This is a column about two women. They may not belong in the same column, but they are here as the result of the coincidence of recent news development. One of the women, Jen Pawol, whom I talked with, is ecstatically happy, and I am happy for her. I have not talked to the other woman so I don’t know how she feels, but she very likely has mixed feelings.
Katherine Ramirez is the wife of Jose Reyes, the 2011 National League batting champion, who was suspended for the first two months of this season for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. Ramirez can’t be happy because she was the target of the alleged domestic violence, but she is happy that Reyes was not criminally convicted and, following his suspension, is free to play baseball.
Reyes avoided criminal prosecution because Ramirez refused to cooperate with investigators. The pattern is familiar to people involved with domestic violence. I learned about it when my wife years ago was a volunteer with Alternatives to Domestic Violence in New Jersey.
Battered women don’t like being abused and readily detail their abuse to authorities, but they often stop short of testifying against their abusers, who are free to abuse them again. My wife recalls an episode in which a man, free from a domestic violence charge, fatally battered his wife with a baseball bat.
I am not suggesting a similarity between physical abuse of women and baseball’s treatment of aspiring female umpires, but no woman has ever umpired in the major leagues. In fact, according to Minor League Baseball, Pawol is only the seventh woman to umpire in the minors.
Scheduled to begin her professional career Friday in Dunedin, Fla., in the Class A Gulf Coast League, Pawol (pronounced Powel) is the latest who will try to …