A League of Our Own

When you’re a female sports fan, baseball or otherwise, it’s sometimes hard to get any kind of respect. Anything said regarding your particular team, is ready to be discredited as non sense at the drop of a hat if you haven’t “proved” that you’re a “true fan.” You’d better be ready to know everything from the franchise’s best player to the coach’s blood type in order for anything you say to hold some kind of weight, especially when conversing with men. Now, before everyone starts coming after me with barbed wire baseball bats, I will say, this of course has not always been my experience when talking about sports with men. But, this has been the most common situation I’ve either witnessed, or have dealt with first hand. A boyfriend discrediting his girlfriend’s opinion on the team, just because she started rooting for them when they began dating. I once was having a conversation about the Mets with someone at a bar during the 2015 playoffs but he was too busy trying to talk about my eyes. Meanwhile as a dude, you can say the wildest team theory you can dream up, and often, no one will blink twice. They’ll accept it at face value as some kind of bold take on the situation. 

“Tom Seaver could come back and pitch for the Mets you know. He’s having a robotic arm attached.” 

“Yeah I could see how that could happen.” 

But God forbid a female sports fan should pronounce the last name of a beloved player slightly askew. Then we’re off to the races. “Do you even watch baseball?” “What year did he pitch?” “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” 

I once had someone argue with me, constantly calling me crazy because I made the argument that Murphy wasn’t worth keeping on the Mets. I didn’t take issue with the fact that he disagreed with me. You’re more than welcome to form your own opinion. But dismissing my argument altogether assuming I’m not well informed enough to be talking about it in the first place is where the problem lies. 

It doesn’t help that most professional sports also have an appalling domestic violence policy in place. Most players get light suspensions if that at all for physically abusing their partners. The first thing we always hear is “we don’t know the whole story,” followed by a list of that particular player’s impressive stats. As if to tell the world, “look what you’re losing if this guy gets a suspension.” Then a few months roll by and we all just pretend it didn’t happen. And then I’m supposed to sit back and cheer for Jose Reyes and pretend he didn’t try and put his wife through a glass door. Just another small yet significant way professional sports tells us they don’t care about their female fanbase. It’s an awful feeling. 

But this morning, news broke that the MLB did something that I think is a step in the right direction. The officially banned MLB teams from hazing their rookies by dressing up like women or other costumes that may be offensive to gender, race, or sexual orientation. Rookie dress up can be something fun. I’ve seen teams have their rookies dress up as superheroes, or come to the clubhouse in pajamas. But having them dress like women, whether it be mocking the characters from A League of Their Own, or as Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, comes from that toxic “like a girl” mentality. “You play like a girl.” “You fight like a girl.” “Stop being such a girl.” “Be a man.” It comes from that idea that dressing like a woman is demeaning, something that one should be embarrassed about, something no one wants to be, weak and fragile. 

Baseball, of all the sports out there, is one that literally everyone can play. Your size doesn’t matter, you can be a tiny little thing and still be the fastest or strongest. And even if you’re neither of those, you may have a particular skill set that sets you apart on the field, or on the pitchers mound.  Baseball is for everyone, and it’s about time we start acting like it. 

 

 

Trading Sox

Keeping an eye on the trade market during these winter meetings, I look at everything in the sense of how it can help or hurt the Mets. The Red Sox just helped the Mets in probably the biggest way since Buckner missed that ground ball up the first baseline in 86. 

The Nationals continue to get no love on the trade market. They let Melancon go to the Giants for 4 years and $62 million, and now just when it seemed they’d be getting another ace on their pitching staff to join Strasburg and Scherzer, the Red Sox have swooped in and grabbed Sale.  In the words of Metsblog writer Maggie Wiggin:

The Nats being unwilling to part with their top prospect Trea Turner may have been what kept this deal from going through, while the Red Sox basically gave the South Siders their entire future in return for Sale. (Not really, but losing Moncada and Kopech is quite the blow to the Sox farm system) 

The Nats rotation is still a force to be reckoned with, but doesn’t come close to what the Mets have in place when their rotation is healthy. Had the Nats acquired Sale it would have made things very interesting come April. I wish I could say I had the same confidence as Syndergaard when it came to that situation: 

If the Nats wanted to look at the bright side of things, they could still manage to use some of those farm system trading chips to get McCutchen. But it will be interesting to see where their next move is from here. Even if the Nats didn’t pull off any huge deals this offseason, they’re not exactly doomed in 2017. There’s always MLB’s favorite frat boy Bryce Harper that will be looking for an outlandish deal. 

Hot Goss

The Mets did me a huge favor and signed Cepedes early this off season. Now I can sit back and enjoy and or worry about other trades that might be happening in the next two months.  I hate gossip, but I LOVE http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/ I could sit around all day reading these trade rumors and letting my real life work pile up around me.  

Yesterday there was a lot of chat about Andrew McCutchen possibly going to the Nationals. As a Mets fan anything that happens on the Nationals end is definitely of high interest to me. This particular deal doesn’t worry me too much. McCutchen had been showing some signs of decline in recent years, and the Pirates are always one of those teams that are just on the cusp of a big post season appearance but never seem to really get there. I always thought McCutchen would retire with the Pirates. He’s a fan favorite, he’s spent his entire career in Pittsburgh, received the Golden Glove in 2012, and made All Star Game appearances in 2014 and 2015. There’s no doubt that 2016 was one of his worst career years but I guess the Pirates know they can get some new young talent for the possibility that other teams still see that All Star type of player in him. These are my least favorite types of trades, but it seems like it would be hurting the Nats more than the Pirates so I won’t complain too much. According to MLB.com the Nats would be giving up a Number 2 prospect, 19 year old outfielder Victor Robles in order to acquire McCutchen. It’s a very risky move. That’s some great young talent the Nationals would be giving a way in hopes that a once All Star player, now later in his career, might bounce back from a poor season. The Texas Rangers are apparently interested in McCutchen as well, however it seems like the Nats are really the team making that push for him. 

The Braves are still the most interesting team to me right now as far as their rebuilding goes. I’ve mentioned in a previous post, it looks like the Braves have sort officially transitioned out of a rebuilding stage and are moving a on to a “win now” phase. If some of these offseason moves work out well for them, it could be a very interesting NL East come April, with the Mets, Braves and Nats all pushing to win the division. 

Yesterday the Braves completed a trade with the Cardinals for pitcher Jamie Garcia. In my opinion Garcia is a solid starter, the only issue is that he’s been plagued by injuries According to MLB.com Garcia hasn’t made 20 season starts since 2011, his second year in the majors. The Braves traded away two mid level pitching prospects tot he Cardinals in return, John Gant and Chris Ellis. I liked John Gant, but mostly because he was drafted by the Mets in 2011 and from what I saw from him this year with the Braves, he could have been a nice prospect to develop for them. Gant had a weird second step toward the mound as part of his wind up, which as someone watching him, I found insanely distracting so I can’t imagine how hitters had to adjust. 

Much like the possible McCutchen trade with the Nats, this was a risky move for the Braves. They don’t know if they’ll get the healthy Garcia or one riddled with injuries. I could see why they made the move though. The White Sox are out there still looking to trade Chris Sale, but Sale comes with a much heavier price tag. The Braves are one of the few teams that could get that deal done if they wanted to because of that Minor League depth, but I feel like we won’t see a deal for Sale until much later in the off season.