Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Dusty Baker: Lack of African-American MLB managers continues ‘very dangerous trend’

Eight MLB teams entered the offseason with a managerial opening. Only one hired a minority — Carlos Beltran with the New York Mets.

Last winter, there were six managerial openings. None of those vacancies were filled by an African-American.

Overall, there are only six minority managers in MLB, with five of those being Latino.

In 1999, then-commissioner Bud Selig mandated that every major league team had to interview at least one minority candidate for a managerial vacancy. All 14 teams seeking a manager over the last 15 months adhered to the ‘Selig Rule,’ but in some cases it might be fair to wonder whether they did so in good faith…..

“I told somebody about ten years ago that I saw this coming, with the decline of the African-American players,” Baker told the Chronicle. “I’ve lived long enough to see trends, and this is a very dangerous trend. Everybody talks about it, but who’s doing anything about it?”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2019 at 09:13 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: african-americans

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Blastin Posted: December 30, 2019 at 08:23 AM (#5911680)
I am sure the discussion in this thread will be very measured and respectful.

I am NOPING out of this one.

(My actual opinion, though, as someone who is not only black but currently doing academic research on racism in education: The minority interview thing is dumb, because if they don't want to hire one of us, they're still not going to do it and it just wastes their time. Of course it sends a certain message that the players are multiracial (and yes, Black Dominicans should be counted as Black players, even if Afro-Latino not African-American) but the people entrusted with leadership are mostly not, though the increase in Latin managers is a positive. I predict people will say "they just want the best people for the job and those best people just happen to be..." And the cycle continues.)
   2. . Posted: December 30, 2019 at 08:42 AM (#5911682)
I agree with Dusty, and have always found the ridicule bordering on caricature of him by the Cub fanbase to be a little troubling and offputting and suspicious. It's also ... interesting ... that the number of Af-Am managers has shrunk in the era of purportedly progressive analytics.
   3. mathesond Posted: December 30, 2019 at 09:04 AM (#5911683)
It's also ... interesting ... that the number of Af-Am managers has shrunk in the era of purportedly progressive analytics.


I believe it was Al Campanis who said that "they may not have some of the necessities to [understand analytics]"
   4. McCoy Posted: December 30, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5911684)
Dusty Baker was not a good tactical manager, was supposed to be a good clubhouse manager, failed at that as well as a Cub.
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 30, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5911693)
I'd like to think that the designated interview helps at least some of the time. The Steelers hired their designated minority interview the last time they were looking for a coach, and he certainly turned out pretty well.
   6. Blastin Posted: December 30, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5911694)
Ha, immediately after my comment is a "period" comment that I have on ignore including some racism that was quoted in the next comment.

As for the Steelers, yeah, that's true, though maybe they already liked him.

(Oh you all knew I couldn't resist coming back to check, so don't bother telling me I said I wasn't coming back. I knew I would.)
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: December 30, 2019 at 09:57 AM (#5911697)
Dusty Baker was not a good tactical manager, was supposed to be a good clubhouse manager, failed at that as well as a Cub.


I think it's only fair you see the rest of SBB's comment:


I agree with Dusty, and have always found the ridicule bordering on caricature of him by the Cub fanbase to be a little troubling and offputting and suspicious.

Dusty Baker was not a good tactical manager, was supposed to be a good clubhouse manager, failed at that as well as a Cub.


Dusty was a good manager. Dusty didn't do a particularly good job with the Cubs (though looking back at his tenure with some distance, he wasn't nearly as bad there as his detractors believed).
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 30, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5911698)
As for the Steelers, yeah, that's true, though maybe they already liked him.


I'm sure they did! And deservedly so, since he came into the process with a strong resume. Just wanted to mention it, since it's the one example that jumped right to mind of that process working the way it's supposed to work.

The Pirates ended up hiring white guys for their GM and managerial vacancies this offseason, which was disappointing but also kind of unsurprising since Korn Ferry has a reputation for steering job searches toward white candidates.
   9. Blastin Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5911700)
I think Dusty is a pretty good manager with some glaring weaknesses.

also kind of unsurprising since Korn Ferry has a reputation for steering job searches toward white candidates


Because if that franchise needs to do anything it's to continue doing things the same way they've been doing things.
   10. McCoy Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:19 AM (#5911703)
Was he the worst cubs manager? No. He was your typical meh manager that got way too much control. It was a transitional time in baseball when front office were moving away from mangers are gods to managers are subordinates to the front office.
   11. . Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5911704)
What the Tomlin example points out to me is that black guys are very, very rarely the "Next Big Thing" in coaches/managers. There's very rarely that air of "this is a young guy we have to have, we'll even move our current guy out to make sure we get/keep him, there's going to be a massive bidding war to get this guy in the offseason" That mix of media buzz combined with obvious talent just very rarely cleaves to black guys in the way it does to white guys and even Latinos. Mike Tomlin should have been to pro football what a guy like Lincoln Riley was to college football, but he was nothing close. The guy's a fantastic coach and everything about him said so from virtually the day he got the job.
   12. . Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5911706)
He was your typical meh manager that got way too much control.


There's no sense in which the Cub fanbase talks about him as if he was only meh -- which, by the way, he wasn't. They talk of him as something akin to primitive, particularly with the ridiculous wailing about his use of pitchers. Oh, poor Mark Prior hurt his arm when Dusty was manager. All with the unmistakable air of "Mark Prior hurt his arm because Dusty's too dumb to know the modern science of these things." I mean, yeah, what a shock -- a pitcher hurt his arm.

It's extremely off-putting. Others' mileage may vary.
   13. McCoy Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5911711)
Ok
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 30, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5911731)
The thing about Dusty with the Cubs was that his bad decisions were so obviously, transparently, blatantly bad. Corey Patterson, leadoff hitter. Now pinch-hitting, Jose Macias. And yes, letting Prior throw 187 pitches when they were up 17-0 by the 4th inning.

He has a very valid point here, though.
   15. McCoy Posted: December 30, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5911736)
Letting mark prior pitch after colliding with Giles was also stupid. The defense was, well, prior said he was fine. Who am i to question him. Prior would go on the DL afterwards.
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 30, 2019 at 12:47 PM (#5911745)
Because if that franchise needs to do anything it's to continue doing things the same way they've been doing things.


FWIW, the Huntington-era Pirates did actually have a decent track record of giving opportunities to deserving African-American execs. For example, Kevan Graves is an assistant GM, Steve Williams is the director of pro scouting, and Tyrone Brooks was the director of player personnel before he left to run MLB's diversity pipeline program.
   17. Blastin Posted: December 30, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5911747)
Yeah, I remember that. I was more talking about how they are making.... many bad decisions overall lately.

The decisions that led to the McCutch-led teams were great. Shame that team didn't win more.
   18. Sweatpants Posted: December 30, 2019 at 07:30 PM (#5911821)
I'd like to think that the designated interview helps at least some of the time. The Steelers hired their designated minority interview the last time they were looking for a coach, and he certainly turned out pretty well.
Rooney himself disputes this, actually:
But here's what's interesting: The coach who might be the Rooney Rule's greatest advertisement didn't benefit from it. "Let me say this: Mike Tomlin was not part of the Rooney Rule," Rooney said. "We had already interviewed Ron Rivera [then the Bears' defensive coordinator], and so that fulfilled the obligation," Rooney said. "We went on, had heard about Mike, called him in and talked to him. He was very impressive."
   19. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 30, 2019 at 08:06 PM (#5911829)
My recollection is that Tomlin was on the Steelers' shortlist from the day Bill Cowher retired. And not just the Steelers; he was considered a hot up-and-coming coach around the league, in exactly the way SBB (I think?) pointed out black guys rarely are.

A guy named Byron Leftwich, currently Tampa's offensive coordinator (and who played for Tomlin in Pittsburgh for a few years, getting a Super Bowl ring there as Ben Roethlisberger's backup in 2008) is being frequently talked about as a near-future head coach now.

Ron Rivera turned out to be a very good coach, too. Carolina fired him a month ago, and he's deservedly the hottest commodity on the NFL coaching market right now.
   20. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 30, 2019 at 08:57 PM (#5911833)
Just hired by WAS.
   21. puck Posted: December 30, 2019 at 09:09 PM (#5911836)
A guy named Byron Leftwich...is being frequently talked about as a near-future head coach now.


#7 pick in the 2003 draft. There can't be many coaches picked higher than that.
   22. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: December 30, 2019 at 09:13 PM (#5911840)
black guys are very, very rarely the "Next Big Thing" in coaches/managers. There's very rarely that air of "this is a young guy we have to have, we'll even move our current guy out to make sure we get/keep him, there's going to be a massive bidding war to get this guy in the offseason"

I have some recollection that Marvin Lewis had this aura when he got hired by the Bengals.
   23. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:05 PM (#5911852)
#7 pick in the 2003 draft. There can't be many coaches picked higher than that.


Mike Ditka was 5th.
   24. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:23 PM (#5911855)
Maybe the NFL could also use a few more African American GMs. How many GMs passed on Lamar Jackson before Ozzie Newsome chose him as the final pick in the 2018 first round?
   25. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:41 PM (#5911861)
31?*

OTOH, Cam Newton and Kyler Murray were #1. Pat Mahomes was #10, and DeShaun Watson was #12.

*Including Ozzie Newsome, who drafted Hayden Hurst with the 25th pick.
   26. bbmck Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:53 PM (#5911866)
28, Cleveland, Buffalo and New England pick twice before Lamar is drafted.
   27. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:54 PM (#5911868)

My actual opinion, though, as someone who is not only black but currently doing academic research on racism in education: The minority interview thing is dumb, because if they don't want to hire one of us, they're still not going to do it and it just wastes their time.
But of course as you know the premise of the rule is not "they don't want to hire" minorities, but that they just never really think about it. If the decisionmakers are actually racist, then, yeah, it's just pointless and, frankly, cruel to the people who get interviews but never get hired.
   28. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:55 PM (#5911869)
Yeah, I didn't want to bother to check. I just wanted to see if BAL passed on him at least once, and indeed they did.
   29. bbmck Posted: December 30, 2019 at 11:04 PM (#5911876)
Interviews aren't pointless, many college coaches have gotten raises and/or extensions after an interview with a pro team.
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:45 AM (#5911893)

A guy named Byron Leftwich, currently Tampa's offensive coordinator (and who played for Tomlin in Pittsburgh for a few years, getting a Super Bowl ring there as Ben Roethlisberger's backup in 2008) is being frequently talked about as a near-future head coach now.


Seems like Chiefs OC Eric Bienemy is getting a lot of buzz, he is already a candidate for the Panthers.

Who are the top minority managerial candidates that don't currently have a job? Seems like Demarlo Hale was on lists for awhile. I know Raul Ibanez is well thought of and could probably get a job if he wanted to go that route. Sandy Alomar Jr? Eduardo Perez? Could Ron Washington or Bo Porter get another shot?
   31. bookbook Posted: December 31, 2019 at 01:17 AM (#5911896)
The token interview is a “solution” that has clearly failed. What might work better? Some version of the quota system. Every MLB team has 5 or 6 minor league affiliates (let’s say 5). Each of those teams has a manager, a bench coach, and a GM. And every major league team has at least one assistant GM, usually two. At least one of those 20 slots should be required to be filled by an African-American, and at least one by a Latin or Hispanic American. The quality of management would go up, and baseball can take a short breather from kicking itself in the face by looking too racist to involve large swaths of its base in the decision processes. (Yes, talented management of color will force the issue once given a crack in the door.)
   32. Buck Coats Posted: December 31, 2019 at 07:53 AM (#5911907)
Ron Rivera turned out to be a very good coach, too. Carolina fired him a month ago, and he's deservedly the hottest commodity on the NFL coaching market right now.


Is Ron Rivera black?
   33. flournoy Posted: December 31, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5911913)
What might work better? Some version of the quota system.

[...]

The quality of management would go up


So apparently this is an opinion held by a real person.
   34. Charles S. is not doing chainsaw bears any more Posted: December 31, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5911916)
#32, Rivera is Hispanic.
#33, multiple real people.
   35. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 09:50 AM (#5911920)
*Including Ozzie Newsome, who drafted Hayden Hurst with the 25th pick.


Former Pirates prospect Hayden Hurst, just to bring it all full circle.
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5911922)
A guy named Byron Leftwich


Leftwich was tough as ####. Remember that time in college when he stayed in the game with a broken leg, and had his offensive line carry him to line of scrimmage because he couldn't run? There's a dude with some leadership qualities.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5911929)
Some version of the quota system.

You do realize that explicit racial or ethnic quotas are illegal in the United States?
   38. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5911962)
Leftwich as a player is remembered for two things: that ridiculously badass drive at Marshall, and the fact that he took a Bob Gibson windup on every throw (which doomed his chances of being an NFL star).

He seemed to have the total package as a quarterback: cannon arm, pretty accurate, intelligent, could read the defense, hugely respected locker room leader. He just couldn't get the ball out of his hand quickly enough to stay ahead of the speed of an NFL defense.
   39. . Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5911970)
Marvin Lewis got passed over a number of times, even gave serious thought to taking the head coaching job at Michigan State, stuck it out, finally got his shot with the Bengals, and did a nice job.
   40. DCA Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5911973)
Question: what is the number of black MLB managers that would be satisfactory?

In 2017, the breakdown of MLB players was 57.5% white, 31.9% Hispanic, 7.7% black, 1.1% Asian. To match those ratios as close as possible, we'd expect there to be 2 black, 10 Hispanic, and 17 white managers. We need one more to cover every team, somebody half-black half-Asian would be ideal, and hey there's Dave Roberts.

Per the linked article, there are 5 Hispanic managers (Martinez, Montoyo, Renteria, Beltran, and ???) and none other than Roberts that are black. It would make sense that they would be underrepresented in the coaching ranks, as English fluency is required. No idea if 5 is a representative number after accounting for language, but it's reasonable.

Had Baker and Washington been hired this offseason, which seemed pretty likely (Phi and SD were rumored), the number of black managers (2.5) would be exactly representative. Because of small sample size, it's hard to know if this is a systematic problem or just a fluke of a two teams' preferences. If it's a systematic problem, it's a new one. It's only since the Nats let Baker walk after 2017 (for another minority manager) that Roberts has been the only black manager. And as recently as 2014, there were three black managers: Washington, McClendon, and Porter.

   41. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 31, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5911978)
You do realize that explicit racial or ethnic quotas are illegal in the United States?


Case law has established that it's legal for colleges to differentially evaluate applicants in pursuit of racial/ethnic diversity. Words can be worked around. There have been plenty of other instances in the academic world, also. Look at the NEA's funding guidelines. This sort of quota is not only not illegal, it is an established orthodoxy to which opposition is very dangerous professionally. Meritocracy has become a dirty word in academic circles.

Sports coaching is its own matter, however. When the ethnic makeup of coaching staffs is so different from what would be anticipated given the makeup of the player population, that is a bad look. Public relations and rational management strategy would both seem to indicate bringing the numbers into better alignment.

A clear problem with truly specific quotas, in terms of explicitly stated numbers or percentages, in any field of endeavor, is that those numbers, even if couched as "at least," could become de facto upper as well as lower boundaries. That would be undesirable for what should be obvious reasons.
   42. McCoy Posted: December 31, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5911983)
In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke that public universities (and other government institutions) could not set specific numerical targets based on race for admissions or employment.[5] The Court said that "goals" and "timetables" for diversity could be set instead.[5] A 1979 Supreme Court case, United Steelworkers v. Weber, found that private employers could set rigid numerical quotas, if they chose to do so.[5] In 1980, the Supreme Court found that a 10% racial quota for federal contractors was permitted.[5]
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5911989)
Case law has established that it's legal for colleges to differentially evaluate applicants in pursuit of racial/ethnic diversity. Words can be worked around. There have been plenty of other instances in the academic world, also. Look at the NEA's funding guidelines. This sort of quota is not only not illegal, it is an established orthodoxy to which opposition is very dangerous professionally. Meritocracy has become a dirty word in academic circles.

Sports coaching is its own matter, however. When the ethnic makeup of coaching staffs is so different from what would be anticipated given the makeup of the player population, that is a bad look. Public relations and rational management strategy would both seem to indicate bringing the numbers into better alignment.

A clear problem with truly specific quotas, in terms of explicitly stated numbers or percentages, in any field of endeavor, is that those numbers, even if couched as "at least," could become de facto upper as well as lower boundaries. That would be undesirable for what should be obvious reasons.


They can use race as a factor in evaluating individuals, the Supreme Court has repeatedly held you can't use strict numerical quotas or broad based "bonus points" that are not individualized.

Why should we expect the coaching population to match the player population racially and ethnically? Professional players are not the only, or even the best, source of coaching candidates.

Professional athletes are selected mostly according to physical, athletic abilities, not intelligence or leadership skills, and are therefore likely to be a lousy pool of talent for coaching. Professional athletes will likely be no better than average in those traits, while you're going to want a coach who's way above average in those traits.

It just like how traders tend to make lousy managers at banks. They're not selected at all for those skills, and, unsurprisingly, tend not to demonstrate them.
   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 31, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5911998)
Some version of the quota system.
That would be some version of illegal. As already noted, the college admissions cases aren’t really on point, since such programs are usually defended as only offering “a plus” for racial minorities. The employment context is different.

   45. flournoy Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5912012)
Meritocracy has become a dirty word in academic circles.


No doubt. No greater condemnation has ever been spoken of American academia, deserved condemnations of which there is no shortage.
   46. McCoy Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5912016)
   47. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2019 at 07:00 PM (#5912057)
In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke that public universities (and other government institutions) could not set specific numerical targets based on race for admissions or employment.[5] The Court said that "goals" and "timetables" for diversity could be set instead.[5] A 1979 Supreme Court case, United Steelworkers v. Weber, found that private employers could set rigid numerical quotas, if they chose to do so.[5] In 1980, the Supreme Court found that a 10% racial quota for federal contractors was permitted.[5]
You're quoting from a badly-written wikipedia entry that also does not seem to know that 1980 was 40 years ago.
   48. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 31, 2019 at 11:25 PM (#5912076)
Per the linked article, there are 5 Hispanic managers (Martinez, Montoyo, Renteria, Beltran, and ???) and none other than Roberts that are black.


Alex Cora was the one you missed. Roberts, of course, is Black/Asian - his mother is Japanese.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Ghost, Live at The Epicenter
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogGregg Jefferies complicated Mets’ failure looks different now
(36 - 1:35am, May 26)
Last: Jack Sommers

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(4022 - 1:27am, May 26)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogNoah Syndergaard offers fiery response to landlord's lawsuit: 'See you in court pal'
(26 - 1:03am, May 26)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogPensacola Blue Wahoos list stadium for Airbnb rentals
(4 - 12:29am, May 26)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogOT – NBA CoronaThread 2020
(3004 - 11:55pm, May 25)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (May 2020)
(225 - 7:26pm, May 25)
Last: ckash

Newsblogcoronavirus and baseball collide in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea
(3 - 4:53pm, May 25)
Last: Rally

NewsblogWhere have all the top lefty pitchers gone?
(18 - 3:02pm, May 25)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogLeitch/MLB: The best moment in each ballpark's history
(95 - 1:15pm, May 25)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogCrew chief: Umpire told Jeter he was tagged by Rolen in stolen base attempt
(153 - 1:36am, May 25)
Last: Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean

Newsblog'The Wild West:' MiLB Teams On Chopping Block Scramble To Find MLB Partner
(19 - 10:05pm, May 24)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogWe Can Show Baseball Reruns, Too
(61 - 9:50pm, May 24)
Last: Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques

NewsblogAngels will furlough non-playing employees on June 1
(12 - 8:07pm, May 24)
Last: Walt Davis

Hall of MeritNew Eligibles Year by Year
(981 - 3:22pm, May 24)
Last: Jaack

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-22-2020
(30 - 12:15pm, May 24)
Last: VCar

-->

Page rendered in 0.4752 seconds
46 querie(s) executed