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savafan
03-27-2007, 01:27 PM
http://my.yankees.v.mlb.com/newsarticle.aspx?catId=23&articleId=1004376

By BEN WALKER

Spring training will take on a whole new look this week: For the first time in nearly 20 years, a female umpire will work a major league exhibition game.

Ria Cortesio, set to start the season in Double-A, will be on the bases Thursday for a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs in Mesa, Ariz.

"I'm looking forward to it," she said Monday night. "There will be a lot more people in the stands than I'm used to."

Pam Postema was the last woman to work big league exhibitions, back in 1989. She was in spring training for two years before getting released.

Cortesio is the only female umpire in professional baseball. At 30, she is starting her ninth year overall and fifth in Double-A.

"It's awesome," Cubs star Derrek Lee said Monday. "I think it's about time. Female eyes are as good as male eyes. Why can't they be umpires? Good for her."

Triple-A and Double-A umpires routinely join major league crews in spring training, especially when extra games fill the schedule.

"I was kind of expecting it," Cortesio said. "Umpires with my seniority usually get picked."

Cortesio has been working minor league exhibition games in Arizona this month. In a few days, she'll move up to HoHoKam Park when a Diamondbacks split squad plays Chicago.

Cubs reliever Scott Eyre liked the idea.

"She's doing our game? Oh, cool," he said. "How do I feel about it? I could care less. If she can call a game, she can call a game."

"If she rings somebody up for me, I don't care. You know what I mean? I wouldn't have a problem with it," he said.

Cortesio was on a big league field last season for All-Star festivities at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. She called the Futures Game for minor league prospects, then worked the Home Run Derby the next night.

Cortesio started her umpiring career in the Pioneer League and was later in the Midwest and Florida State leagues. She's been an instructor at the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring for several years.

This year, Cortesio hopes to move to Triple-A -- she's on deck for promotion when the next vacancy occurs. Once umpires reach Triple-A, they are evaluated by major league supervisors.

Mike Winters will lead Cortesio's crew Thursday. It'll mark the first time she's worked a game with a major league umpire.

"I think I'm as excited about that as anything," she said.

Raisor
03-27-2007, 01:44 PM
Next thing you know, women are going to want to vote.

ColoradoHigh
03-27-2007, 01:58 PM
If she can do the same job, let her have a chance. As a woman, I would not wish that job on her. We don't spit or scratch as well. We do vote. I will admit to a couple of possible mistakes on my recent voting record.

Yachtzee
03-27-2007, 02:17 PM
I must say there seems to be a bit more enlightened view about it than the last time, from what I recall. I seem to remember some rather unenlightened views on Pam Postema's attempts to get into umpiring at the major league level.