If Mets announcer Keith Hernandez was trying to stir up debate about a womans place in a baseball dugout, the conversation appears to have been quickly shut down. Here's the back story: Upon seeing a woman exchange a high-five with San Diego Padre Mike Piazza during the broadcast of the Mets game Saturday, Hernandez asked, "Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair? What's going on here? You have got to be kidding me. Only player personnel in the dugout." Then he went on: "I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout."
It turned out that the woman was Padre trainer Kelly Calabrese, who has belonged in the dugout since being hired by the team in 2004. And so far, public reaction has been decisive and swift. Calabrese told Sports Illustrated that she was surprised that someone of Hernandez's caliber would say "something like that" and hopes to turn a negative comment into an opportunity to show that women can work in nontraditional jobs. Padres manager Bruce Bochy added: "I don't think [the comments] are appropriate, especially in this day." The Mets' TV network censured Hernandez for "inappropriate remarks." And Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser began today's column by asking: "Exactly which planet is Keith Hernandez living on?"
Salon's own sports columnist, King Kaufman, refused to take the bait and sent Broadsheet this response via e-mail: "I've grown a little bored commenting on every random ignorant comment in the sports world. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of controversy here and not much support for Hernandez."