Friday, April 21, 2006
I've never been a big Keith Hernandez fan (I hate the Mets), but an incident that occurred this weekend (and the backlash in the press because of it) is just another example of political correctness run amok. The following story has been on multiple websites and ESPN Radio.
Keith Hernandez apologized Sunday for inappropriate comments he made Saturday night about San Diego's massage therapist Kelly Calabrese.
After Mike Piazza's second-inning home run Saturday, SportsNet New York's camera focused on Calabrese, who was in the dugout wearing a Padres camouflage uniform. "Who is the girl in the [Padres] dugout?" Hernandez asked Gary Cohen, his play-by-play partner. "... I thought she was Morganna [Cottrell, "The Kissing Bandit"] for a minute, but she was a blond."
Cohen wondered if Calabrese's presence in the dugout could have something to do with "Military Night" at Petco Park. Hernandez said Calabrese was with the training staff. Cohen said that a woman trainer in the major leagues is "progressive."
"I won't say women belong in the kitchen. But they don't belong in the dugout," Hernandez said.
Cohen warned there could be "trouble brewing" after that commentary. "I'm only teasing," Hernandez said. "I love you gals out there. I always have."
In the fifth inning, Hernandez returned to the subject of Calabrese, who again was on camera. He referred to his second-inning commentary and elaborated on it. "I stand by those statements. I think this is a man's game and I feel very strongly about it," Hernandez said. "And if anybody thinks when I made that comment about women being in the kitchen, and takes it seriously, well, get a sense of humor."
SportsNet New York officials were not laughing. Sources said Hernandez was reprimanded after the game by SNY executive producer Curt Gowdy Jr. That led to Sunday's apology during the second inning of the Mets-Padres game.
A couple of comments:
1. What do you expect when you have a former ballplayer from the 70's-80's broadcasting your games? These guys are not exactly famous for their sensitivity and appropriate behavior.
2. Why does EVERYBODY have to jump on the "tsk, tsk" bandwagon? I have a feeling that there are LOTS of ballplayers who do not wish to have women in the dugout/lockeroom.
3. Don't we still have the right to free speech in this country?