It’s Women’s Day at Citi Field and the New York Mets are celebrating with songs! Yes, that’s right, in honor of the day starting pitcher Taijuan Walker and several batters have elected a female artist to walk out to. It’s a nice gesture, of course, and a welcome one considering walk-out songs are overwhelmingly male, despite the number of female artists in every genre available to pick. But it’s nowhere near enough to celebrate women, all things considered.
First because, well, if the idea is to celebrate women and the only way they can come up with to do is to pick female artists for walk-out songs, why isn’t every player on the team doing it? Only some want to celebrate women? And the team is okay with what is apparently part of their team being like, I don’t care, I’m not picking a female artist? Great show of support for women that is.
Then there’s the many ways in which this feels just like a performance. The Mets Twitter account even changed their profile picture and announced in-game programming based around women’s empowerment. Again, all good things. No one’s complaining about what the Mets are doing. It’s only …why only one day a year? Is women’s empowerment only important on the one day the Mets can get publicity for it?
It feels very much like they’re willing to “celebrate” women on their terms, while making no real attempt to truly make a change in the ways that are truly available to them. Let’s start with women in baseball, since the Mets are, you know, a baseball team. How many women do they employ in their front offices? How many are in positions of real power?
That question isn’t rhetorical, and it probably has a better answer than you think, one that the Mets haven't completely ignored, even if it hasn't really been the star of their Women's Day marketing. A panel with the Women of the Mets, featuring Director of Major League Operations Elizabeth Benn, Director of Revenue Innovation & Strategy Janaki Cash, Executive Director of Broadcasting & Special Events Lorraine Hamilton, Vice President of Ballpark Operations Sue Lucchi, and Erica Scherzer, moderated by Mets in-game host Emily Reppert is set to take place before the game. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Queens native Olivia Pichardo, a pitcher who was just named to the 2022 Women’s National Baseball Team. The Mets have also prepared a video tribute to Shannon Forde, a pioneer for women in baseball, who was at one point the senior director of media relations for the club.
Yet the focus of the “Women’s Day” campaign seems to be on songs, not these women’s groundbreaking achievements. On the surface, it looks like the most important thing to look forward to on Women's Day at Citi Field is some players (not all, God forbid) walking out to songs by female artists. Because that’s what true diversity is all about, isn’t it?