Rowley: On the online baseball community and caring for one another

From SABR member Meg Rowley at FanGraphs on March 21, 2018:

I’d like to beg your indulgence to reflect on community. Specifically, our community. Our community here at FanGraphs, sure, but the community of people who care about the rigorous analysis of baseball, too. Communities are home to all kinds of folks engaged in different bits of sin and kindness, all experiencing different stakes. We’re knit together by our sins and our kindnesses, sometimes quite uncomfortably. One such sin is the everyday kind, the sort of casual meanness and lack of care we all wade through all the time. It’s a smaller kind, but we still find ourselves altered by it. I suppose you’ll have to forgive me for worrying on such things; I know we can be suspicious of feelings around here. But don’t fret. There’s another bit of sin, too, a baseball sin.

Earlier this month, Sheryl Ring published a piece called “Can Major League Baseball Legally Exclude a Woman?” The piece considered whether the exclusion of women from baseball, both as players and umpires, was legally permissible under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, Sheryl, while acknowledging that it wouldn’t be an easy case to make, argued that being male was not a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification for playing Major League Baseball and that the failure to scout, much less hire, women could potentially violate Title VII.


Our community is a weird, happy little place much of the time. It’s so nice to rest a bit after fighting for so long. We’ve had great, demanding, exacting debates. We’ve made room in the neighborhood; we’ve exchanged waves at the corner store. But we still commit our sins; someone rushes in from across the bar. We forget each other’s stakes, don’t respect them. We’ve assumed those stakes are the same all the time, for everyone; we’ve failed to practice care, to embrace our uncertainty.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 22, 2018. Last Updated: March 22, 2018.