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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Murray Chass: HONORING BUT BETRAYING ROBINSON and DUNCANS’ DREADFUL DEVELOPMENTS

[Jackie] Robinson deserves to be remembered for what he did, but he would not be impressed with MLB’s hiring record in recent years. On the contrary, he’d be disappointed, if not disgusted. If MLB has a minority hiring program, it hasn’t made an impact in recent years.

Since the Philadelphia Phillies named Ruben Amaro Jr. general manager Nov. 3, 2008, teams have hired 14 general managers. All have been white. Of the last 23 managers hired, dating to May 2010, three have been minorities, and one of them, Ozzie Guillen, no longer has his job. Heading into the 2013 season, MLB has only one minority general manager, Amaro, and four minority managers – three African Americans and a Latino.

This is the worst story I have heard in years. It’s a terrible tale of one family, a baseball family, as it happens, but it’s not the baseball aspect of it that matters. No family of any kind should have to experience it.

Dave Duncan, one of the great pitching coaches in baseball history, was forced to relinquish his position with the St. Louis Cardinals under manager Tony La Russa when his wife, Jeanine, was diagnosed in 2011 with a brain tumor.

The tumor was a glioblastoma, as deadly as any that has been found. I wrote about it last week in a column about Michael Weiner, head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma last August.

But Jeanine Duncan was not to be the only member of the Duncan family so afflicted. Last October, 14 months after his mother was diagnosed, Chris, one of the Duncans’ two major league sons, was also found to have a glioblastoma, MLB.com reported. The only difference, Dave Duncan said in a telephone call, is his wife’s tumor is grade 4, his son’s grade 2, the higher number being worse.

bobm Posted: March 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dave duncan, general managers

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. SoSH U at work Posted: March 16, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4389462)
Heading into the 2013 season, MLB has only one minority general manager, Amaro, and four minority managers – three African Americans and a Latino.


Does Michael Hill have to go on a multistate killing spree for anyone to take notice of him? I know that Beinfest is still considered the man in charge, and for good reason, but Hill is the GM. It's right there in his title.

Oh, and the way old Murray phrased this makes it sound like Duncan was forced out because his wife got cancer, which obviously isn't what he meant, but it wouldn't surprise me if some people came away with that impression.
   2. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 16, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4389464)
Does Michael Hill have to go on a multistate killing spree for anyone to take notice of him? I know that Beinfest is still considered the man in charge, and for good reason, but Hill is the GM. It's right there in his title.

You can't expect bloggers to do simple things like check facts. They have no journalistic integrity.
   3. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: March 16, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4389465)
When looking at the headline, did anyone else think this was a story about the San Antonio Spurs?
   4. AJMcCringleberry Posted: March 16, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4389471)
I'm not clinking on a Chass link, does he mention Ken Williams? I know he's not the GM, but that's because he got promoted.

Oh, and the way old Murray phrased this makes it sound like Duncan was forced out because his wife got cancer, which obviously isn't what he meant, but it wouldn't surprise me if some people came away with that impression.

That's what I thought at first. I read it again and figured out what he meant.
   5. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: March 16, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4389476)
RACISM AND CANCER BOTH TOTALLY SUCK, MR. PRESIDENT
   6. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4389543)
Since the Philadelphia Phillies named Ruben Amaro Jr. general manager Nov. 3, 2008, teams have hired 14 general managers. All have been white.


Does anyone fall for this stuff anymore?
   7. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4389564)
Repoz is hoping.
   8. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4389566)
Has anyone ever seen Chass and Repoz at the same time? Huh, huh? J'accuse!
   9. Walt Davis Posted: March 16, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4389578)
23 managers hired, dating to May 2010

Wow. In 3 years. Is Bochy the longest-tenured?
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 16, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4389581)
Dupe.
   11. Booey Posted: March 16, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4389583)
When looking at the headline, did anyone else think this was a story about the San Antonio Spurs?

Yep. I must be hanging out at the NBA thread too often.
   12. JJ1986 Posted: March 16, 2013 at 06:17 PM (#4389585)
I think Sciosia is the longest tenured.
   13. LargeBill Posted: March 16, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4389667)
In 2013 what sort of racist/idiot is still checking the race/gender of people in various jobs?
   14. bookbook Posted: March 17, 2013 at 07:17 AM (#4389751)
Egads, I can't tell who's sarcastic and who's serious in this thread.
   15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4389790)
Who's the most-qualified non-Caucasian candidate to be a ML GM? I know Kim Ng's name gets thrown around from time to time, and I think Al Avila and DeJon Watson have interviewed for jobs, but who else is there?
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4389813)

In 2013 what sort of racist/idiot is still checking the race/gender of people in various jobs?


I'd like to see the process on how they check gender. I assume its similar to the Westminster Dog Show?


Who's the most-qualified non-Caucasian candidate to be a ML GM? I know Kim Ng's name gets thrown around from time to time, and I think Al Avila and DeJon Watson have interviewed for jobs, but who else is there?


Peter Woodfork. I think he used to work for the D-Backs and is with MLB now.

Shiraz Rehman with the D-Backs.

Does Bill Geivett have an ethnic background? He doesn't look completely white.
   17. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4389832)
MLBTR posted a list of GM candidates a year or two ago. The only minorities listed, out of the 28 names, were Ng, Avila, Watson, Woodfork, and Rehman.

Ng is in her early 40s, while Rehman is 34 and Woodfork can't be much older. If discrimination is holding back minorities in MLB, then there should be a list of people in their 40s and 50s who still haven't gotten their shot.
   18. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4389841)
As noted, where are all the women GMs? Why is this not a Problem To Be Fabricated And Then Solved?
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4389872)

Ng is in her early 40s, while Rehman is 34 and Woodfork can't be much older. If discrimination is holding back minorities in MLB, then there should be a list of people in their 40s and 50s who still haven't gotten their shot.


It could be minorities aren't getting hired for even the lower level executive positions that would make them candidates to become GMs. I'm not saying that is the case, but I don't think the absence of candidates is conclusive evidence that there isn't some racism going on.
   20. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 17, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4389910)
True, but there are probably other things that are more likely to be keeping minorities out of the pipeline than racism. Among other things, blacks and Latinos with Ivy League resumés — which has increasingly been the path into MLB — are both in big demand in the marketplace and less likely to have wealthy parents. If their choice out of college is to take a $60,000 or $100,000 job outside MLB or a $28,000 starting bb ops job in MLB (or a $0 internship), I doubt many such people will pick the latter, even if they love baseball.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: March 17, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4389922)
True, but there are probably other things that are more likely to be keeping minorities out of the pipeline than racism. Among other things, blacks and Latinos with Ivy League resumés — which has increasingly been the path into MLB — are both in big demand in the marketplace and less likely to have wealthy parents. If their choice out of college is to take a $60,000 or $100,000 job outside MLB or a $28,000 starting bb ops job in MLB (or a $0 internship), I doubt many such people will pick the latter, even if they love baseball.


Realistically how many gms have Ivy League resumes?

Note: I agree with the point, first thing I thought of when I was reading the comments here was how many minorities are on similar paths as the current crop of gms, didn't even think about the liklihood that they wouldn't take the lower paying job just to be in the business, but that is a very good point.
   22. Gonfalon B. Posted: March 17, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4389941)
Shouldn't the African-American total get partial credit for Padres manager Bud Black?
   23. Walt Davis Posted: March 17, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4390049)
If discrimination is holding back minorities in MLB, then there should be a list of people in their 40s and 50s who still haven't gotten their shot.

Do you mean they should have appeared on that list? I don't know what the criteria were for putting that list together but the people in their 40s and 50s who aren't being seriously considered for GM slots aren't going to appear on a list of likely GM candidates.

If you were saying "if there's discrimination then there must be a group of seemingly qualified minority candidates who aren't even being considered -- somebody should compile a list" then OK.

Anyway, every year we get a few articles pointing out how few African-Americans there are playing MLB today. I assume it's also about the same percentage playing in the minors. Former players is probably still the main source of managers and GMs. I suspect both percentages are higher than the percentage of African-Americans graduating Ivy League or obtaining MBAs or whatever the latest GM trend might be. We should expect to see a declining number of African-American executives in baseball. I didn't recognize any of those names above as former players.

Where we should be seeing growth is in Latin executives although I suspect that GMs will always tend towards American-born (unless perhaps we see a big shift away from American-born owners).
   24. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 17, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4390064)
Do you mean they should have appeared on that list? I don't know what the criteria were for putting that list together but the people in their 40s and 50s who aren't being seriously considered for GM slots aren't going to appear on a list of likely GM candidates.

If you were saying "if there's discrimination then there must be a group of seemingly qualified minority candidates who aren't even being considered -- somebody should compile a list" then OK.

I was saying the second one.

Where we should be seeing growth is in Latin executives although I suspect that GMs will always tend towards American-born (unless perhaps we see a big shift away from American-born owners).

I don't know if the "American-born" part is important, but American-educated almost assuredly is. Until the players coming out of Latin America have more of a U.S.-type education, we're not going to see many Latino ex-players rising up through the MLB executive ranks.
   25. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4390089)
When looking at the headline, did anyone else think this was a story about the San Antonio Spurs?

I did, and was very confused as to when Chass started ranting about basketball too.

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