A Woman At Home
Baseball is a game played between men of opposing teams. (Take careful note of the critical key words in that sentence: baseball, men, of, teams, played, opposing, game, a, between, is.).
In the first American baseball game, the visiting team insisted on flat wooden bats and round balls. This sparked a Revolutionary War after round bats were adopted in protest. Even near-hysterical insurgents in the grip of birthing a country had enough sense to know that also flattening the balls wouldn’t fire up enough patriots to fill a bleachers.
The game here was then dubbed
the "National Pastime" in an independent declaration, and the
Flat-Bats fled back to England without their tax revenue. Since then, no American man has challenged
the folly of attempting to hit a round ball with a round stick of wood. Women have, which is why they weren’t
allowed to play ball with men. All the
more reason why they should now be brought in to officiate.
A sensible woman, upon attending her first baseball game, once observed: "I don't like all this 'stealing' business. If they can't run over to the next boat cushion honestly, they shouldn't be allowed to play." She was hounded from the stadium and went on to become my grandmother.
But isn’t this why a woman umpire might change the game for the better, if, like Grandma Cecily, she’s a ringer for William Bendix and has a gift for making any man unwarily embrace his feminine side? If a woman does take the big league umpirical high ground, however, I'll concede that a few rules may have to be fine-tuned:
A female umpire may toss out any pinch runner or pinch hitter caught in either of these acts, for obvious reasons.
When the fairer sex is behind the plate, a batter may run around the bases in any direction. If the object of the game is to "come home" safely ahead of being thrown out, he should not be restricted to, nor afforded any excuses for, which route he does or doesn't take.
A batter may hit only a limited number of foul balls, the figure to be determined solely at the discretion of the lady ump, and, once declared, will be known as the "Ump-Teenth Time." He can then be ejected from the game.
When any hitter, in the eyes of the new woman in blue, is "caught looking" on the third strike, he must retire from the game immediately and join his wife in the stands.
If clean-up hitters find themselves in scoring position, they may come home if they haven’t been intentionally walked or made an offensive error, and must, in fact, clean-up when they're done.
No more "male gestures" on the field, and we needn't belabor those particulars, either.
If any player argues with a female umpire's call in the strike zone, he'll be given the silent treatment and will never get to the first boat cushion again unless he endlessly apologizes and wipes the plate clean.
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