Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On the inevitability of female pitchers

So the cute / fun / inspiring story this week out of spring training camp is jow Justine Siegel, a 36-year-old assistant coach from Springfield, MA, became the first woman to ever throw batting practice. (And yes, yes, yes, feel free to make your Carlos Zambrano, Oliver Perez and Bronson Arroyo jokes here.) And sure, it's just a nice little stunt, and there's nothing really meaningful to the little Japanese teenaged knuckleballer who got tattooed in Class A as a stunt last year... but, well? This is how things start.

By start, by the way, that's nowhere near finish. MLB is still expanding its talent market into Latin America and Asia, with any number of whippy fireballers who aren't being co-opted into basketball, football or boxing. American girls also have the very real option of softball, since that's gotten some television and Olympic play.

But eventually, if for no other reason than pitching is a pretty pure meritocracy and MLB teams will take any entity that has bat-missing stuff, regardless of velocity or any other factor. It will first come across as a high school phenom that doesn't just do it, but does it well. Then, there will be a college pitcher or two, at low levels and increasingly higher ones, or somebody getting outs at single or double A... and then a publicity stunt move for an also-ran team that wants to sell tickets, and so on, and so on.

Eventually, this will happen, for the plain and simple reason that there will be money to be made. It's a pretty simple equation, really.

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule