Anyway, as some people have noted, Cortesio's long stint in the minors suggested she was never going to make the pros. Most minor league umpires either move up or get fired long before nine years have passed.
That may be true, but there's also something odd about how she was fired.
Cortesio started this past season as the top-ranked umpire in all of Double-A. If there had been an opening in Triple-A, it would've been hers. That would obviously suggest that she's good at what she does.
However, there were no vacancies and when the new ratings by minor league supervisors came out in midseason, her ranking substantially dropped. A move up to AAA would have greatly changed her status, since umpires in AAA are under the auspices of major league supervisors.
So what happened? Unfortunately, no one knows, except PBUM of course. Perhaps they just got tired of her hanging around for so long. Or maybe she had a bad year. But it seems odd that the best umpire in AA would drop so dramatically in the time span of half a season.
There have been six female umpires in the affiliated minor leagues, and none have made the majors. Pam Postema spent several years in Triple-A during the 1980s; after being fired, she filed a sex discrimination suit against baseball and settled out of court almost 6 years later.
Cortesio said she had not decided whether to pursue legal action.