Lady Bee’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide: The Best of Down Goes Brown

A quasi-regular feature for the month of December in which Lady Bee provides you with gift ideas you won’t find in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.

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If you love NHL hockey, and you have a sense of humour (seems required these days if you subscribe to the former), then chances are you are quite familiar with the excellent hockey blog Down Goes Brown. Brown, or Down, or…well, anyway, his parents and spouse know him as Sean McIndoe. He’s pulled together a compilation of his best work on the blog in The Best of Down Goes Brown, which was released this fall. Continue reading

Girls in the Dugout

Chelsea Baker and Joe Niekro in 2006

The last year my brothers played Coach Pitch in Little League, their team was assigned two girls.  This was no big sweat for the head coach (my dad) — not only had he begun his long and varied youth sports coaching career with a stint as my soccer coach, he’d also coached kindergarten teeball, which in our area was co-ed.  What did surprise him, though, was that only one girl showed up to practice. After a week or two,  Dad mentioned to this girl’s mother that she wasn’t supposed to be the only one on the team.

“Oh, I know,” the mom said, “she didn’t want to come after what happened last year.”  Apparently the girls had also been assigned to the same team the year before  — only that head coach had done everything he could to make it clear he did not want girls on his team, from making them go last in every single drill to only playing them the minimum amount of innings required by Little League rules.  Both girls (who, I remind you, were eight years old at the time) stuck it out the full season, but now the other girl couldn’t bear to even try again.

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Are you a “Lady” or not?

I had a Twitter conversation with a few people last night over the use of “Lady” before a team mascot name to denote women’s sports versus men’s sports at the high school and college levels.

One person made the argument that by having the “Lady” qualifier, women’s sports are being separated and there’s an implication that they aren’t on the same level as men’s.

The other person felt that getting upset over the use of “Lady” was taking political correctness too far. They said they’d never even thought about the topic until someone else brought it up and felt that there was no underlying problem with differentiating between the two.

A quick internet search didn’t pull up any history in terms of the first use of “Lady,” but I hypothesized last night that the origin may have come from newspapers needing a way to distinguish between the teams when covering the sports.

It also likely had its origin in the early part of the 20th century, when being called a “Lady” would have been flattering and possibly used as a way to feminize sports and the athletes who played them.

One of the things I most hate about the use of the “Lady” qualifier is when it creates incongruous names. Here in Milwaukee there’s a Catholic high school who’s nickname is the Popes, meaning the girls teams are known as the Lady Popes.

There are a few cases where the “Lady” moniker has gone beyond use in recaps and has become an accepted part of the team’s name. The Tennessee women’s basketball team is known as the Lady Vols.

As someone who’s had to write recaps of four games at one school in one night, I appreciate the ability to have the “Lady” qualifier at my disposal to be able to help differentiate the articles and make sure the reader knew which sport was being discussed

I also admit to being annoyed when I go to my favorite college’s website and read a headline and am not sure which team is being discussed, so in that way I would appreciate the use of “Lady.”

But those are both opinions tempered by my background in journalism. I can see the need to have a way to distinguish between the men’s and women’s sides for clarity and that tends to outweigh my feminist instinct on the matter.

I find myself not particularly bothered by the use of “Lady,” but I feel like I should be more annoyed. Normally any sort of distinction that separates women from men would get my hackles up, so I’m not sure why I’m so unmoved by this issue.

What do you all think? Acceptable usage or inappropriate separation tactic? Does the very mention of a “Lady” team make your blood boil and you start yelling “Oh hell no!” or are you as ambivalent as I am?

Ladies and stat nerds unite: in celebration of F-Gut!

Stat-nerds have been falling all over themselves in adoration of Franklin Gutierrez’s astounding CF defense, which is so stunningly awesome that the Mariners are hanging on to him for four more years. But don’t leave the F-Gut lovin’ to the statheads* – he’s someone the Ladies… can appreciate as well. Behold:

He is the WORLD. It says so right on his jersey.

*I, much like Crane, proudly belong to that set of people. Give me FanGraphs or give me death!

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What NOT to buy the Ladies… this holiday season

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This actually makes me cringe.

I was recently sharing with the Ladies… one of the few beefs I had about my visit to Yankee Stadium in September: the womens’ wear shop. Now mind you I was on a mission for something very specific (a womens’ cut Swisher or Hughes tee) and the chances of snagging it were slim. Needless to say, I didn’t find it. I did find an awful lot of pink tees, caps, bats and foam fingers. And Jeter and A-Rod shirts. And rhinestones.

Fortunately MLB.com has plenty to offer according to one’s taste, but some of the selections still leave us scratching our heads. Join me as I play second-rate fashion critic after the jump.

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First Season Fan: New York Knicks

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I’m not the world’s biggest NBA fan. I have probably watched a total of 10 games my whole life. But the truth is, I never really gave it a full chance. Well this year is different. Baseball season is practically over. Football is only one full day and then one night a week. Having both hockey AND basketball during the weekday, should keep me entertained. I love college basketball so I figure if I give the NBA a real chance, I should like it as well.

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Why playing time is not an argument against voting a pitcher MVP

A hitter plays every day and hits once every nine spots in his team’s lineup.

A pitcher plays every fifth day and faces all nine spots in the other team’s lineup.

For example:

Albert Pujols has had 21 plate appearances in the last five games. For the season, he averages 21.3 PAs per five games.

Tim Lincecum had 29 plate appearances against him in his most recent game. For the season, he averages 28.6 PAs against per game.

Joe Mauer has had 20 plate appearances in the last five days. For the season, he averages 22.1 PAs per five games.

Zack Greinke had 29 plate appearances against him in his most recent game. For the season, he averages 28.2 PAs against per game.

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