Doug Glanville, a former professional baseball player who played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and the Texas Rangers argues that even though ESPN baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza never played in the MLB, she is still qualified for the job.
Writing in an opinion piece for the New York Times, the author of The Game From Where I Stand says objections registered mostly on social media are unfair and are saturated in gender bias. Here are a few samples:
“She doesn’t belong in the booth with men discussing a game she knows nothing about. It’s like watching a game with a girlfriend.”
“So glad we have Jessica Mendoza to commentate. Her years of playing a completely different sport totally makes her qualified.”
“Jessica Mendoza is that annoying sister your mom makes you bring everywhere.”
“I just changed the channel to ESPN2 so I could stop listening to Jessica Mendoza. BTW I don’t understand Spanish.”
“I hate hearing men commentating softball, and I hate hearing women commentating baseball.”
Glanville draws inspiration from the two-time Olympic star softball player comparing her plight as the first woman baseball analyst as to his own as an African-American.
“I root for Mendoza’s success because her journey inspires me, and many others, to think optimistically about what we can overcome despite the stereotypes attributed to our demographic boxes. As an African-American, I can find the similarities of her walk in mine, a reminder that I am not alone in this world even when I feel isolated because of my identity,” Glanville writes in the Times.
Despite her never having played professional baseball, for Glanville, Mendoza’s ability to say, “I have two degrees from Stanford, I brought home two medals for my country, I set a boatload of Stanford collegiate softball records and I delivered two babies into this world,” qualifies her for her role.
Glanville argues that Vin Scully never played professional baseball either so what does it matter if Mendoza didn’t? He suggests that it is more of a sexist bias. However, here’s the problem: Scully was a play by play-by-play guy. Mendoza is an analyst, that’s why she gets criticized more. Vin Scully didn’t have a job that required him to play the game. There’s a massive difference between play-by-play guys and analysts.
Which begs the question: What does it say about Glanville that he doesn’t seem able to grasp the difference?