(Not) Breaking the Gender Barrier

I read the news today, oh boy, and what I read was really rather sad.

As some of you may recall, back in March I wrote a post about my friend Ria Cortesio. Ria was a woman umpire who worked a spring training game between the Cubs and D-Backs; the first woman umpire to work a game involving major league teams since the late 1980s.

At the time, Ria was next in line for promotion to AAA. But come midseason, she had been knocked back down, and her chance of promotion was pretty much taken away from her.

Well, earlier this week, her job as an umpire was taken away from her.

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This is one of those instances where I can't be objective. And this goes beyond just bitching about the latest dumb move by the Astros, or the most recent stupid thing written by Ortiz. I feel this. Sure, I don't feel this like Ria feels it. I'm sure there's no way I can understand the pain she's experiencing. But I was really pulling for her. I've been pulling for her for years. In some ways, her dream of reaching the majors was my dream of reaching the majors through her. And just as her dream's been yanked away from her, I feel that my dream's been yanked away.

Baseball will come back next spring. And it's going to be kind of hard to go to a baseball game and watch one of the mediocre major league umpires -- Angel Hernandez, I'm talking to you -- and not think that Ria should be the one behind the plate. Because I know she'd make the right call.

Damn, this hurts when it's someone you know. -- John Royal

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