"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.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.