Why there are no female umps - Macleans.ca

Why there are no female umps

One of the few women who stand behind the plate unloads on the majors


As the World Series heats up, fans may wonder why a woman has never taken her place behind the plate or on the baselines to call a major-league game. Perry Barber, a female ump at the college and semi-pro level, has a few thoughts on the subject. In a Q & A on a website dedicated to women’s issues, Barber claims that the men who run MLB have systematically shut women out of officiating. Their pattern, she says, is never to have more than one woman working at a level close enough that she might get called up, lest they band together and begin demanding fair treatment. “They hire women for a certain period of time, and when they’ve reached a point where it appears it’ll be too difficult to keep them under control, they kick them to the curb,” she says. As you might expect from an ump, Barber has a certain facility for salty languange. Claims that one up-and-coming woman, Pam Postema, was recently fired because she ejected too many players, are “a bunch of bulls–t,” she says; the real reason is that Postema’s chief backer, the progressive MLB commissioner Bart Giamatti, died. “After that, nobody gave a s–t about her.” Given that the NBA has brought female officials into its fold, Barber adds, there is no good explanation for baseball’s resistance other than its old-boy mentality.

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