"Go home and make babies"

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The NFL is currently experiencing some ugliness involving players’ treatment of a female reporter and people saying all kinds of dumb and offensive things about women in the locker room. It’s maddening to me that this kind of crap still happens, but it does — and has been for years — because as much as we’d like to think otherwise, the human race is still nothing but a bunch of grubby apes with occasionally better grooming.

But things are better than they used to be.  To see that, just read this great story from FanHouse’s Pat McManamon about Doris O’Donnell Drew, who was sent to cover an Indians’ east coast road trip back in 1957. The level of hostility she received was crazy: she was kicked out of press boxes and was told by the Indians’ manager that she should “go home and make babies.”  And she was just doing feature stories, not trying to go into the clubhouse right after the game or anything. Just nuts.

As McManamon notes, O’Donnell’s most memorable encounter was with Ted Williams who — while nothing short of horribly rude to her — actually gave her an interview (he later apologized for his behavior). Even at its best, however, the sports world was incredibly hostile. O’Donnell went on to cover more important things such as the civil rights movement and the political turmoil of the 1960s. There she received a better greeting.

McManamon’s piece is great stuff, which I highly recommend. And keep it bookmarked for the next time some idiot athletes decide to, once again, show the world that the human race is really a bunch of grubby apes.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.

Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.

For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.