Cito Gaston Retires, Dusty Baker Signs an Extension; There Are Still Too Few African-American Managers

Last night was Cito Gaston’s last home game in Toronto, after nearly three decades with the organization. Today, Dusty Baker — Gaston’s teammate with the 1975 Braves, and a fellow protege of Henry Aaron — reportedly agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Cincinnati Reds. The 61-year-old Baker and 66-year-old Gaston are, respectively, the first- and third-winningest African-American managers in baseball’s history, with 2293 wins, three pennants, and two World Championships between them. And yet, in the 35 years since Frank Robinson was named the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball’s history, they’re two of the only African-Americans ever to sit in the manager’s chair.

It is probably not a coincidence that two of the most successful African-American managers ever were both teammates of Henry Aaron’s, and both men have consistently credited Henry Aaron as a mentor. It’s also not a coincidence that both men are in their 60s, and no other active African-American managers are even close to their win total. The second-winningest African-American manager is Frank Robinson himself, a contemporary of Aaron’s. According to a list compiled earlier this year by Gary Norris Gray of the Black Athlete Sports Network, there have been 14 African-American managers in the past 40 years. It’s not a perfect list — he mistakenly put Jerry Manuel in his list of Latino and Hispanic managers, for example — but it’s reasonably comprehensive: Don Baylor, Cecil Cooper, Larry Doby, Davey Lopes (who is descended from Cape Verde, an island off the coast of West Africa), Hal McRae, Lloyd McClendon, Willie Randolph, Jerry Royster, Ron Washington, Maury Wills, Manuel, Robinson, Gaston, and Baker. Of those 14, only 11 ever managed a full season — Royster, Doby, and Wills were midseason replacements who were canned before they ever got a chance to manage their 162nd game — and just nine ever won as many as 200 games, a total reached by 250 other managers in history.

Gaston remains the only African-American manager ever to win a World Series. And yet he had to wait more than a decade, from 1997 to 2008, to be given another managing job — of the 22 managers who have won multiple World Series, he’s the only one that has happened to, with the exception of two former player-managers more than 70 years ago (Bill Carrigan and Billy Southworth). He recently raised eyebrows by comparing himself to Tony La Russa, because they both have two World Series rings, but it probably goes without saying: Tony La Russa wouldn’t have had to wait a decade for another managing job. Gaston isn’t that good, but you can’t win two World Series completely by accident, either. His visibility may have been hurt by all those years he spent in Canada, but that seems like an insufficient explanation for his unprecedented decade in the wilderness. (Interestingly, Frank Robinson had a similar layoff between managerial posts, between his 1991 Baltimore Orioles and 2002 Montreal Expos.)

There are four African-American managers in baseball right now: Washington (58 years old), Manuel (56), Baker (61), and Gaston (66). Gaston is retiring, and Manuel is likely on the chopping block. There are no young African-American managers in baseball, and few active players who are seen as likely managers when they retire. (An exception is Terry Pendleton, who is a strong internal candidate to replace the retiring Bobby Cox. Pendleton is currently Bobby Cox’s hitting coach, as Gaston once was.) Major League Baseball has long acknowledged its desire to improve baseball’s appeal to young African-American players with its RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program, but it hasn’t done much of anything to improve its own track record with regard to the front office.

It’s been 35 years since Frank Robinson integrated baseball’s managerial fraternity, and still too little progress has been made. The departure of one of the most successful black managers ever only highlights just how much work is yet to be done.

UPDATE: The above list is not comprehensive. Other African-American managers include Dave Clark, who managed the Astros for 13 games in 2009, as reader timmy! points out.

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Alex is a writer for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times, and is a product manager for The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @alexremington.

71 Responses to “Cito Gaston Retires, Dusty Baker Signs an Extension; There Are Still Too Few African-American Managers”

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  1. Kevin S. says:

    You know, 4 out of 30 is 13%, which is pretty much the same proportion of the US population that’s African-American, and actually more than the MLB playing population. I can understand the concern about up-and-coming managers (though Willie Randolph seems likely to land another job somewhere at some point), but it’s not out of whack with society as a whole.

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    • Sean says:

      Agreed. If anyone is under-represented among managers, its Latinos, not African-Americans.

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      • Rally says:

        “Agreed. If anyone is under-represented among managers, its Latinos, not African-Americans.”

        Ozzie Guillen
        Manny Acta
        E Rodriguez

        That’s 10%. To get perfect representation you’d need 1-2 more.

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    • 4 out of 30 is one thing. But 14 black managers out of 669 managers in history is quite another. There are four African-American managers in baseball this year, but all of them have been around forever, and that list of 14 hasn’t gotten any longer.

      I’m certainly not in favor of a quota system, and I’m not saying that baseball should always endeavor to have 13% of its managers be African-American, but I am saying that the number of black managers has always been low, and usually strikingly low.

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      • Rich says:

        “4 out of 30 is one thing. But 14 black managers out of 669 managers in history is quite another.”

        The past is over. There’s no reason to overcompensate and try to fix a problem that doesn’t appear to exist anymore.

        Nobody is saying it wasn’t a problem in the past.

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      • ms says:

        0 of 669 managers have been women. I’ve heard some figures that quote the overall percentage of women in the general population as much as 50%.

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      • This isn’t just about the past, though. There is a very limited pool of African Americans who have ever managed, and nearly all of them are in their late 50s or their 60s. Frank Robinson has managed in four different decades, and Gaston and Baker have managed in three decades apiece, but there are no young African American managerial candidates. There are a few who have managed to get hired multiple times, but very few new ones.

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      • In all honesty, I think baseball has been egregiously slow in hiring women to front office positions. Kim Ng has been the Mickey Hatcher of general manager candidates, considered for a number of jobs but never hired. Women have also umpired in the minor leagues, but never in the major leagues.

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      • Rich says:

        “There is a very limited pool of African Americans who have ever managed, ”

        There is a very limited pool of ANYONE who has managed, and most of them are in their 50s and 60s.

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      • WilsonC says:

        “4 out of 30 is one thing. But 14 black managers out of 669 managers in history is quite another. There are four African-American managers in baseball this year, but all of them have been around forever, and that list of 14 hasn’t gotten any longer”

        If every manager in the league was African-American, the numbers would still appear strikingly low if compared to the number of managers throughout MLB history. More than half of those managers started their careers before the color barrier was broken, and only 180 started their careers since Frank Robinson’s first year. That puts it at about 8% since the door was first opened for black managers. Similarly, I counted 102 managers since Robinson to reach the 200 win mark, which means about 9% of them were African-American.

        Since Cito was first hired in 1989, I count 11 out of the 104 managers as African American, (including Cito) or just over 10%.

        As has been pointed out, there was about 13% of the managers this year who were African-American.

        The numbers are only really striking if you compare them to all of baseball history, and if you do that, you would reach the same conclusion no matter how many African-American managers there have been since the door was opened, and all that conclusion tells us is that baseball had something of a racism problem in the past. In reality, the numbers seem to have crept up to a normal distribution similar to the population as a whole.

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  2. BC says:

    I read fangraphs for the intelligent statistical analysis of baseball. I do not read fangraphs for philosophical/social/political views of race in baseball.

    I am especially disappointing that there is an underlying premise that because racial group A is underrepresented in activity B, there is something wrong. This is a moral position worthy of moral debate in a philosophy blog. It is not worthy of 5 paragraphs of “analysis” in a sports blog.

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    • Anon21 says:

      Well, I can certainly understand your high dudgeon, since you’re paying so much to access this content. The operators of Fangraphs must take your preferences very seriously!

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      • U-G says:

        I have a problem with this basic reply that appears almost every time someone doesn’t like an article. Yes, none of us pay to read these articles. But the authors do make money off of them. It’s not like BC came in and took a steaming shit all over the article. He merely stated his opinion, rather politely. You are the dick in this situation.

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      • Anon21 says:

        And I have a problem with the basic form of post which goes: “I don’t read Fangraphs to hear about [X].” Why should anyone give a shit about your subjective reasons for reading Fangraphs? If you have some substantive criticism of the post, fine: state it. If you just want to announce that you don’t care for the subject matter, save your breath, because it doesn’t matter.

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    • I disagree that there are some baseball topics that are out of bounds on a baseball blog. Fangraphs has some of the smartest writers and some of the smartest readers around, and there’s no need to confine ourselves just to those subjects that can be expressed in regression equations. Cito Gaston has been in professional baseball for 46 years, and his career is fascinating for a lot of reasons. He’s well worth writing about, and arguing about.

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  3. asdf says:

    There are only 30 of these jobs available, so we’re not really dealing in large sample sizes. It’d be different if there was a low number of black teachers or doctors or some other profession that doesn’t have a miniscule and finite number of openings.

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  4. Darien says:

    Speaking as a baseball fan, I’d prefer for baseball teams to focus on hiring managers who are good, and not pay any attention whatsoever to what colour their skin is. I don’t really care if Dusty Baker’s a blue-skinned outfielder from Mars; what matters to me is the way he butchers his pitching staff.

    Also, it’s a bit disingenuous to imply so strongly that the only reason Gaston went a decade between management positions is because of racism. Gaston, if you’ll recall, failed to lead the Blue Jays even to a winning record — much less a pennant — for the last four years he ran the club, and went so far as to tell Ash he was taking a vacation and was going to skip the meetings-and-performance-review following the 1997 season. Ash really had no choice to fire him after that, and, yes, I do believe La Russa would have been fired in that situation.

    Gaston was not exactly blacklisted after this adventure, either. He was a finalist for the Tigers’ manager job in 2000 (Phil Garner won the job), and then again for the White Sox’ manager job in 2004 (which went to the notoriously white Ozzie Guillen). After this, he declared that he would no longer be interested in managing unless he could skip the interview process and just get hired directly — a weird kind of ultimatum that certainly doesn’t improve one’s chances of getting a manager position.

    So that’s as maybe. As for the number of “young” black managers, well, frankly, there aren’t a lot of “young” managers at all. Torre’s 70, La Russa’s 66, Cox is 69, Jim Leyland is 176… Manny Acta is generally regarded as a “young” manager, and he’s already 41, for pete’s sake. Up-and-comers? Sure, there’s Pendleton. Beyond that? Well, who’s interested? I think we all know Jeter will get a manager job in a heartbeat if he wants it, but… does he want it? Not clear. Baseball can’t really do very much to hire people who don’t want the job.

    And in any event, I stand by the statement I made at the beginning. Teams should focus on hiring good managers, regardless of what colour their skin is. Working in a bunch of lazy reverse-racism isn’t going to help anybody.

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    • JCA says:

      DeMarlo Hale. He first managed in 1993, was manager of the year in the Midwest league in 1995, MOY in the Eastern League and 3 major publications MOY for all the minors in 1999 (after finishing with the league best record twice in three years), coached in the majors since 20004, and I think he’s had one managerial interview in the majors. I was amazed that he did not get an interview for the Nats either of the past two times they’ve been hiring. He’s only 49 now.

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    • matt w says:

      Gaston, if you’ll recall, failed to lead the Blue Jays even to a winning record — much less a pennant — for the last four years he ran the club

      You could say the same thing of Jim Leyland and the Pirates, and it didn’t take Leyland ten years to get another job.

      Sure, there’s Pendleton. Beyond that? Well, who’s interested? I think we all know Jeter will get a manager job in a heartbeat if he wants it, but… does he want it? Not clear. Baseball can’t really do very much to hire people who don’t want the job.

      Are you seriously suggesting that there aren’t black ex-players and coaches who would take managerial jobs if they were given the chance? On what basis?

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    • My echo and bunnymen says:

      I agree on all points, though I don’t believe Alex was implying racism. I think it’s more racist that he is writing an article based on the color of a man’s skin than anything else. But let’s move on, the Giants are winning and I’m getting pretty angry about that.

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  5. ben says:

    Such warm reaction, Good job Alex! Here’s a hat-tip, the NBA under represents whites and latinos! Dios mio! And none of those fake European whites (under the white interp. of the Torii Hunter race steal-my-job-guide), should be counted either.

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  6. astat says:

    I could see several current African-American players as future managers. Mike Cameron, Derrek Lee, Jimmy Rollins.

    Here is a crazy theory. The most common position to become manager is catcher (I may have made this up, it is only based on anecdotal evidence, meaning what I have noticed).
    Historically, not many African-Americans have played catcher. Therefore, not a lot of African-American managers.

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    • Raj says:

      Good point. The proportion of black managers swells to a cool 18% once you exclude former major league backstops.

      Of course, the argument on the other side would be that so many catchers are ending up as managers because it was just about the whitest position in baseball in their day.

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  7. timmy! says:

    I guess Dave Clark who managed the Astros at the end of the season last year doesn’t count.

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  8. Nick says:

    “How to make a big deal out of nothing by Alex Remington.”

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  9. mettle says:

    Perhaps you should also look at the dearth of African-American GMs. Now that’s striking. By my count, there’s one, Kenny Williams. Historically, there have been 3: Bill Lucas, Bob Watson and KW. That’s zero three. Three.
    And when you look at Latinos, the number is 2: Omar Minaya and Ruben Amaro (who is also half Jewish, btw) . That’s it in history. And one just lost his job.

    @Darien: Perhaps it’s worth looking into why it’s thought that whites make better GMs and managers or why they happen to have better resumes. It obviously an issue well beyond the scope of baseball.

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  10. mettle says:

    Looks like what you wrote rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. I, for one, appreciate that you did write this.

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    • It’s impossible to write about race without rubbing people the wrong way. But I don’t think it should be ignored, and an appreciation of Gaston’s career offers an appropriate time to consider it. Baseball history has been indelibly affected by race relations in America, and that effect continues to the present day. Race matters, as awkward and uncomfortable as it can be to talk about. But we do ourselves a disservice if we refuse to think about it.

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      • Jason B says:

        Well said. Not everyone has to agree on every racially-themed issue presented (and rarely does anyone agree about much of anything in a racially charged discussion), but the least we can do is discuss it openly without getting our panties in a wad.

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      • BurleighGrimes says:

        I for one genuinely appreciated and enjoyed this piece. Thanks.

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  11. CircleChange11 says:

    If this were an article about the NFL or NBA, it’d be more relevant given the proportion of black players in those leagues.

    There still remains some stereotype in regards to blacks players being athletic and white players being skilled/cerebral. We’re seeing that change a bit in non-baseball leagues, but we’re also seeing black athletes being less and less interested in baseball.a more relevant issue would be Hispanic managers given the proliferation of Latin players.

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  12. Pennant says:

    Where are the stats on ethnicity etc of sabermetricians? If all the quotas are not filled, where is the 500 page action plan to remedy this?/sarc off

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  13. brendan says:

    there was an interesting NYT piece about black coaches getting ‘stuck’ at first base. I think it’s relevant to this discussion.

    personally, I’d like baseball to be color-blind in personnel matters at every level. realistically, given the history and the stereotypes, I’m not sure that is the best course of action. I think that affirmative action policies (e.g. the NFL’s required minority candidate), while unfair to non-minority candidates, do produce results that break down the stereotypes going forward.

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  14. Nate says:

    I don’t have any idea what the phrase “two of the only African-Americans ever to sit in the manager’s chair” means. Joe Maddon and Joe Torre are two of the only Joes ever to sit in the manager’s chair. And there are the other Joes, too. But Maddon and Torre are two of them!

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    • I can play the “I don’t have any idea game,” too. I don’t have any idea what you mean. There are 669 managers listed on Of those 669, 24 were named “Joe,” one was named Joel, and one was named Joey. None of those 26 men is African-American. (There was a manager named Joe Morgan, but he’s a different man than the broadcaster.)

      There have been extraordinarily few African-American managers, and I think your comment actually illustrates it: there have been many more white managers named “Joe” than there have been African-American managers, period.

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  15. this guy says:

    Rooney rule

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    • Tiger says:

      MLB already had a similar policy before the NFL established the “Rooney Rule”.
      In fact, Gaston has stated that he refused to be interviewed for manager openings after he felt he was being used as a token interview. Of course he had no tangible proof and there were the usual denials from the other side, so who knows?
      What can’t be doubted is that Gaston got his second gig only because of the mutual loyality between Paul Beeston and him.

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  16. brentinKorea says:

    I think what is also missing is that Cito claimed some of the media were racist against him (without offering proof). Any GM would have to think twice before hiring a potential PR disaster situation in waiting.

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    • mettle says:

      Just out of curiosity, what would constitute proof, in your view?

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      • Nelson says:

        More than just his word, maybe? It probably sounds stupid, but almost all this discussion about Gaston labor situation during that dead decade is based in his own account. Based on that, I could say that I was denied a job as a Latin manager and you should better believe me.

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  17. Ryan M says:

    There are different explanations of why such a disparity may exist.

    A quick way to test this is to ask whether those that did get jobs are much better than their white counterparts. The reason for this would be that if there is racism going on, you would need to be an exceptional candidate to be considered.

    The list of names given isn’t that spectacular. I don’t see any reason to believe that there’s racism here. I also don’t understand what “too few” would mean outside the context of such racism.

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    • I don’t think it’s too much to suggest that the dearth of African-American managers is related to the dearth of African-American front office executives, since, after all, managers are hired by general managers.

      I also don’t agree with your argument, which is that the generally mediocre quality of most of the African-American managers listed above is in some way reflective of the overall talent pool of African-Americans in the game. The fact is, it’s an extraordinarily small sample size.

      I would argue that, because there are so few African-American front-office executives, and so few African-American managers, the search process is not actually a level playing field. That doesn’t mean that front office executives are necessarily racist, but the situation is related to the historic, pernicious stereotype of African-American athletes as talented but unintelligent, which CircleChange11 alludes to above.

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      • Rich says:

        “”I would argue that, because there are so few African-American front-office executives, and so few African-American managers, the search process is not actually a level playing field. ”

        But there aren’t “so few african-american managers”, theres a represenative sample.

        But again, with GMs we’re talking about 32 positions IN THE WORLD. Its pretty easy for a small sample like that to look way off kilter, when in fact its within statistical norms.

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      • Rich says:

        To continue, Manny Acta (41), and Joe Girardi (46), are the only Managers I can find (with a quick cursory search where I’m probably missing people) under 50.

        There aren’t any young black managers because there aren’t any young managers.

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      • Rich, I mean no offense, but you didn’t look hard enough. Among people who managed in 2009 and 2010, I found a lot more young managers than you think: A.J. Hinch is 36. Eric Wedge is 42. Daren Brown is 43. Fredi Gonzalez is 46. Ozzie Guillen is 46. Trey Hillman is 47. Bob Geren is 48. John Russell is 49. Juan Samuel is 49.

        And a bunch of other managers are just north of the half-century mark: Edwin Rodriguez is 50. Terry Francona is 51. Mike Scoscia is 51. Ron Gardenhire is 52. Brad Mills is 53. Mike Quade is 53. Bud Black is 53. Kirk Gibson is 53. Jim Tracy is 54.

        None of them is African-American.

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      • Rich says:

        I was only looking at current managers, and a lot of those guys are “former”. I don’t think interim managers count either.

        I don’t remember seeing a bunch of those names, so theres a good chance the web page I went to was out of date.

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      • WilsonC says:

        Again Dave Clark needs to be added to the mix if you’re looking at under 50 mangers from 2009-2010. With him added to the list, you have 1 out of 10, which is close to a representative sample.

        For managers just over 50, if you chose a cutoff of 56 rather than 54, you add Manuel to the list, again making it close to a representative sample. If you expand the search to 2008, you add Randolph to the mid-50’s list.

        The problem I have with this article is that it doesn’t examine the data to see if there is a significant racial discrepancy in baseball managers, but rather it starts with the premise that there is a bias, and then frames the data in a way that confirms that assertion. I think it IS worth examining the progress made since the door was opened for black managers, and it’s also worth examining whether there’s a real racial bias in terms of the hiring process of candidates with equal qualifications. There might well be. But it needs to be looked at with context in order to have any value whatsoever, which this article doesn’t do.

        Saying only 9 out of the 250 managers in history who reached 200 wins were black is like saying that managers are more likely to abuse white pitchers because the single season innings-pitched list is dominated by white guys. The lack of context makes the assertion useless, since the data’s corrupted by an age when segregation was overt and universal.

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      • Rich, Cito was an interim manager too, until he wasn’t. He was a midseason replacement in both 1989 and 2008. Many if not most managerial appointments are initially made on an interim basis.

        Wilson, I agree with what you said when you wrote:
        “I think it IS worth examining the progress made since the door was opened for black managers, and it’s also worth examining whether there’s a real racial bias in terms of the hiring process of candidates with equal qualifications. There might well be. But it needs to be looked at with context in order to have any value whatsoever, which this article doesn’t do.”

        But what context would suffice? Obviously, I wrote a very short piece, with no original reporting, so I’m not contributing any new information to the debate. What methodology would you suggest to examine whether bias exists, whether conscious or unconscious, against hiring African-Americans to managerial positions?

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      • WilsonC says:

        As an example, you could break the 35 years since Robinson started into 5 equal spans of 7 years to see whether there’s been progress in the percentage of African-American managers being given opportunities, and whether there’s a significant difference in the winning percentages of managers fired during each stretch between white and black managers, or perhaps the percentage of games managed by black managers during each stretch after you exclude guys who started their managerial careers before Frank Robinson. That wouldn’t take any new research, but rather it would frame the data in a more even manner.

        It’s still just a starting point, but it would at least paint a better picture of the progression (or lack of progression, if that happens to be the case) of black managers being given the opportunity.

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      • Rich says:

        “Rich, Cito was an interim manager too, until he wasn’t. He was a midseason replacement in both 1989 and 2008. Many if not most managerial appointments are initially made on an interim basis.”

        Which isn’t relevant in the context of the discussion we were having. You said there were no young black managers in MLB right now and suggested they were being discriminated against in the hiring process. A good percentage of interim managers are there as just placeholders, and don’t ever go through a hiring process, and don’t ever actually have a chance at the job.

        Most of the young guys you listed either aren’t managers anymore, or were interim guys. I’m willing to change my statement to “There aren’t any young black managers because there aren’t many young managers”, but it goes no further than that.

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      • Rich says:

        I keep forgetting Dave Clark.

        So, “There are very few young black managers because there are very few young managers”

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  18. bill says:

    Only about 10% of players are African-American today, as well.

    Not sure what you’re getting at here at this point. African-Americans are represented pretty well today, and perhaps they’re a bit on the older side, but who knows if that will be persistent? Yes, we know there is a long history of racism in baseball, but beyond “there hasn’t been many black managers” what is there to discuss here?

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  19. WilsonC says:

    If instead of saying “African-American,” you say “athletes from families that can’t afford college without assistance from scholarships,” how does the picture change?

    Race is an easy way to classify people when looking at something like this, but it’s not necessarily the right way. How many GM’s and managers have some level of college education compared to the general pool of players? While it’s easy to look at managers and GM’s and immediately tell whether the color of their skin, a man’s education level or inherited family wealth is not so evident at first glance.

    The college level has a much greater racial disparity, but perhaps it’s more fair to say that the college level has a much greater percentage of players who were born into financially stability. When it comes to race, the idea that correlation does not equal causation often takes the back seat to the emotional element of fairness. Is it that there’s some degree of racial exclusion preventing the hiring of black front office personnel, or is more of a reflection of the overall economic disparity of society as a whole, with fewer African-Americans coming from families privileged enough to attend college without the scholarships offered by the more profitable sports of football and basketball?

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  20. Jishwa says:

    Who gives a shlt??? Making a big spectacle of race issues like this is completely counter productive and is basically reverse-racism. The day we only think of guys like Gaston and Baker as simply managers, and not “African-American” managers, that’ll be the day progress has been made. This is just completely irrelevant. Seriously. We’re all human beings right? And everyone has the same advantages and disadvantages nowadays right? So what’s the big deal if they’re black, green, fuscia, shartruse, or purple polka-dotted??? Only thing that matters is their brain, and both of those guys have put theirs to use in a good way(well…Dusty’s time in Chicago is debatable of whether he was even real or not then…). Shouldn’t that be all that matters? And while i’m at it, “African-American” is the stupidest “politically correct” term I can think of. If you’re from Africa, you’re African. If you’re from America, you’re American. If you came from Africa and became an American citizen, THEN you could be considered African-American. Otherwise you’re one or the other, or simply black. I have Swedish heritage, yet i’m not considered Swedish-American am I? No, that’s ridiculous, i’m American, or white. That’s it. This shit pisses me off. I’m done.

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  21. ms says:

    I’m a little surprised that the player-manager has not reemerged. I mean, with the recent de-emphasis by many teams in feeling that managers need experience (and maybe rightly so) and that the job is mostly a motivator with his finger on the pulse…why not a player? Either a team’s superstar or a backup catcher type? Or whatever? If teams did this more going forward, it might lead to a demographic ratio among managers that more evenly reflected the ratio amongst players…but not neccessarily, of course.

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  22. Brian N says:

    what a pointless article

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  23. Max G says:

    I’ve been a lifelong Bluejays fan since the late 80’s. Cito was never known for being aggressive with baserunners, or creative with his lineups, or making any earth-shattering strategic decisions in game management. He did win 2 World Series, though, and was always highly regarded by players. Pat Gillick played a huge role in assembling those 1992 and 1993 championship Bluejays teams, which were very balanced with speed, power, defense, starting pitching, dominant bullpen, established leadership, and emerging young players. Something went very wrong with that team during the strike of 1994 that both the team and the city of Toronto, as baseball fans, have never truly recovered from. Cito’s laid back, hands-off style of managing was ineffective from 1994 forward.

    Was race a factor in why he failed to find another management job for the next 10 years? Based on the records of other individuals hired for management positions, it would be remiss to not consider race playing a role in his decade of solitude. That said, the only way to know for sure would be to ask Cito directly just how many managerial jobs he applied for over those 10 years.

    This is a basic element of the hiring process that is often overlooked by people jumping to conclusions about a particular race being under-represented in any industry, not just baseball. If there are x amount of managers in baseball, and y amount are minorities, then to determine the fairness in the hiring, I would want to compare the total number of applications from minorities with the total number of applications from non-minorities, and see of the percent of managerial candidates hired was similar, based on the number of applications.

    Let us say there are 11 managerial openings, and 110 applications are received for the positions.

    100 applications are from white males.
    10 applications are from latino males.

    11 people are hired. 10 whites, and 1 latino. At first glance, this may seem disproportional to the obvious percentages of latinos playing MLB. However, based on the number of applications received, the whites and latinos in this example would being hired at the exact same rate of acceptance – 10%.

    This is just a very simple example, but the point I’m trying to make is that to effectively evaluate the role of race in MLB hiring, one has to take into account the numbers of applicants at the most basic level first. Then delve into things like performance history, etc.

    Personally, I think managers should be hired strictly on past performance, or if they are inexperienced, are at least a former player that achieved coaching promise as a hitting instructor or something. Race should not be considered whatsoever, and if we start worrying about making up for past offenses from decades ago by hiring people based on their race, then the problem manifests itself all over again, but in a different way. Just my two cents.

    Oh, and I still haven’t forgiven Cito Gaston for trying to get John Olerud to pull the ball for more power back in 1994-1996. Go Jays!!!

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  24. guy above me is a clown says:

    cito is racist himself…
    why do you think fred lewis got so many at bats over travis snider….
    snider is better fielder, hitter, better future…

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    • Cito has often been criticized for not giving enough playing time to his young players, from Travis Snider and J.P. Arencibia to John Olerud, Shawn Green, and Carlos Delgado. His treatment of Snider this year has been extraordinarily questionable, but it fits into a pattern with his treatment of other rookies.

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