Ballet Baseball or Baseball Ballet
maule at LAW.VILLANOVA.EDU
Sat Mar 24 17:14:04 PST 2001
The following sports story cements for me the premise that in many instances people are judged by height as a matter of qualification aside from other skills.
This morning's Philadelphia Inquirer has a story about the pitchers in the Phillies' minor league system. The Phillies are a team sorely in need of good pitching. The reporter noted that all he saw at the camp were guys the size of basketball players.
Several team officials explained that although left-handed pitchers (who are tough to find) stand a chance of getting pitchers out despite their size, for right handers there is a need to be overpowering. The team connects over-powering with height. The scouting director is quoted as follows, in terms of what he told the scouts: "So I've told our scouts, 'If you're looking at a right-hander in the high rounds and he's not at least 6-1, I don't even want to hear about him.'"
Now there is no need for a "look" among the pitchers as there is in ballet. In fact, this is a classic instance of "what happens to the fellow who is 5-10 and throws at 105 mph?" The scouting director claims that there is a correlation between height and pitch speed even though there are some exceptions (Maddux, Cone, for example, for the fans out there).
Now, if Philadelphia had a SF-type ordinance, could the 5-10 105-mph guy sue? There's not even an aesthetic element here.
If there were a BFOQ exception, would it apply here?
And if the Phillies show up in San Francisco to play the Giants, can/would the city get an injunction barring the team from appearing there because it has a height-based discriminatory policy in terms of right-handed pitchers?
Poor Mugsy Bogues.... even if he could throw 105-mph he'd have no chance <G> (Odd, the way the Phillies have had problems over the last century finding and keeping good pitching (other than a few years with Carlton and Bunning and Grover Cleveland Alexander way back when), I'd think they'd invite Bill Veeck's midget to pitch if he could get batters out. Interesting idea to close the door before it needs to be closed.)
Well, if SF sued, I'm sure the Phillies' lawyers would dance around the problem.
Perhaps at worst there's exam question material here?
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