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The Tigers and Orioles have women keeping the grounds

May 22, 2012, 1:33 PM EDT


I hate that headline for a couple of reasons. “Keeping the grounds” is dumb and clunky, but I can’t get my brain to be OK with the plural of “groundskeeper.”  “Groundskeepers” is probably right, but it really is causing me problems.

The other part of that headline I hate is that simply noting the fact that the O’s and Tigers have women in that role constitutes news. It does, and the fact that women have a job that not a lot of women have is cool, but it reads like some sort of 1920s article noting with amusement and glee that women drive cars or vote or something.

OK, my hangups aside, go read Amanda Rykoff’s article about Heather Nabozny, Nicole Sherry, each of whom keep the grass green and — more importantly, I was somewhat surprised to learn — the dirt looking good. Really, we always think about the grass, but Nabonzy notes that the grass takes way less of a beating and the dirt is where all the effort is. I hadn’t really thought about that.

  1. rpink24 - May 22, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I am a small-minded idiot who posted a misogynistic comment here, thinking I was being funny. But then Craig came in and edited it because he has the power to do that and I can’t do anything to stop it.

    — Craig

    • cleverbob - May 22, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      It’s ok as long as they wear big, floppy brimmed hats and pretend they’re working in a flower garden.

    • kopy - May 22, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      You’re the nice guy who changes someone’s facebook status to: “John Doe should log out of his computer when he goes to the grocery store!” Be bold and make him say, “I drink my own pee.”

    • sictransitchris - May 22, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Boy am I glad I decided to not post what I thought about posting…

    • Phillies Homer - May 22, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      I was too slow to see rpink24’s initial post. Was it something about being in a kitchen?? I bet it was something about being in a kitchen…

      • kopy - May 22, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        It was the other really obvious comment. One about a certain type of entree, commonly had for lunch…

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 22, 2012 at 2:23 PM


      • rpink24 - May 22, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        it was about sammiches

      • cleverbob - May 22, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        You’re undermining Craig’s authoritah…

    • js20011041 - May 22, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      Craig, if someone wants to reveal themselves as an idiot, you should let them do so. Having said that, a joke about making sandwiches hardly makes someone a mysoginist. I do want to say that I find your decision to censor the comment as far more offensive than anything anyone could have said. I really think this shows you to be the small minded person here.

  2. kopy - May 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    I don’t know if HBT ever talked about this, but the Twins’ Low-A affiliate Beloit Snappers have a female PA announcer, and she’s something like 1 out of 3 in all of professional baseball.

    • willsolo - May 22, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      The Giants also have a PA announcer but she is annoying. Not because she’s a woman, but because he voice is annoying.

    • redneckrick - May 22, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      AA Bowie, Orioles affiliate, has a female PA announcer

  3. stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Don’t sweat it Craig. If it makes you feel better…hug a baby, a puppy or a tree.
    I gotta’ amit though…
    Using the word “murdered” to describe Stanton’s laser shot was very barbaric of you.
    Geesh Man…any more of this talk and you are gonna’ jump clear across the aisle.

  4. mattintoledo - May 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I was hoping Ms. Nabozny might explain the two shades of green in the Tigers’ outfield, and no I’m not talking about mowing patterns. If you watch a Tiger game, there is a pretty distinct shape where the grass is a different shade from the rest of the outfield’s grass. I’m sure it has something to do with concerts, but it’s always bothered me.

    • pestiesti - May 22, 2012 at 10:57 PM

      I heard it explained at some point. It has something to with the lack of snow during the winter. They replaced the grass last fall after some concerts. Somehow, the snow during the winter would have made the new grass look like the old grass. (I have no idea how.) But, since there was no snow, the patches are still very obvious.

  5. rpink24 - May 22, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Craig, I follow the Ferengi views on women. Also, I am a Phillies fan, so calling me a small-minded idiot is redundant. Thank you and good day.

  6. nightman13 - May 22, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    I am glad this article was posted for three reasons:

    1.) I learned something about grounds keeping
    2.) The comments are going to resemble the wild wild west and Craig’s going to go all Wyatt Earp.
    3.) I now have a new euphemism for beautification of one’s nether regions

  7. Tim's Neighbor - May 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    As a former mlb groundskeeper, dirt/clay work is way more intensive than grass work. Grass is slow paced and relaxing. Beating the pitching clay into submission is where you earn your blisters.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 22, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      You must have some interesting stories. What a mighty cool job you had!

      • Tim's Neighbor - May 22, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        I have a ton of stories of getting my ass handed to me. I learned that I was not a good groundskeeper very quickly.

  8. mybrunoblog - May 22, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. Former groundskeeper,now, about to become Masters Champion”

    • hiltonandastoria - May 22, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

    • Max Power - May 22, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      My girlfriend’s an assistant groundskeeper now. They say that doesn’t mean anything until she’s the head groundskeeper. But she’s gonna be a head groundskeeper, hopefully within six years. That’s her schedule.

  9. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 22, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Cool, but can these female groundskeepers (or whatever word you want to use) do this?

  10. humanexcrement - May 22, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    This post should have been called “The Grass Ceiling.”

    • b7p19 - May 22, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      Well goddam. You should be working for The Post, son.

  11. Old Gator - May 22, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    I know a high school team from the atavistic state of Arizona that would refuse to play on either field.

  12. docdisco - May 22, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    mattintoledo, the reason the grass is different shades at comerica is because they cut it at different heights to suit each outfielder. Jackson, for example, might want the ball to roll faster or slower than Dirks. they tailor each section of outfield for our guys giving them a little more “home field advantage”.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      Doc: As someone who’s Father was born in the State of Michigan (and someone who happens to still have a lot of Family in the area)…please don’t take this the wrong way.
      But cutting the grass at different heights to suit each individual starting outfielder is the silliest thing I have heard in a looong time.
      Disclaimer: I don’t use the word silly very often cause’ it feels kind of “girlish.”

  13. offseasonblues - May 22, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    I just want to give a shout out to all groundskeepers. A freshly prepared baseball diamond is a truly beautiful thing.

  14. professor59 - May 22, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Nicole Sherry was a bit of a local hero when she was head groundskeeper for the Trenton Thunder a few years back. You could always see her out there before the games, dragging equipment and directing the guys on her crew. I own a bobblehead they made for her, on a tractor, of course.
    It was a huge celebration when she got the call from the majors, and Camden Yards at that.

  15. mississippimusicman - May 22, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Call me back when someone has a female shortstop. “We don’t discriminate, we hire plenty of women – to serve concessions, take tickets, rake the infield, things like that.” I call bull$#!% on that noise.

    I blame softball for the fact we haven’t fielded a few female position players by now. Have you SEEN some of the girls on these southern softball teams? I dated a two-sport athlete in high school for a short while – softball and basketball – and if she had been allowed to, she would have been the best athlete on the boys’ baseball team. If they want separate teams for whatever reason, fine, but teach them the same rules, the same mechanics, and for mercy’s sake, use the same equipment.

    • mississippimusicman - May 22, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      If you disagree with what I said, fine. I just wish you’d post a reply stating your case instead of (or in addition to) a thumbs-down. I really want to hear your take on this, if you have one, rather than just feel your vague, anonymous, non-specific disapproval.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        MMM: I wouldn’t put much stock in the thumbs up or thumbs down.
        Typically, there are a huge number of tools out their that will thumbs you down regardless of the content. Similarly, there are a lot of guys out their who can’t think for themselves and tend to thumbs up a comment based upon nothing more than who posted the comment.
        In regards to your post…I can appreciate where you are coming from. I dated a few girls who played multiple sports as well and could fare very well against the guys.
        Whaddya’ do about basketball though? Girls’ hands tend to be a lot smaller.

      • mississippimusicman - May 22, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        stlouis1baseball: If a player doesn’t make the team due to ability, that’s exactly how it should be. I have less of a problem with separate leagues like the WNBA than I do with the fact that there’s still a rule on the books banning women from playing in affiliated baseball. There have been 211 big-league players listed at 5’6″ or shorter, and plenty of female athletes are taller than that, so the size excuse doesn’t hold water as far as MLB is concerned, the way it would with basketball.

    • paperlions - May 22, 2012 at 8:44 PM

      The vast majority of men, are both physically stronger and faster than women, and a LOT of men are bigger, stronger, and faster than every woman in the world. The odds of a woman with the physical skills and talent to play at the major league level is infinitesimally small….those odds get even smaller when you consider that even if such a woman does exist…she probably has no interest in playing baseball (if for no other reason, than the vast majority of people in the world have no interest in playing baseball).

      • mississippimusicman - May 22, 2012 at 10:12 PM

        I knew a female Marine Corporal who would take that as “fighting words.” She could knock out 20 dead-hang pullups, do 100 regulation crunches in less than 90 seconds, and then run 3 miles in about 17:30, then work a 12-hour day in a freight yard, all while managing to remain unmistakably feminine.

      • paperlions - May 22, 2012 at 10:15 PM

        And? What? I didn’t say there are not tough and athletic women….obviously, there are….but the most elite female athletes simply do not compare to the most elite male athletes…..they are at a genetic and physiological disadvantage. These are pretty simple and verifiable facts…not sure why it is so hard to accept them.

      • mississippimusicman - May 22, 2012 at 10:15 PM

        I knew a female Marine Corporal who would take that as “fighting words.” She could knock out 20 dead-hang pullups, do 100 regulation crunches in less than 90 seconds, and then run 3 miles in about 17:30, then work a 12-hour day in a freight yard, all while making fatigues look like a fashion statement.

      • Reflex - May 23, 2012 at 12:20 AM

        paperlions – Not every baseball player is what one could call ‘elite’. David Eckstein is not an ‘elite athlete’ and never was. Many guys in baseball are small and sleight, or pudgy and soft. I do believe that there are women out there who could outperform *some* baseball players.

        I wouldn’t expect a female Barry Bonds of course. But I can see some females as role players or borderline regulars, even if they are not ever stars.

      • paperlions - May 23, 2012 at 8:05 AM

        In any sport that requires physical prowess, the women that dominates other women would get crushed if she tried to play at the highest level of competition with men. I’m not sure why this is so hard to understand. The physical and physiological advantages that men have over women are huge and real. There isn’t any female soccer, hockey, basketball, volleyball, or tennis player that could even approach playing at a high level in men’s competition….not sure why people think that would be possible for baseball……must be the fact that MLB looks similar to the game we played as kids.

      • Reflex - May 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        Probably has to do with the fact that baseball is not a competition of pure strength. It is a game of skill, strength can assist a player but it is not the deciding factor. If it were, baseball would be filled with professional body builders.

        Do you really think there are no women who can throw a ball as fast as Jamie Moyer? Do you really think there are no women anywhere who can be as strong or fast as Eckstein? Therot?

        I agree that the number of women who could are vanishingly small, but I do not agree that they do not exist.

  16. stex52 - May 22, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    I’m really surprised it is only two. I could have easily guessed half. Not like it is gender-specific skills.

    But I agree with offseason. I fresh field really makes the whole park look good.

  17. biffnasty - May 22, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Speaking of which, I witnessed a woman driving an automobile the other day. The horror I felt…..

    • offseasonblues - May 22, 2012 at 4:46 PM

      Where you by chance in Saudi Arabia?

      • El Bravo - May 22, 2012 at 5:20 PM

        If he was, she’s already in prison.

  18. foreverchipper10 - May 22, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    If it isn’t Carl Spackler out there I don’t wanna know.

  19. docdisco - May 22, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Look it up…and I’m not sure what being a father, being from Michigan or still having family in Michigan has to do with that. being a Tiger fan and Detroit native, and resident, I watch a show called Tigers Weekly, they did an entire episode a couple season back on Heather and the crew, thats where I got that info. I’m not sure how everyone else feels (except st.louis) but talking about things you don’t have knowledge on is…um, silly (not that I use that word very often)

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