Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girls of Summer Support Martin

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girls of Summer Support Martin

Article excerpt

You heard the disparaging remarks about a Woman As Baseball Commissioner before you saw the story.

A sports columnist fired the first salvo: "Suuuure, the owners will appoint a woman commissioner. Gee, I hope it's Madonna, the law 'n' order candidate."

Cute.

Next, we found out the Woman As Baseball Commissioner is Lynn Martin, who was labor secretary under former President George Bush.

Came this wisecrack from a baseball owner: "Her interview was window dressing. There is no way we're going to allow a woman to tell us what to do." Condescending.

The lobs were reminiscent of those "trial balloons," or deliberate leaks, sometimes floated out of the White House to see if anyone's listening. Gays in the military? A public outcry follows and the idea is shot down. Wouldn't be prudent.

In the case of Martin, were baseball's owners inflating a trial balloon? Curious, isn't it, that we haven't heard much about the other candidates?

Anyway, a skeptic might speculate that the owners were trying to score public-relations runs after the Marge Schott fiasco a year ago. Schott, owner of the Cincinnati Reds, embarrassed baseball with her offensive remarks about blacks and Jews. The whole affair, though, zeroed in on baseball's hiring practices.

Floating Martin's name could have been one way to make baseball Old Boys' Club look more open-minded in the year after the Year of the Woman.

Or Martin could be a legitimate contender.

She has some legitimate credentials.

A former teacher, Martin rose through the ranks of local Republican politics to Congress. She served five terms from Love Park, Ill. She sat on the House Budget and Armed Services Committees. She even stood in for Geraldine Ferraro when Bush practiced for a presidential debate. Politics there, politics in baseball. Labor there, labor issues in baseball. Same thing.

And she has the baseball banter down, "reeling off" the names of some Chicago Cubs favorites and even a former Cardinals player. …

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