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  • Pere
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    As for women being able to play in the majors I find it highly unlikley given the large discrepancies in size, strength, agility, quickness, and explosiveness between men and women.
    Women outperform men in some agility tests.

    Many, uh, intangibles can contribute to a woman's "explosiveness."

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  • digglahhh
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Is the funneling of girls from softball to baseball really a realistic possibility? I have my doubts that tomorrow or next month millions of teen girls would leave softball for baseball. Softball seems to well ingrained in scholastic sports.
    There are two main obstacles to the development of women's baseball, specifically the siphoning of female softball players into hardball leagues. One is intellectual/social, the other is practical.

    The social end is the gender binary stuff that makes young girls, and those direct them, feel that baseball is for boys and softball is for girls. It also makes kids reluctant to compete with those of the other gender. I'm going to try to avoid getting into that half too deeply.

    The practical end is what you just brought up. Even girls who do play and succeed at hardball, despite the ridicule and stigma, are almost always forced to take the softball fork in the road because it is the easy road to a college scholarship. At some point it is just going to become a practical decision, and encouragement to switch will begin to come from the parents as well. I'm all for women's baseball, but with college tuition what it is, I'd have a hard time telling my daughter to keep pursuing hardball, her passion, when not picking up the softball may be tantamount to leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table.

    As to your comment about the viability of a female MLB-caliber player, I think both men and women who focus on whether it is possible or not miss the whole issue (you obviously don't focus on that, HWR, so I'm not talking about you). If it happens, it happens, if it doesn't, it doesn't. Whether it is theoretically possible or not, it is not going to happen without a well developed infrastructure, and that's where the focus should be - developing that infrastructure.

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by Brian McKenna View Post
    Female leagues exist but they're small and underfunded due to lack of interest and lack of top-quality talent. A national league would be great but that's just a small part of the story. The talent pool needs to be widened from the bottom up. Girls need to start playing the sport in large numbers starting at the Tee Ball level.

    Right now, I'm assuming the best talent is actually funneled to softball - with the elite playing for colleges. After that, most of the young ladies go into the workplace and onto family responsibilites.
    Is the funneling of girls from softball to baseball really a realistic possibility? I have my doubts that tomorrow or next month millions of teen girls would leave softball for baseball. Softball seems to well ingrained in scholastic sports.

    I do remember having a girl on my Little League team way back in 1980. Man, she had some power! I remember she hit this rope that didn't go more than 10 feet of the ground. It hit the left field wall so quickly the LFer didn't even have time to move. She ended up with a double I think. I always wondered what ever happened to her.

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by digglahhh View Post
    I agree. Certainly, if there comes along a woman who is talented enough to play at the MLB level, let her play, by all means.
    Absolutely. I just don't think it's a realistic possibility. A few years ago I was fascinated by Michelle Wie trying to play on the PGA Tour. At 15 she fell one stroke shy of making the cut at the Sony Open. At that point I really believed Wie could play on the PGA and be competitive. I based this on the idea that if Wie could fall one stroke short at age 15 with normal progression by her early 20s she could be in a position to realistically compete on the PGA Tour. Also, I found it astounding that a 15 year old female could be so close to making the cut. How many of today's top men's players, besides Tiger Woods, could have missed the cut on a PGA event by one stroke as 15 year old boys? it seemed to me that Wie had the physicality that most women lacked. She's 6'1" with long legs, long arms and a powerful swing. Her drives off the tee were about that of the average for a male player. But because of poor decisions by Wie and her parents and her wrist injuries Wie's career has been all down hill ever since then. Whether Wie ever turns a round her career is any body's guess.

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  • digglahhh
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    I really don't understand why having a woman in the major leagues is so important? I'd rather see a professional women's baseball league like AAGPBL (sans the silly skirts). I would watch an AAGPBL at least for while to see if it catches my interest.

    As for women being able to play in the majors I find it highly unlikley given the large discrepancies in size, strength, agility, quickness, and explosiveness between men and women.
    I agree. Certainly, if there comes along a woman who is talented enough to play at the MLB level, let her play, by all means.

    But, the goal of the Women's baseball movement should be the development of a self-sustained professional league where female players can establish the highest level of the game and simply derive a living from their talent, dedication, and passion. That's all anybody ever really wants out their life, right...

    To focus on the possibility of the lone MLB maverick is a misprioritization, and the placing of the cart before the horse too. You want to strive to develop the institution of women's baseball so that it results in the most good for the greatest number.

    A general warning to all, be careful about fully separating interest, participation, market activity, etc. from the intellectual or sociological aspects of the discussion, there's is certainly a chicken-and-egg element there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    I really don't understand why having a woman in the major leagues is so important? I'd rather see a professional women's baseball league like AAGPBL (sans the silly skirts). I would watch an AAGPBL at least for while to see if it catches my interest.
    Female leagues exist but they're small and underfunded due to lack of interest and lack of top-quality talent. A national league would be great but that's just a small part of the story. The talent pool needs to be widened from the bottom up. Girls need to start playing the sport in large numbers starting at the Tee Ball level.

    Right now, I'm assuming the best talent is actually funneled to softball - with the elite playing for colleges. After that, most of the young ladies go into the workplace and onto family responsibilites.

    Leave a comment:


  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Originally posted by Victory Faust View Post
    Do you honestly think if a woman came around who could hit the ball 500 feet, or throw the ball 100 mph, that no team would sign her?
    The answer is no. Someone would. No decades old commissioners decision would matter at all; in fact, people (and that includes MLB) would love to see such female players come along. It could only be a plus. Does one honestly believe that after this television revolution that has taken place over the last decade with reality shows that any industry wouldn't be interested in something "new and dramatic?"

    It's unrealistic to assume that an entire industry is conservative; in fact, in order to survive in business these days one needs to be considerably progressive and willing to take chances.

    These are the people that flow in and out of baseball. They are also solid business people. If the best women these days playing baseball (and it really is a limited bunch) are only showing the skills of an average low level professional, than why should MLB be so interested? They have tons of low level players.

    The drive to improve the plight of female baseball players needs to take place from the bottom up first. It does not start with MLB.
    Last edited by Brian McKenna; 03-31-2008, 08:14 AM.

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  • Scoops
    replied
    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    Did you know that women had to fight like heck to get the International Olympic Committee to add a womens' 10,000/5,000 meters to the Olympic program. That didn't happen until the 1988 Seoul Olympics. And no meet promoters would run them either. All they had were the 1,500/3,000 meters, and Marathon.
    To be fair to the IOC, the second part of this quote is a large part of the reason for the first. For an event to be added to the Olympics, one of the standards that it has to meet is a certain level of competition.
    To be added to the Summer Olympics, a sport or discipline must be widely practised by men in at least 75 countries on four continents and by women in at least 40 countries on three continents. To be added to the Winter Olympics, it must be widely practised in at least 25 countries on three continents.
    If no meets are running the event, the IOC can't really gauge the level of participation; thus it won't get added to the Olympics. This is one of the reasons that baseball was a demonstration sport, rather than a medal sport, for so long (it became a medal sport in 1992 - and it will be removed in 2012).

    Leave a comment:


  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    I really don't understand why having a woman in the major leagues is so important? I'd rather see a professional women's baseball league like AAGPBL (sans the silly skirts). I would watch an AAGPBL at least for while to see if it catches my interest.

    As for women being able to play in the majors I find it highly unlikley given the large discrepancies in size, strength, agility, quickness, and explosiveness between men and women.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    I appreciate your sentiments, VF. I share your feelings. But I am also cynical as to the resistance in the world to our mutual beliefs.

    Did you know that women had to fight like heck to get the International Olympic Committee to add a womens' 10,000/5,000 meters to the Olympic program. That didn't happen until the 1988 Seoul Olympics. And no meet promoters would run them either. All they had were the 1,500/3,000 meters, and Marathon.

    Women are also having a hard time launching womens' boxing/mixed martial arts too. I would love to see a cable channel devoted solely to women's sports.

    I believe that between all of them combined, that they could fill a full 24/7 menu. Basketball, soccer, lacrosse, cross-country, boxing, mixed martial arts, gymnastics, ice skating, softball, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • Victory Faust
    replied
    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    While your reasoning is sound, I also wouldn't have thought that the owners would have ignored good black ballplayers for so, so long.

    That was an entirely different era. Personal prejudice by individual owners is obviously one reason why blacks were barred, but more importantly, I think, was the prevailing social attitiude of the day. Owners feared being ostracized if they hired a black ballplayer. By mid-20th Century, those attitudes were changing.

    Nowadays, any owner who hired a female player would be lauded from coast to coast. There would be a few sexists who resisted the move, but they would be in the vast minority. That was hardly the case in the early 20th Century.


    Even when such an authority figure as McGraw was drooling to sign John Lloyd, Smokey Joe Williams, and others, would would have thought that conservative tradition would have been such an impenetrable barrier.
    I think that just shows how strong the social bonds were back then.

    And I know from your previous posts that you're well-aware how much Judge Landis' influence kept the color line intact, even as racial attitudes were starting to change. I have a feeling there may have been black players in MLB by the mid-30s if Landis wasn't in office.


    Those players could have helped win games, as Paige/Gibson could have later. And yet, that tradition lasted until after WWII.
    That's when the mores started changing.


    Many believe than only black soldiers dying finally convinced a lot of white folks that if a man can die for his country, he should be able to play baseball for it. At least that's what a lot of people think. And I am one of that group.
    Well, sure. Very few people would think otherwise, I would hope.

    But as it relates to signing female players in 21st Century America, I think we're in a totally different paradigm, and I don't think one can compare it to ownership's refusal to sign black players before 1947.
    Last edited by Victory Faust; 03-30-2008, 07:21 PM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Originally posted by Victory Faust View Post
    Those are not players who would help the team win. That's the crucial difference, IMO...the conservative folks in baseball wouldn't be willing to take such a bold step and go out on a limb without the incentive of the woman in question being able to help the team win.

    Do you honestly think if a woman came around who could hit the ball 500 feet, or throw the ball 100 mph, that no team would sign her?
    While your reasoning is sound, I also wouldn't have thought that the owners would have ignored good black ballplayers for so, so long.

    Even when such an authority figure as McGraw was drooling to sign John Lloyd, Smokey Joe Williams, and others, would would have thought that conservative tradition would have been such an impenetrable barrier.

    Those players could have helped win games, as Paige/Gibson could have later. And yet, that tradition lasted until after WWII.

    Many believe than only black soldiers dying finally convinced a lot of white folks that if a man can die for his country, he should be able to play baseball for it. At least that's what a lot of people think. And I am one of that group.

    Leave a comment:


  • Victory Faust
    replied
    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    If this were accurate, then why are there not more women in mid-management positions, managers, coaches, umpires, etc.

    Those are not players who would help the team win. That's the crucial difference, IMO...the conservative folks in baseball wouldn't be willing to take such a bold step and go out on a limb without the incentive of the woman in question being able to help the team win.

    Do you honestly think if a woman came around who could hit the ball 500 feet, or throw the ball 100 mph, that no team would sign her?

    Leave a comment:


  • bob
    replied
    While i will say that women in all honesty don't have the power to be big hitters in MLB, the game of baseball is very much a game of skill, and there women can do just as well as men given the right training methods and natural talent. Ichiro cant hit very well for power, so he adapts and hits for singles and does good baserunning. there's no logical reason why a woman with the access to training and support cannot also do this.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scoops
    replied
    Originally posted by sturg1dj View Post
    this is said to have been a set-up...but if it were then why didn't she strikeout all 3 batters she faced? She walked Lazzeri...but unless who control was nowhere near the plate you would think that if it were a setup the ump would have given her a good zone.
    To get her out of the game? I mean, if she struck out Ruth Gehrig and Lazzeri, why would you even think of pulling her?

    Anyway, a couple of other points. Women could probably compete, most likely in the areas of pitcher or catcher, where hitting has the least premium. Possibly at 2B, less at SS as it is becoming increasingly an offensive position. This is based on the assumption that women tend to be physically smaller and are less likely to drive the ball for as much power.

    One thing I always think of though is the case of Manon Rhéaume. She played in guys leagues all the way coming up. She was good enough to play major junior hockey (the most frequent stepping stone to the NHL and the QMJHL specifically turns out some of the best NHL goalies), but not at all good enough for the NHL.

    Tangentially, I'm not sure that Bill's six reasons are fair, either. Until a woman attempts 5 or 6, there isn't really any contemporary evidence to suggest 1-4. Indeed, historically an owner has shown willingness to sign a woman, for whatever reason, only to have the commissioner shoot it down (referring to 1952 here). Does anyone know if pressure was put on Frick many any person or group?

    Leave a comment:

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