Baseball: A Most Dangerous Game

Would you believe that baseball is more dangerous than Basketall? BMX? Lacrosse? Well, according to the Sportscover Injury Calculator, it is. And the numbers aren't pretty. Here's the percentage chance of injury for a world class male athlete (yes, Mr. Sabathia qualifies) playing the national pastime:

Age 21-25: 36.72
Age 26-29: 39.77
Age 30-39: 45.90

Age 40-49: 61.19

Note: "Injury is defined as a physical happening or accident that reduces your capacity to participate in the sport. For Example: Anything from Sprains and Muscle tears to cuts and abrasions."

Fear not, though. Experts are hard at work to solve this dilemma. One possible solution: Female players! They're somewhere between 5 to 15 percent less likely to hurt themselves. And, mostly, better looking. (From a purely male perspective.) But what about us middle-aged couch jockeys? Stick to darts.   

18 replies on “Baseball: A Most Dangerous Game”

It’s well past time that females played major league baseball. I’m fairly certain that they can run, throw, catch, and hit as well as men. The first team to sign female players is going to have a tremendous advantage on the rest of the league, as they’ll be drawing the top talent from a previously ignored half of the human population.

well, cleveland already has pavano!
oh wait, he not a girl, he’s just a p……nevermind. family site. right.

wait, he not a girl, he’s just a p……nevermind. family site. right
That’s not cool – Pavano is having a decent year!! :)

as they’ll be drawing the top talent from a previously ignored half of the human population.
I’m not trying to argue this point at all, nor am I trying to ever come off as a pig, but have you ever met a woman who is even close to being the athlete as the average major leaguer? Outside of the Williams sisters, who are just freaks, what professional female athlete comes to mind that could be considered able to do this?
I played baseball in college, and there were, in their own right, some very good softball players, but not one among them could have played ball with the men.
I wonder if there is a woman who could?

upon further review, and reading that post, I realize that I should have just left that alone. I’m sorry if anyone is offended. It was not my purpose.

Having never played bat-and-ball outside of PE class, I’m probably the wrong person to opine, but I’ve always thought it was unfair that boys and girls were segregated into baseball and softball from an early age. Is there a good reason for this? I blame that split for possibly robbing us the chance to find out if there are MLB (or at least minor-league) caliber women out there.

Addendum: And by “early age” I mean before high school. I realize that there are girls who play little league. I just think it’d be nice if girls played varsity baseball too, and beyond.

Realistically, it happens well before high school. I lost the girls on my LL team when we moved to the 8 year old Pitching machine League. They were sort of average players from an arm strength point of view but with above average understanding of strategy and how to run a play so I was sorry to see them go. (And it meant having to repeat myself waaaaay more about covering the base after the ball is hit…)

I’m drawing a blank right now, but I read a story recently about a female high school pitcher that throws some serious heat. Wish I could remember where I read it and any details. My bad.

Brad: You’re wondering if there’s a single woman in the world who could compete with a male athlete?
I’ll concede that female athletes don’t often beat records set by male athletes, but it’s not as though the fastest female Olympic sprinter is automatically slower than the slowest male Olympic sprinter.
I’ll only consider that women can’t play the game as well as men after I see them get the chance to. The fact that I’ve never met or seen a female baseball player has nothing to do with them “not being able to do it.”

as they’ll be drawing the top talent from a previously ignored half of the human population.
Brad can defend himself, but I think this sentence might have been what he was referring to. As you say, Kazz, it’s unrealistic to believe there are no women in the world who would be as successful playing Major League Baseball as most men, but I think the number would be very small, and probably none of them would be in the top echelon of talent (Griffey, Clemens, Pujols, Beckett level) that would make taking the risk on signing them worth it. On average, women are not as strong as men. That’s just a physical fact, and it’s borne out by those sports that do allow some intermingling — you note the Olympics, and I’ll add golf and bowling. I don’t think it’s sexist to recognize clear biological differences, and it’s just not a contest, barring those obvious exceptions, when comparing athleticism on a straight baseline between the genders (I say this as someone who is decidedly less athletic than many of the females he’s known throughout his life).
If the top women would reach let’s say the level of a pretty good male baseball player (110-120 OPS+/ERA+ peak), why — when you could sign numerous more male players with a greater expectation that they would be worth your money — would you take the gamble on finding the rare pretty good player from the huge pool of likely washouts? A couple teams looking at the PR advantage (or not wanting to be labeled sexist) would do it, but I think it would phase itself out within a few years.
Not to say women shouldn’t at least be given the chance to try, but it’s not like we’re talking about race-based exclusion, where the excluded players are just as talented — often much more talented — than the established major leaguer.

Outside of the Williams sisters, who are just freaks, what professional female athlete comes to mind that could be considered able to do this?
As an avid tennis player, the general rule of thumb is that an above-average college male tennis player can beat the Williams sisters hands-down. Came in here to mention that, before I saw you beat me to the reference.
And if there was ever a role that a woman could succeed in as much as a man in baseball, it would be as a knuckleballer.

I would actually be surprised if there were no women out there who – if not discouraged and excluded from an early age – could make a living throwing a knuckleball, a 75-82 mph fastball, and a slow curveball. Such a female pitcher might even make the All-Star team and lead the AL in wins…

I believe female players could make up as much as 20% of the league if they were allowed to play, maybe it would be quite a bit less, though.
I believe there would be superstars among them, of the pitching and hitting variety. Home-run clouters (you know some girl could hit 30) and power arms. Solid catchers, speedy outfielders, and sterling infield defenders.
I believe the biggest hold-ups are over two relatively sexist issues: locker room questions (when being gay is okay in pro sports, MAYBE you’ll see women play) and the prospect of watching women as ugly as the men who play the game on TV. I really don’t mean that as offensive (I hate the attitude), I just think it’s there.

The major problem is that there isn’t really any feeders to even try. I would think though, out of the major sports baseball might be the best for a woman – you can play being a speedy slappy single hitter, for example. And there are tons of small-ish players. All you have to do is hit a ball.
In basketball/football it might be too physical, though WNBA has been there for a decade, so it’s only a matter of time, maybe.
Also, I think people are open to the idea, just that they haven’t really found the person. Michelle Wie, for example, took the golf world by storm for a bit, except for the fact that she’s not good enough. So the opportunity is out there, per se, and not really a sexist construct, at least in my opinion.

There are also some issues (that might not be that important, maybe) like railroading a female catcher, or what to do when you bean a female hitter, or something like that.

Leave a Reply