Network calls Hernandez's remarks 'inappropriate'

NEW YORK -- Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez was reprimanded by the team's television network for "inappropriate" remarks during a broadcast about a female member of San Diego's training staff.

The former MVP first baseman said women "don't belong in the dugout" when he spotted 33-year-old Kelly Calabrese, the Padres' full-time massage therapist, high-fiving Mike Piazza in the dugout after he hit a home run during New York's 8-1 victory Saturday in San Diego.

After Hernandez found out later in the broadcast that Calabrese was with the Padres' training staff, he repeated that she shouldn't have been there.

"I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout," he said.

Hernandez, a former Mets star, then laughed and said: "You know I am only teasing. I love you gals out there -- always have."

"Keith Hernandez made inappropriate comments regarding the presence of a female massage therapist of the San Diego Padres who was in the dugout," SportsNet New York said in a statement Monday. "We immediately addressed the issue with Keith and reprimanded him, and he publicly apologized during Sunday's game."

Hernandez said Sunday that he was sorry if he offended anyone. He also said that baseball's rulebook allowed only the head trainer and assistant trainer in the dugout.

But a Major League Baseball memo previously sent to all clubs said that in addition to the two trainers, one member of the conditioning staff was permitted in the dugout during games. After Hernandez's remarks, MLB called the Padres and verified that, indeed, Calabrese was allowed.

Calabrese said Sunday that she was flabbergasted by Hernandez's comments.

"It's a little shocking but you know what -- it happens," she said. "He not only discredited me as a person, but he discredited women."

Padres chief executive officer Sandy Alderson also criticized Hernandez.

"Her competence and professionalism, not gender, are the important factors in her role with the club," he said Monday in a statement.

"Our society has made great strides in gender equity in recent years and that progress should be reflected as well in professional baseball," he said. "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."