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Friday, January 01, 2021

Boston Red Sox hire Bianca Smith as minor-league coach, making her first Black female coach in pro baseball history

The Red Sox have made a historic hire. According to Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox have hired Bianca Smith as a minor-league coach, making her the first Black woman to serve as a coach in the history of professional baseball.

Smith, who is currently an assistant coach and assistant athletic director at Carroll University in Wisconsin, will work with minor-leaguers at Boston’s spring training complex in Fort Myers. She’ll mainly work with position players, according to McWilliams.

Smith played softball at Dartmouth in 2011 and 2012, has interned with the Rangers and Reds and received a dual Master’s degree in sports law and sports management from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. In Aug. 2019, she joined Carroll in a dual administrative/coaching role after spending the summer as a baseball operations intern with the Reds.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 01, 2021 at 04:11 PM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: african-americans

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   1. John Northey Posted: January 01, 2021 at 06:26 PM (#5997026)
Funny that the team that was last to integrate in the majors would be the first to hire a black woman as a coach. Things change, and sometimes for the better.
   2. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 01, 2021 at 09:42 PM (#5997056)
Smith played softball at Dartmouth in 2011 and 2012

Apparently, she appeared only as a pinch runner with the Big Green. (So, she's the new Herb Washington?)
   3. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 01, 2021 at 11:19 PM (#5997075)
As a Sox fan my big question is...can she pitch?
   4. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: January 02, 2021 at 05:46 AM (#5997083)
Sounds amazing. I wish her luck. Some things change, true but not but some things do not. If she gets to Fenway other teams' black players are already taking bets as to how long it will be before some of those wonderful woke fans yell n****r at her.
   5. bfan Posted: January 02, 2021 at 09:31 AM (#5997088)
So her experience in the game is as a pinch runner in a sport where you cannot lead off and the bases are 60 feet apart. We are lauding this?

We so reflexively genuflect at the alter of diversity, we have stopped looking at qualifications.

I do not know who else applied for the job, if anyone, but I would love, if others did, blanking out name, race, gender and all else that hints of any of it on their respective resumes, and line them up.
   6. . . . . . . Posted: January 02, 2021 at 10:48 AM (#5997102)
I do not know who else applied for the job, if anyone, but I would love, if others did, blanking out name, race, gender and all else that hints of any of it on their respective resumes, and line them up.


Listen you dumb ####. I don’t know on what planet you’re finding barrels of Ivy educated coaches to work for slave wages in the low minors. I also don’t know on what planet you’re finding highly educated, Spanish fluent, Black coaches so that your minor league program doesn’t look like a goddamned plantation. But let’s assume that there are, in fact, tons of ivy educated coaches begging for this work, and tons of Black, Spanish speaking coaches begging for this work.

It pays starvation wages, it’s a entry level job, and it’s basically part time. It’s a job suited for someone who just got out of a graduate program in coaching, which she is.

So I’m feeling like she’s perfectly qualified, and you’re just a ####### racist.
   7. . . . . . . Posted: January 02, 2021 at 10:50 AM (#5997103)
Here’s her LinkedIn. You all (other than the racist) be the judge as to whether she is qualified for an entry level coaching job.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/biancaesmith&usg=AOvVaw3-Gab7Tz27oQud_hH5yLHH
   8. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: January 02, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#5997107)
See
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: January 02, 2021 at 11:36 AM (#5997108)
See what?

   10. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 02, 2021 at 12:09 PM (#5997111)
She went to an Ivy League school, and apparently that's all you need to work in baseball these days.
   11. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 02, 2021 at 12:11 PM (#5997112)
Maybe she's a good coach. Maybe she isn't. We don't know. The folks soiling themselves over the fact that she's a black woman should probably calm down. It'd be much more encouraging if she could pitch.
   12. AndrewJ Posted: January 02, 2021 at 12:56 PM (#5997117)
So her experience in the game is as a pinch runner in a sport where you cannot lead off and the bases are 60 feet apart. We are lauding this?

Roy McMillan was signed to a minor league contract after playing just softball competitively. He had a decent MLB career.
   13. flournoy Posted: January 02, 2021 at 12:57 PM (#5997118)
I don’t know on what planet you’re finding barrels of Ivy educated coaches to work for slave wages in the low minors.


Give me a reason why an Ivy League education is a meaningful job qualification for a minor league baseball coach.
   14. Scott Lange Posted: January 02, 2021 at 01:39 PM (#5997122)
So her experience in the game is as a pinch runner in a sport where you cannot lead off and the bases are 60 feet apart. We are lauding this?

We so reflexively genuflect at the alter of diversity, we have stopped looking at qualifications.

I do not know who else applied for the job, if anyone, but I would love, if others did, blanking out name, race, gender and all else that hints of any of it on their respective resumes, and line them up.


This board might as well be a full-on Klan meeting sometimes. Just how Furtado wants it, I think.
   15. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 02, 2021 at 01:44 PM (#5997123)
#14. With your permission, I'd like to submit your post to this year's False Dichotomy awards.
   16. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 02, 2021 at 03:19 PM (#5997139)
Roy McMillan was signed to a minor league contract after playing just softball competitively.


So was Bob Neighbors, who was later shot down over North Korea, and is thus the last MLB player to die in war.

This board might as well be a full-on Klan meeting sometimes.


If you're looking at it upside down and backwards, maybe.
   17. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: January 02, 2021 at 03:29 PM (#5997142)
Give me a reason why an Ivy League education is a meaningful job qualification for a minor league baseball coach.


Ivy leaguers have potential for advancement to the front office.

That's one reason.
   18. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 02, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#5997143)
Carlos Tosca never played pro ball but coached for decades and went 98-76 his first full year with the Jays. Was there such wailing and gnashing of teeth when he was promoted? Or is it OK if one is at least a guy?
   19. Walt Davis Posted: January 02, 2021 at 04:49 PM (#5997147)
if others did, blanking out name, race, gender and all else that hints of any of it on their respective resumes, and line them up.

You'll be excited to know that once classical orchestras starting having candidates play behind a screen so the panel couldn't see them, the hiring of women and minorities increased substantially.

You'll be depressed to find out that there are a bejillion experimental studies out there where identical resumes are submitted with pictures and the white candidates are much more likely to get interviews than the African-American ones. There are similar experiments around the interviews themselves with similar results.

You may also find, if you think about it for a minute or two, that the notion of a true meritocracy in hiring is impossible in nearly any profession and most obviously for entry-level positions. You really need look no further than the supposedly meritocratic MLB draft ... or MVP voting for that matter. You have a piece of paper listing the candidate's experience and achievements; you may have a reference letter from somebody you probably don't know; you may have a certification that their claimed educational qualifications are legit; you have a brief interview in which you ask a set of fairly standard questions and the candidates provide a set of fairly standard responses. You don't even have a minor-league slash line to look at.

That process is OK at screening out the worst candidates for a position. It's not paricularly good at selecting the best candidate out of the remainder -- generally you have a set of qualified candidates in front of you at the end of the interview stage and the offer comes down to stuff like "this one seemed more confident during the interview."

I briefly worked in a college library between undergrad and grad. We were hiring a library assistant (or whatever we called them). The job was mainly filing cards in the card catalog (that's how long ago this was) -- i.e. you needed to alphabetize. Other than that, you needed to show up and stay sane enough doing mindless work that you didn't kill your co-workers before you either moved up or moved on. Naturally, we required an undergrad degree.

We got resumes from recent grads who had been student workers in their college lib (as I had). If they expressed some interest in eventually going to library school, we probably gave their resume a boost. But seriously, what "meritocratic" decision are we making there? What could they possibly tell us in the interview that would have us saying "by golly, that person really knows how to file!" Everybody who applied was grossly overqualified.

Anyway, we got it down to our 3-4 candidates, interviewed them, had our meeting to decide who to choose. We all just sort of looked at each other, any of them would probably be fine, none of them stood out. But on a resume, one had listed that she had worked as an assistant pastry chef. We decided based on "hey, at least we'll get the occasional home-baked goodie." She never brought in anything! We shoulda checked that reference!! (But as far as I know, she successfully filed stuff and certainly didn't murder any of us by the time I left.)

I have no idea if this woman is qualified for this job. I have no idea if the Cub minor-league coaches are qualified either. I do know that I have never once questioned the qualifications of a first-time minor-league coach and I'll guess you never have either ... before today.

As is often the case, LeBron James sets a good example.
   20. Ron J Posted: January 02, 2021 at 05:40 PM (#5997152)
What you're looking for in a coach is somebody who can teach -- who understands the mechanics in what they're teaching and can pass that along. The NFL has had at least one high profile coach who simply could perform the task he was teaching (Doug Blevins, a kicking coach).

So presumably she impressed the Red Sox with her technical understanding and they felt she's be effective in passing it along.

And the experience in the NHL (with female skating coaches) is that it can work. That the athletes may be willing to listen to a woman who knows what she's talking about.

And god knows I'm not impressed with what I've seen from an awful lot of coaches. The traditional qualification for becoming a coach is "friend of ..." not "knowledgeable and a good communicator".

So put me down as cautiously optimistic that this is a smart hiring.
   21. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 02, 2021 at 06:58 PM (#5997161)
I'm just going to second everything that Walt said. The idea that any institution would get whiter or more male with blind hiring is a fantasy left over from the Reagan era, and the people who indulge in it today are, to be charitable, mis-informed and probably under-imaginative.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 02, 2021 at 07:10 PM (#5997163)
So her experience in the game is as a pinch runner in a sport where you cannot lead off and the bases are 60 feet apart. We are lauding this?

Did you read TFE? She’s interned with two MLB teams and served as an assistant coach / assistant AD at the college level. Whether those are adequate qualifications I don’t know, but you don’t help your argument by mischaracterizing her experience.
   23. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 02, 2021 at 08:28 PM (#5997172)
The idea that any institution would get whiter or more male with blind hiring is a fantasy left over from the Reagan era

Who's saying that blind hiring would make institutions more white or male? Wouldn't (and hasn't) it done just the opposite? And why drag Reagan into this? (He was actually pretty good in Wonder Woman 1984...)
   24. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: January 02, 2021 at 11:31 PM (#5997185)
In any of the four major US sports, can anyone give an example of a non-white male getting a top coaching position with no prior coaching experience? I'm talking like Aaron Boone—played in the majors, was an analyst of TV, was named Yankees manager. Are there any non-white guys who have had this happen (I'm particularly ignorant of the other sports, and no one comes to mind for me in MLB—Gaston, Cora, Baker, Roberts, Martinez)? I don't even care if it's someone no longer in such a role, but who jumped to that high of a position.
   25. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 02, 2021 at 11:37 PM (#5997186)
24 - She’s got coaching experience at the college level and I don’t know if “top coaching position” quite qualifies as a description for coaching in rookie ball.
   26. Ron J Posted: January 03, 2021 at 12:05 AM (#5997188)
24 Dawn Braid? She had however been a consultant for a number of teams before being hired. Which I guess is coaching without the title.

Kendall Coyne Schofield was hired by the Black Hawks (for their AHL team) with no prior coaching experience. In fact she's still an active player. It's just that the Women's National Team doesn't require a heavy time commitment. She had been working in broadcasting while playing before joining the Chicago organization.
   27. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 03, 2021 at 08:16 AM (#5997199)
24 - Jason Kidd was hired as head coach of the Nets just 9 days after he retired as a player. Doc Rivers had no coaching experience either — he was just a TV analyst and former player when the Magic hired him as head coach. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few others in the NBA, as those are the first two I checked off the top of my head.
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 03, 2021 at 08:34 AM (#5997203)
Mark Jackson is another guy who had no prior coaching experience when he got his first head coaching job (with the Warriors).

Isaiah Thomas had some experience as an executive with the Raptors and the CBA, but no coaching experience when the Pacers hired him.

Seems like if you were a longtime starting point guard, you can get hired as a head coach without prior coaching experience.
   29. . Posted: January 03, 2021 at 08:40 AM (#5997204)
--
   30. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 03, 2021 at 09:33 AM (#5997207)
24 - Didn’t Larry Dierker take the same path as Boone from booth to managers chair?
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 03, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#5997209)
30 - he was asking about non-white males. I think there are a number of white males who fit the bill. Mike Matheny comes to mind.
   32. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 03, 2021 at 09:55 AM (#5997210)
Oh right.
   33. baxter Posted: January 03, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#5997214)
Bill Russell
   34. baxter Posted: January 03, 2021 at 10:57 AM (#5997216)
Frank Robinson; wrong managed in winter leagues; sorry.
   35. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: January 03, 2021 at 02:10 PM (#5997239)
Thanks for the examples, everyone. For whatever reasons, it appears easier to jump from never having coached to head coach in the NBA. No idea why that is, and I say that out of ignorance. I probably haven't seen 5 minutes of NBA action since Bird was still active (checks... and he, too, had no coaching experience before he coached the Pacers).

So Bianca Smith is following the common pattern in MLB (and most of the world). Get a foot in the door and try to work your way up. Ditto Rachel Blkovic whom the Yankees hired last year as a full-time hitting instructor. Her wiki page with this unfortunate part:

In 2013, she was waitressing and working at Lululemon, hoping to advance her coaching career, but after applying to 15 different teams in Phoenix and not hearing back, she changed her name on her resume and her email address from "Rachel" to "Rae". Rather than emphasize she had been a Division I college softball catcher, she only said she had been a Division I college catcher. This led to phone interviews, but once people heard her voice, the only offers were for women's sports, Balkovec says. One team, she says, told her they would never hire a woman.
   36. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 03, 2021 at 03:05 PM (#5997242)
For whatever reasons, it appears easier to jump from never having coached to head coach in the NBA. No idea why that is, and I say that out of ignorance


I think it just comes down to the fact that the NBA is, and always has been, a players’ league. Obviously in any sport if you don’t have the players you can’t succeed but in a sport where one guy can make such a mammoth difference like basketball the players have all the power. The story has always been thatAuerbach hired Russell under the belief that Russ would never respect another coach enough besides himself.
   37. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 03, 2021 at 04:18 PM (#5997250)
It happens in MLB, as we’ve noted — Boone, Matheny, Robin Ventura was another one (he served as a student assistant at OK State while completing his degree but I don’t think that really counts). It obviously used to happen all the time with player-managers but there hasn’t been one of those since Pete Rose.

I think with MLB now, there’s just such a large universe of guys who do have coaching experience — every MLB team has 5-10 coaches on staff (hitting, pitching, bench, 1B, 3B, bullpen...) and several minor league teams with multiple coaches. So the bar to hire a guy with no experience is very high. NBA teams don’t have the equivalent (there’s college coaches but baseball has those, too).
   38. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 03, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#5997254)
Can someone please post a new article? We've beaten this one to death.
   39. McCoy Posted: January 04, 2021 at 08:16 AM (#5997312)
Ryne Sandberg wanted to go from retirement to major league manager with the Cubs but they wouldn't go a long with it. Had him start at the bottom and work his way up. But then chose Quade over him so he left and went to the Phillies where he eventually replaced Manuel.
   40. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 04, 2021 at 11:00 AM (#5997326)

Gary Carter was another guy who wanted to manage at the MLB level, but the Mets started him out managing in the low minors. When they subsequently offered him the AA job without any assurances that he was next in line for the MLB role, he turned them down. He subsequently burned some bridges and never got a chance to manage in the majors.
   41. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 04, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#5997354)
Slightly topical - Becky Hammon just became the first female acting head coach in an NBA game. She's an assistant coach of the Spurs, and when their head coach was kicked out he told her she was in charge.
   42. base ball chick Posted: January 04, 2021 at 10:45 PM (#5997458)
GASB!!!

a female head coach!!! so THAT is why the players all rebelled and had temper tantrums right there on the court and refused to play and

oh

they didn't? well whaddaya know

maybe they don't automatically think she has to be stupid/incompetent because she always wins the smallest dingdong contest and is about 1/3 their size. maybe they have seen female doctors, physical therapists, personal trainers and don't have keith hernandez syndrome
   43. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 05, 2021 at 09:04 PM (#5997621)
It's stunning to me that people feel the need to be shitty about this.
   44. Rusin John Posted: January 10, 2021 at 01:01 PM (#5998821)
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This information is essential if you are about to market your real estate business. You can easily connect these organizations via phone, send a business proposal through snail mail, or even visit the company personally. These kinds of business marketing methods work best to transact in a more private manner with your potential business partners.
   45. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 10, 2021 at 01:46 PM (#5998828)
It's stunning to me that people feel the need to be shitty about this.

New 'round here, pardner?

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