Say no to the dress: Sexism and the Blue Jays loss


Comments from Blue Jays manager John Gibbons caused a heated conversation on Tuesday night after a controversial call on Jose Bautista at second base ended the game.

The Blue Jays took their first loss of the season on Tuesday night in controversial fashion, but comments by John Gibbons following the game brought to light a more important issue than slides into second base.

“You know what, maybe we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow,” Gibbons said. “Maybe that’s what everyone’s looking for.”

This mentality is unfortunately engrained in the casual banter of the game, like it is in many male-dominated professional sports. “You throw like a girl” being a common insult for a weak throwing arm. Modern baseball players being branded as “sissies”, a lazy questioning of their masculinity (or femininity?) instead of a more developed questioning of their abilities and intentions on the diamonds.

And it’s stuck-in-the-70s garbage.

Tuesday’s controversial finish will dominate today’s headlines, hopefully burning out by first pitch early this afternoon. That’s all the story is, though. A quick something to yell about for 12 hours before the next game, or controversy, comes along. Which, inevitably and mercifully, it will.

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Was the slide rule and/or the application of said rule questionable? Without question it was. Will the Blue Jays benefit from a poor call or fluke bounce over the next 159 games to balance it out, as baseball has a special way of doing? It shouldn’t take long at all.

It’s been an ugly week for the boy’s club of baseball, beginning on Sunday Night Baseball when Jessica Mendoza debuted in her full-time role in the booth with ESPN. Her analysis was excellent and best of all, none of her talking points were tired, but still, social media was flooded with negativity towards the ESPN broadcast, Mendoza especially.

A woman in the booth? With a voice that doesn’t sound traditionally feminine? The horror.

Most of these men, of course, grinning and back-slapping one another on Twitter without realizing that Mendoza has more baseball talent in her pinky finger than they possess in their entire body. So it goes.

Gibbons frustration following the game was absolutely fine. Expected, even. But his dress comments, just like the teenage boy telling his friend that he throws like a girl, is lazy and insensitive language that’s become too quick to roll off the tongue in professional sports. Something being common does not make something right.

For many viewers, it was an entirely inconsequential quote that went unnoticed. For the young girl in a dress watching the game from home, not so much.