FanDuel - WFBC

September 25, 2007

"Do you think clubs need to do more in terms of building a more diverse management mix, in terms of race and gender?": - Gary Huckabay

AL Exec: I think that if thereís going to be progress made on that, itís going to take a considered, planned effort, really. We really do try, but as I said earlier, that takes time, and it makes it more likely that youíll make a bad hire, because you wonít necessarily have someone vouching for someone.
In the first of a two-part interview, Baseball Prospectus talks to two front-office executives about what their jobs are like and, most revealingly, how hiring decisions are made.

posted by avogadro to baseball at 09:39 PM - 16 comments

Yes the clubs should. Also in baseball on the field there should be 3 Black, 3 white and 3 Hispanic players and an occasional oriental of which 4 should be men and 4 would be women and the 9th player should be a switch hitter. (pun fully intended)....Yeah Right!!! Race should not be the main determining factor in anything. In fact it should not be a factor at all. Hire the best person possible regardless of Race, religion, creed or sexual preference. We make the teams out by hiring the best possible player, coaches and management should be done likewise. in fact. as for as players go, you don't even have to be from this country nor even have to speak english. Right person for right job. Period.

posted by skeet0311 at 03:55 AM on September 26

This argument has been made before Skeet. Sadly your attitude wouldn't win you many friends among the people that bitch about this sort of thing. They always see it as some sort of deliberate omission. Like the endless whining I remember from a couple of years ago "Why aren't there more ethnic minorities in (insert sport of your choice here)". I've seen hockey mentioned, I've seen motor racing mentioned, and they always ignore one small fact. Perhaps the reason there aren't more ethnic minorities is because they have NO FUCKING INTEREST IN THE SPORT! I mean Formula One has it's first black driver EVER in Lewis Hamilton. 57 years of the official F1 championship it's taken. Sure, we've had guys from all over the world, and a couple of women as well... But Lewis is the first black guy. Have people been excluded based on race or gender? No, there just hasn't been the interest. Or more importantly the talent. There's been two women in F1. The last one was in 1992, and she sucked. (Admittedly she was in a shitty Brabham, but she was 10 seconds off the pace. Her replacement did slightly better. He went on to become world champion. Albeit not in the crappy Brabham.) Probably shouldn't respond to stuff like this when I'm tired and on some pretty trippy pain medication, but I've had a lousy week and I'm sick of the underlying message in all this sort of discussion. That it's a deliberate policy. I am quite sure there are racist folk in baseball, just like the idiots infect all walks of life, but as Skeet said, hire the best person for the job, whether they be male, female, black, white, covered in polka dots, or like having sex with sheep while worshiping a 3 headed goat named Frank. If they can do the job, let them. (Admittedly the sheep buggery may cause a bit of scandal if found out, but so long as you keep them in sheep and they can keep a private stash on site, I'm sure they'll be fine.) Sure, in a small minority of teams there may be an unwritten guideline or whatever, there maybe IS some exclusionary crap going on. In fact I'd be very surprised if there wasn't. But honestly, they can't hire people that don't exist. Show that there's a surplus of unemployed blacks, or females, or gays or whatever group is the "Oppressed Minority of the Month" for September suitable for whatever the position they're hiring for, and I'll gladly sign any petition, or join any protest. Until then this is just more tedious, pointless posturing and yet another gross oversimplification of a hot button issue, simply for the sake of getting eyeballs to read it. I've read this back. It seems to be mostly coherent. I hope. If it's somewhat rambling and scatter shot, blame my good friend Mister Codeine who is having a chat with Mister Backpain...

posted by Drood at 04:29 AM on September 26

or like having sex with sheep while worshiping a 3 headed goat named Frank I believe that's Derby County's recruitment policy. Seriously, this thread will self destruct in 3...2...1...

posted by owlhouse at 04:54 AM on September 26

The underlying message here is that no one truly values the rights of sheep. Sure they are acceptable for buggery but where is the uproar that Sheep hold precisely 0 front office positions in any of our major sports (although I understand a sheep is the leading candidate to Replace Lloyd Carr at Michigan). The times need to change!!

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 05:36 AM on September 26

Just hire the right person for the job. If they're black,white, brown, green or blue, man, woman or in between it shouldn't matter.

posted by budman13 at 08:54 AM on September 26

Wow. It's lasted longer than I thought...

posted by hawkguy at 09:02 AM on September 26

There is nothing wrong with the FPP. It could have been an interesting discussion, but when the first commenter calls folks Oriental, any chance of an intelligent discussion is pretty much gone.

posted by bperk at 09:20 AM on September 26

So many faux pas are occidental.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:49 AM on September 26

Minorities may have little interest in certain sports because they don't see people like them playing those sports. It's human nature to seek out people like you... so if you're a kid interested in sports, you're likely to choose a sport that has more people like you to play with and look up to. I know that diversity is a difficult topic to discuss - I'm on my company's diversity task force. Diversity doesn't just happen. If you don't make a concerted effort to make diversity a priority in your organization, any organization, it will slowly but surely become homogeneous. It's not necessarily that people are racist or that baseball intended to be a white sport - it's just human nature to want to work with and associate with and be around people like you. The company I work for (a trade association) has seen a significant decline in the diversity of our membership, and the more minorities that leave, the harder it is to bring minorities in. Again, it's not intentional, but it does take intentional effort to counteract. There are lots of reasons diversity is a good thing - not just for the sake of political correctness.

posted by misskaz at 10:10 AM on September 26

Race should not be the main determining factor in anything. In fact it should not be a factor at all. Hire the best person possible regardless of Race, religion, creed or sexual preference. Not so fast, my friends (insert apology to Lee Corso here), but the words cited above are the crux of the argument. The problem with these word is that many employers do not look far enough into the pool of potential talent to find the best employee for a job. Both GMs in the article are aware of the situation. You hire those who are recommended by people you know and trust. It's called the "good old boy" network, and while it keeps people comfortable with their hiring practices, it also produces a lot of inbreeding (and not merely with sheep). I would hope that teams and leagues by now have instituted some sort of internship programs. Not just those identifying minorities, but those that actively seek out talented people who might not have considered sports management as a career. The advice I would give to GMs and their adjunct personnel people is to start taking chances on talent in your lower level positions. If your cousin's wife's hairdresser's nephew is carrying a 3.50 GPA in management at a reputable university, OK hire him, but if there's a total stranger of whatever race or gender who is interested in the job, and who is carrying a 3.98, you might want to depart from your usual practice.

posted by Howard_T at 12:10 PM on September 26

The problem with the "hire the best person" policy is what Howard and MissKaz said, too often the definition of best is not inclusive enough. Case in point, Ted Nolan, how many comments were made here when he was passed over time and again before the Islanders took their heads out of their asses? How many times do coaches/managers or GMs get recycled despite having a crap record that got them fired from the last gig instead of taking a chance on moving someone up from the assistant ranks? In the final result, the problem with the "hire the best person" policy is that it allows people to paper over their racism or their weak-willed acquiescence to what they perceive from the relevant fan/revenue base.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:58 PM on September 26

So many faux pas are occidental. Damn, Crafty. Not only is that freakin hilarious, but might just be the most incredibly clever pun I've ever run across here. That makes checking into this potential shitstorm totally worth it!

posted by tahoemoj at 01:30 PM on September 26

Another problem with using a "hire the best person" policy at the elite levels is that it conveniently ignores everything that's happening at the levels below. Let's say you have a high school baseball team and you hold "best person" tryouts -- you can argue that your tryout was fair, but what if some kids were never allowed to play Little League, for whatever reason? Can someone play in college if they never got the chance to play in high school? And, since we're talking about management, what are the odds of someone who never got to play competitive baseball getting a management or coaching job vs. someone who played? Your playing field may be level (it probably isn't as level as you think, but let's allow it for the sake of arguments), but it doesn't exist in a vacuum.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:45 PM on September 26

Both GMs in the article are aware of the situation. You hire those who are recommended by people you know and trust. It's called the "good old boy" network, and while it keeps people comfortable with their hiring practices, it also produces a lot of inbreeding (and not merely with sheep). That was what interested me about the article, especially since this is something that happens at most white-collar (gah, no pun intended) and many blue collar jobs. Nothing wrong with hiring who you know or somebody known by someone else you trust, except that it means you aren't necessarily hiring the best possible person, but rather, hiring the best connected person who meets the qualifications. And, it's why I think that intentionally expanding networks that are diverse would be a better strategy than quotas. (By the bye, I certainly didn't mean to start a teapot tempest with the post. In fact, I thought that the executives provided some really thoughtful insight into hiring practices.)

posted by avogadro at 03:07 PM on September 26

And, it's why I think that intentionally expanding networks that are diverse would be a better strategy than quotas. Aren't quotas a bit of a strawman in this day and age, though?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:44 PM on September 26

Indeed I do, but I wasn't going to call out some of our esteemed posters intentionally. *grin*

posted by avogadro at 04:11 PM on September 26

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.