit. For that alone she is all time HOF of bloggers. Not female bloggers. Baseball bloggers.
   60. fran Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4511449)
This seems really silly to me. My sister is the person I talk to about baseball the most, and I have plenty of friends who are women who follow baseball. And can do math. Men too. This site occasionally gets sexist, and sometimes I object but I'm not sure what a site for female baseball fans would do that would be different. We can talk about how cute Miqgy is here.

Maybe a site without the irritating posters everybody fixates on would be better.

Sincerely, Fran (female)
   61. zonk Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4511450)
Maybe a site without the irritating posters everybody fixates on would be better.


To be fair, I'm pretty sure that the NSA mandates that Jim keep all the crazy uncles of the world involved and active on BBTF. Makes us much easier to track.
   62. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4511454)
I personally think the notion that 4 out of 5 women at MLB games aren't there for the game is a very biased, subjective opinion.


And, yet, true. If anything, it's more like 24 out of 25.

I love when liberals deny that water is wet.

Women in general have to like baseball too, you see, because Stereotypes are Bad, and Everyone Is The Same. (Except when we are arguing that everyone other than straight white males should get special treatment.)
   63. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4511464)
It's inarguable that the mallparks have been constructed to draw people to baseball games who have little to no interest in the competition and inarguable that the mallparks have drawn millions of people to baseball games who fit that description.

Are there more women in that group than men? Who ####### cares?!?!?!?!?!? Seriously -- what does it ####### matter? If there are, what's the big deal? If there aren't, what's the big deal? Who. #######. Cares.???????

   64. JJ1986 Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4511469)
"Women like baseball." - liberal-agenda driven opinion. Only.
   65. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4511471)
Well, yes. The vast majority of women don't watch sports. This shouldn't come as news to anyone. But I'm sure it will.
   66. Nasty Nate Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4511473)
Well, yes. The vast majority of women don't watch sports. This shouldn't come as news to anyone. But I'm sure it will.


Everyone was talking about women who are attending baseball games, not women in toto.
   67. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4511477)
Maybe a site without the irritating posters everybody fixates on would be better.


Followed quickly by posts from Ray and SBB, and now me I guess.
   68. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4511485)
I certainly believe there are many female real fans, but for every 10 women at the game, 7-8 are there for the social interaction and eye-candy.

This may be true. And for every 10 men at the game, 6-7 are there for beer, social interaction, and beer.
   69. ASmitty Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4511491)
And for every 10 men at the game, 6-7 are there for beer, social interaction, and beer.


So true. In fact, it's even true of me. If I care about a game, I'd rather watch it at home. An actual ballgame usually turns into an expensive pseudo-bar trip for me, unless I'm with my very baseball-obsessed family. Then it becomes a debate on proper hand scoring.
   70. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4511493)
Well, yes. The vast majority of women don't watch sports. This shouldn't come as news to anyone. But I'm sure it will.

The vast majority of woman that don't watch sports, don't watch from outside of sports stadia.
   71. morineko Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4511496)
It's inarguable that the mallparks have been constructed to draw people to baseball games who have little to no interest in the competition and inarguable that the mallparks have drawn millions of people to baseball games who fit that description.


Target Field is my "home" park, as it is the park that is here where I live, and I'd say the vast majority of the people who show up there who aren't opposing team fans really don't care about the game in more than a superficial manner. The exceptions may be at the weekday day games where the upper decks are filled with the same old folks, male and female, most keeping score, who have been enjoying the Twins during the middle of the work week since they still played indoors. It's not even confined to the mallparks. Your average minor league team is promoted as "a cheap night out, and by the way, we sell alcohol." It's just easier to locate the people who know what's going on at a minor league game.

I think the author of the linked article was mushing up a lot of things that are wrong with sports culture, particularly Toronto-area sports culture, and the link between Rogers Centre being filled with dudebros and presumably offering no "text security to get drunken idiots kicked out" option and Toronto media being crappy about not finding any hardcore female fans is rather tenuous. I know I've heard Toronto fans saying they're not really wanting to bring kids to the park unless they're in the really expensive seats. That's another problem.
   72. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4511497)
I personally think the notion that 4 out of 5 women at MLB games aren't there for the game is a very biased, subjective opinion.

And, yet, true. If anything, it's more like 24 out of 25.
This is rooted in the same brainspace from where you insisted women almost never watched porn.
   73. ASmitty Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4511499)
where you insisted women almost never watched porn.


Actual text from my wife last week (verbatim): I found a porno video I want to show you. You'll love it. Its [sic] revolting.

   74. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4511501)
Speaking from personal experience, I know a fair amount of women who are casual baseball fans in real life. They have a favorite team (or player) and know the big names on said team. They might have a perfunctory knowledge of other teams in the division. I also know women who try to keep up a bit for their boyfriend or husband, much in the same way some guys will know enough about romantic comedies to carry on conversations with their significant other. However, the deeper into baseball you go, the fewer women you find, in my experience. I don't know any women in real life who play fantasy baseball, keep up with advanced stats, read about the game in a significant way, collect baseball cards, etc. However, I do know a very small number of women who are bigger fans via Red Reporter (the SBN Reds site). I can say they are far and away the biggest women baseball fans I've met. They know a good deal about the history of the team, minor roster transactions, and have a legitimate feel for the actual value of the players (not just who the big names are, e.g. they know Chase Utley is better than Ryan Howard and that Brandon Phillips isn't as good as Joe Morgan). Over at that site, women might be 10% of the active participants Again though, once you move into the heavy stats or league-wide fandom, the women continue to disappear. Once you reach someplace like BTF, the Book Blog, Fangraphs, etc., there are basically no women. I know there are a couple here (baseball chick), and a few prominent women writers (Emma Span, Wendy Thurm, Christina Kahrl, etc.), but the percentage of active participants might be 2-5%. If this type of fan was as prevalent as people think, then why haven't I met one women like this in real life? I've met dozens of men who are knowledgeable fans of one team and several men who would fit in here, but I've never met a woman like that. Why is that? My only conclusion is that they don't exist in any large number despite what I read to the contrary.

Quick story: I once went to a minor league game with a big group (50 or so people) from school. The group was predominantly women (maybe 30 to 20). As luck would have it, Bryce Harper played in the game. Each time he came to bat, many or most of the guys moved to the front of the pavilion to watch him intently, talking amongst ourselves, betting on what he was going to do, etc. After this happened a time or two, the girls asked us what we were doing. None of them had heard of Bryce Harper, and most of them didn't even know that baseball had a draft. If this type of fan was so prevalent, wouldn't we expect several of the women to have heard of Bryce Harper?
   75. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4511502)
Reading #60 and #62 back-to-back is pretty hilarious.
   76. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4511509)
I met a woman a couple of years ago who was a big baseball fan, and we ended up having a lengthy conversation about Jeff Frye. Too bad I was already married. All you single guys, this is my advice: Find the girls who know who Jeff Frye is.
   77. morineko Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4511512)
My sister is the person I talk to about baseball the most, and I have plenty of friends who are women who follow baseball. And can do math. Men too. This site occasionally gets sexist, and sometimes I object but I'm not sure what a site for female baseball fans would do that would be different.


It's a very, very specific Internet problem. Some women don't want to deal with sexism at all, which is the space where I was at about 7 seasons ago when I went looking for online baseball fandom. Since I was already participating in other sorts of majority-female fandoms, I found it at LiveJournal. Female science fiction nerds who like sports, you can't lose, right? Oh, you can lose. You can lose badly. Your taste in hot guys differs from the majority, or you don't have a taste for hot guys? Not good. You don't think that all male-dominated "mainstream" sports sites are evil and nasty? Not good. You think that 99% of the community is filled with potential stalkers, freaks and tinhats? Best incentive in the world to leave. (and if you go back, there is no reasoning with the girl who thinks that Drew Storen is being unfairly persecuted by the people running the Nats. There is no explanation of FIP or showing of PitchF/X data or even basic inherited runner stats that can help. Especially if she thinks it was done to break up Storen and Clippard as a couple.)
   78. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4511517)
(and if you go back, there is no reasoning with the girl who thinks that Drew Storen is being unfairly persecuted by the people running the Nats. There is no explanation of FIP or showing of PitchF/X data or even basic inherited runner stats that can help. Especially if she thinks it was done to break up Storen and Clippard as a couple.)
Wait a second, you're a Nats fan too?

Post more, please.
   79. The District Attorney Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4511518)
Reading #60 and #62 back-to-back is pretty hilarious.
Yeah, pretty much (although I suppose we're also illustrating the "fixating", right?)

This probably kills my ultra-liberal cred, but the thought of a woman who wanted to go to 16 baseball games in 16 days is not particularly appealing to me. Tolerating baseball is probably required; actually enjoying it is great; but I don't necessarily know that I either need or want to be discussing Lucas Duda's subpar dWAR numbers with my sexual partner. I'm not saying it's a turn off, but it isn't a turn on. Not that this makes it any more right, but I'm quite confident this works both ways: I think a lot of women would be rather unexcited by a straight man who wanted to watch Project Runway for hours a day.

The overall issue reminds me quite a bit of the "fake geek girl" thing going on videogame and comics fandom (given the demographics here, I'm sure I didn't have to explain that to most of you ;) Now that has become far more virulent (people reporting feminist videogame pieces as "spam" to Youtube and getting them taken off the site, sending death threats, stuff like that), because the typical videogamer especially is much younger¹ than the typical baseball fan. But it's pretty much the same exact basic idea. I really have no clue what to say about it. I don't know how I'm supposed to make someone empathize when they're philosophically opposed to the very idea of empathy.

¹ And, to be fair to the yobbos above, because there probably legitimately is a lower percentage of hardcore female baseball fans than hardcore female videogamers. I dunno about comics.
   80. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4511519)
Not that this makes any more right, but I'm quite confident this works both ways: I think a lot of women would be rather unexcited by a straight man who wanted to watch Project Runway for hours a day.
You'd be surprised at how wrong you are about this. Maybe not "hours a day," but believe you me that Mrsoteric loves the fact that I can watch stuff like that and actually get 'into' it somewhat with her. (Meanwhile I have no hope of getting her to be a baseball fan -- though her mother bleeds Cubbie blue, oddly enough -- but she is amazingly tolerant of my obsession so I'm quite lucky.)
   81. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4511521)
I'd never _look_ for a partner who was a baseball fan, but I'd certainly appreciate it - as Esoteric notes, sharing interests is great.
   82. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4511528)
I'd never _look_ for a partner who was a baseball fan, but I'd certainly appreciate it


If you're "looking for a partner" you've already done it wrong. Live. Authentically and vigorously. Friends, lovers, partners and enemies will fall into place along the way.
   83. ASmitty Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4511532)
If you're "looking for a partner" you've already done it wrong. Live. Authentically and vigorously. Friends, lovers, partners and enemies will fall into place along the way.


You forgot to add "post a lot on the internet."
   84. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 02, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4511536)
82: Oh sure, of course.
   85. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 02, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4511537)
So true. In fact, it's even true of me. If I care about a game, I'd rather watch it at home. An actual ballgame usually turns into an expensive pseudo-bar trip for me, unless I'm with my very baseball-obsessed family. Then it becomes a debate on proper hand scoring.

It's true for me, too. Baseball will never die because it is played outside in the summertime, and they sell beer.


   86. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4511539)
You forgot to add "post a lot on the internet."


The number 1 place where marriages gestate in American society.
   87. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4511540)
If I care about a game, I'd rather watch it at home.


I go to a few games per year, because a early summer or fall evening* at the ball park is just wonderful. But I really don't like the other fans very much.

*day games in Atlanta are non-pleasant experiences in the majority of the baseball season...
   88. morineko Posted: August 02, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4511542)
I'm not a Nats fan but I am usually aware of poor-quality relief pitching. It's a thing. I blame it on the late 1980s. This year's been odd as I really haven't been feeling the baseball mood as much as I have in past years. I normally know some things about all the teams, now I just know some things, mostly about NL teams with PCL affiliates.
   89. zonk Posted: August 02, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4511581)
I'm not a Nats fan but I am usually aware of poor-quality relief pitching.


Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland would like you to get in touch...
   90. Shredder Posted: August 02, 2013 at 06:45 PM (#4511679)
I'd never _look_ for a partner who was a baseball fan, but I'd certainly appreciate it - as Esoteric notes, sharing interests is great.
I've been with my current girlfriend for about a month. The night after we became "official" was the night the Angels played the Red Sox on Sunday Night Baseball. She sat and watched the whole game with me. She may not be a big baseball fan (yet), but if she's willing to sit through that, she's a keeper. We do, however, share the same musical tastes for the most part, and were at the Pitchfork Festival together a couple weekends ago, which wasn't planned beforehand (as in, we had tickets independent of one another).
   91. base ball chick Posted: August 04, 2013 at 02:32 AM (#4512459)
personal experience - most people at a baseball game don't know much of anything about baseball, spend most of the time talking on the phone or to their companions about no baseball stuff and cheer when the scoreboard says to cheeer

the ballpark is where a baseball game happens, but like, so what

there are PLENTY of serious hardcore female baseball fans who go to games - check the chicks with the scorebooks

and got news for you - a very significant number of men are very uncomfortable (using that word to be nice) when talking to a female who can talk stats and talk history.

- as for a partner, well, my mama made the mistake of marrying a man who hates sports - she didn't think it would matter. he didn't think any grrl REALLY cared about sports so it wouldn't matter

so i made sure that at least my Husband didn't HATE baseball. or at least is an oscar winning actor about it

and bradley awesomeness is still TEH HOTTTTTTTTT
along with matt kemp and adam jones
   92. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 04, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4512500)
I'd never _look_ for a partner who was a baseball fan, but I'd certainly appreciate it - as Esoteric notes, sharing interests is great.

My fiancee and I share similar TV/movie interests in many cases, but she's not much of a "scoreball" fan (as she calls all sports). However, she doesn't mind when I have the TV on to a sports game (and she did even go to a Red Sox game with me last year).
   93. Poster Nutbag Posted: August 04, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4512507)
My wife is the BEST. Not only can she hold her own in baseball conversation, she makes men feel uncomfortable because she knows as much (often more) then they do. Bsae Ball Chick above is right, it makes men VERY uncomfortable...and I love it!!! It's AWESOME to have a wife as into baseball as I am. She knows TONS about the game, having played all the way until college, and is always seeking to learn more. She is so cool, we can't even go to the bay area without her begging to go to a game on either side of the bay!
   94. Howie Menckel Posted: August 04, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4512508)
"the thought of a woman who wanted to go to 16 baseball games in 16 days is not particularly appealing to me."

I once was part of a team that won a golf "scramble" charity event, and the prize was 2 plane tickets anywhere in the continental U.S. and free rental car for a week to boot.

I was on, er, rather friendly terms with a woman who was quite obsessed with the Yankees (although I met her at Murphy's Bleachers outside of Wrigley Field). So I decided to take her to spring training in Ft Lauderdale for a week in March (back before the Yankees moved spring training to Tampa).

I showed her the schedule on the week-long homestand and asked which games she'd like to attend. Her answer: "All of them, of course."

Turned out quite well, with a nice mix of day and night games.

Then again, I later married a woman who would check off the "Yankees fan" box as well - but who hasn't watched 2 innings of Yankees baseball in 10 years and couldn't name a single player on my Rotisserie League team. Hell, I'll bet she couldn't even tell you my TEAM name - which is fine with both of us.

Spring Training Girl, by the way, got married to someone else a few years later - at Yankee Stadium, even though she lives at least 700 miles away.

He wasn't a baseball fan.

The marriage, needless to say, didn't take.

Hmm, I should probably have an auction here, with the winner getting her email address. She used to get the "You look just like a younger Shelley Long" comment from strangers back in the day.




   95. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 04, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4512531)
You allowed your woman to influence your decision? Decline of western civilization. This is why we're a failing low-trust society.
   96. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 04, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4512540)
My very long-term girlfriend has no interest whatsoever in baseball. When we go to games or she goes with friends or something, it's just for the atmosphere and being out and about and the beer. She only like baseball to the extent that it provides me money and gives her something to brag about to her friends (because, let's be honest, it's not my looks and she's way too attractive be seen with the likes of me).

I like that we have some very different interests. We both highly value that there are a bunch of aspects of our lives that aren't both of ours.
   97. CrosbyBird Posted: August 04, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4512716)
It's a very, very specific Internet problem.

I think that sums up precisely why I find this site so valuable. Because everyone here is here for baseball, we're a pretty diverse crowd politically and philosophically.

It's an unfortunate thing that the anonymity or relative anonymity of the internet brings out some of the vilest aspects of human nature, because it also brings such a valuable thing to the table. We reveal only those parts of ourselves that we choose to share, forcing others to engage us without the preconceptions the rest of the world has. I honestly believe that the internet is the key to bringing down many of our social barriers. I don't know that I could have been as readily convinced of the social concept of privilege in a physical space.
   98. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 04, 2013 at 06:40 PM (#4512727)
We both thought the sac but was overused

Maybe, but it's hard to play 17th century ceremonial music without it.
   99. Canker Soriano Posted: August 04, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4512738)
My very long-term girlfriend has no interest whatsoever in baseball. When we go to games or she goes with friends or something, it's just for the atmosphere and being out and about and the beer. She only like baseball to the extent that it provides me money and gives her something to brag about to her friends (because, let's be honest, it's not my looks and she's way too attractive be seen with the likes of me).

My GF and I went with another couple to a game a few weeks back. He and I hurried to our seats to catch the first pitch; the GF and his wife hung out in the food area, eating and talking, until about the third inning. They eventually came down, and seemed to have a good time, but I think they'd have been just as happy going out to dinner at a place that wasn't a baseball park.

It's fine. She likes those shows about the various iterations of Kardashians, which I can't watch for more than 30 seconds without rolling my eyes so violently that I'm in danger of suffering a stroke. But I'll sit and watch them with her, and she'll go to baseball games with me (both things happening only on occasion).

(But put me in the camp who recognizes there are certainly die-hard baseball fans out there. I got my fandom from my mother, who got it from her mother, who went to her grave bemoaning the Cubs' inability to find a halfway decent middle reliever. My sister was a Cub fan as well, though it was more along the lines of "Mark Grace is a dreamboat" kind of fandom. Once he moved on to Arizona, she more or less lost interest.

My friend refers to his mother as a "Gammons savant" because she'll randomly toss out insightful or insider comments about the Red Sox while they're on the phone, despite being relatively ditzy in the other aspects of her life.)
   100. Howie Menckel Posted: August 04, 2013 at 10:03 PM (#4512797)

"I got my fandom from my mother,"

My mother's favorite team was whomever the Yankees played that night.
A couple of foot stomps from upstairs from her 100-pound frame while watching her black-and-white tiny TV screen on pre-cable TV told us that surely an opposing batter had homered.

It must seem hard for young BBTFers to believe, then, that I am younger than our current President.
:)
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
A triple short of the cycle
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Page rendered in 0.6949 seconds
48 querie(s) executed