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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Beyond the Selig Rule: Can Baseball Fix Its Pipeline For Managers of Color?

Twenty-two years later, Selig’s goals remain admirable. But evidence suggests that the rule bearing his name has had minimal effect on the makeup of baseball’s top decision-makers. A new study from Arizona State University’s Global Sport Institute examining MLB manager hiring and firing patterns from 2010 to 2019 has found that while managers of color during that time period had the same or more robust playing and coaching experience as their White peers, the managers of color were hired through a more narrow career pathway and within a smaller age range, had shorter tenures, and enjoyed fewer second chances.

During the time period examined:

Eight Black managers were dismissed. Only three were hired.
Thirteen managers with no previous coaching experience were hired. Twelve were White. One was of Color.
Seven White minor league managers were hired, compared with just two of Color.
Ten outgoing White managers went on to manage again, while only four outgoing managers of Color did the same.
Managers of Color had, on average, a higher winning percentage in their final season before being fired than White managers did.
Seventy-five percent of the outgoing managers of Color were fired rather than leaving of their own accord. By contrast, 57 percent of outgoing White managers departed the same way.
In 2010, three of five newly hired managers in MLB were White. In 2019, five of six new MLB managers were White.

Baseball’s issues with diversity aren’t limited to in-game leadership. Just under 8 percent of MLB players are Black, down from an all-time high of 18.7 percent in 1981. The league has struggled to place women and people of Color into front-office leadership roles and has lost much of its grassroots connection to Black America.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:49 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minority hiring

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   1. kcgard2 Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:44 PM (#6046337)
As always with these "analyses" (better denoted as a simple collection of numbers), there is a lot of context missing. Blacks are ~13% of the US population, ~8% of MLB player population. Whites are about 60% of US population, ~57% of MLB player population. Wait, does baseball also have an issue with White participation, or should we fully expect that each demographic group of the US population is going to be represented at a smaller proportion in MLB, due to the fact that MLB draws from an international talent pool?

We have the raw numbers of black coaches hired...it might be natural to ask whether the raw number of hires matches what might be expected from the raw number of applicants. However, that's not reported. Is 2 out of 9 black minor league manager hires discrimination, or is it roughly the proportion of minor league managers that are black? Of course, it's possible MiLB has discrimination problems with hiring Black managers, but I doubt ASU is going to study that any more rigorously than they studied MLB.

In case this is still news: success as a player appears to be unimportant or perhaps even negatively correlated with success as a manager. Front offices aren't looking for success as a player in managerial candidates. In fact, they aren't even looking for experience, especially in front office positions. They are looking for analytical acumen and personnel management. These correlate with playing success approximately zero. So to all the candidates who are wondering why someone else got the job when you had a better playing career, the answer is no one who is hiring managers cares about the success of your playing career.
   2. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 14, 2021 at 04:03 PM (#6046346)
there is a lot of context missing. Blacks are ~13% of the US population, ~8% of MLB player population. Whites are about 60% of US population, ~57% of MLB player population. Wait, does baseball also have an issue with White participation

Well if we're doing percentages, 8% v 13% is a 38.5% difference, whereas 57% v 60% is a 5% difference.
   3. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 14, 2021 at 04:20 PM (#6046353)
(MLB) has struggled to place women and people of Color into front-office leadership roles and has lost much of its grassroots connection to Black America.


Yeah, but they're gonna pretend the Negro Leagues were Major Leagues now, so, it's all good.
   4. . Posted: October 14, 2021 at 04:30 PM (#6046358)
As always with these "analyses" (better denoted as a simple collection of numbers), there is a lot of context missing.


Context is for sissies.
   5. John Northey Posted: October 15, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6046653)
A good idea to study but a lot more data is required. Gary Jones is a good example they use - a guy who has multiple minor league manager of the year awards, who was a coach on a WS winner (Cubs), yet never seems to get even a sniff as a manager in the majors. I'd think a list of guys who have won minor league manager of the year awards vs who has had a shot at managing in the majors would be useful to see if there is any match up in those stats. Knowing how many non-whites get a shot at managing in the minors would also help. I remember a few guys who were rumored to be minorities with a shot at managing like Willie Randolph who got 1 shot and that was it. Or guys like Dave Martinez who were rumored to have a shot for years and years and years before finally being given a chance. Or guys like Cito Gaston who won titles (2 WS wins) but couldn't get a second chance (Jays finally gave him a second chance but it was brief and more a PR move by a team that was falling apart - but he still pushed them from 4 games sub 500 to playing at a 94 win pace followed by 2 mediocre years) and never got another shot.

It does seem odd given the number of players from non-US sources that the vast, vast majority of managers are US born and breed - I know for the Jays Charlie Montoyo has been a big asset in getting players to buy into anything and I suspect being from Puerto Rico has helped (Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was raised in the Dominican, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. from Cuba, Teoscar Hernandez Dominican, Alejandro Kirk Mexico, Jose Berrios PR, among others). Being able to at least speak the language your players speak helps.
   6. JJ1986 Posted: October 15, 2021 at 12:43 PM (#6046661)
I'm kind of stunned that being bilingual isn't more important in hiring coaches, especially with the detailed information players are getting now.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 15, 2021 at 12:52 PM (#6046663)
I remember a few guys who were rumored to be minorities with a shot at managing like Willie Randolph
I think it was more than just a rumor that Randolph is a minority.
   8. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 15, 2021 at 01:00 PM (#6046672)
If I ran an MLB team, all my coaches/instructors would learn Spanish.
   9. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 15, 2021 at 01:05 PM (#6046674)
I'm kind of stunned that being bilingual isn't more important in hiring coaches, especially with the detailed information players are getting now.


How do you know it *isn't* important? Just because a manager is white doesn't mean he can't speak spanish.
   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 15, 2021 at 01:14 PM (#6046677)
9. I suspect we'd hear more about any coaches who can speak Spanish and the advantage it gives them with the players. I've heard it a few times and I think the odds are that there aren't that many coaches who do. Do you have any data suggesting otherwise?
   11. Rally Posted: October 15, 2021 at 02:08 PM (#6046685)
It was a point in Mike Scoscia’s favor when the Angels hired him more than 2 decades ago.
   12. dejarouehg Posted: October 15, 2021 at 02:31 PM (#6046687)
It was a point in Mike Scoscia’s favor when the Angels hired him more than 2 decades ago.


And Lasorda before then.
   13. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: October 15, 2021 at 02:47 PM (#6046689)
3 of the 4 remaining managers in the playoffs are minorities. The last 3 World Series winning managers are minorities. Seems like winning should be enough incentive to get teams to interview minorities.
   14. . Posted: October 15, 2021 at 03:02 PM (#6046692)
"Other than the second shot Cito Gaston got, Cito Gaston never got a second shot" and "Other than the shot Dave Martinez got, Dave Martinez never got a shot" isn't exactly the stuff of confidence-inducing, fair-minded analysis.


   15. John Northey Posted: October 15, 2021 at 03:07 PM (#6046694)
I know the Jays often saw speaking Spanish as important for their managers depending on the GM of the day. Cito Gaston could speak Spanish a bit (might explain part of why he had such a good rapport with much of the team in the 80's before he became manager).

#13 - very good point, that success breeds duplication. Cito Gaston got 2 WS wins in a row in the early 90's and Frank Robinson at the same time took over the O's from a horrid spot (over 20 losses to start 1988) to near playoff (1989). We saw more minorities get a shot in the 90's than ever before (Gaston was the first to win a World Series). Then things slowed over the years.

#7 - price of not previewing or re-reading before posting - rumored to be having a shot who were minorities what what I was meaning, not rumored to be minorities. Sigh. Price of typing and running.
   16. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 15, 2021 at 07:43 PM (#6046737)
3 of the 4 remaining managers in the playoffs are minorities. The last 3 World Series winning managers are minorities. Seems like winning should be enough incentive to get teams to interview minorities.

a quote from the owner of the NFL's carolina panthers when he hired matt rhule:
"He dresses like (expletive) and sweats all over himself. He dresses like me, so I have to love the guy," Tepper said with a laugh. "I was a short-order cook, he was a short-order cook. Nobody gave him anything, nobody gave me anything.
   17. John Northey Posted: October 15, 2021 at 11:41 PM (#6046809)
#14 - the 2nd shot for Cito was with his first team - for a guy who proved he could take an underachieving team and get them to the big prize that made no sense when guys like Lou Pinella (2 shots with the Yankees, shots with the Reds, Mariners, Rays, and Cubs - 1 WS title out of 23 seasons, Gaston got 12 years, 2 stints with one team, but 2 WS titles) got chance after chance. Dave Martinez was rumored for years, pretty much from the time he retired as a player to be a top manager candidate but it still took a long time for him to finally get that chance (17 years). Meanwhile guys like Matt Williams who I can't recall ever being touted as a manager candidate got a shot faster (11 years). I'd love to see a detailed database of manager hirings (race, years in minors as a manager, awards won, titles, etc.) and firings (record when team dumped him, did they make the playoffs).

All too often it seems emotions decide managers. Not logic. Right now there are LOTS of Jays fans who would love to dump Montoyo despite the team overachieving vs expectations this year. I don't think race has much of anything to do with it, more frustration over being so bloody close and still coming up -just- short. Yeah, he made a few odd choices during the season but in the end the team did better than anyone should've expected given the 3 stadium situation, the youth of the team, the mess the pen was most of the year (closer out before the season started, top setup man out after 10 IP for example).

The St Louis situation has to be 100% emotional based. The team made the playoffs 3 years in a row, lost quickly in the playoffs (2019 to the WS champs, might be the same this time, the Dodgers were a drastically better team) - is that the manager failing or the dumb luck of the playoffs? IMO it almost always is the dumb luck.

   18. GregD Posted: October 16, 2021 at 10:47 AM (#6046849)
Just a note on Piniella: he’s not of color and not Latinx but is Hispanic and, I believe, spoke Spanish exclusively at home until grade school and his Spanish language abilities were noted in some of his hires.
   19. McCoy Posted: October 16, 2021 at 11:32 AM (#6046853)
But you do have to hide your wallet when you're next to him.
   20. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 16, 2021 at 11:42 AM (#6046855)
If I recall Bouton mentioned in Ball Four that Pinella spoke very little English at that early stage in his career (rookie?)
   21. GregD Posted: October 16, 2021 at 05:17 PM (#6046950)
Could be. Piniella went to school in Tampa and says he learned English there. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had an accent to Bouton and seemed foreign ish to a guy like Bouton. But I’d be surprised if Piniella actually struggled with English by that point.

LaRussa likewise is partly Hispanic (not Latinx) and spoke Spanish at home exclusively since his Italian father and Spanish mother spoke Spanish to each of other and he learned English in school (in Tampa also at it happens.) his ease in Spanish was mentioned in some of his earlier hires as an advantage. He went to Tampa public schools but I don’t have an idea how English there compared to English at the Tampa parochial schools Piniella attended


   22. bobm Posted: October 17, 2021 at 09:04 PM (#6047036)
From Ball Four:

Lou Piniella has the red ass. He doesn’t think he’s been playing enough. He’s a good-looking ballplayer, 6-2, handsome, speaks fluent Spanish and unaccented English. He’s from Tampa.

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