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Friday, December 18, 2020

‘It hurts:’ After vowing change, Black candidates shut out again of MLB front office jobs

While Black executives were job candidates, not a single one was promoted into a high-ranking leadership role.

Hill, who was vice president of baseball operations for the Marlins since 2013 until this winter and has a degree from Harvard, interviewed for the Mets and Phillies. Billy Owens, assistant general manager/director of player personnel for the Oakland A’s, interviewed with the Mets and Angels. And De Jon Watson, Washington Nationals special assistant who has been an assistant GM, scouting director, farm director, and a two-time World Series champion, inexplicably did not even get a single interview.

“It hurts, man, it (expletive) hurts,’’ Williams said, his voice cracking. “It hurts to see guys achieve things in this game, and it hurts to see these guys are so damn good at what they do, and they continue to get bypassed over and over again. It physically hurts.

“I can’t stand in front of some of the young aspiring executives in the game and tell them with a straight face and tell them they have opportunity for advancement. It would be completely insincere for me to do such a thing.

“I know some people don’t want to hear what I have to say, but I’m just being honest with you.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2020 at 11:10 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minority hiring

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   1. DL from MN Posted: December 18, 2020 at 11:43 AM (#5994867)
The problem is that the pipeline is filled with white Ivy League graduates. There’s a scarcity of minorities even among entry level internships.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 18, 2020 at 12:32 PM (#5994878)
I have no idea why all these Ivy League graduates want to work shitty jobs (low paid, long hours, high pressure) in baseball front offices for the 1 in 100 chance of getting to be a GM. I think anyone who gets shut out is actually being done a favor.

Never work in a sexy industry, they can treat the workers like ####, and get away with it.
   3. DL from MN Posted: December 18, 2020 at 12:52 PM (#5994891)
I have no idea why all these Ivy League graduates want to work shitty jobs (low paid, long hours, high pressure) in baseball front offices


Because they're already wealthy by birth and can pursue fun jobs instead of having to make their own money.
   4. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 18, 2020 at 01:31 PM (#5994901)
"Hey! We just added Negro League stats to MLB stats, so quit complaining!"
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:02 PM (#5994947)
Because they're already wealthy by birth and can pursue fun jobs instead of having to make their own money.

A very small percentage of Ivy League graduates have generational wealth and don't have to work, and I'm pretty sure the ones who do don't want to work 80 hours a week.

Also, anything you have to do 80 hours a week stops being fun really quickly.
   6. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:06 PM (#5994949)
Because they're already wealthy by birth and can pursue fun jobs instead of having to make their own money.


So, it would be better if they worked 20 hours a week for their families? What's the argument here?

If they're willing to work 80 hours a week for peanuts I don't care who they are, that's initiative. There should be more opportunities, and the jobs shouldn't be exploitative, but the people taking the jobs aren't the problem here.
   7. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:09 PM (#5994950)
If they're willing to work 80 hours a week for peanuts I don't care who they are, that's initiative.


It's not praiseworthy in the least.
   8. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5994959)
Also, anything you have to do 80 hours a week stops being fun really quickly.

Or, "Why RMc Finally Quit Radio".
   9. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 19, 2020 at 05:10 AM (#5995001)
If they're willing to work 80 hours a week for peanuts I don't care who they are, that's initiative. There should be more opportunities, and the jobs shouldn't be exploitative, but the people taking the jobs aren't the problem here.
It's not that they're willing to work crazy hours for crazy low dollars, it's that those workers in question have some sort of family safety net. People don't need generational wealth to be encouraged to take chances, they just need to know they won't be homeless and starving if things don't work out.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 19, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5995021)
It's not that they're willing to work crazy hours for crazy low dollars, it's that those workers in question have some sort of family safety net. People don't need generational wealth to be encouraged to take chances, they just need to know they won't be homeless and starving if things don't work out.

Yes, and that parental support is a horrible practice because it makes entire industries near-slave wage sweatshops, where people who need to make their own living can't survive. It also distorts the real estate market in hip cities. If you want to take a chance is a risky industry, live with 4 roommates in a crappy part of town eating ramen, don't have mommy and daddy pay $3000/month for your luxury apt.

   11. DL from MN Posted: December 19, 2020 at 01:11 PM (#5995035)
that parental support is a horrible practice because it makes entire industries near-slave wage sweatshops


Horrible if you're interested in meritocracy. Really good practice if you're interested in maintaining privilege.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 19, 2020 at 01:21 PM (#5995039)
Horrible if you're interested in meritocracy. Really good practice if you're interested in maintaining privilege.

Maybe, and I'm definitely pro the former and anti the latter.

But, if you were really into maintaining building the family empire (like pre-modern aristocrats) you'd want your children to maximize either earnings, or power, and have lots of children of their own. You wouldn't want your very expensively raised off-spring slaving away for low wages, and delaying adulthood.
   13. Bhaakon Posted: December 19, 2020 at 01:38 PM (#5995045)
But, if you were really into maintaining building the family empire (like pre-modern aristocrats) you'd want your children to maximize either earnings, or power, and have lots of children of their own. You wouldn't want your very expensively raised off-spring slaving away for low wages, and delaying adulthood


Sort of. One thing it does is allow people to focus on prestige positions that lack guaranteed or high-level monetary benefits or hard power. This can be rich kids becoming scholars, taking up "charitable" efforts of widely varying legitimacy, or any other vanity project that nominally adds to the family's prestige. Particularly if said child is ill-suited to the family business and you want to keep them away from it for practical purposes.

This was true even in more overtly aristocratic times, when a family was often judged on things like collecting art and artists, throwing the swankiest balls, having the smartest philosopher at your dinner parties, displaying the nicest fashion, etc. That and the more strict primogeniture of past times meant there were a lot of second, third, forth sons who had to be shunted off somewhere harmless so they wouldn't challenge the heir.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 19, 2020 at 01:51 PM (#5995048)
Sort of. One thing it does is allow people to focus on prestige positions that lack guaranteed or high-level monetary benefits or hard power. This can be rich kids becoming scholars, taking up "charitable" efforts of widely varying legitimacy, or any other vanity project that nominally adds to the family's prestige. Particularly if said child is ill-suited to the family business and you want to keep them away from it for practical purposes.

This was true even in more overtly aristocratic times, when a family was often judged on things like collecting art and artists, throwing the swankiest balls, having the smartest philosopher at your dinner parties, displaying the nicest fashion, etc. That and the more strict primogeniture of past times meant there were a lot of second, third, forth sons who had to be shunted off somewhere harmless so they wouldn't challenge the heir.


Yes, and that might make sense today for rich families that have 4 or 5 kids. For the typical wealthy family with two, that's too risky.
   15. Brian C Posted: December 19, 2020 at 10:09 PM (#5995122)
A couple of thoughts here:

1) Why is this person given anonymity by Nightengale?
“How in the world does Michael Hill not have a job?’’ a team president told USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “He has been a president and a GM. He does an unbelievable job in Miami. And he has a Harvard education.

“If he was white, he could have had any job he wanted.’’"

Seems to me that a big part of the problem is people in positions of power - like this team president - who are perfectly happy to hide behind big talk and then not actually do anything. Granting anonymity to someone for a quote that reinforces the story but without any accountability makes Nightengale complicit, IMO. Frankly it makes Nightengale look like his fiery stance is all posturing.

2) The quote by Kenny Williams in the excerpt is probably counterproductive, also. I can't fault him or anyone for feeling discouraged, but telling young black candidates that it's all hopeless is going to lead to fewer black people pursuing jobs in baseball, which will in turn contribute to the shortage of candidates and therefore make it even harder to put black people in these jobs. There's a difference between frustration and capitulation, and Williams's comments here seem like they bleed into the latter category.
   16. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: December 19, 2020 at 10:58 PM (#5995147)
2) The quote by Kenny Williams in the excerpt is probably counterproductive, also. I can't fault him or anyone for feeling discouraged, but telling young black candidates that it's all hopeless is going to lead to fewer black people pursuing jobs in baseball, which will in turn contribute to the shortage of candidates and therefore make it even harder to put black people in these jobs. There's a difference between frustration and capitulation, and Williams's comments here seem like they bleed into the latter category.


Perhaps. But if you didn't read the article—it's not clear if you did—two other portions not excerpted may help explain his frustration.

Williams, 56, is the lone Black man in charge of baseball operations for any of major-league club. He was hired as the White Sox's GM 20 years ago, and during the past two decades, the only other Black GMs hired throughout baseball were Tony Reagins of the Los Angeles Angels, Michael Hill of the Miami Marlins and Dave Stewart of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They have yet to get another opportunity.


I think every team but NY has changed their head of baseball ops at least once in that time?

“I can’t even tell my own son (Ken Williams Jr.), who’s our assistant player development director,’’ Williams said, “to stay in the game because I don’t know if there will be an opportunity for him. No matter how good he gets, will there be an opportunity for him ahead? I can’t say that. What evidence is there this will be the case?

“And I can’t begin to tell you how much that hurts.’’


The numbers back him up. And the league and teams have collectively been awful, even since Selig talked about doing better with the inception of Jackie Robinson Day and since requiring teams to interview minority candidates. This is the kind of change that only occurs through concerted effort. Talk never does the trick, and all of MLB has been heavy on talk and light on action.
   17. Brian C Posted: December 19, 2020 at 11:11 PM (#5995151)
Perhaps. But if you didn't read the article—it's not clear if you did

It's not clear if I did? Did you not notice where I also mentioned a completely different aspect of the article? Is that not proof enough for you? Do you imagine that I simply chose a random paragraph from the article to quote here, to try to fool people into thinking I read it when I actually didn't?
   18. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: December 19, 2020 at 11:22 PM (#5995159)
I didn't read much of the excerpt. Just saw Hill's name in it and in your quoted portion. My mistake. Sorry. I wasn't trying to criticize you and was instead trying to understand where Williams is coming from. But hey, you've clearly got concerns, like some random fellow on the web making a mistake which clearly impugns your character and affects the opportunities you'll receive wherever you go in this world.
   19. Brian C Posted: December 19, 2020 at 11:40 PM (#5995166)
Good grief.
   20. Dr. Pooks Posted: December 20, 2020 at 03:11 AM (#5995188)
“I can’t even tell my own son (Ken Williams Jr.), who’s our assistant player development director,’’ Williams said, “to stay in the game because I don’t know if there will be an opportunity for him. No matter how good he gets, will there be an opportunity for him ahead? I can’t say that. What evidence is there this will be the case?

“And I can’t begin to tell you how much that hurts.’’


Does no one else, specifically Kenny Williams Sr, see the irony of a MLB Executive VP complaining about unfair hiring practices pertaining to his son, whom most assuredly holds the position he does within the White Sox organization in no small part due to nepotism?

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