SAN FRANCISCO -- Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez apologized once again Monday for making "inappropriate" comments about a female member of San Diego's training staff who was working in the Padres' dugout. During the second inning of Saturday night's contest, Mike Piazza hit a home run for the Padres and exchanged a high-five with Kelly Calabrese, San Diego's full-time massage therapist, in the dugout. "Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair?" Hernandez said during the broadcast. "What's going on here? You have got to be kidding me. Only player personnel in the dugout."
"I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout," Hernandez said. Hernandez laughed and added: "You know I am only teasing. I love you gals out there -- always have." He also went on to say that he thought Calabrese "was Morganna ['The Kissing Bandit'] for a minute, but she wasn't blonde." Hernandez stood by his apology Monday and by his contention that Calabrese didn't belong in the dugout -- not because of her gender but because of her position. She is not a trainer; the Padres have a trainer and an assistant trainer. "Some of what I said was inappropriate," Hernandez said Monday before he was to appear on SNY, the new network that carries most Mets games. "I was surprised when I saw her, and I didn't say it right. I overreacted," Hernandez said by telephone Monday. "But if she were the trainer, I'd have no problem. I didn't disparage her." Hernandez noted he had no problems with women in the clubhouse when he played. His comments Monday on SNY included, "I regret some of the comments I made. I was surprised, first of all, to see a woman in the dugout in uniform. ... I was just surprised, and some of the comments I made afterward were inappropriate and tasteless, and I'm sorry for that. ... I think I have no problem. I have dealt with female reporters when they first came in ... I've never had a problem with that. The Mets had a female physical therapist who I worked with, so I do not have problem with females in the workforce." The network issued a statement Monday that essentially reviewed the situation: "During Saturday's Mets-Padres telecast on SNY, Keith Hernandez made inappropriate comments regarding the presence of a female massage therapist of the San Diego Padres who was in the dugout. In discussing personnel who are permitted to be in the dugout under MLB rules, Keith made insensitive remarks that Kelly Calabrese, the Padres massage therapist and a member of their training staff, did not belong in the dugout. We immediately addressed the issue with Keith and reprimanded him, and he publicly apologized during Sunday's game for his inappropriate comments." Calabrese had responded to Hernandez's remarks in an interview with SI.com. "It amazes me that somebody of that caliber that has obviously played the game before and in front of an audience of millions of people would say something like that," she said. "It's a little shocking. ... He's the one who is going to have to suffer those ramifications, not me. He not only discredited me as a person, but he discredited women. "First I was just shocked, flabbergasted," Calabrese told SI.com. "But you know, hopefully, if anything, we can turn what's obviously a negative from Keith Hernandez into a positive. I have always been the type of person that if I can be a positive role model for other young girls that are aspiring to hold positions that are not necessarily your typical positions that women hold, then I am happy to be that person." Calabrese, who also appeared Monday on SNY, though not at the same time as Hernandez, added, "I'm on the bench periodically for every game. We have two trainers, in addition to myself and a strength and conditioning coach, and we rotate taking care of players. It just depends. Everybody rotates and everybody takes care of the players. "Bottom line is, we want to take care of our players. We are 100 percent professional when we do that and I don't think it matters if I'm male or female." Hernandez also said Monday on SNY: "That rule also states that masseuses are not permitted in the dugout. If any club hires a female head or assistant trainer, I have no problem with her [being in the dugout]. They're in violation of the rules. It says only the head trainer and the assistant trainer [can be in the dugout]. Whether it's a male or a female is not the issue." Padres CEO Sandy Alderson rebutted Hernandez's insistence that Calabrese didn't belong in the dugout. "The San Diego Padres are disappointed in the remarks of Keith Hernandez on a Mets telecast this weekend involving Padres staff member Kelly Calabrese," Alderson said in a statement Monday afternoon. "Kelly, who is licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board and is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and serves as the Padres full-time massage therapist, is a highly trained and professionally competent member of the Padres team, fully authorized by Major League Baseball to be present during games in the Padres dugout. Her competence and professionalism, not gender, are the important factors in her role with the club. "Our society has made great strides in gender equity in recent years and that progress should be reflected as well in professional baseball. Keith's remarks were uninformed and were a disservice to Kelly and those women like her who have performed admirably in positions previously reserved for men. "It is ironic that on the very night these unfortunate remarks were made, the Padres honored members of our military, among them Corie Bush, the recipient of a Purple Heart Medal for injuries she sustained while serving in Iraq. The roles of women in our society have indeed changed and we are all the beneficiaries."
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.