Final Word

By Jeff Girod

Posted May 17, 2012 in News
Yer out! And yer out! And yer out! And . . . well, you get the idea.

That’s the position a Catholic boys’ high school baseball team chose to take last week, forfeiting the Arizona state championship instead of competing against another team which had—dramatic audible gasp!—a female infielder.

(I’ve heard of parents worried about kids getting to second base, but jeez Mom and Dad, loosen up the strike zone.)

Our Lady of Sorrows Academy (cheery sounding school, you should see the mascot) refused to take the field against Mesa Preparatory Academy and, specifically its 15-year-old second baseman, Paige Sultzbach. The name “Paige” is enough to send grown shortstops fleeing to the dugout, looking for their bats and balls.

According to a statement to, an Our Lady of Sorrows official said it had a perfectly good reason for weenie-ing out on the biggest game in the lives of its boys’ baseball team . . . The school is a member of a separatist branch of the Catholic Church that believes in “forming and educating boys and girls separately.”

Forming what-now?

“Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we choose not to place them in an athletic competition where proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty,” the statement read. “Our school aims to instill in our boys a profound respect for women and girls.”

Apparently that “respect” extends beyond just opening doors for ladies or saying “gesundheit” when somebody in a blouse sneezes. These Lady of Sorrow fellas have so many manners coming out of them, they won’t even stoop to grounding into a double play to women and girls.

There are no winners here. And I sincerely believe that because I hate both schools. Either it’s an all-boys team, or it’s not. I know, I know. That’s entirely hypocritical based on the stance I’m taking that high schools should be coed. Sports teams (not involving Ultimate Frisbee) shouldn’t. And if you want fair and balanced, go watch Anderson Cooper and his khakis.

In one dugout you have a team with one girl on its baseball team? One girl? Really? Why exactly? Are there no girls’ softball teams in Arizona?

I understand Mesa Preparatory Academy doesn’t have a softball team and that’s why Paige Sultzbach tried out for the boys’ team. Then again, if Paige and her parents were so hell bent on Paige playing softball, maybe she shouldn’t have picked such a chintzy school with barely any sports.

And what kind of state championship is it, if one team runs away from girls like bees and the other team doesn’t think enough about girls to buy 9 softball gloves?

And on the other team bus, you’ve got Our Lady of Sorrows, who seems intent in 2012 on teaching boys and girls separately, like some kind of Turkish prison—which means they’re raising a bunch of sexually repressed, socially inept weirdoes.

Have you ever seen a boy who hasn’t been allowed to talk to girls for four years? He’s either going to end up in a darkened room at a peep show, or on top of a bell tower with a high-powered rifle. Either way, he’ll be wearing a trench coat and shower sandals.

Our Lady of Sorrows is aware, I hope, that the big bad world is movie theaters, tree houses and pullout couches where penises and vaginas mix roly-poly, like a three-bean pasta salad? You can forfeit as many state championships as you want, Padre. But sooner or later, everybody is going to take that long, glorious slide across home plate. (And if you do it right, you’ll need new baseball pants.)

Our Lady of Sorrows thinks an all-boys school is the best thing since Babe Ruth? Go beat the team with a girl on it by 20 runs. If you’re so confident that the philosophy you’ve built your precious school to is the only way, the truth and the light, you should have no problem proving it in on the field.

The best lesson you can teach kids is tolerance. The next best lesson you can teach them is to go out and pound the livin‘ tar out of anybody who doesn’t agree with you.

I’m sure it’s in the Bible somewhere.

Contact Jeff Girod at



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