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TALE OF TWO WOMEN

By Murray Chass

June 23, 2016

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 …

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BUMGARNER’S BUM IDEA

By Murray Chass

June 19, 2016

There are various ways to react to the idea that Madison Bumgarner has raised. The San Francisco Giants pitcher said earlier this month that pitchers should be allowed to compete in Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby, which is staged the day before the All-Star Game.

My immediate reaction was absolutely not…dumbest idea I’ve heard…why make a joke of events surrounding the All-Star Game, the oldest and most popular all-star game of the four major sports? The other leagues have already made a joke of their all-star games; why join them?

But I thought about it for another second and said why not? MLB has already made a joke of its once glamorous All-Star Game; what’s one more joke in July?

In saying he wanted to compete in the Home Run Derby, Bumgarner was feeling his …

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QUALIFIED CANDIDATES WILL GET JOBS, OR WILL THEY?

By Murray Chass

June 12, 2016

A column last month about minority hiring did not please a reader.

“Should the NBA be required to have a fixed percentage of white players on each roster that reflects the actual makeup of the population?” the reader wrote in an e-mail.” Get off the soapbox on this issue already; it is very 1990’s. The guys who are qualified will get hired.”

I would like to think so, but I know from too much experience, from the 1990s and before and since that’s not true. The guys who are qualified are not always hired, especially if they are black or Latino. I don’t know if owners of major league baseball teams are …

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