Ng Disappointed at Lack of Women in MLB

We’ve seen a lot of changes in baseball in the last few decades, but more than a half-century after the end of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the sport still often feels like an old boy’s club. In 2011, we’re seeing mixed signals pointing forward. Kim Ng, the highest-ranking baseball executive for nearly a decade, Assistant General Manager of the Yankees and then the Dodgers, recently accepted a job to work for Joe Torre as the Senior Vice President for Baseball Operations in the Commissioner’s office of Major League Baseball. And Justine Siegal, the first woman to coach a professional men’s baseball team — the 2009 Brockton Rox in Brockton, MA, unaffiliated with MLB or MiLB — this year became the first woman to throw batting practice in Major League spring training.

Every time a woman does something for the first time, it makes it easier for others to follow in their footsteps. “Things are definitely changing, but it’s slow,” says Siegal. “And that’s why the only way to keep my sanity is not to look at this experience for me as for the next generation coming up, paving the way. And that’s frustrating when we want the job.” The trouble is, there aren’t many women in the next levels of baseball. “I’m a little surprised that we haven’t seen more women come up in entry-level positions through the ranks, at this point in time,” Ng told me. “My only hope is that women do get recognized, and that we can put some programs in place to really at least get women into the system.”

Ng isn’t the only woman to reach the upper levels of a baseball front office. Jean Afterman is Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the Yankees; and Elaine Weddington Steward, the current Vice President and Club Counsel of the Red Sox, is the former Assistant General Manager of the Red Sox, the first African-American woman to hold that position. But Ng is the first woman to interview for a GM position, interviewing with the Dodgers in 2005, with the Mariners in 2008, and with the Padres in 2009. And that alone is significant to her: “If I had not interviewed for several General Manager positions, I would say maybe that position is closed off [to women] at this point. But I think with people being open-minded enough to give me an interview, I can’t say that there is any position at this point in the front office that is closed off.”

She has been an inspiration to women throughout the game. As Siegal told me, “For me, Kim Ng is like a rock star.” But Ng doesn’t see herself as a representation of women in baseball: she’s just herself. “I am who I am,” she said during a phone interview Wednesday. “I represent certain things in life and society and the game. I don’t feel lonely, though, because I don’t necessarily think, I’m a woman and therefore these things are going to be hard to achieve,” she says. “I think when you have a really positive outlook, I know there’s hundreds of thousands of people who would love to have my position, but don’t. So I’m very grateful for everything that I’ve been a recipient of.”

Ng has been uniquely prominent for the past decade, as essentially the only woman perceived as having a real shot at being the first female General Manager. And that’s exactly how she has been described, in news story after news story. “That’s just the great story, the convenient story, the easy story to write. And I’m going to have to live with that,” she says. To her, the worst part of those stories is that they couch the job as something that should be hers by right. “I think we’re downplaying the difficulty of these jobs,” she says. “Just because someone fails, that doesn’t mean it’s just because she’s a woman. I think we need to get a lot more women in the system. And then maybe one of them will be good enough.”

The current problem for women isn’t interest, but opportunity. “The fact that Justine Siegal is now, in 2011, the first women to throw batting practice for a major league team is amazing but sad,” says Notgraphs blogger Bethany Heck. “Baseball is one of the few sports that a woman could theoretically play at the same level as a man.” Siegal agrees, and has founded an organization called Baseball for All that sponsors girls’ baseball clinics, tournaments, and all-star teams. “There are so many girls, they don’t want to just be sitting and watching, they want to be in the game,” says Siegal. “And when you see me throwing BP, you see me in the game.”

But MLB may not yet think of women that way. Although a 2002 Gallup poll revealed that 37 percent of women followed baseball, MLB outreach to women thus far has been spotty at best. This March, baseball trumpeted a plan “to connect with its extensive female fan base”: expanding a partnership with Victoria’s Secret to produce the PINK collection, a line modeled by baseball fan Alyssa Milano featuring tee-shirts, sweats, hoodies and tank tops with team logos. Today the PINK collection is green for St. Patrick’s Day. They may do good business, but PINK is being marketed to a demographic more interested in looking cute than doing baseball analysis. (In my opinion, that disconnect was part of the subtext of the Rob Dibble controversy last summer.)

Still, perceptions in baseball are changing, and not just perceptions of women. When Kim Ng became the Assistant GM of the Yankees in 1997, she was a 29-year old who had never played major or minor league baseball — two seemingly insurmountable black marks in the old boys’ club that used to constitute the GM community. Then youth took control. Randy Smith was made GM of the Padres in 1993 at the tender age of 29, the youngest GM ever hired. Then, in the past 10 years, the youth movement has quickened. Doug Miller wrote an article for MLB.com in February 2010 noting that 15 of the 30 then-GMs were hired at 40 or younger; since then, Mark Shapiro has moved up and Josh Byrnes has been fired, replaced by 36-year old Chris Antonetti and 50-year old Kevin Towers, who first became a GM at the age of 34.

Former Mets blogger Jessica Bader sees Ng as a part of that movement: “I definitely find Ng and Siegal’s stories to be inspirational, and I think that Ng’s rise through the front-office ranks is particularly interesting in how it ties into the larger story of baseball welcoming people with credentials other than “former player” as front-office personnel.” But for the moment, other than Ng, not many of those credentialed people are women. Ng mentioned one such up-and-comer, MIT graduate Helen Zelman, who worked as a scouting coordinator in Josh Byrnes’s front office in Arizona from 2006 to 2010. But Byrnes got fired and Zelman now works with a tech company called Lemnos Labs.

Ng is excited to be in the Commissioner’s office and involved in making baseball policy, and believes the experience will make her an even better candidate for General Manager in the future. Her new boss, Joe Torre, has long felt she was qualified to be a GM, and three years ago, he said, “I hope to hell it happens.” In her current post, she will undoubtedly be an asset to the league and the sport. But it’s a shame there are so few other women in prominent positions in baseball. For a decade, Ng has been viewed as a deserving candidate for the highest positions in the sport. It’s time that baseball started hiring more deserving women to the lowest positions. As Ng says, “It’s just a matter of getting them in the game. They’re out there. I know they’re out there.”




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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.


440 Responses to “Ng Disappointed at Lack of Women in MLB”

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  1. RC says:

    I’m sure there are some issues, but I’d bet a very significant part of this “problem” is that as a general statement, there are a lot more men interested in sports (and hence sports management, etc), than their are women.

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    • Yirmiyahu says:

      There seem to be several different groups that people are arguing about in this thread. There’s the gap between men-who-can-play-baseball-at-the-MLB-level vs women-who-can-play-baseball-at-the-MLB-level (which may be 100% / 0%, and is totally irrelevant to this article). There’s the gap between male baseball fans and female baseball fans (which is something like 60% / 40%). There’s the gap between men-who-are-qualified-to-be-coaches-and-managers and women-who-are-qualified-to-be-coaches-and-managers (which may be closer to 99% / 1%, because managers and coaches tend to come from the ranks of ex-MLBers).

      And finally, there’s the gap between men-who-are-qualified-to-be-baseball-GM’s-and-executives and women-who-are-qualified-to-be-baseball-GM’s-and-executives. This is the group that the article is largely discussing. And if you look at the successful, modern, sabermetrically-inclined GM’s and baseball execs, they tend to be highly educated, business-oriented young guys who never played baseball. In other words, there’s absolutely no reason that women should make up a larger proportion of that group. Even if there’s an enthusiasm gap in baseball fans (say, women only make up 10% of hardcore, knowledgeable fans), that still doesn’t explain it. Of the hundreds of these positions (think of all the team front offices, plus all the league officials), I believe there are only 3 females.

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      • RC says:

        “. Even if there’s an enthusiasm gap in baseball fans (say, women only make up 10% of hardcore, knowledgeable fans), that still doesn’t explain it..”

        I’d argue that the number is closer to 1% than 10%. Which would perfectly explain it.

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  2. Clark says:

    How the hell do you pronounce Ng?

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  3. Bill says:

    Are you crying?

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  4. oh dear says:

    How can you have a player go into a guaranteed slump once a month? Who in their right mind would sign that contract?

    At some point “equality” has to begin to mean “most qualified for the job” and not “same amount of men and women”.

    -67 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Of course “equality” should mean “most qualified for the job.” I’m asserting that there are women qualified for jobs in baseball.

      +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        In the front office and staff, yeah, probably.

        On the field? I doubt it, and thats what hes talking about.

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      • Don Parnell says:

        How can any women be qualified. No women can even play major league baseball. How do you expect women who have never been in the trenches to be a general manager.

        -82 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • As of the writing of this 2009 article, “Of the 14 general managers in the American League, only three played in the major leagues – the Orioles’ Mike Flanagan, the White Sox’ Kenny Williams and the Athletics’ Billy Beane. Anthopoulos becomes the sixth AL GM 40 years of age or younger, joining the Red Sox’ Theo Epstein, the Angels’ Tony Reagins, the Twins’ Bill Smith, the Rays’ Andrew Friedman and the Rangers’ Jon Daniels.”

        +36 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Johnny Guitar says:

        Well, Don, current General Manager Sandy Alderson never played professional baseball, but his first go-round as GM resulted in a World Series win and three pennants with the A’s.

        +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Johnny Guitar says:

      Maybe I misunderstood, but are you really trying to use the menstruation argument against women in baseball? Are you sure you want to go down this road?

      That, and you’re missing the point on equality. No one is arguing that baseball teams should be 50/50 on gender.

      +19 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Yirmiyahu says:

      Your first paragraph is the worst comment I’ve ever seen on fangraphs.

      Your second paragraph is entirely true. And its exactly what the women who are the subject of this piece are asking for and deserve. The percentage of women who are employed as coaches, managers, and in the front offices of professional baseball is probably less than 0.01%. They may not deserve (i.e., are the most qualified person for) 50% of those positions, but they certainly deserve a bigger number than they have now.

      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        “but they certainly deserve a bigger number than they have now.”

        What evidence for that assertion do you have? Are you insinuating that having experience in professional baseball as a player isn’t valuable as a manager?

        There’s always going to be significanlty less women working in baseball than men, because there’s probably never going to be any women playing professional baseball.

        -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Eric says:

        Yes but significantly doesn’t mean 99.99% of the whole

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      • fredsbank says:

        “…they certainly deserve…”

        this is fangraphs, a stat site, so put up or shut up

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    • Preston says:

      Wow… yes I’m sure that menstruating renders all women incapable of rational thought. Way to show that misogyny is in no way still prevalent today and causing women to have lesser opportunity in traditionally male positions.

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  5. guest says:

    I’m pretty sure that there aren’t too many women that can throw a baseball 90-95MPH. The only female pitchers I could see are knuckleballers and perhaps submariners. (less likely) For position players, maybe a second baseman or shortstop could do it, but I believe that women in general have much weaker arms than men. The decreased speed and subsequent lack of range would hinder women. I’m willing to be corrected, but since women generally have less upper body strength than men, wouldn’t that mean that they couldn’t hit with power. There has to be a correlation between upper body strength and bat speed.

    -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of general managers who can’t throw a baseball 90-95MPH. That isn’t a qualification for the job. Nor should it be.

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      • RC says:

        Alex, you should read people’s posts before you respond to them. This is the 2nd post in this thread where the person is clearly talking about PLAYING PROFESSIONALLY and you’re talking about the front office.

        -18 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mario Mendoza says:

        RC you should read ARTICLES before making posts. This article is about front office jobs.

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      • RC says:

        I didn’t quote the article, did I?

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      • Black Swan says:

        Well, there is a point in the article that states Siegal (who is a significant focus of this article) agrees with the opinion that women can theoretically play baseball (why the theoretically?) at the same level as men. That is a ridiculous viewpoint and if someone wants to call it out that’s fine. This is fangraphs after all.

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    • Jono411 says:

      i think the article’s about women working in front offices, not playing in mlb

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    • Tomas says:

      Men are probably physically stronger in general, but what makes you think that’s an absolute prerequisite for being good at baseball? There are plenty of women who are probably as strong as someone like Tim Lincecum or Dustin Pedroia (or as fat as Bartolo Colon…). Being a successful pitcher, or hitter, isn’t dependent on raw strength like, say, playing pro football/hockey would be.

      There are no women in baseball because women are never allowed to play baseball for some reason. Learning to play softball from an early age gives you a totally different skill set, because it’s a totally different (more pointless) sport.

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      • Tomas says:

        (Also, there are plenty of female athletes who are much faster/stronger than a lot of baseball players. Just because women in general are physically weaker doesn’t mean they all are…)

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      • RC says:

        “There are plenty of women who are probably as strong as someone like Tim Lincecum or Dustin Pedroia ”

        And there are millions of men like that. Pedroia and Lincecum are extremely talented.

        Lets say that 1 in 1 million 5’10 180lb men has the reflexes to play professional baseball. We’ll assume women have the same ratio.

        Whats that leave you, a couple thousand men on earth who are physically suited? A couple dozen women?

        Now, of those couple dozen who are physically suited, how many have the talent, drive, and desire?

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    • Jacob says:

      Fewer women can throw a ball 90-95 MPH because they are never in a position to. Sports are segragated by sex by the time kids are in elementary school. Men are pushed into baseball, women into softball. They aren’t trained to play baseball from a very young age the way men are.

      The second point revolves are competition level. Yes, given a completely level playing field, there will be many more men in baseball than women. But, assuming an equal level of competition throughout their lives, the notion that no women would ever be good enough to make it to the majors is just absurd.

      The Frailty Myth by Colette Dowling spells out why you’re wrong in pretty clear terms.

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      • fothead says:

        Good enough isn’t the issue, as was said it would have to be good enough with wants to. Not every good male athelete chooses baseball.

        If training was the detrmining factor here, why do men and women tennis players not compete for the same titles? Golfers? Olympics? Equal training/opportunity has existed in those sports for years.

        I suppose it COULD be a large scale conspiracy to keep women from being seen as equals. Or it could also be because they simply aren’t as good of atheletes at the highest levels of competitive sport.

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      • JoeC says:

        Ding, ding, ding! Fothead has it right. There are intrinsic differences between men and women.

        Jacob is the modern male, however, emasculated by a feminist education into thinking that men and women are JUST THE SAME. They’re not.

        -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • bluechipper says:

        I’ll have to vehemently disagree with you, Jacob. Do you realize how good you have to be to reach the major leagues? About 0.01% of male baseball players have even a chance to sniff the majors. The majors are the elite of the elite.

        I’m quite sure that there are many women who are better than many men at playing baseball, but that’s not the issue. There are probably even some women who are better than MOST men. But again, that’s not going to get it done. Unless there are women who are in the 99.99999th percentile at playing baseball, the notion that there are women who ARE good enough to play MLB is the one that is absurd.

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  6. CircleChange11 says:

    I’m a big supporter of equality and opportunities, and have no problem speaking my mind regardless of the stink it will make.

    But, this is a non-issue to me. Complete non-issue.

    I find the comment about it being okay in MLB, but not NFL (or something like that) because women can “theoretically” compete with men on the baseball field. “Theoretically” lots of stuff can happen.

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    • Joe P. says:

      I’m not sure what you were trying to say with that last paragraph, but you’re referring to a quote from another writer within the article. I don’t think that quote detracts from the piece for whatever criticism you were attempting to articulate.

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  7. MrKnowNothing says:

    If women could compete with men, they would compete with men.

    Some woman would have said, “Screw it, i can crack a homer 450 feet and I wouldn’t mind making millions to do it” and then gone ahead and done it.

    And she would have caught a lot of crap and there’d be sexism and a media storm and all that, but it still would have happened. Or, at the least, someone would have tried to make it happen (credibly tried). That hasn’t happened. No one’s even come close.

    Women simply cannot physically compete with men. Not at the highest level. On your average softball game or something? Sure. Against a guy like me? Sure. Against Albert Pujols? Come on now.

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    • fredsbank says:

      i get your point, and i would give you a +1 except for the fact that very few professional baseball players, let alone men in general, can compete with albert pujols

      ah hell, i’ll give it to ya anyway

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    • Tomas says:

      You are a fool.

      Baseball players don’t just decide one day in their mid-20s, “Baseball looks fun, I’m going to go be good at that.” You have to get into it at an early age, and women are never have an opportunity to play serious baseball (i.e. high school/college level) because it’s always softball instead; totally different sport.

      Also, I’m not sure why people think it takes some super-athlete to be a really good pitcher, for example. There are plenty of guys who are in horrendous shape and still successful as major league pitchers.

      +17 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • My echo and bunnymen says:

        This.

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      • MrKnowNothing says:

        And women couldn’t play on the high school team because….?

        We see stories about women wanting to play football (the high profile kicker from Colorado, for example), why not baseball? I can recall one woman who tried to pitch in the minors and it didn’t go well at all.

        And, there IS a degree of physicality to pitching. Do you live in a fantasy world where people who throw 100 just develop that over the years? Some mysterious land where if I’d started pitching at 6 and stuck with it I could’ve been the next Lincecum? Muscles and tendons and blah blah blah.

        Tim Lincecum is (as the playoffs reminded us every day) all of about 160 lbs and he’s one of the smallest players/pitchers in the game. A 160 woman would be a pretty good sized woman. In fact, that’d be a very good sized woman if she wasn’t somewhat overweight.

        And he’s the low end of the spectrum. He is, alas, a freak of sorts. Most pitchers and most players are big guys. Baseball players are 200+lb 6’3 guys who do things most people can’t – and those are the guys who suck in AA.

        There simply aren’t enough women of the same size to field a large enough pool from which to draw. Setting aside that women may simply not be interested in baseball to the same degree, even if there was a 50/50 split in interest, men would still GREATLY out number women at any level.

        Seriously, how many high school girls could compete with a Bryce Harper? Because THAT is the high school kid that makes it to the pros.

        Heavens, there are very few men that can compete with these guys at any level.

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      • matt w says:

        And women couldn’t play on the high school team because….?

        We see stories about women wanting to play football (the high profile kicker from Colorado, for example)….

        Well, Katie Hnida (that kicker) has said that she was raped by one of her teammates and harassed by others. Perhaps part of the reason that more women don’t try out for traditionally male sports teams is that they reasonably fear the treatment they would have to endure if they did.

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      • Everett says:

        At the small high school I teach at, there are two girls on the HS baseball team. One of them is terrible, and doesn’t play ever. The other is decent, and gets a little bit of playing time as a junior. No reason it couldn’t happen at some point with a supremely talented young woman. The problem is, its a long way from HS to the majors.

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      • JoeC says:

        Matt W, how about instead of blaming it on men, we instead realize the physical differences between the 2 sexes and move on?

        I have no idea why everything MUST be integrated. What exactly is wrong with sports played by just men and sports played by just women? Seriously, what is intrinsically wrong with that?

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      • matt w says:

        Matt W, how about instead of blaming it on men, we instead realize the physical differences between the 2 sexes and move on?

        What is your problem? Seriously, are you mentally ill? A woman who tries to join a team is allegedly raped and harassed by her teammates and your reaction is “Don’t blame it on men”? How does that make sense?

        The differences between the sexes may be such that a woman could never make it on a men’s team even if they were treated as equals. But if the women who try are raped and harassed, then we’ll never fucking find out, will we?

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  8. Locke says:

    “Baseball is one of the few sports that a woman could theoretically play at the same level as a man.”

    Top 10 dumbest things I’ve read in a while.

    And I could theoretically do math faster than a computer, if I had a processor in my brain. Also, blue could theoretically be green, if it emitted a different wavelength of light.

    What I THINK she is trying to say is that: if you trained every boy and every girl from birth to play baseball, you would see a decent mix of men and women in the majors. If you believe that, however, you would be delusional. You might see a couple pitchers, maybe a middle infielder or two. But if you are really training ALL children to play baseball… sorry, but I don’t think any girls are going to make it.

    As for Ng:

    I don’t quite know how to put to words what I think about her story…

    It boils down to this: Getting a job in baseball is hard. Why is it hard? Well millions of little kids grow up loving it more than anything in the world. It just so happens most of these kids are male. So, what the hell are you complaining about? The fact that there are handful of women that have front office jobs is amazing, and the fraction of women in baseball to women who want jobs in baseball, is probably HIGHER than the ratio of men in baseball to men who want jobs in baseball.

    “It’s just a matter of getting them in the game. They’re out there. I know they’re out there.”

    What does this even mean? Are you a Jehovah’s Witness, trying to convert women to work in baseball? No one is discriminating against women, if that’s what she’s implying. If anything, these days it’s the opposite.

    Now, if she wants to promote baseball for girls to play as kids… that is a completely different issue, and one I would support wholeheartedly. The rest is nonsense.

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    • “The fact that there are handful of women that have front office jobs is amazing, and the fraction of women in baseball to women who want jobs in baseball, is probably HIGHER than the ratio of men in baseball to men who want jobs in baseball.”

      Do you have any data for this assertion? Kim Ng and Justine Siegal have argued that there are many, many women who would love jobs in baseball. Yet there are extraordinarily few women who have jobs in baseball operations.

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      • RC says:

        “Kim Ng and Justine Siegal have argued that there are many, many women who would love jobs in baseball. ”

        I’m sure there are, but the vast majority of them have no relevant experience or skills, just as the vast majority of men who would love jobs in baseball have no relevant skills or experience.

        There’s no evidence to his assertion, but there’s no evidence that its wrong either.

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      • Jono411 says:

        “Kim Ng and Justine Siegal have argued that there are many, many women who would love jobs in baseball. ”

        yes, but there are many, many, many, many, many…many, many, many men who would love jobs in baseball. at the end of the day, Locke probably doesn’t have data for his assertion (neither do I, and I doubt anybody really does), but I’m pretty sure Ng doesn’t either.given what i know about the sample of men and women that i personally know, i think that Locke is more likely right than wrong. do you have any evidence (even anecdotal) that he’s wrong?

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      • Alex is a dope says:

        I’m pretty sure there a lots of women that would like to be CEO’s for fortune 500 companies that do not get the opportunity for those jobs either. Even though they are qualified.

        Go write an article about that, it has slightly more importance than a couple of back office mlb jobs.

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      • Locke says:

        Honestly, Alex. Let’s have a thought experiment here:

        Let’s imagine all the men in the world that love baseball and want to work in baseball. Now let’s look at the amount of women who love baseball and want to work in baseball.

        Now, let’s look at the all of the people who have jobs in baseball…. do you truly think it’s out of whack?

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      • BlackOps says:

        There are a lot of men who want jobs in baseball. I’d say proportionately, there are still extraordinary few men who have jobs in baseball operations. I’m not sure how you could disagree with that.

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      • “There are a lot of men who want jobs in baseball. I’d say proportionately, there are still extraordinary few men who have jobs in baseball operations. I’m not sure how you could disagree with that.”

        I don’t disagree with that. I just disagree with the assertion that women don’t have those jobs because women don’t want those jobs.

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      • RC says:

        ” I just disagree with the assertion that women don’t have those jobs because women don’t want those jobs”

        Did anyone make that assertion? He said LESS women want those jobs than men. Its a valid assertion. You’re fighting a strawman.

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      • Eric says:

        How much less? 99% less?

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      • Liem says:

        I’m not sure I understand the arguments presented by people who are saying that there are more men interested in baseball than women, and therefore there should be an extreme bias in favor of men when it comes to representation in employment. I have never heard of a GM or any front office executive being hired based on the his interest or enthusiasm for baseball. GMs and front office execs are hired for their business skills, i.e. how well they manage and allocate the organization’s financial resources. This is why so few GMs are former professional players themselves, yet many, like Tampa’s Andrew Friedman, come from the business world or have business-related education/training.

        How many other multi-billion dollar businesses have such disparate levels of representation for men and women? Even other “genderized” industries like the automobile and video game industries, have more comparable rates.

        In short, MLB should not be looking to hire women for front office positions per se, but should be choosing among a larger pool of qualified candidates with sound investment experience and the ability to learn about baseball. In doing so, they will invariably encounter more women fit for the job. The fact that they have not hired more women indicates that their candidate pool is far too small.

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      • Telo says:

        @Liem

        Baseball jobs require baseball knowledge. Corporate jobs require corporate knowledge. The two are very different. There are way more men with baseball knowledge than women.

        You’re confusing causation with correlation.

        IT’S JUST LIKE BASEBALL STATS OMG BRAIN EXPLOSION

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    • Tomas says:

      Why are some people so insecure about the fact that there are some ridiculously good women athletes? Baseball is a finesse game, and if you don’t think women are physically capable of playing it at a very high level, you know nothing about the sport.

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      • Bhaakon says:

        I don’t know if that’s true. The female record in Javelin is over 26 meters short of the men’s record, despite benefiting from a javelin that’s nearly a half pound lighter.

        Baseball may appear to be a finesse game, but that’s only within the slim population of people who are physically gifted enough to perform on the major league level. Even Jamie Moyer would be a power pitcher in the context of the broader population (or even just the population of men who played baseball at the highschool varsity level and higher). I think the fact that we’re seeing profession ball players play against one another really disguises the fact that they’re all, to a man, genetic freaks on the bleeding edge of human performance in at least some limited way, even the ones with massive guts.

        +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ryan says:

        What you’re saying is simply false. There is a ton of physicality to Baseball.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Anon says:

        If you think a woman could play at the major league level, then YOU know nothing about the sport.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Telo says:

        Yea. Take a look at Mike Stanton and tell me if baseball is a finesse game.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rafael Belliard amassed more than 2500 plate appearances in his career. Not every major leaguer is built like Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Telo says:

        I’m sure there are a couple women in the world that could compete in the bigs… but if you think there are more than that, you’re crazy. Which, by the look of your comments in this thread, you are.

        Unless you are just trying to get some sympathy hookup points… which I completely understand. I mean, chicks dig the sensitive guys.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • If you would like to mention a single crazy thing I said in the post or in this thread, I’d be happy to respond.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        Rafiel Belliard is one of the smallest players ever to play the game. And hes still probably faster and stronger than 99% of women.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. MrKnowNothing says:

    Which, I should add, has NOTHING to do with whether a woman could be a GM. A woman could absolutely run a team.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Max says:

    Alex — first off, file this one with your hockey article in the folder titled “Complete Crap”.

    Secondly, the only way there will be more women working in MLB is if they start to have cheerleaders.

    Tell Ng, they should start letting ball girls down left/right field lines chase down foul balls in bikini’s, that’ll also increase the female/male ratio working in MLB.

    -55 Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. fly eli says:

    Maybe we should point out that they’ll just need time off to have babies…. oh, wait, I’m a dude and I’m out on 12 wk paternity leave now… maybe that’s not a difference.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. CircleChange11 says:

    The part I don’t like is the semi-justification that there be more women as GM’s of baseball teams because they can theoretically compete with men in that sport.

    If Ng was trying to become a GM in the NFL, I cannot imagine that she would take “women cannot compete with men on the football field” as a valid reason as to why she’s not a GM.

    She’d be better off pointing out that it’s not a requirement of the job.

    A woman could be a successful GM in baseball, but that has nothing to do with them being able to compete physically or not.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Alex says:

    How come whenever I go to a SABR convention it is mainly a sausage party if there are all these women interested in baseball? Samething with the baseball card shows I attend.

    Where are these women, and more importantly, are they HOT!

    -14 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Locke says:

      Hahahaha. A beer for this man!

      -10 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • “Where are these women, and more importantly, are they HOT!”

      That’s exactly the attitude that keeps baseball an old boys’ club.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        Or it could be the simpler explanation:

        More men like baseball and statistics than women.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Alex says:

        Alex – Are you implying that if Ng was hotter that she’d have gotten a job as a GM by now? I have never seen what she looks like, can you grade her on a 1 to 10 scale for us?

        -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fredsbank says:

        or it could be: women can’t play baseball at a level competitive with men

        -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ryan says:

        That is just the way the world works, get used to it. For a women, the more attractive they are, the better chance at succeeding. That will not change in our lifetimes.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        Attractiveness works for men too. So does being tall.

        Obese people are among the most underpaid (when compared to peers), regardless of gender. No one is taking a stand for “fatty” or whatever unfavorable term people might throw out in jest. Matter of fact, seems like in that case people just pile on with the insults, blame, etc.

        Being good looking has rarely, if ever, hurt a man or woman’s chances at success. I have also noticed that it just doesn’t seem to be males bosses that will give an employee or applicant more attention/consideration if they happen to be attractive or in shape.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bryz says:

        @ CircleChange11

        There was a study done that found that overweight men are paid more than skinny men, while the opposite is true for women. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/08/earlyshow/health/main6938941.shtml

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fothead says:

        What is there something wrong now with men liking attractive women? Is that somwhow sexist? Stop it you’re embarassing yourself.

        Guess what in case you didn’t know, women like thinking we think they look hot. Unless they like women, in which case they like thnking women think they look hot.

        -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. OzzieGuillen says:

    The piece mentioned the survey results that showed 37% of women follow baseball, but in what way are they following it? How many Fangraphs readers/contributors are female? Less than 1%? Of all the female fans I know, none of them are interested in anything beyond watching games. If they are interested in baseball, finance, statistics, and scouting, then great, they should be able to pursue such a career path without discrimination.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Eric says:

      a HUGE majority of male fans are also casual fans.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fredsbank says:

        ok, lets say 100 million people in america are “fans” of baseball
        lets also say the gender breakdown of that is 80/20, not unreasonable i would think

        lets say a “huge majority” is 66%? it’s good enough for the US senate to amend the constitution, so it should be good enough for this.

        66% of 80 million 52,800,000 “casual fans,” leaving 27.2 million “advanced fans” or whatever word you want to use

        that’s still more that the TOTAL of females in this experiment

        in real life now, i’ve met not 10 people who are what could be called sabermetrically inclined, and i’m a junior in college. but, none of them have been women (or i would be married to them)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. CircleChange11 says:

    One of the unwritten rules for being a professional coach is professional experience. Some of the reasons for this are good reasons.

    Namely, being able to talk to players from a “been there and know what you’re going through” point of view.

    First-hand experience and knowledge is valuable. Having the players be willing to listen to the coach is a requirement. I don’t think that having female coaches is more important than having coaches with first-hand experience.

    The GM job is different because of the role and requirements.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bhaakon says:

      Exactly. From a managerial perspective, the most important part of the job is gaining the respect of your players. There are other important parts of the job, of course, but none of them matter if your players think you’re incompetent This is difficult for managers who were never players, it’s virtually impossible (probably literally, at least at this point in history) for women.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. CircleChange11 says:

    Is it just me or does it seem like Ng’s issue is that SHE doesn’t have a GM job, not necessarily that more women do not have FO jobs?

    Has she read the account of Voros McCracken?

    Tough business.

    If we’re dealing with proportions, how many women ‘should’ be GMs?

    -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ng wants to be a GM, but she isn’t complaining. She’s just working hard and waiting patiently for the next opportunity to come around. She wants more women to get opportunities to get jobs in baseball, but she believes that there’s a problem of perception for many men. And I think she’s right, just to look at many of the men who commented on this article.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Max says:

        Really? Cause she sounds like she has her panties all in a bunch to me.

        Not doing much to lose the drama queen label.

        Kinda seems like she is having all her girlfriends over for a pity party.

        -34 Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. williams .482 says:

    about physical capability, yes women would, for the most part, be wore than men. but not always.

    https://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/18876

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • It’s a fascinating story. It’s also worth remembering: Commissioner Landis banned women from playing major league baseball in 1931.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Danmay says:

      That’s an incredible story that I can’t believe I hadn’t heard before.

      For those that are interested in more about Jackie Mitchell her wiki page is here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Mitchell_(baseball)

      After striking out Ruth and Gehrig in an exhibition game her contract was voided because baseball was “too strenuous” for women.

      This reminded me of women in marathons. Women were excluded from marathons (or at least the more famous ones, including the Olympics). The most cited reason: their bodies couldn’t handle the stress.
      http://www.marathonguide.com/history/olympicmarathons/chapter25.cfm

      Now we know that for running there is not a very large difference between men and women.
      http://www.sportsscientists.com/2007/10/women-vs-men-part-iii-women-find-their_11.html

      Of course I’m not saying that baseball and running can be compared. I’m just saying that our preconceived notions, even when built on a lifetime of expiriences, are often not reflective of reality.

      +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • fredsbank says:

      the best part of that is when you click on the link to the HoF article about it, and you get a 404 error

      besides, i bet a shitty male pitcher struck out ruth and gehrig at least a couple of times, lets not call this chick a female carl hubbell or anything

      -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tomas says:

        You don’t have to be a Hall of Fame-caliber pitcher to play in the major leagues, you dolt.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fredsbank says:

        clearly you’ve missed my point, which was that, and i quote, “i bet a shitty male pitcher struck out ruth and gehrig at least a couple of times”

        it’s just that they’re invoking carl hubbell in the 1934(?) ASG with this chick, on quite a questionable source. forgive me if i doubt that a small girl struck out ruth and gehrig.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • It’s a famous story, Fredsbank. History is not up for debate.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. williams .482 says:

    and no, that is not my blog, or the blog of anyone who I know.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Eric says:

    Interesting. Personally I think women can definitely work inside baseball, if we’re limiting it down to baseball operations. If they’re qualified, let ‘em do the job.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Danmay says:

    Thanks for the article Alex.

    My girlfriend and I have had numerous discussions about women in sports, and specifically the baseball/softball divide. The one thing that we both realized in our conversations was that we were discussing it rather hypothetically, and that we didn’t really understand the actual environment that women are facing. Basically, any good article about women in baseball is appreciated from me.

    I’m actually a little shocked by the general sentiment in the comments here, because it is a lot different from what recently went on over at Athletics Nation.

    For those that are interested…

    We talked about the role of women in baseball at Athletics Nations here:
    http://www.athleticsnation.com/2011/2/23/2008895/the-role-of-women-in-baseball

    David Laurila at Baseball Prospectus interviewed Justine Siegal here:
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9809

    and there is a really cool article at Yahoo about the first time that a varsity high school baseball game featured two female starting pitchers here:
    http://www.thepostgame.com/node/747

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Thanks for those links, Danmay. I had seen the BP interview with Siegal, but I hadn’t seen the discussion at Athletics Nation or the Yahoo! article.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Liem says:

      Danmay,
      Thanks for bringing up softball. Since so many people have commented on the fact that women do not play baseball and therefore should be drastically underrepresented (99% -1%) in front-office positions, I’d like for someone to explain why there are so many male coaches in women’s fast-pitch softball? I don’t mean to say that these male coaches do not deserve their jobs, but instead I’d like to point to things:

      1. Playing experience does not necessarily equate to managerial skills. In the case of GMs and execs, playing experience certainly does not equate to business skills.

      2. Management and executive positions follow the same gender bias that governs much of our society: men govern men and women, women can govern women but rarely men. Even in sports like basketball, which in the lower levels is taught in a very similar way for both genders, female coaches for boys is a rarity, yet males frequently coach the girls.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. Dan says:

    I am sure there are plenty of women that want a high paying job in baseball, but from what I can tell there are 2 ways to get that job. 1 be an explayer. 2 wwork your way up from the bery bottom. So how many women want to make crap money in tiresome jobs for .75 of their career for a 1% shot at such a job?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Alex says:

    Ignore general fans. What do you think the proportion of men to women commenting on Fangraphs is? On The Book Blog? How many females compared to males are relevant figures in the sabermetric community? There simply don’t seem to be that many women that are *that* interested in baseball on an in-depth level (in a particularly mathy/statistics-y way.) Similarly, I would be surprised if sports economic blogs weren’t dominated by males.

    The “good old boys club” might have been applicable 20 years ago, when more FO types were idiots, but I doubt it’s sexism today that’s keeping females from ascending FO ladders. Rather, I think it’s that there are vastly, vastly, vastly more males with anything close to the requisite interest and qualifications. I strongly believe, and would wager a huge hypothetical sum of money, on the assertion that a completely equivalent female candidate would get a boost because diversity and equality are held in such esteem today.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jlive says:

      Uh huh. Read back through the comments from the perspective of a woman and tell me that there isn’t some pretty rampant sexism here.

      +17 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Alex says:

        A lot of the comments are (to borrow someone else’s word) troglodytic. However, I don’t think that accurately reflects the typical fangraphs/saber environment, which I think is very not-sexist with its focus on objectivity, numbers, etc. I’d think that’s even more so in (most) FOs, many of which are run like any other business/corporation, meaning a severe intolerance for sexism (that could lead to lawsuits.)

        Though the modern FO is more (obviously) more finance-oriented than baseball oriented, I’d say a lot of (most?) FO people still have a very specialized interest in and knowledge of baseball – which (my argument is) puts them in a male-dominated population even within the already male-dominated population of “CEO-types” with the requisite financial knowledge and qualifications. I would love to see a qualified female as a baseball GM; all else constant, I value diversity. But it seems to me that the burden of proving the article’s thesis – that the qualified, desiring women are out there and not getting hired – should be on Remington, especially given Ng’s extremely favorable reception by MLB. And I’m not convinced by superficial statistics – such as the percentage of women that follow baseball – as relevant gauges of interest, hence my citing the (extremely) male-dominated saber community as a measure I find more telling.

        Finally, “Baseball is one of the few sports that a woman could theoretically play at the same level as a man” was a stupid, distracting line to include in the article. Even if Remington believes it’s true (for the record, I fall on the ‘not even close to true’ end of the spectrum, with a potential exception for a female knuckleballer), it’s distracting and is only going to brook disagreement.

        As a general conclusion, I don’t think this article was well-suited to Fangraphs. It makes very little in the way of an objective case supporting its thesis, utilizing anecdotal evidence (females pitching BP?), speculation, and quotations from relevant parties rather than any sort of meaningful systematic approach. I’m not unreceptive to being convinced by some sort of relevant analysis, but, to borrow a phrase, “summary opinions without evidence are bullshit.”

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TLD says:

      Just throwing this out there, we have a grand total of one (1) active female contributor at Over The Monster.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bryz says:

        Thank you for teaching me that one is the same as 1. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to go let Rebecca Black teach me the days of the week.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Tomas says:

      The percentage of men on any online website is going to be very high. Also, the type of people who read Fangraphs and The Book regularly are for the most part totally different than the type of people who actually end up doing something like working in a front office.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Cliff says:

        Ridiculous. Many websites have majority female readership. Laughable to suggest the interests/skillsets of readers of this blog are not similar to front office types.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. BillWallace says:

    Feminism is a symptom of the disease of decadence that afflicts ‘western’ culture.
    Extreme ‘equality of outcomes’ feminism is like a late stage cancerous version of that symptom.

    One power of the disease is that decades of one stage prepare the host for the next. Someone advancing this idea 40 years ago would be thought of as a crackpot. Now to some it seems reasonable. In the same vein, someone afflicted will think of that change of attitudes over 40 years as progress. Well it is progress…. progress towards cultural death.

    It’s really quite simple… women and men are genetically different in many obvious and subtle and important ways. These differences lead to different aptitudes and attitudes, which in turn lead to different outcomes. Always have, always will.

    -37 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jlive says:

      So Bill, just for the record, you are opposed to women being allowed to own property, vote, hold political office, get an education, marry if and when they choose, use birth control if they want to, travel where they want without the permission of a man, etc.?!?

      Cause if you are opposed to feminism, then you are opposed to basic freedoms for women.

      +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BillWallace says:

        For the record. From the perspective of the state (i.e. law)
        No, yes, yes, no, n/a as marriage shouldn’t be a legal matter, no, no, etc.

        And your last sentence is false under any reasonable definition of basic freedoms.

        These are just the answers I’d give in regards to law. I support the right of any family/culture to persuade their women (or men) to do or not do any of those things without positive or negative legal interference. In other words, I reserve the right to raise my daughters the way I choose in these matters.

        Despite my answers above, if feminism stopped at giving women the vote and political office, then that would be fine. But unfortunately that’s like saying if heroin stopped at the high it would be a great drug. Nice to dream about, but the reality is you end up face down in a gutter.

        -29 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe P. says:

        BillWallace:

        That you’d openly espouse such ignorance is astounding. Equating advocacy for basic women’s rights with ‘cultural death’? Gosh, how American culture has died since the grand patriarchy so graciously bestowed upon women the privileges – not rights, as you’ve posited – of enfranchisement and the ability to hold office. That, and not ignoramuses such as yourself, is totally rending the fabric of our nation.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Tomas says:

      Well, your post does confirm that men are generally much dumber, I guess…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. jlive says:

    Great piece by Alex. Shockingly troglodytic comments from the peanut gallery. Shame.

    +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. Fredi Gonzalez, the new skipper of the Atlanta Braves, never played above AA. But he’s won 276 games in the major leagues as a manager.

    Clearly, major league experience is not the only important criterion to consider.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Max says:

      Are you saying he played AA ball? which would put him where, in the top 1% of 1% of all people anywhere that played baseball?

      Alex, did your wife make you write this article?

      -16 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • RK says:

      really? that proves it? what kind of evidence is that? i’d content that a computer would have a superior long term winning % given equal resources than the average MLB manager, but a monkey could accumulate more wins. Brady Anderson hit 50 homers in a year. does that prove sideburns improve power?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • RC says:

      Playing AA is more experience than any female candidate has ever had.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeC says:

      Idiotic comment. No one said that a baseball coach needs to have major league experience. The only claim I’ve seen is that a coach should have BASEBALL-PLAYING experience (and I’m not talking about Little League!).

      Another strawman from Alex.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Heather says:

    Thank you for writing this article.

    As a female who enjoys baseball and also was involved in a male dominated profession, I can relate.

    I also find most of these comments very interesting, specifically the fact that although the women say there is not a level playing field (and I happen to agree), most men insist that there is.

    Just because there isn’t overt sexism doesn’t mean there isn’t still a problem in terms of people’s attitudes and perceptions.

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Alex says:

      Heather is a dude.

      -16 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • RC says:

      “most men insist that there is. ”

      I haven’t seen a single post insisting that.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Elias says:

        @RC – reread the above. there are many many comments, some legitimate, and some blatantly sexist, with the explicit claim of a level playing field.

        i have no evidence one way or the other, excepting the weight of history, which has consistently excluded women from non-service oriented careers of all kinds. i see no reason to think that MLB is any different. there is always room for progress in the direction of open-mindedness to the skills and ability of women in non-traditionally female professions.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        “@RC – reread the above. there are many many comments, some legitimate, and some blatantly sexist, with the explicit claim of a level playing field.”

        Link to one. I see many saying there is no descrimination. None stating a level playing field. They aren’t the same thing.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Elias says:

        ok – i guess i don’t get the distinction. seems like semantics.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeC says:

      Right. So if we can’t find “overt sexism” then that means we have to assume “covert sexism”!

      Thus, the “quest to end sexism” is never-ending.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. stevedave says:

    Yikes at a lot of these comments.

    +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • delv says:

      seriously. so much for a community of “forward-thinking” readers on fangraphs.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Goatees only says:

      It’s tough to tell if we’re witnessing all out trolling or extreme insecurity over a potential female invasion. I’d wager it’s the former.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Elias says:

        really? pretty clear that it is the latter. men have consistently demonstrated an extraordinary capacity for insecurity with regards to gender, race, and pretty much anything one can think of time and time again. the comments clearly demonstrate that alex’s article needed to be written, so thanks to him for getting the conversation started…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeC says:

        I think what the comments show is that there’s a lot of feminine men out there who are ruled by their women.

        It’s kinda sickening.

        -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. Randolph says:

    I’m not disappointed about the lack of women in MLB – I’m happy about it.

    -24 Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Andrew says:

    Fangraphs has never had a woman write for it (I think Pat Andriola is male). That is ridiculous. There are so many qualified women out there and not one word has been written by a woman at this site. Notgraphs doesn’t count. Fangraphs authors include kids not even out of college but not one woman. Looks like the Dave’s are a little sexist. I counted 38 authors if 37% of women like baseball then 9-10 of them should women. Unless very very few women are actually into this kind of stuff then 0 is about right. You should ask the Dave’s how many women applied when they were seeking new authors awhile back. That might give us some idea of what the percentage actually is.

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Danmay says:

      This is a good point, but I would like to add that – given the responses by many here – a women would not only have to be interested in writing at Fangraphs, but she would also have to be interested in getting a lot of flack while doing it. I think that disincentive should be factored into whatever real world percentages you may find.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jbird says:

        Stop being such a pu$$y. Alex is a dude and he takes tons of crap, of course, he probably writes the most puff pieces of everyone on this site. Read through some of Carson’s articles, he takes a ton of crap, although he also quotes obscure french poets so sometimes he deserves it a bit.

        -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Danmay says:

        I hope you appreciate the differences in crap giving that are handed out.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • fredsbank says:

      because every single statistic is applicable in every single instance, right?

      do you even read fangraphs?

      -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Andrew says:

        Not quite sure what your problem is but all I suggested was to ask the Dave’s what percentage of the people who wanted to write here were women. That way we could have at least one estimate, however poor, of percentage of baseball analytical people who are women. The idea is that those are the type of people who might like to work in a front office and it is information that we would be more likely to get than data from MLB or teams.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fredsbank says:

        surely you realize how much of a stretch of reasoning it is to equate “37% of women being interested in baseball” to “37% of the writers at fangraphs MUST THEREFORE be women”

        that’s such a ludicrous application of statistics, and one that is completely wrong

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bryz says:

        @ fredsbank

        Nice jump to conclusions. Andrew is not saying that 37% of FanGraphs writers should be women. He is not saying that the percentage of women that applied for FanGraphs writing jobs is proportional to the percentage of women interested in working for MLB front office positions. He is saying that the percentage of women that applied for a FG writing position could give us a rough estimate of those that would like to work in a front office.

        One of the biggest wrongs you can commit when commenting on an article is refusing to take the time to understand the author’s point. You just committed that wrong twice in response to Andrew’s comments, and I’m willing to bet that if you read what I just said here, you’ll do that once again.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fredsbank says:

        “I counted 38 authors if 37% of women like baseball then 9-10 of them should women.”

        i didnt read what now?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bryz says:

        Fair enough. Now I see that Andrew had said that originally. Sorry.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Rox_Girl says:

    I’m saddened, but not really surprised by the level of misogyny expressed in many of these comments. Some of you need to take your boy love elsewhere, as there are many women interested in the sport, interested in the statistics, and interested in employment in an industry that continues to shut them out. While I’ve been critical of your writing in the past, Alex, this has been an enlightening article, and thank you for sharing. As for those of you that continue to feel that the reason that there aren’t more women in the sport is merely a lack of interest, please subject your reasoning to the same hard objectivity you ask of FanGraphs rather than your subjective “feel” or “guesstimate” that you seem to be presenting. Reading this is infuriating and depressing on many, many levels.

    I’d also suggest that the editors/contributors to FanGraphs itself take a hard look at their own exclusion of female writers, seeking out only male analysts at any opportunity, as a contribution to opinions like those you see here. You reap what you sow.

    +16 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BillWallace says:

      The burden of proof is on the party making the claim. You must present the objective evidence.

      Here’s a possibility. For every man earning money in baseball, there are many times as many men working on baseball without earning money (e.g. a sabr blog). There is no barrier to entry to working on baseball without earning money.

      How many women work on baseball without earning money? Present data that the fraction of women working for free in baseball is higher in proportion to the fraction of women working for pay and you have a case.

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      • Rox_Girl says:

        “The burden of proof is on the party making the claim. You must present the objective evidence.”

        Except here, both parties are making claims and neither has done so objectively. The burden of proof remains on both to substantiate their claims, until they’ve done so, objectively the best we can do is fall back on general population ratios, and believe me, that does nothing to help your argument.

        Second, your exercise sets itself up for a biased sample to give you the results you seem to want depending on your subjective definition of “sabr blog” and the implied assumption that only people who are willing to spend time without renumeration are qualified to write about or enter a field. As a side note, that’s a ludicrous assumption on its face, and in terms of a front office, a part of the organization that demands first adherence to a profit motive, seemingly counterproductive to the employment objectives.

        That said, I can’t speak for all, but speaking from experience I’m reasonably certain that the percentage of women baseball bloggers producing content without significant payment is far higher than the percentage of women in baseball front offices, and of course, infinitely higher than the current percentage of on-field staff for baseball teams. This isn’t for lack of want of opportunity on either account.

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    • Mike says:

      “there are many women interested in the sport, interested in the statistics”

      No, there aren’t. At least, not to the level that male fans are. And don’t ask me to prove it, as I can no more do so than you can prove that there are.

      Are there thousands of female fans in hiding out there who are eager to debate who is the 9th best prospect in the Pirates farm system, or discuss how FieldFX is gonna change the way we look at fielding stats ?

      Having said that, there’s no reason that a woman couldn’t be as good a GM as any man out there. But the pool of qualified and interested on the distaff side is so much smaller.

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      • bflaff says:

        What if the vast, vast, *seriously* vast majority of men who are obsessively interested in baseball (i.e., the ones who debate Pirates prospects) and want to get a job in baseball are people who shouldn’t have driver’s licenses, let alone decisionmaking authority on a baseball team? (They can type on a keyboard, though!)

        The same would likely hold true for the comparatively fewer number of women interested in the sport.

        But the size of the pool of interested applicants has nothing to do with the quality of the people in the pool. And if we want to pull logical sounding statements out of thin air, it would make sense to suppose that the women interested enough in baseball mgmt to want to work in it, despite the obstacles, may be an unusually gifted set.

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      • Mike says:

        That’s quite a streatch, bflaff. But let’s assume for the moment that 90% of men who are obsessively interested in baseball shouldn’t have driver’s licenses or decision making authority on a baseball team.

        And that 90% of women who are obsessively interested in baseball at that same level ARE qualified to have decision making authority on a baseball team.

        The 10% of qualified men still way outnumbers the 90% of women.

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      • bflaff says:

        I like how we’re debating whether or not women can do the job when men from the Loser’s Lounge get hired all the time to fail at being a GM.

        Only the best of the best of the best (of the best of the best of the best!) get hired in this business, so suck it up, ladies. Like Ed Wade. Like Omar Minaya. Like [insert hundreds of names of terrible, pathetically incompetent GMs]!

        Well, when you put it like that….

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Fair nough point.

        However, reasoning like “Well, they couldn;t be any worse thn …” is the kind of thinking that could result in Sarah Palin in the White House.

        From a personal standpoint, I’d rather have heard Ng say “a housewife couldn’t be any worse than some of the GM’s MLB has had” rather than make vague comments about other women that she “knows of” that want front office jobs.

        Ng’s comment fro the OP …

        “If I had not interviewed for several General Manager positions, I would say maybe that position is closed off [to women] at this point. But I think with people being open-minded enough to give me an interview, I can’t say that there is any position at this point in the front office that is closed off.”

        So, where is the discrimination? What is this article really about?

        Ng also says she really wants a system that gets more women front office jobs? It she basically requesting that a certain number of women be interviewed for jobs annually or what? What is this system? … and is it based on resumes or gender?

        There’s a lot of important, relevant information missing from this discussion.

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      • JoeC says:

        Yes, CircleChange, that’s exactly what she’s saying: she wants a female-equivalent “Rooney Rule” in MLB (well, she doesn’t come out and say it explicitly, but it’s a pretty clear interpretation).

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  31. Dan says:

    This is fangraphs. You want credibility? Come with stats on number of qualified men/women and opportunity before you say it is disproportionate.

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  32. KJ says:

    Hi, I’m a woman who likes baseball and sometimes reads Fangraphs. As regards our presence here, we do exist. We just don’t feel the need to spout off ignorant opinions on comment boards so often as some men apparently do.

    There are enough examples of women succeeding (to varying degrees) at playing baseball with men (Ila Borders, Mamie Johnson, Sophie Kurys, Toni Stone) to suggest that, at the very least, it’s certainly possible for a competitive woman to play in the Major Leagues. To me it doesn’t even seem to be a point worthy of contention in this day and age. Even less so in the case of women in front office and coaching positions. There’s no overwhelming flood of women waiting to rush in and ruin baseball for men, as seems to be the antiquely chauvinistic concern here, but there are certainly more women who want careers in baseball than are actually welcomed or allowed into the game.

    +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Thanks, KJ. Justine Siegal also mentioned Chelsea Baker, a 13-year old who threw two perfect games while pitching on a boys’ team in Little League last year. Also last year, 18-year old Eri Yoshida was signed by the Chico Outlaws, a men’s baseball team in the independent North American League. Both throw knuckleballs.

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      • Max says:

        Are you saying that both of them are already more qualified the Ang to be a GM?

        -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • vivalajeter says:

        The physical characteristics between a 13 year old male and a 13 year old female aren’t nearly as great as they are between males/females in their 20’s and 30’s. Yes, females can compete with men in junior high – especially in leagues that have no qualifications, such as little league (where anybody can join). There’s no evidence that the most qualified female on earth can perform well at AA, let alone the majors.

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      • RC says:

        I threw two perfect games in little league. Where’s my major league contract?

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    • fredsbank says:

      “…but there are certainly more women who want careers in baseball than are actually welcomed or allowed into the game.”

      so if you do actually read fangraphs, you know it’s a statistics-oriented site, you know, generally likes to back stuff up with numbers…. i.e, give us some numbers, burden of proof is on you, as the person asserting something

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  33. Dan says:

    I would say that it is extremely difficult for any person, male or female, that doesn’t have an “in.” Most of the “ins” come from playing or having some sort of association with baseball already. There are more men that have that “in” because they are players and such. But what about me and people like me? I feel like it would be just as hard for me to find a position that any woman.

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    • erich1212 says:

      Anecdotally, I think we all know people–perhaps ourselves–who got jobs or into schools from accessing networks that aren’t available to the average or maybe even above average person. As you correctly point out, the network that many current managers/gms access is being contributors to the sport at a major league level.

      However, I disagree that we need to accept this as just the way it is. MLB could easily institute something similar to the NFL Rooney Rule where there is a mandated number of interviews for front office baseball jobs given to women. At the very least, you provide women the footing necessary to climb the ladder to GM and at the best, you might find a talented individual for another role in your organization.

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  34. Kevin M says:

    Alex: Sorry you have to defend yourself on this one (You’re doing a great job!). Thanks for bringing up the topic and, thus, the much needed discussion.

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  35. bflaff says:

    Nice! This is the ‘They Took Our Jobs!’ of fangraphs comment threads. Something for our kids to look back on in wonder.

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  36. Chris says:

    I’m not sure how to put this without sounding sexist, and maybe it is… But I don’t think sports management is the place for women. It’s a man’s industry that is targeted at family atmospheres sometimes, but mainly men. And a lifetime of baseball knowledge is normally helpful, but women don’t play baseball. Not saying that women shouldn’t work other jobs in a front office, but I justify this because there are lots of jobs in America that, practically, are only looking to hire women. Just because the proportion of men and women is unequal doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Lastly, I don’t think a woman could perform the job of GM as well. I imagine many situations where being a man helps get things done, like dealing with other men. Sure, that could change, but it doesn’t need to. Run for president instead. Okay, sexist rant over. Sorry. I guess affirmatitive action just bugs me too much that it affects my opinions on other things.

    -13 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • oheller says:

      There’s a BIG difference between “women deserve jobs in MLB because women are underrepresented in the industry”, and “deserving women are being shut out overtly because MLB an old boys’ club and chock full of unspoken or even unconscious sexism”. The first is affirmative action, and I have problems with that myself. The second is just sexism.

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    • Bethany says:

      Women have always played baseball, from the sport’s beginnings. There are tons of girls playing high school baseball at this very moment, and they aren’t allowed to continue in the profession due to outdated restrictions at the professional level.

      This isn’t about affirmative action, it’s about ignorance like yours preventing qualified people from getting into the positions they deserve.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Please define “tons”, as in tons of girls are playing HS baseball.

        I think is a drastic over-statement.

        As one that is active in HS and youth sports,I find the statement that ther aren’t women professional baseball players due to restrictions to be a stretch.

        If there was a woman out there throwing mid 90s, and could help a team win a title, some owner would be all over it … and challenge the system. It would be monumental on many levels, marketing, competitiveness, etc.

        People keep saying that it’s about qualifications. I have not seen the qualifications of female prospective GMs put forth and compared to other GM applicants. Peole just keep saying that it possibibly being true, makes it true.

        Let’s examine the data/evidence, and let the chips fall where they may.

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      • Bethany says:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/sports/baseball/01baseball.html

        Tons.

        Since when is throwing a 90 MPH fastball the inclusion standard for baseball? There are plenty of small, quick, below-average strength playing in the MLB.

        In terms of being a GM, compare Frank Wren’s resume prior to becoming a GM to Ng’s. She has an outstanding body of work and has been in baseball for well over 10 years in vital organizational positions.

        +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • bflaff says:

        @ CircleChange11: Knowing nothing about the qualifications of women in baseball beyond the fact that none of them are GMs, why does it logically follow that the reason is solely because they’re not qualified to do the job?

        It’s just laughable to think that there is something uniquely male that makes only them capable of doing the job of GM – a job that requires no physical skills whatsoever. How do we quantify that mysterious male essense that makes them so savvy at making draft picks and trading for Vernon Wells?

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      • Mike says:

        Bethany –

        1,012 = tons ?

        Compared to maybe half a million or more boys playing HS baseball ?

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      • vivalajeter says:

        a ton is 2,000 pounds. Have you seen the girls that play softball? All it takes is one lineup and starting rotation to equate to ‘tons’.

        -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Goatees only says:

        If only one qualified female is restricted from advancing because of restrictions against them it’s a travesty. The arguments here over how many good female players exist are meaningless semantics that distract from the principles of the matter.

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      • fredsbank says:

        exhibit a: there are approximately 82 million high schoolers in the US. assuming a 50/50ish gender split, because its easier and shouldnt be all that inaccurate, that leaves 40ish million girls, 1012 of whom play baseball. that’s…
        that’s such a ridiculously small percentage i don’t care enough to calculate it. so no, not tons, not by any reasonable person’s definition.

        exhibit b: “Since when is throwing a 90 MPH fastball the inclusion standard for baseball? There are plenty of small, quick, below-average strength playing in the MLB. ”
        http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=y&type=4&season=2010&month=0&season1=2010&ind=0
        most of the dudes on there below 90 are left-handed and get away with it, or are RA dickey and are totally awesome, or are the utterly miraculous livan hernandez

        so who’s more ignorant, us men who are not, or you, who is?

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      • Elias says:

        @vivalajeter – thanks for proving the point that one reason women stay away form baseball is sexism and general thuggish behavior on the part of men.

        to the rest of the replies to bethany’s point: is it really that hard to accept a large number of women and girls are interested in playing and following baseball, and further, that if some effort were put into making paths to playing professionally and working inside the sport easier for women, that more women would go that route? or is your point just that you want to keep baseball a boys club?

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    • jlive says:

      That same attitude — that this field just isn’t the place for women — was used to justify keeping women out of education, politics, and business. It is tired and ignorant rhetoric.

      +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

  37. bflaff says:

    Has it never occurred to some people that a big reason why baseball mgmt is so dominated by men may be because men are doing all the hiring, and they only feel comfortable hiring other men?

    Once upon a time, (male) minorities couldn’t get a job in mgmt either, and that wasn’t because they weren’t as good as the other guy.

    And as for the ‘women aren’t as interested in sports as men’ argument, how do you explain the proliferation of women as sports journalists and broadcasters? Did we suddenly enter a golden age of hugely talented female journalists who all came up at the same time, or did (male) media honchos finally decide it couldn’t hurt to let women in the door?

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    • BillWallace says:

      Can I pick option c, a combination of changing marketing strategies and fear of lawsuits?

      To clarify what I mean by changing marketing strategies, the media honchos probably used to think (probably correctly) that their consumers wouldn’t want to hear about sports from women, and now think (also probably correctly) that a large portion of their consumers do want to hear about sports from women. Times change, and smart businessmen adapt.

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      • bflaff says:

        America woke up one recent morning, held a wet finger up to the wind, and thought, “I now feel like getting my sports news from a woman.”

        This theory is very interesting.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Look at the women providing commentary on sports shows. A lot of guys would watch them fondle around with the microphone. I’m not trying to be flippant, funny, and gross. I’m trying to be real, and discuss the situation.

        That’s one thing I admire about Linda Cohn (sp?) on ESPN. She was one of the first. She is bright, entertaining, funny, and most importantly good at her job.

        I hope we’re not to the point wher we think Erin Andrews and the like are on football sidelines because they are the most eloquent, informed, and intelligent applicants for the job. Being better than Eric Dickerson isn’t saying much. As adults we need to be able to have these types of conversations while being honest … even if the truth isnot congruent with what we’d prefer.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      I work in education.

      Women dominate the K-5 teaching landscape. At grades 9-12, it is much more evenly distributed.

      The reason for this is NOT that males are discriminated against at the K-5 level.

      I realize that any commentary outside of “Give the girls a chance” is going to be construed and painted as sexists … accuracy be damned, but still.

      what % of front office applicants are female? Let’s put the data out there and see what conlusions can be drawn.

      There could also be discrimination against GM’s over 6’7.

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      • Liem says:

        “The reason for this is NOT that males are discriminated against at the K-5 level.”

        Circle,

        Although males are not overtly discriminated against, the teaching profession is most certainly genderized. Whereas teaching at the higher levels of secondary school is placed into the realm of pedagogy and therefore appropriate for men, primary school is viewed as child-rearing and nursing and therefore relegated. The divide among K-5 vs 9-12 is mirrored in other industries like the medical care where nursing is seen as effeminate in comparison to being a doctor (hence the Focker jokes). Because of these genderized preconceptions, many young men preclude themselves from these professions in order to avoid social stigmas. One might ask whether the same thing happens to young girls and women who might be inclined towards career paths in professional sports.

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      • Elias says:

        i agree completely with what liem wrote. as a former educator, i want to highlight the high social value and skills of k-5 teachers, most of whom are indeed female. however, another reason for the predominance of female educators is precisely because both historically and even today, women are discriminated against in non-service oriented careers. some k-5 teachers might have become baseball executives or CEOs or whatever had they been given the opportunity. lack of opportunity is a result both of diminished expectations of women about their career options (obtained through education and experience of sexism), and as a result of bias against women in hiring.

        so it need not be the case that many women’s job applications are being rejected by MLB teams for there to be a problem – part of the problem is that women do not apply but would be interested in MLB jobs if they had reason to believe they were potentially available to them.

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  38. CircleChange11 says:

    Fredi Gonzales had professional experience. AA is professional experience.

    I don’t know too many people that would take their boss seriously if their boss had never worked in the area they are supervising. That includes athletes. I am referring to coaches and managers in this regard.

    …………

    As for the woman that stated that women are here but don’t feel the need to voice their opinions …you’re kidding, right?

    Look at statistics … Look at Internet/texting stats. One has to wonder if women ever stop voicing their opinions. *grin* Just sayin’.- most women just don’t comment on baseball stats. Let’s at least be honest.

    Women have a growing presence in sports broadcasting. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most of the women are attractive and the demographic that watches sports the most are men under 50. I don’t view that as equality as much as I do “broadcasting to your audience”. One could discuss whether that helps/hurts other women’s chances in sports careers that are more mental.

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    • Bethany says:

      Why would women waste their time arguing the lot of you? I have no confidence that any argument about this issue, no matter how well researched or expressed. This is supposedly an intelligent community full of statheads, yet a this comment thread is full of gems like menstruation jabs and challenges for a woman to hit a 450 foot home run.

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      • bflaff says:

        The reality of fangraphs is that it gives people the tools to bolster their dumb opinions with numbers.

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      • Nick says:

        Yet you Women(including Remington) STILL can’t provide ANY data showing how they are excluded more so than Men.

        The entire argument is a straw man until we see the numbers.

        -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        The reality of fangraphs is that it gives people the tools to bolster their dumb opinions with numbers.

        I am science-based.

        I’ve been calling to see the numbers and “let the chips fall where they may”.

        The only stat/data I have seen is that 37% of women follow baseball.

        Let’s see the data. At a data-based anaylsis website, I’m surprised that the data as evidence was not a requirement for the original article.

        Let’s not lower the standard of proof/evidence, just to be all “politically correct”. One might call that demeaning, intentionally or otherwise.

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      • Nick says:

        +1 to Circle Change. A lot of estrogen fueled whining about something that hasn’t been calculated. Fangraphs is coming off as highly hypocritical on this issue, since they are the “numbers” site.

        -12 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fredsbank says:

        so prove that we’re wrong, using something other than saying “women are excluded blah blah no hard evidence blah blah blah why i’m not making my husband i sandwich right now i dont know blah blah blah”

        -10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ryan says:

        That’s just lazy. If you are upset about how society treats a certain issue, stand up and let your voice be heard. That is how the world changes.

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      • Elias says:

        i am embarrassed to be a part of this community at the moment. i can’t believe some of the comments that have been written here.

        i’ll just ignore the blatantly sexist b.s. in the response to bethany’s comment, but i do think the point of nick and circle is legitimate and deserves a response.

        to those who say “let me see the data!” i ask 1) is it really so hard to accept without data that it is a good idea to work toward increasing the number of women employed by MLB? and 2) what data would convince you that MLB is not doing enough to hire women?

        i think this whole XX% of women do/don’t like baseball meme is a non sequitor. if you’ll indulge me, the problem is much deeper than that. because girls’ (often negative) experience with sports begins well before they start looking for employment, looking at MLB job applications won’t be informative of the scale of the problem. and this is doubly true because even those women who do develop a life-time interest in baseball are almost certainly less likely to apply for a job in MLB than an equally passionate male fan precisely because they are less likely to be seriously considered.

        i’m genuinely not sure that there is any data that would conclusively show that women are or are not discriminated against in baseball. one way to find out would be for MLB to make an effort to hire more women and then see what happens. my guess is that what would happen is these women would have a positive impact on the sport both in terms of good management and in terms of widening the sports appeal to women. but really, there is only one way to find out… what are you afraid of?

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      • jlive says:

        Elias,

        That is a really insightful comment. Thanks for sharing it.

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      • WilsonC says:

        “what data would convince you that MLB is not doing enough to hire women?”

        The first thing is that we need to look past the very top of the ladder to see the distribution of women working in baseball. Take a look at the team listings for most front offices, there are women working in a variety of MLB positions than people seem to be giving teams credit for. At the past Winter Meetings, they had to turn women away from the Women Working in Baseball event for helping women advance their careers in baseball. Women with careers in baseball are not as rare as some of the discussion would have people believe.

        We’re not going to suddenly see a slew of women GM’s and assistant GM’s overnight, but it would be worthwhile to research some of the available career paths open to non-players to reach the top level of the management structure. How many women are currently on these career paths? How do those numbers compare with past years? How quickly are they able to advance compared to their male counterparts? Discounting former players, what’s the ratio of men to women for entry-level hirings? Is there a particular point where advancement becomes a barrier for women, or is it more that fewer women have reached that point so far? Of the women closest to high-level baseball ops positions, how many have aspirations for those positions, and how many enjoy retaining some semblance of the personal life they’d need to sacrifice?

        It’s one thing to look at the small number of women who have worked their way through the system, but the data I’d be more interested in seeing are the number of women entering into the system, and whether or not those women are getting the opportunity to advance their careers in the directions they work toward.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Elias says:

        @wilsonc – good ideas there. all worth further exploration.

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      • JoeC says:

        C’mon, Bethany. There’re a lot of people on here who aren’t sexist who are making cogent points.

        One of those points is that a site like Fangraphs attracts an OVERWHELMINGLY male audience. If anyone would care to dispute this, well, you’re fooling yourself.

        However, this point, while valid, has nothing to do with the place and situation of women in front office positions. But on this subject as well, there is plenty of interesting discussion going on.

        If you’re too offended by the silly jokes here and there, then you have a poor understanding of male humor. We will joke about ANYTHING, most especially if it’s something that other people take seriously.

        Beyond the joking (and yes, *some* outright sexism), there’s plenty of talking going on here and you shouldn’t just throw up the white flag when a comment or two rubs you wrong.

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  39. FairweatherFan says:

    The answer is simple.

    Applicant pool.

    How many women are in it? And are the # of women in the industry representative of it.

    Why would we treat discrimination in MLB any different than any other industry ?

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  40. Danmay says:

    How many people choose not to do something that they love because it’s not popular amongst the individuals/communities that they love as well? Should we care why it isn’t popular?

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  41. Brian Cartwright says:

    Teams are no longer looking only to ex-players for their front office staff. These days, most ex-players end up with the title of “Special Asst to the GM”. A qualified candidate for baseball operations, up to GM, needs a love and understanding of baseball, and preferably a business and stats (be good with numbers) background or degree. There’s nothing there that says a woman couldn’t do it equally as well as a man.

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  42. Nick says:

    A women as GM? What happens when that “time of the month” occurs in Late July? Any good player currently in a slump at that time is in major jeopardy of getting irrationally traded.

    -25 Vote -1 Vote +1

  43. Nick says:

    And also how does this comment have ANY respectability? A comment like this shows why Women are delusional.

    “Baseball is one of the few sports that a woman could theoretically play at the same level as a man.”

    LOL. One of the dumbest things I have ever read. Someone needs to sign Jennie Finch and see how here 66 mph riser is going to work against big league hitting. This is comical.

    -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bethany says:

      Right, TIm Wakefield, what a slouch with that 68 MPH knuckleball!

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        My advice for my fellow dudes is NEVER … ever … I mean bever … try to hit a girl softball pitcher in front of your buddies.

        I’ll take one for the team on this one, so each of us doesn;t have to learn the lesson the hard way. Learn from me.

        However, softball pitching and baseball pitching are two different things.

        Imagine a 6’4 235 pound guy (or worse, Randy Johnson) fastball softball pitching from 50-feet (or whatever it is).

        We’re not comparing apples to oranges, while still respecting the accomplishments of each. I watched plenty of Ostramen’s (sp?) games, and I can respect what she accomplished without trying to equate it to what Adam wainwright might do pitching fastpitch softball.

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      • Nick says:

        How many women throw knuckleballs? And more importantly, how many knucklers are successful in the big leagues as opposed to traditional pitchers?

        Btw…Wakefield in his prime could also get his fastball up to 81,82. I’ve yet to see a Woman throw a pitch over 75. The simple fact of the matter is that Men are more athletic on average than Women. This is a fact that is indisputable.

        But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here.

        In theory, sure, there might be A Woman or a few that could be an outlier and get by like Wakefield and Jamie Moyer did. But what was the quote?

        “Baseball is one of the few sports that a woman could theoretically play at the same level as a man.”

        What I infer from this is that ON AVERAGE, a woman could be just as successful as a man in the sport, which simply isn’t true. There’s no way Half the big pitchers in baseball could be Woman throwing 68 mph.

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      • Nick says:

        And again, just more delusion from Women. The fact that this is even being discussed is hilarity at it’s finest.

        -11 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bethany says:

        Who said the ratio should be 50/50? That’d be no one.

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      • Nick says:

        Bethany, did you read the quote? it said theoretically women can be just as good as Men in the sport. If the ratio isn’t 50-50, that would tell me that Women WOULD not be competitive with the exception to a small amount and maeks that statement ridiculous.

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      • Rox_Girl says:

        Nick, no, it said theoretically “a woman could theoretically play at the same level as a man.” The use of the singular on both nouns makes the statement pretty clearly true. Theoretically a man could breastfeed, it doesn’t mean that on average men will lactate.

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      • Bethany says:

        Nick, slow down on your quest to rewrite the rules of the English language and actually read what people are saying before picking out the bits you like so you can twist them.

        Of course I read the quote, seeing as I’m the one who said it. I said women could play at the same level. I didn’t say that the number of women who excelled at baseball would be the same as the number of men who excelled. There are plenty of player types that women could fill and compete with men to obtain. Not every type, but some.

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      • Nick says:

        Rox Girl-

        That’s like saying “Theoretically, a freshman in High School could play at the same level as a college player”.

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      • Nick says:

        Bethany- What player types?

        You actually believe that if a Woman played baseball her whole life, was drafted and developed in the minors, that there would be some women who could be competent big league regulars?

        As I said before, there’s a small, small chance that there could be a few outliers who could get by, but I’m going to guess the chance is slim and none.

        Your quote used in this piece is misleading as some readers who read it (like myself) will take this to mean that Women are just as athletic as Men and there is an injustice of Women not being allowed to play, which is a scam comment.

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      • fredsbank says:

        @bethany
        so do you have even the most basic understanding of the knuckleball, or baseball in general, or no?

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      • Brian Cartwright says:

        That’s like saying “Theoretically, a freshman in High School could play at the same level as a college player”.

        And why not? I’m working on a piece for THT which takes a look at amateur summer leagues. One of the examples given is John Smoltz, who played in the AAABA National Tournament at age 15 and 16 where the max age for AAABA leagues is 20. Smoltz was at age 15 a HS freshman playing against 19 and 20 year olds who were freshman and sophomores, and maybe a few juniors in college. Yes, Smoltz was a uniquely talented player who may end up in the HOF, but he shows that statement to be true.

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    • Tomas says:

      You know nothing about baseball/softball…

      Women softball pitchers are much slower because they’re throwing a softball (duh…) and using a totally different arm action. You could ask Randy Johnson to throw a softball and he wouldn’t hit 80 mph (the world record, even for a male, is in the 70s).

      Also, here’s a related video if you want to learn something and not just sound like a moron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_de3HJvO-N8

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      • Bryz says:

        Wow, great find.

        When I was younger, I remember Finch being on This Week In Baseball and she was always striking out major league hitters. I recall only one person actually making contact and hitting the ball into fair territory, and I believe that was still a grounder to the area of the 2nd baseman.

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      • JoeC says:

        Yes, that’s great, but could she follow the rules of BASEBALL and perform at a major league level? (the answer is “no”)

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    • KJ77 says:

      I heard Jennie Finch recently pitched batting practice for a MLB team that her husband is a part of. Evidently most of the guys were unable to hit her. They were said to be very inpressed with her ability. I was listening to a spring training game when I heard this.

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  44. MichaelT says:

    Anyone who disagrees with the content of this article should visit http://www.the-spearhead.com, the link in my name. It is not my website.

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  45. beth says:

    The comments expressed above really disappoint me, although sadly, they aren’t unexpected. I am a proud female baseball fan–I’ve been a crazy baseball fan my entire life. I read fangraphs and other baseball blogs regularly, I’m knowledgeable about the stats, and I attend baseball/stats events. I used to (and sometimes still do) want to be a GM, but other passions got in the way, and I’m content with that. I realize that I am in the minority–at baseball/stats events I am usually one of the only young females present, but that doesn’t mean that all women are ignorant about baseball or don’t care to learn more. Does it matter whether women can compete with men on the baseball field? No, although it wouldn’t surprise me if they could. To me, it matters that women are on par with men in the front offices of MLB. I’m sure there are plenty of qualified men and women that want to work in MLB, and no one should be discriminated on basis of their gender. Just because MLB is a traditionally male-dominated arena should not mean women are denied opportunities.

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    • Nick says:

      No one is saying the interested Women in front office jobs would be inept(except me and my crack about that time of the month). What we are saying is that while there are certainly some of you out there, it’s unfair to say that Women are getting the shaft due to gender until we see some concrete Data on how many Woman apply for these jobs as opposed to men. I’d be willing to bet that 85% of the applicants are male, which is why Females are so sparse in the baseball community.

      The fact that a blog like Fangraphs would come up with this assertion WITHOUT any data to back it up, just delusional comments from certain Women, is both highly hypocritical(since it’s a data-based blog) and insulting that writers like remington can just get away with this lazy analysis.

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      • Rox_Girl says:

        85% would imply that 15% of front office jobs should be held by women. If your estimate of applicants was correct, I’d be happy with this figure. I’m not calling for a 50/50 split. I think it’s pretty clear, however, that there’s a systematic favoritism shown men, often in the guise of giving ex-baseball players front office jobs because they’ve been through it or whatever. When women are denied the fair opportunity to even play baseball at a high school level (or at the very least strongly discouraged) it makes it easy for the system to keep them out professionally later on in professional non-playing roles such as scouting, coaching or front office duties, those that give a path to higher positions, it makes it easy for the system to give these jobs to the boys, because you know, the boys have been through it.

        It’s sexism by design, and whether clubs are intentionally engaging in these unfair practices or not, they’re commissioning them.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Rox, I think your view on women playing HS baseball to be inaccurate.

        I coach HS baseball, and youth teams. The guy I coach with has a standout daughter and coaches her travel teams as well. We see A LOT of Hs baseball and softball.

        Politely, you are fooling yourself if you think there are a lot of girls that could play (not just make the team) HS baseball, let alone college, let alone professional.

        I was raised by a highly intelligent, professional women, and have a system that fits the same description. I’m a respectful husband, and a father of 2 sons and a daughter. I do not make these comments lightly, because I know their is potential to have them used to mean something they don’t.

        Quite simply, there are not tons, if any, girls that could play on highly competitive boys HS baseball teams. That number decreases rapidly at the college and pro level, where physical/genetic traits required are amplified big time.

        At the younger levels, say 13U, where girls “mature” earlier, girls can more than hold their own with the boys. But that’s not the situation we’re discussing here, when we’re talking about 20-35 year old men.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Forgive the typing errors. System = sister. Their = there.

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      • Rox_Girl says:

        CircleChange11, I’m not only talking about playing competitively, but of participating as non-players, volunteer scouts, scorers, umpires, trainers or other ways, of being given the opportunity to expand their baseball acumen in ways that could benefit them down the road in a sports career. I also want to make it clear that I don’t want these opportunities only for girls, non-athletic boys would welcome them as well, I’m sure, it’s just that I think the lack of these opportunities does a lot more damage to women in the industry than it does men, as a lot of the boys that eventually get winnowed out of competitive play have absorbed this information and there’s almost zero chance women could, but that’s not because they’re not capable or desire to, it’s only because they aren’t given the opportunity.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Just because MLB is a traditionally male-dominated arena should not mean women are denied opportunities.

      Has anyone demonstrated that they are denied opportunities?

      We’ve all commented on a subject without being presented with the number of female applicants (let alone reviewed their qualifications) for MLB front office jobs. It would be 3 or it could be 3,000.

      Ng doesn’t even give us an estimate other than she knows more are out there. The more “anything” out there. How many are out there? What are there qualifications?

      There have been LOTS of comments made about the desires and abilities of females to acquire and serve front office jobs, but no one is providing the data that would lead us to “discrimination” as the likely (or even fully possible) conclusion.

      We all fell for it and took the bait. Alex probably won a bet that he could get over 100 replies to an article about the lack of female GMs. So, which FG author has to shave their head now? *big grin*

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      • Nick says:

        Yep. We are still whining about this subject WITH NO DATA TO BACK IT UP.

        Remington, you cowardly little hypocrite. Where is the data on this, statman? You have not responded to this request.

        -12 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Goatees only says:

        I agree with that there’s no numerical data to this article. However, the article is an interview.

        An interview. Relating an opinion of a female in baseball who most certainly knows more about what women have to go through to succeed in baseball than any of us internet donkeys.

        Has she proven her point with data? No. But I would argue that the comments section here provide pretty damning evidence that the baseball community has more than it’s fair share of sexism (granted we are internet donkeys, not baseball execs).

        +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BlackOps says:

      I think this article leaves more questions than answers. You say that women are denied opportunities, but you must not have gotten that from the article.

      All Ng said was “I’m a little surprised…” regarding the lack of women in baseball and added later that “I can’t say that there is any position at this point in the front office that is closed off.” So, the person in the HEADLINE of the article doesn’t think that women are necessarily cut off from these jobs, but that currently there aren’t any women qualified yet: “I think we need to get a lot more women in the system. And then maybe one of them will be good enough.”

      But for some reason, after that, the article goes in the complete opposite direction and ditches its main (headline) source, and spouts this: “The current problem for women isn’t interest, but opportunity.”

      If you pick the article up there, you can see there is nothing said to help prove this. I think that’s mostly the issue in the comments with the article: it cites a “problem,” but provides absolutely nothing to back up the claim.

      The article even touches on the fact that until recently, front office positions were reserved mainly for former players. I think it would take longer for women to get these jobs because they weren’t in the game before, – again, because these jobs were previously reserved for former players – and that Ng being close to getting a one is a good thing. That makes me think.. what’s the problem?

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    • JoeC says:

      Completely agree with everything you said, Beth, except for being not being surprised if women could compete with men at a major league level in baseball. I am happy to be proven wrong, but I just don’t see it.

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  46. Weznoth says:

    Wow, talk about blatant misoygny. I can’t stand over feminist people, and get annoyed at “equality” conversations very, very quickly.

    But I have not seen such open and blunt sexism. This article really brought out the true side of a lot of people. Jesus. Some of ya’ll need to read your comments.

    We even have a guy who is against women having the right to vote and hold office.

    To me, Alex article is searching for mistreatment. I don’t agree with people actively searching or trying to convince others of mistreatment, a la misoygny/sexism. Some writers are right, wheres the proof that the proportion of HIGHLY QUALIFIED women wanting jobs and women actually having jobs is lower than men.

    However, where would one come about this data? In order to do the study, many of you are throwing around would be extremely difficult. You make it seem so simple, but to prove this a study would have to be done. This requires money, lots of time, and the knowledge of how to properly retrieve data. This would also requiring polling. The writer would have to know how to conduct a proper poll, using Simple Random Sample and calculate if the data is Statistically Significant. Using Statistics to generalize a population from a given sample size isn’t a linear, easy process. To do this is way beyond the scope or purpose of this site. The type of analytical objective reasoning done on this site is far and away different from the type of Statistics needed to do this study being lightly thrown around.

    Alex brings up a point that he believes to be true, which it very well may be. But this doesn’t seem like the right article for this site as there is no objective analysis, which is kind of the basis for this site. Though, to get that data, as previously stated, would be quite a task.

    Overall the only question that matters in this debate: are HIGHLY QUALIFIED women interested in working in baseball being shut out more so because of the gender?

    Obviously, there is a HUGE number of men interested in baseball. Obviously, it is way higher than women. Obviously, there is a lot more men interested in sabermetrics and the math-y side of baseball than women. But who really knows the difference in men and women that are actually QUALIFIED for the position. We don’t know. But we can’t assume as so many readers have done. Alex doesn’t make concrete claims, he just brings the idea up.

    Obviously, this is a male dominated blog but how many of us are qualified for a FO position in baseball? Few to none.

    As for what makes a person qualified, I don’t run a FO, so I wouldn’t know.

    What I do know, as a SPORTS MANAGEMENT MINOR at The UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, there is about a SIXTY TO FOURTY RATIO in MEN TO WOMEN in ALL OF MY SPORTS CLASS.

    Would you say in sports Front Offices the ratio is 60-40? Because I sure wouldn’t. And all these kids in all these sports classes are who I would expect to eventually be running the Front Offices 10, 15, 20 years from now. At least thats what I’m hoping for as I am one.

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    • Nick says:

      A sports management class ratio of Men to Women isn’t the same as the amount of applicants, which is the data we need.

      As such, for all we know your ONE class that you use as evidence, could be an outlier and there are many other sports management classes around the world that have a much different ratio.

      As we say often here, your sports management class is what we call “small sample size.”

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      • KJ says:

        Sorry Nick, did you have some actual data to contribute? or just more oh-so-clever remarks on periods?

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      • Nick says:

        KJ- The period remark was in jest and I will admit probably inappropriate as this seems to be an issue that is highly offending Women.

        About the data- I don’t have any, that is the problem. Remington included NO DATA TO BACK THIS UP. If I saw some data that would prove this assertion true, I will gladly eat my crow.

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      • Weznoth says:

        Nick,

        Please do not insult my intelligent by talking to me like a child. I know what a “small sample size” is. I think I made that clear. Several things I’d like to comment on.

        1) I believe I said all of my classes, not one. I’m a second semester sophomore and have take multiple sports management classes. Four total. The ratio is about the same in all. With that said…

        2) I’m well aware that multiple classes from one university is way too small of a sample size. Obviously, if I thought my classes at USC were a big enough sample, I would have commented that the study should simply be done by using the USC sports’ classes.

        3) I outlined broadly how a proper study would have to be done to get correct results. I never said use my classes as a basis.

        4) The ratio in my courses is NOT statistically significant. However, I felt it was interesting enough to note it at the end of my post, which is why I did.

        5) Getting the applications would be an effective measure, however, this data is likely confidential. The application process is also too far along in the process to where the data may be corrupt and not accurate. It is wholly possible that factors affecting women keep them from ever even applying in the first place. Maybe the problem isn’t Organizations not choosing women, but getting them into the applicant pool in the first place.

        I think a study at the college level would be a good first step. Because college, IMO, is when individuals really start getting serious about their future profession. Obviously, at 6, 7, 8, etc years old, so many people want to be involved in sports. That number dwindles significantly when people grow up. This is my opinion, maybe I’m wrong. Regardless, the college level is a good starting point. Here, a study could be done to gauge SERIOUS, legitimate interest in a future in the sports world. Criteria for the study could be a number of things. Individuals can’t just record that they are seriously interested in sports without providing objective proof, such as a resume outlying experience in the sports world for example.

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      • Garrett says:

        Weznoth. Me calling you a fucking idiot would do less to disparage your intelligence than that idiotic comment about generalizing your college class M/F breakdown to high end FO jobs in MLB.

        Did it never occur to you that what you were about to say was completely fucking retarded?

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      • Weznoth says:

        Garrett,

        My deepest apologizes for making a simple observation.

        My deepest condolences for thinking there is a possible correlation between college students in sports and potentially FO office positions in the future.

        I’ve already said my paragraph after a simple observation was misguided and it didn’t come out how I met. I’m making no assertions from this observation.

        Enjoy getting the stick out of your ass, friend.

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      • Garrett says:

        We’re not friends, though I like your passive aggressive flair.

        Its mostly the utterly misguided ridiculous viewpoint you espoused that was comical, and then the equally ridiculous attacking comments you made.

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  47. Daniel says:

    Applicant pool, my ass! All it takes is ONE standout applicant/interview to fill a job! If a woman has excellent credentials, great interview, etc, there shouldn’t be a single reason not to seriously consider her for the job.

    As far as experience in MLB goes… I can see that giving men a slight edge – of course you want someone who’s been there before, BUT… no woman is applying to be an MLB player! Managing, leading, developing, organizing, negotiating, and communicating are an ENTIRELY different skill set than playing the game.

    I just cannot fathom the thought-process of a team owner (a person I would imagine is driven, competitive, and absolutely determined to win) choosing the second-best person for a job, just because of gender.

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    • RC says:

      “Applicant pool, my ass! All it takes is ONE standout applicant/interview to fill a job! If a woman has excellent credentials, great interview, etc, there shouldn’t be a single reason not to seriously consider her for the job.”

      Sure there is. There are lots of other candidates the same thing can be said of. We’re talking about positions where there are only one or two open in the world at any given time. There are tons of great candidates.

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    • williams .482 says:

      “(a person I would imagine is driven, competitive, and absolutely determined to win)”

      I wish all owners actually fit this description.

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  48. WilsonC says:

    Take a look at your typical Fantasy Baseball league.

    Looking through my league history on my current user account, I counted 87 unique user names. Of those, 64 are either names that are unambiguously male or people I know to be male, 22 are usernames that give no indication of gender, and for the first time this year, there’s an owner in own of my leagues that I know to be female.

    Now, it’s certainly possible that some of the unknown usernames are women, but the numbers are pretty extreme, even in a venture where the only qualifications are an internet connection and a desire to pretend to run a baseball team. It’s not necessarily a representative sample of people with aspirations to work in baseball management, but it’s a pretty good clue that there are probably a LOT more men pursuing these careers.

    Beyond that, there’s a sampling bias here. Suppose you have two candidates with identical resumes, who both aced the interview, and are distinguished only by the following: The first played AAA ball and has positive character references from some respected professional managers and coaches, and the other is female. The woman may very well be just as qualified a candidate, but it would be sexist to ignore the industry experience and disregard the trusted, relevant references of the other candidate.

    All that said, that’s not to say there isn’t sexism involved, but I’d like to see real data before coming to any conclusions. What’s the ratio of men to women with obsessional interest in baseball analysis? What do the numbers look like when you remove professional experience at any level of baseball from the equation? What are the numbers like on the minor league operational level?

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    • Nick says:

      We can’t see any data, because Remington is a coward and won’t provide it.

      -12 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        Relax, Nick.

        We don’t have any data because none was provided in the article. It’s not likely not because he’s a coward, but more likely that the data is not openly available, or he simply didn;t think to include it, or ask Ng about it (or she refused to share that information).

        I, actually, would love it if he, or someone else (even Ng herself) would share some data with us in regards to how many applicants for MLB front office jobs are female. I would like to see/read about their qualifications. If they are (or have been) more successful in leadership positions than some of the males currently holding GM positions (especially those not doing a good job), that info would be highly relevant to the discussion.

        I just want to see the data. Not to prove I’m right or wrong, but to get a realistic, and accurate, view of the situation.

        Just pointing out that all 30 GMs are male does not lead to an informed conclusion about discrimination.

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      • Nick says:

        Circle- I acknowledge the fact that the data might not be available, but if that is the case, it is still highly hypocritical of a Fangraphs author to write a piece on the subject and assert something as fact that we don’t know if it is a fact yet, especially since this is the stats-oriented blog.

        -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Weznoth says:

      WilsonC,

      Since everyone is starting to get tecnical, the data you provided with your fantasy league is COMPLETELY irrelevant and should be disregarded because it was no accumulated properly and therefore the data is corrupt and could not be considered statistically significant.

      The only way that data could be considered accurate is if you found those names RANDOMLY. This sort of data that is compiled must be a Simple Random Sample. Meaning, the way you got this data was completely and utterly random with no subjectiveness. You used your data from your fantasy leagues, literally nothing could be more bias. Your data holds literally no weight.

      If this is a fantasy league with friends, maybe a few different friends every year, then wow. I’m surprised you bothered to post it. My only explanation would be you don’t understand what makes data usable and accurate, or your trying to fool ignorant fans.

      If all the usernames you used in your post were from public leagues with participants you did not know,well, the data still is not valid because it just isn’t a SRS. Look up the definition of SRS and you didn’t follow it.

      Moreover, fantasy baseball has nothing to do really with this discussion anyway. I am an intern in the sports world and play little fantasy baseball. This data means nothing even if it was accumulated properly.

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      • Nick says:

        This coming from the person who used their sports management classes at ONE University as a sampling.

        More hypocrisy.

        -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Weznoth says:

        Nick,

        Your ignorance is hilarious. You have no argument so you continue to go back to the same thing.

        I made a comment based on an observation. That was it. Where did I ever pretend that this observation was statistically significant.

        Next time i’ll use this disclaimer: “The following statement represents a simple observation I’ve noticed in my multiple sports classes at USC, I am aware that the data is not statistically significant but will use it simply so that I can give a personal observation. This proves nothing.”

        I acknowledge that the paragraph after my observation implies that I’m drawing a conclusion from this data/this observation. This was not my intention. I was thinking aloud. It was something I simply noticed. I was bringing it to attention also because maybe there is another college student or recent one, that was enrolled in many sports classes who could put forth his observation on the subject. And yes, I know that one more person would still not make it big enough, but it doesn’t make it not interesting. Interesting like it is to look at a players single year UZR/150, even though that too is too small a sample.

        Stop putting words in my mouth. Please find the sentence where I said I wanted it used as a sampling. Moron.

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      • WilsonC says:

        Darn right it’s not statistically significant. I never claimed it was. It’s not meant to be a study, it’s meant to be an observation. It’s extremely rough data on a hobby related to spending unpaid time on baseball statistics, taken mainly in public Yahoo leagues. It would be meaningless in a real study. However, call be crazy, but if I look at a sample of 64 “probably male”, 1 “female”, and 22 “unknown”, I’ll feel pretty confident in saying that we’re looking at a pretty substantial majority.

        If I then take the fact that women are uncommon in the top levels of running an MLB team, and that women are uncommon in my own experience with a hobby pretending to run a baseball team, I don’t think it’s a stretch to consider that it may not be sexism so much as a pretty extreme ratio of men to women with an obsession-level interest in baseball.

        Statistically meaningful? Not at all. Odd enough to make me want to see more data before concluding that it’s a problem of opportunity rather than interest? Absolutely.

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      • Weznoth says:

        Good points Wilson. very true

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    • Tomas says:

      I hear one of the main qualifications for an MLB front office job is fantasy baseball experience. Yep!

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  49. Nick says:

    As Circle Change and myself have suggested, this blog item by Remington is a joke and should be rendered useless by everybody until he quits hiding like the coward he is and provides us with some data to back up this assertion.

    I highly recommend that people print this page to use as Toilet Paper until the Coward Remington edits this page with some concrete data.

    -13 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Rox_Girl says:

      Again, in the absence of any verifiable numbers, the burden of data is on both parties, and until then the default has to be the first objectively applicable standard, which in this case I assume is the baseball interested public. That suggests 37% are women, and yet we see far less than this percentage employed in the industry.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        The data shared was that 37% of women follow baseball.

        We did not see “follow” defined.

        I took my wife and sister-in-law to a Cardinal’s game. They followed Rick Ankiel’s ass the whole game.

        We need to know, not what % of women “follow baseball” or watched a game on TV, or own a baseball t-shirt, but how many women, with the qualifications, seek a front office job … how many have been interviewed, etc?

        Being a fan and seeking a front office job are so far different that I cannot believe the stat was mentioned.

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      • Nick says:

        No Rox- You can’t use that as the default data and then write a blog asserting all of this as fact. While it may be true,(and as I have said, if I saw the REAL data and it was true I will gladly eat crow) we still need the applicant data to assert this as fact and then we can have a whine and moan session about it.

        Until then, we are whining about something that can go either way.

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      • Rox_Girl says:

        That you don’t even see what you’re doing in this statement is sad, and your wife is a far stronger woman than I could ever be. Not every woman is going to be represented by the pair you happen to bring to the ballpark one night. I could point to scores of casual male fans that I’ve attended baseball games with that are ignorant drunks who think that David Eckstein’s great for his grinder attitude, that Jack Morris is better than Bert Blyleven because he won a game seven one time just as easily. You’re assuming that on average, women who follow the sport are inherently less qualified to run a franchise than the 63% of men, I’d be willing to assume that a vast majority of the 63% of men are just as idiotic as whatever proportion of women.

        I agree that I’d love more concrete data about the specific subject, but without it, we have to go to what’s objectively available. Those numbers show that there’s a dearth of females in the sport.

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      • Nick says:

        AGAIN, No rox, we can’t just “go by what we have” because the data is insufficient. You don’t seem to understand that there is no need for blog pieces and whining about this subject until the ACTUAL data is presented.

        -10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rox_Girl says:

        Nick, this blog is an interview with a baseball executive. You’re claiming that Ng’s interview shouldn’t be posted but so many male executive interviews should because why? Because this one lacks very specific data that you happen disagree with, while those other interviews had all the hard data behind them? I’m not sure I understand or believe that.

        I’m commenting on the blog post, the interview, standing up for my opinion against a lot of really ignorant comments about periods making women less effective and what not. Again, last I checked, that’s usually what blogs have been for. I’m not sure where I’m doing something wrong.

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      • Nick says:

        Ng’s interview is fine to be posted, but Remington in his piece asserts that there is an injustice(as does Ng) when they have no datat to back it up.

        So I guess, sure it can be posted, but without concrete evidence, it’s going to be questioned by people like me who want to see the evidence.

        You are fine to have the opinion that there is an injustice, but most of the self-righteous comments made by Women in this blog and in the comments are asserting this as fact. Opinion without evidence is fine, Fact without evidence is not. That is my beef.

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      • BlackOps says:

        Well, if we actually do go by the article, Ng seems to think it’s a lack of quality candidates, not lack of opportunity.

        “But I think with people being open-minded enough to give me an interview, I can’t say that there is any position at this point in the front office that is closed off.”

        “I think we’re downplaying the difficulty of these jobs,” she says. “Just because someone fails, that doesn’t mean it’s just because she’s a woman. I think we need to get a lot more women in the system. And then maybe one of them will be good enough.”

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      • Nick says:

        Rox Girl pwned by Black ops.

        Nice work.

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      • Weznoth says:

        Blackops,

        Thank you. I agree completely.

        This article to me has no place on fangraphs because it is an opinion piece. But that is all it is. AN OPINION PIECE.

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      • Rox_Girl says:

        Nick, pardon me for saying, but Ng might not be the most objective source on the subject. She’s not going to say anything that’s going to impede her ability to do her job, or potentially get a better one later on.

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      • KJ says:

        ~ Circle: in defense of your wife and sister-in-law, it was quite hard to ignore Rick Ankiel’s ass back in 2007 or so. It’s possible Dan Haren is only one of my keepers because of his dreamy green eyes. Or not.

        It’s true this article is speaking in generalities and doesn’t have hard statistics about discriminatory hiring practices. I would like to see such statistics myself, if they could be gathered.

        However, I don’t think a discriminatory attitude towards women coming from MLB in general requires statistical evidence to be confirmed – its own past policies speak to that – or that the discussion about whether or not more women should have jobs in baseball should be put on hold until some statistical evidence is present.

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      • Garrett says:

        What a heinous post.

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      • Alex says:

        “first objectively applicable standard, which in this case I assume is the baseball interested public” – nope.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        ~ Circle: in defense of your wife and sister-in-law, it was quite hard to ignore Rick Ankiel’s ass back in 2007 or so.

        I can’t argue with that.

        However, I don’t think a discriminatory attitude towards women coming from MLB in general requires statistical evidence to be confirmed – its own past policies speak to that – or that the discussion about whether or not more women should have jobs in baseball should be put on hold until some statistical evidence is present.

        I can also agree with that statement. But, I also view women as GMs as being in the neophyte stages. I cannot remember her name, but Tom Tango links to a female sabermatician’s website quite often, and the commentary is not about her appearance, but the content of her articles.

        I just don;t want us to read a few quotes from an interview and jump the gun with the conclusion.

        We read plenty of interviews from players that talk about the value of intangibles and clutchness, but we dismiss those (even mock) those comments because the data does not support them.

        My feeling, perhaps a naive one, is that 2 female “GM Types” in MLB baseball is perhaps, a pretty good start. I don;t know for how long qualified females have been attempting to land front office jobs, but since there are 2 (in a highly competitive area), says something positive doesn’t it?

        60 years after desegregation we have a black (biracial) President. Some would say that’s very slow progress, whereas it may be very fast compared to other aspects of social change.

        For it be a serious discrimination scenario, I would prefer to see cases pof qualified females that were denied opportunities to interview for positions, or were routinely passed over in favor of unqualified males.It would be reasonable to me, living in the information age, that if there were quite a few women in this position, they would have talked or written about it. It could just be that I am not aware of their stories. Which is why I am asking for some data (not necessarily data that would be “conclusive prove”), which would include personal accounts, to give us some type of indication of the largescale situation.

        Ng seems to be saying that she was given interview opportunities and that it wasn’t necessarily an eart-shattering situation that *gasp* a female was being interviewed for a GM position by MLB teams.

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    • Garrett says:

      CircleChange…. Who is that “woman”?

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  50. bflaff says:

    Most of the commenters on this site seem to think that the vast majority of working GMs are incompetent fools, but suggest that maybe a woman should get a chance to do the job and suddenly every one of those male GMs transforms into a totally amazing ‘Einstein Q. Hawking’ baseball savant, with qualifications overflowing from their spectacular resumes.

    Because that’s why they were hired, right?

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    • Nick says:

      Yep, a lot of the comments are coming from self-righteous Women who automatically assume that there are more Qualified females out there right now than the Men who are employed. Might be true, might be not.

      ANOTHER assertion without evidence.

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  51. Adam R. says:

    I agree that , until theres some actual data that a percent of equally or better qualified women are being excluded, there is not much you can do.

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  52. Nick says:

    There’s also something that needs to be cleared up here.

    What does “front office” jobs mean? Not all front office jobs are baseball operations.

    For example a quick glance at the SF Giants front office here http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/team/front_office.jsp?c_id=sf

    shows that the Giants employ a ton of Women in different departments, such as ticket sales, communications, medical, etc….

    So basically the beef here is the “alleged” lack of Women in “baseball operations”, not just the front office. Basically Women are miffed at the fact that they can’t show what a Basbeall decision maker they can be, as opposed to all the “stupid” Men currently employed.

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  53. mickmickmick says:

    This was one of the last places I thought I’d come across casual, petty misogyny of the “lol MENSTRUATION amirite???” type — which is on the same intellectual level as n****r jokes, pretty much — but live and learn, I guess.

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  54. guest says:

    For the objective sports like running, there is a BIG difference between men and women. Its roughly 10-12% between the fastest man and women for all distances up to a marathon. I’m sure its the same for swimming.

    Apparently, women should be better at running 100+ miles than men…

    Less women may be involved in baseball due to societal pressures or simply because they are not interested in the sport.

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    • Tomas says:

      Yes, if you’re comparing the absolute best vs. the absolute best. The difference between Albert Pujols and even just an average MLB player is way more than 10-12%. It may well be that women are incapable of being THE BEST baseball player in the world, but there are hundreds of players in the major leagues and thousands that play professionally. There isn’t a single women that could be better than some of them? Ridiculous.

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      • jlive says:

        That is exactly right. I have no doubt that if Venus and Serena Williams had been trained at baseball from childhood that they would have been good enough to make the major leagues. They wouldn’t be dominating the majors, but playing second base as well as or better than Skip Schumaker? Yeah, I think so.

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      • BlackOps says:

        Such a ridiculous statement. You couldn’t even make that statement about any male from any other sport.

        Seriously, who is that guy who played basketball and won a bunch of championships? I bet if he tried he’d make the majors!

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      • BlackOps says:

        I can’t tell which of those comments is serious or not, but it bears repeating:he best male athlete in the world played a full season in AA and hit .202/.289/.266

        Training is effective and sometimes an athlete who is not a natural player can prove to be an effective baseball player, but come on, it’s obvious that most of what it takes to be a baseball player is natural.

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      • jlive says:

        My comment was completely serious. Jordan is not a very helpful comparison. He was 31 when he tried his hand at baseball, a sport he hadn’t played since high school — more than a decade earlier. Do you seriously think that Jordan would not have made the major leagues in some capacity had he played baseball *instead of basketball* in college? Jordan was a great athlete (I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say he was the best male athlete in the world in the 1990s, but he was certainly in the top ten or twenty), but baseball and basketball involve almost entirely different skill sets. I find it utterly unsurprising that he did not seamlessly transition from basketball to baseball.

        Again, men like David Eckstein managed to make it to the major leagues, despite having a small build (5’7″/160 lbs); men like Prince Fielder managed to make it to the major leagues despite being in such bad physical shape that the Moneyball guys decided to pass against their own statistical analyses.

        By contrast, Venus Williams is 6’1″ / 160 lbs., and we know she has a lot of hand-eye coordination. Is it really your contention that an athlete like Venus Williams, given dedication and baseball training comparable to what David Eckstein received, could not play second base at his level?

        I don’t think it is so ridiculous to say that if women were trained to play baseball in youth leagues, junior high school, high school, college, and minor leagues that some women would make it to the major leagues. How many? I really don’t know. I doubt there would be more than 1 in 50. But even at 1 in 100, we should expect 7 or 8 women (total) on the 30 MLB 25-man rosters (that is, out of 750 players) and another 4 or 5 on the expanded rosters (another 450 players).

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  55. KB says:

    Hey guys, let’s have affirmative action for women for general manager positions. Or we could have the Rooney Rule! Or… wait… or we could just hire the best qualified person for the job. You really think that a multi-million dollar industry would forgo hiring a woman that would win you more games in favor for a man who would do a worse job? Really? REALLY?

    Alex, this article was more sexist than you accuse MLB teams of being. Women will likely gain a more prominent role in front offices, but let’s hope that’s due to their interest in the game as a whole, not some dumbass that thinks there should be an arbitrary number of each gender in the sport. Oh, and why don’t women write for FanGraphs? Stick to what you’re good at; stop trying to stir shit up.

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    • erich1212 says:

      “You really think that a multi-million dollar industry would forgo hiring a woman that would win you more games in favor for a man who would do a worse job? Really? REALLY?”

      Absolutely. Systematic and intentional glass ceilings have existed for women in a variety of fields in this country for decades, in industries larger and smaller than professional sports.

      As for the Rooney Rule, how did the Rooney Rule ultimately keep the best person from getting hired? It didn’t. It allowed African American coaches to get a foot in the door for Head Coach hiring. It didn’t demand anyone–deserving or underserving–get hired. As an job-seeker will tell you, getting a foot in the door is often the hardest part of the process.

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      • KB says:

        “Systematic and intentional glass ceilings”

        Ha. If you’re making an investment in an employee out of college, you HAVE to factor in the possibility of maternal leave that could turn out to be permanent. Also, males are more likely to pursue a degree in mathematics/science which typically end up in higher pay rates.

        As for the Rooney Rule — it’s a complete waste of time. NFL owners have shown no aversion to hiring black coaches. At this point, it’s a mandate for teams to interview a token candidate when they have likely already made up their mind.

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      • Liem says:

        Mike Tomlin was a Rooney Rule hire.

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      • RC says:

        “Mike Tomlin was a Rooney Rule hire”

        The fact that Mike Tomlin is black doesn’t mean he got hired because of the Rooney Rule. He got hired because he was the best candidate. He got invited because he was a very obvious good candidate. The rule didn’t make a difference.

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      • erich1212 says:

        Glass cielings unfortunately exist not just for women coming out of college, but at the top ranks in the corporate world. There have been many prominent litigation examples of this in the past few decades. Even recently. Also, women make roughly 4/5ths of what a similarily qualified man earns, so even when they get the job, they’re not paid equitably. This only further reinforces my point that the process by which you hire and promote is just simply not an efficient process…or at least as efficient as you’re suggesting it is. Btw, amusingly, in the case of Wall Street–the one place where I would have guessed talent/ability to contribute to the bottom line would be valued above all else–well, turns out women make rougly 3/5ths of what similarly qualified men make. Sad, but true.

        As for the necessity of the Rooney Rule, prior to it’s induction in 2003, only 6 percent of coaches were African American. Four years later, it was 22 percent. I’m not sure how you can look at that and say that there absolutely wasn’t a problem in NFL teams hiring African American coaches.

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      • Liem says:

        RC,

        Regardless of whether Tomlin was a good candidate, the consensus is that he was given the opportunity to interview thanks to the Rooney Rule:

        http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs06/news/story?id=2750645

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    • Tomas says:

      Yeah, how could a huge industry like Major League Baseball let personal biases prevent them from hiring the most qualified individuals?! Next you’re going to tell me they let biases get in the way of winning and signing the best players.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go count my Negro League baseball cards.

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    • bflaff says:

      Ha Ha. Baseball only hires the best qualified people for the job? No GM ever got hired because he was a likable stooge who got along well with the bosses? That’s some child-like faith in the process there, combined with a complete willingness to ignore the (crap) quality of the people who have held the position over the years.

      I’m quite sure a woman could run a franchise into the ground just as efficiently as a man. Why do you think otherwise?

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  56. Steve says:

    I think anyone who actually understands the entire situation realizes that everything is just fine.

    The women getting upset have are kicking up dust.

    Jobs in baseball are hard to get. End of story.

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    • KB says:

      Exactly. I’d love to be a GM. I have a better grasp on statistics than Dayton Moore. I’m a Protestant white male, clearly I’m not being considered for the job because of these factors.

      Oh wait, it’s because I have no connections, I never played baseball past age 5, and I have a Biology degree.

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  57. Anthony says:

    Ng sounds like one of those self-righteous women that think there should be an equal amount of men and women in everything.

    A LOT more men like baseball than women. Women who DO watch baseball aren’t as fanatic as the men. That gallup pole doesn’t show the intensity of fanhood. I can name more minor league players than most female baseball players I know can name St. Louis Cardinals (I live in MO, predominantly Cards country).

    Women, if they’re qualified, should have more jobs. I don’t doubt that there is sexism. However, there is racism, sexism, every kind of ism in every job. More attractive people in general get hired, most GMs I’ve seen are handsome, should ugly guys be complaining they don’t get enough jobs? No, being a handsome, confident man is something a group of guys who are testosterone driven will follow.

    Life sucks sometimes, get over it.

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    • Joe P. says:

      Did you bother to read the article, or are you unable to comprehend sequences of words arranged to form sentences?

      “If I had not interviewed for several General Manager positions, I would say maybe that position is closed off [to women] at this point. But I think with people being open-minded enough to give me an interview, I can’t say that there is any position at this point in the front office that is closed off.”

      “I think when you have a really positive outlook, I know there’s hundreds of thousands of people who would love to have my position, but don’t. So I’m very grateful for everything that I’ve been a recipient of.”

      “To her, the worst part of those stories is that they couch the job as something that should be hers by right. ‘I think we’re downplaying the difficulty of these jobs,’ she says. ‘Just because someone fails, that doesn’t mean it’s just because she’s a woman. I think we need to get a lot more women in the system. And then maybe one of them will be good enough.'”

      Find me the self-righteous attitude in Ng’s comments. Ready: go. I’ll wait.

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  58. Trini says:

    Is there ever going to be an Alberta Pujols? Probably not. A Juanita Pierre? Possibly. The question posed isn’t really about WHETHER women can compete or manage a team effectively. The article is mulling if they are being given the opportunity. Women are banned from playing in the MLB, so no opportunity to compete is ever given. As to whether they are given equal treatment in applying for front office jobs? The jury is out. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. It’s something to ponder.

    All the unrelated comments about women competing in baseball hits home with me though (no pun intended). My grandfather was a minor league player. As a little girl, he taught me how to pitch a split fingered fastball, circle change-up, and knuckle ball. I could hit and field as a kid and still throw in the 70 mile per hour range into my early 30’s.

    My 7 year old dream was to be like my idol, Steve Garvey, one day. I dressed in full Dodger regalia at school, wrist bands, cap, t-shirt and all. Then someone in first grade crushed my dream when they told me girls couldn’t play baseball and never would be able to. As a consolation, I could play softball though. Steve Garvey didn’t play softball, neither did Ron Cey or Fernando Valenzuela or Bob Welch or Rick Monday. You get the point.

    If girls ever get the opportunity to compete, at this point, it doesn’t really affect me personally. Would it really affect the game of baseball either if women are given the same tryout opportunities? What difference would it make if the Red Sox found a Carla Crawford and she blooped singles and stole 60 bases in a year, or if she tried out and just didn’t make the cut? Having the opportunity would make a few 7 year old girls’ dreams a little sweeter.

    BTW – As a side note, the comment made about not many girls playing fantasy games… Personally, I play under male pseudonyms because I got harangued early on in leagues when I made it known I was female. If I’m doing that, I’m sure there are many others too.

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    • KB says:

      Ask yourself: If women were given the opportunity to play in the MLB, how likely is it that any make a major league roster?

      I think that Major League Baseball should be open to anyone, regardless of gender, but in reality it’s not going to matter.

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      • Trini says:

        Ask yourself: Given the opportunity to become President of the United States, how many of us will even make it to the primaries, male or female? It’s not about the likelihood. It’s about being given the opportunity. May the best man (or woman) win.

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      • KB says:

        Which is exactly what I said. There should be no limitations on who should be able to play in the MLB.

        However, I really don’t think it would make a difference. Realistically, no female is going to make a MLB roster. It’s hard not to put it bluntly, but I think it’s pretty undeniable.

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      • Women were literally banned from Major League Baseball until 1992.

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      • KB says:

        Ok, so women aren’t banned now?

        Again, an organization is going to pass up on a player that can contribute because she’s a woman? If you want to get cynical, I’d argue this would be really valuable to a franchise that struggles with attendance. Let me know if you find a female that can OPS .750 in the major leagues.

        And again, I think the discrepancies in the front office can be attributed solely to different interest levels between males and females.

        This site normally prides itself on letting the numbers dictate conclusions. Anecdotes from Mrs. Ng don’t quite cut it for me.

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      • KB says:

        Also, I want to note that 1992 was 20 years ago.

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      • Liem says:

        KB,

        I understand your point and agree that the current situation on the field, and perhaps the front office has nothing to do with willful discrimination; however, MLB teams have discriminated against a group of people, despite the overwhelming potential for production from members of that group. The Boston Red Sox did not integrate their major league roster until they played Pumpsie Green in 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the barrier for the Dodgers.

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      • Bhaakon says:

        That was 60 years ago. None of the people involved in baseball’s segregation are still in the league (if not literally, certainly in any significant capacity). Even the Red Sox example was over 50 years ago. Bringing up a historical situation like that is irrelevant, you might as well argue that the Supreme Court is sexist because of the Dredd Scott decision.

        Not to say that there aren’t legitimate reasons to suspect bias, just that the exclusion of African Americans when most of the current owners were in diapers isn’t among them.

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      • WilsonC says:

        I think we’ll see a female player in MLB eventually. I also think the opportunity is there, it’s just ridiculously hard to reach that point. Eri Yoshida is going for it. It’s an incredibly long shot for anyone of her size and velocity level to make the majors regardless of gender, but she’s in a pro league that has been a starting point for players who have been signed by MLB teams. If she can manage to refine her skills and dominate in that league, she’ll catch the attention of MLB teams.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I think we may eventually see a woman in professional baseball, but not MLB.

        It may be low minors, or independent league … but I think we’re drastically understating the quality of athlete at the ML level.

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      • Liem says:

        Bhaakon,

        The example I brought up was not used to show that racism still exists in the MLB. It was used to show that organizations will continue to operate under the status quo, even if that status quo contains an inefficient bias. Remember, I was responding to KB’s assertion that no “organization is going to pass up on a player that can contribute because she’s a woman.” The fact is people are very capable of performing irrational acts, even when there are compelling market forces that would encourage otherwise.

        But to address your point that segregation ended in the MLB 60 years ago and that it should no longer be a point of concern, you may be surprised by this:

        http://articles.latimes.com/1987-04-09/news/mn-366_1

        This was only 24 years ago and involved a man, Al Campanis, who actually played with Jackie Robinson. I do believe that Campanis is not a racist in the sense that he wants to harm onto minorities. I think instead he an example of how difficult it is for even strong, intelligent, and caring people to change their attitudes about the status quo.

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  59. Jim says:

    Having met Kim Ng a number of times, I KNOW that she knows more about not only baseball statistics but also the inner workings of how a baseball team is and should be run, that most of you “experts” making your comments on this site. She put in her “time” working for peanuts in the front office. She is probably more qualified than most in the “losers” club that seem to go from team to team without any success but are hired just because they have the “name” .

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    • fredsbank says:

      having met bill clinton, barack obama, george bush, gordon brown, nicholas sarkozy, vladimir putin, and david eckstein a number of times, i can also claim things on the internet

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  60. Lion of the Senate says:

    Nobody deserves anything.

    I know dozens of men that want to work in baseball…..I know 1 woman. The ratio is literally 50-1. What’s holding back women is women.

    Kim Ng is going to have to provide names of actual people to prove to me there are talented people being kept out of the game. Name. Who are they? Not imaginary problems and imaginary people. Real names.

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  61. boxx says:

    Well this topic has branched off into two main topics: Women competing in sports with Men and Women in the Front office. I’ll tackle the latter first.

    I think the main point that everyone is missing is that major changes in almost any facet of life take a lot of time. How many centuries had to pass before women had what we deem basic and unalienable rights. You gotta be patient. Ng is a trail blazer we just haven’t seen it yet. There is undoubtably quite a few little girls out there who have read a story about NG and have become inspired to follow in her footsteps. More women becoming immersed in sports will lead to more women raising to it’s highest levels, be it in the media, business, front office and all other branches of the sports world. It takes time and the rise of Ng proves that the shift, although in it’s infant stages, is indeed happening.

    As for women competing at the highest level, I’m sorry ladies, but no. The evolution of the male athlete is immense in the last 25 years much less 50. Between technology and education and the millions of other underlying factors, to compete in the pro sports that require optimal athleticism, the standard of physical prowess has become ansurdly high. When I say optimal athleticism I speak of sports like Football, Basketball, Track & Field, Boxing and to a lesser extent Baseball (afterall David Wells wasn’t exactly a brilliant physical specimin but he was terrific pitcher). Compare 100 meter dash times of the fastest woman ever to Usain Bolt. There is no comparison. There is a reason women don’t box against men. There is a reason the best female basketball players couldn’t play in the D-League, much less the NBA. And Ladies, it has nothing to do with suppression. If there were any women with the requisite skill and talent enough to do so, they would. Money rules everything these days and if a pro sports owner or GM thought a women could help them win they would be signed. End of story. Could you imagine the marketing bonanza that would surround a female pro linebacker or female shortstop or a female heavy weight boxer? Are you kidding me? What owner wouldn’t want to cash in on that? Heck what LEAGUE wouldn’t want to cash in on that.

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  62. mike says:

    if women are working in baseball then who’s supposed to make us guys our sandwiches?

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  63. boxx says:

    One final point. Whether it’s Danica Patrick or Michelle Wie, the American media salavates at the chance of seeing “a girl beating the boys”. Patrick isn’t there for show. She isn’t there for her looks, whatever you happen think of them. If she was danger to others she wouldn’t be there. She is there because she is a racing phenom and as a female phenom, she is a profit juggernaut. Wie is also a golfing prodigy who may or may not have been good enough to compete with the boys, but she did. Sure she was very young and pretty and it was more of a money grabbing stunt by her parents (this seems to be the consensus), but it doesn’t change the fact that she was a phenom. Car racing and Golf are legit sports but they don’t require the shear physical abilities that baseball does. Again to be clear you don’t have to necessarily be a world class athlete to be a baseball player, but if you aren’t you better be damn great at something. Al Leiter was a crummy athlete by his own admission, but he could throw a baseball at a world class speed and level. Pablo Sandoval (well last year at least) looks like a meatball but can hit a baseball at a world class level. It’s a level of physicality that Al and Pablo share at what they do on a baseball field that no woman can match.

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    • boxx2 says:

      Nick,

      You can change the argument and change your user name, but it doesn’t make you any more correct.

      And, your bad grammar gives you away.

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  64. Joe says:

    Let me tell you what the actual problem is: I’m a white male, MBA from a good school, 5 years of management and operations experience, love baseball, sabermetrically inclined, blogger, etc… and I can’t get a job in baseball operations because 1) I didn’t play minor league baseball and 2) I don’t have any contacts inside a front office.

    So why the hell would I care if women have access to these jobs if I don’t have access either? This isn’t a male/female problem, it’s an insider/outsider problem. You aren’t going to get a lot of sympathy from men over the small percentage of women who want these jobs… because there are tens of thousands of people like me and far less of you. So we can all boo-hoo about it together.

    (By the way, it does seem to be getting a little bit better. They’re hiring more outsiders… but those jobs don’t pay much, supply and demand and all that, and I have a family to support. Oh well.)

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    • Liem says:

      Joe,
      You might be right about this: The lack of women in the front office is more likely to be to symptom of archaic hiring practices that draw upon a very small pool of candidates. As you mentioned, that pool does appear to be broadening as owners attempt to make their companies more efficient and outsiders, mainly from financial backgrounds, are being brought into the fold. What will be interesting to see is whether this broadening talent pool will include women (and other minorities as well) and, as a result, bring the disparity between men and women closer to that of other industries. My guess is that many women will still be overlooked simply because of the prevailing notions of gender and sports that prevail in our society today.

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  65. Christina says:

    One point- notice all the women posting in this thread- many of whom rarely post here (myself included). Maybe that is a hint that there are more female readers of fangraphs and otherwise hard-core baseball fans than some of you realize. Just because we don’t play Fantasy baseball doesn’t mean we can’t or don’t want to be in baseball related jobs.

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  66. CircleChange11 says:

    With the comment about Ankiel’s rear, the point I was getting at is those both ladies would say that they follow baseball. My SIL is an avid Cub fan, and my wife helps me coach the youth teams (and does a lot more than just bring the snacks). Neither of them could tell you what a good batting average, let alone some of the more advanced stuff.

    I was simply commenting on the vagueness of the stat presented.

    I think a woman could be GM of a team, and I feel comfortable saying that men are more comfortable working for a woman than other women are.

    I just want to see evidence that there’s discrimination going on before we jump to that conclusion.

    If the data shows that there is, or very well could be, then we would need to speak up about that … Or better yet do something about that.

    But I think most of us here knew right off that most likely it’s a numbers thing. That there’s even 2 women in front offices in a leadership role was surprising to me. Both because baseball is a predominantly, almost exclusively, male sport … and I didn’t think many women really had the interst in terms of being in charge of scouting and development, player contracts, etc. I would have thout that being in the locker room or playing field would have brought on the “Good Lord, I’m surrounded by idiots” type of response after seeing that even 29yo millionaires still grade each other’s farts.

    When I look at the situation, I guess I just assumed that a qualified woman with leadership skills would seek something more important than being a baseball GM … But I would never hold them back intentionally. I just don’t see evidence of discrimination.

    I do agree with others about the “insider” aspect of baseball. Heck, part of Kerry Wood returning to the Cubs involved discussion over a future in broadcasting.

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  67. CircleChange11 says:

    Imagine trying to negotiate a contract with a female GM?

    She’d bring up a failed hit and run play from 9 years ago.

    Ah, it’s funny because it’s true.

    -10 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bryz says:

      $20 says men have been justifying their hate of a single player for committing a similar failure for years.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Or an umpire. *cough* Don *cough* Denkinger.

        Really, I was just saying that men don’t win arguements with women. Even when you win, you lose.

        Really, I was just making a joke about relationships between men & women, namely marriage … and winning an argument (negotiation).

        Hopefully, no one took me seriously.

        It’s not like I said that a female GM would release a player if his wife showed up wearing the same dress/outfit as the female GM at a baseball function. Oopsie. Heh Heh.

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    • d240z71 says:

      Dude Kim Ng beat Eric Gagne in Arbitration while Gagne was in the middle of his saves streak…

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  68. Jimbo Jones says:

    There will always be a preconceived notion that men more than women are closely tied to “mens” sports. I’m Polish and that absolutely makes sense(at least at the moment). However, just because something may make sense does not mean that going another direction will lead in an erroring direction. Women, have been known to handle very stressfull situations more then a male. This was proven when flying to space, where if anything fails your a dead body in an empty never ending vacum. If women can handle themselves better then a man could in outterspace then I am sure they could handle some math and some by-laws in MLB. I raise my glass to any woman who has tried and to any woman who has and will try to break what is an invisible barrier. My point of view might be biased since I have seven sisters, but if Hillary Clinton, Ms. Rice, Madeleine Albright can obtain major political roles (in no way am I comparing politics to baseball). Then a woman could manage a boys game without a doubt in my mind.

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  69. David says:

    I have to believe there are several, if not many, women more qualified than Bill Bavasi.

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  70. dcs says:

    I know a married couple. The wife uses “eng”, and the husband uses “en-gee”. The “real’ pronunciation in China probably uses a vowel sound that similar to ‘ang’ or ‘eng’ but somewhat different.

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  71. CurtB says:

    You mean to tell me with all the money there is in winning, that baseball owners/managers wouldn’t put a woman on the field if she was the best for that position? Come on. You know darn well they would. If my Seattle Mariners could find 9 women that are better than the crap they have now, nobody would care==if they were winning. Equality means only one thing: everyone has a chance to prove they are the best. Equality does not mean that there should be a certain amount of blacks, whites, women, men, etc. That’s the liberal spin that doesn’t make sense.

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  72. Sky says:

    “For over 100 years, the old men’s club meant something. So did cigars and hookers. Now it all means nothing because a bunch of ladder-climbing women are trying to reinvent MLB leadership.”

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  73. Don Parnell says:

    If I spend 500 million dollars on a team the last thing I am going to do is become all politically correct and hire a women GM when there are literally thousands of men who are qualified.

    All I have to do is look at the nature of womens’ sports like the WNBA, or Women’s soccer, of ladies college hoops and see how horrible those sports are, and it is loud and clear that when a women runs a team the team will be bad.

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    • Bryz says:

      Let me copy Nick for a second.

      “Until you back that up with stats, your opinion is completely wrong.”

      It’s also blatantly disrespectful.

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  74. LJ says:

    You know what’s more rare than women in baseball? Jokes about the issue that actually succeed at being funny. Still waiting for one.

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  75. MrKnowNothing says:

    female baseball players are the next inefficiency that beane will exploit.

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  76. Telo says:

    Hey, this thread is reaching #6org proportions.

    That’s how you know it’s garbage.

    (The thread, not the article. Preachy, entitled women and closed minded men. The truth is always somewhere in between. My opinion, front offices should have 50 spots per club, so we can all have jobs. It ain’t just the women who are being shut out…)

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    • The women on this thread can speak for themselves, but none of the women I’ve talked to about this issue have felt “entitled.” They want to be able to earn a job in baseball on their own merit, not to have it handed to them as a token. But many men in baseball — and many men on this comment thread — do not seem to feel comfortable with the thought of seeing women in baseball operations.

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      • Max says:

        Yawn. Alex champion of suffrage, womens rights, etc.

        man you are a blowhard.

        pls get off your soapbox.

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      • Telo says:

        Entitled:
        to furnish with proper grounds for seeking or claiming something

        That definition sucks, but lets all assume we know what the word means. These women want jobs in baseball. They feel like they aren’t getting them because they are women – that they deserve more than what they are getting.

        I think that’s a tenuous claim to make.

        In the post-sub prime meltdown economy, when businesses look for ANY edge they can to succeed, and in this day and age of hyper-sensitivity, when the mere presence of women and minorities in high ranks is sought after for fear of forming a bad public image, makes it hard for me to believe that any position besides maybe the GM would have any sort of sexism at all biasing the hiring process.

        If you think otherwise, you probably need to spend your time more constructively. Like working on your resume. Or writing about baseball. Or anything more constructive than whining.

        The world is full of people who blame their problems on someone or something other than themselves. Unfortunately, some of the women in this thread sound like those people.

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      • KB says:

        “But many men in baseball — and many men on this comment thread — do not seem to feel comfortable with the thought of seeing women in baseball operations.”

        Lol, no.

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      • KB says:

        Meaning I think his statement was completely incorrect, not that I’m not comfortable with females in baseball.

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      • Elias says:

        it is pretty obviously the men in this thread who feel entitled to jobs in MLB and not the women. take telo’s comment and change a couple of pronouns and i think it’s pretty clear what is really going on here:

        “These [men] want jobs in baseball. They feel like they aren’t getting them because they are [men] – that they deserve more than what they are getting.”

        else, why get so worked up about a few more women in baseball?

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      • Telo says:

        @Elias

        You literally an idiot. Changing the pronouns makes that sentence gibberish.

        The fact that you think we are “getting worked up over more women in baseball is hilarious. It’s called reading comprehension.

        We are arguing that the balance of women in baseball is appropriate, a natural balance, if you will, commensurate with the number of qualified applicants.

        I’m not sure if you are a troll or a moron, but in either case… just read it, man. Read the words.

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  77. Eric says:

    A lot of Republicans here…

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    • Elias says:

      you might be right, but you don’t have to be republican to be a sexist jerk.

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      • fredsbank says:

        you also dont have to be a republican to want to some shred of proof for remington’s point either, i voted for barry and am registered with the big D

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  78. Bradley Emden says:

    Lets do an experiment over the next 20 years. Have little leagues include all the boys and girls that want to play. Have parents train their offspring, male, female, straight and gay to play hardball. Then in 25 years we will see how many make the upper levels of professional baseball. Maybe fangraphs can put up the money for such leagues. I know growing up I lived, slept and ate baseball. Many of my friends did the same. We played ball all day long, organized or not. We found a park and chose-up teams and played some more. There were not too many females chomping at the bit trying to get into the game. Believe it or not they were always invited. At the end of the next quarter century those of us who are alive can find a place to comeback and discuss the results.

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  79. Don Parnell says:

    Girls can play softball they can stay away from the baseball field. Damn political correctness is going to be the death of this nation.

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  80. delv says:

    Hey, Alex, I’m sure you realize this, but the wackos that attack most of your articles aren’t representative of the majority. I think you do a good job and I appreciate your willingness to cover interesting subject matter.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Personally, I think Alex is in danger of not being taken seriously.

      Not that I am anything special, or one that others need to be impressed.

      But, I rarely remember author’s names (just not that important to me), but I know his … from this article and the hockey one.

      It’s not that he is effectively presenting content that challenges one’s thinking or attacks the norm … it’s that he’s said rather outlandish and unfounded things without presenting the relevant data.

      I think that’s fine for just discussion sake, but not for an author/contributor for an analytic website.

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      • jlive says:

        That is just too priceless an opening line from you, the commenter I take least seriously on fangraphs.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Great.

        You’l note the difference between an author and just another jag-bag commenter, right?

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      • vivalajeter says:

        jlive, that’s interesting because CircleChange is about the only poster whose username I recognize, and I think he has some of the most thoughtful posts on the site.

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    • fredsbank says:

      hey delv, can you get us some numbers on that?

      i mean, no one in this article supporting the affirmative action side seems to be able to, i just think you might.

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  81. Justin Bailey says:

    A lot of people in this thread should ask themselves: if your daughter wanted to work in an MLB front office, would you actively discourage her from pursuing that goal?

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    • KB says:

      No, why would anyone do that?

      But would I cry sexism if she didn’t get the job? Hell no.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Doesn’t it depend on the daughter’s knowledge and experience?

      As a parent, wouldn’t I be required to describe the whole situation?

      That would seem to apply to whatever career a child was interested in.

      My daughter wants to be a veterinarian. If she had very little experience with animals, wouldn;t that affect the advice I would give her, as compared to a situation where she had raised and cared for animals her entire life?

      I don;t think one can just make a statement with so much missing information.

      If a c-average student talked about medical school all the time, wouldn;t I, as a parent, have to say something about the reality of that proposition? I wouldn;t just keep feeding the dream for the purposes of not wanting to be the “bad guy”.

      If my daughter was qualified and intersted, I would certainly encourage and assist her. But, I would also discuss the obstacles with her, and then let her make the choice.

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    • BillWallace says:

      It depends on the personality of my daughter, and why she decided she wanted to work in that field.

      There are very few women who are genetically wired to work in hard-driving life-absorbing fields. And it’s pretty obvious from an evolutionary perspective why that’s the case. A lot of the women who work in those types of fields, even the ones who are very successful, are unhappy. There are exceptions, women who are wired like a man, and succeed in the toughest endeavors.

      If I thought my daughter was such a woman, I wouldn’t discourage her. But in the more likely event that she just really likes baseball, I would discourage her.

      I personally have no problem with women being allowed to enter virtually all fields, including baseball operations. What you’ll end up with naturally is men dominating a number of the fields that they currently do or have in the past, with the occasional exceptional woman. This is all fine, and occurred even the most patriarchal previous versions of our culture. What’s a disaster is ‘equality of outcomes’ thinking, that compels women into these fields against the natural balance.

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      • Joe P. says:

        BillWallace:

        Stop while you’re way behind. “There are very few who are genetically wired to work in hard-driving life-absorbing fields.” Um, what? I’d love to see you support that with any sort of meaningful science. Every single female attorney with whom I’ve ever interacted would beg to differ, just for starters.

        A more substantiated observation: There are no commentators typing under the name “BillWallace” who are genetically wired to produce anything other than baseless, sexist bile. Go troll somewhere else.

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      • BillWallace says:

        lol women lawyers… probably the unhappiest demographic in the country, aside from the infirm. That’s the tragedy of feminism…. it so harms women.

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  82. Joe says:

    This seems very relevant:

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/03/18/female.airline.pilots/index.html?hpt=T2

    It’s about the scarcity of female commercial airline pilots. Well worth reading, as many of the factors certainly relate to the topic in this thread.

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  83. DodgersKings323 says:

    Being a Dodger fan i have seen my share of ineptitude, there is no doubt in my mind some woman somewhere can do the job. Let me see, oh say be on par with Juan Castro?? Be a better GM than our bozo Colletti? Be a better dugout strategist than Joe Torre after seeing how awful he is, despite them never having worn a jock strap. There is still rampant sexism and racism everywhere, no surprise.

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    • DodgersKings323 says:

      If a 40 year old knuckleballer or a 400lb tub of lard can find a gig tossing a few innings on some scrub team, no doubt a woman can find the touch to give a few innings of relief work somewhere.

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  84. Colin says:

    There are a lot of posts here, and I don’t know if I’m the first to mention this…..but I really thought this was going to be some kind of joke/semi-serious and funny article about how a Chinese/Taiwanese player who recently came to the major leagues from overseas was disappointed by the lack of women groupies. Tell me I’m not the only one??

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  85. CircleChange11 says:

    Tomas,

    Don’t confuse BF% with athleticism.

    There are lean people that are both out of shape and unathletic.

    Baseball, including pitching, requires a ton of althletic ability. Otherwise, anyone can hard work and practice themself into being a MLB pitcher.

    But, it does bother me, that at an intelligent website that we equate appearance with ability. That applies to the comments about Cabrera being fat as well.

    There are males with outstanding physiques that will never throw 90 mph even with all the practice and coaching in the world.

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    • Garrett says:

      Could you explain athleticism and then quantify it?

      Pretty sure that baseball pitching is an esoteric skillset that not corroborate with a general understood idea of athleticism. (Reaction time, force production, etc etc)

      I’m interested in how you would think that these is not a correlation between carrying “useless” (I’m aware of what positive uses more BF has, and they’re rather limited in application to baseball) tissue and increased athletic performance (IE playing baseball good).

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Pretty sure that baseball pitching is an esoteric skillset that not corroborate with a general understood idea of athleticism. (Reaction time, force production, etc etc)

        Wow, you just stated that pitching that not quality as an activity in force production. That’s an insult to both physics and pitching. You realize all of pitching mechanics revolves around force production and transfer?

        Timing, balance, and controlled explosiveness are the central components of picthing.

        ————————–

        Okay, now you’re moving the target. You’ve changed “athleticism” to “improved performance”.

        I never said that BF% does not hinder performance.

        IMO, athleticism is something you’re born with. If it’s not a “natural ability” then it’s a term that describes the collection of one’s natural abilities.

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      • Garrett says:

        Walking also involves all the elements you listed. Force production and transfer.

        Congrats for insulting physics and walking.

        Can you draw some parallels between known measures of force production (Max deadlift, max vert, etc) and ability to pitch, then show that these have a higher correlation to pitching ability that other athletic endeavors? Doubtful. Good effort at argumentation though and trying to twist my argument into something that it isn’t.

        The final part is just retarded. Athletes aren’t “born”. You don’t magically wake up and are Barry Bonds. So congrats on another retarded point. Its a combination of genetic potential and training adaptation.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        In terms of athleticism, pitching is as athletic or more athletic than hitting, especially when breaking it down to mechanical steps. Both are viewed/measured as being more “skill-based” than athletic movements in other sports. So, if that’s where the disconnect is, that’s an easy fix.

        Tim Lincecum is a great, albeit extreme, example of maximizing force production in pitching mechanics. Every part of his mechanics is by design. Luckily for him, he has the natural ability to repeat it over and over. I’d love to see Carlos Zambrano try a stride length of 120% his height. *big grin*

        I’m trying to think of how I can simply explain this without sounding like a prick or going on and on, but …

        … my guess is the difference in opinion has to do with a difference in how athleticism is defined/used.

        The final part is just retarded. Athletes aren’t “born”. You don’t magically wake up and are Barry Bonds. So congrats on another retarded point. Its a combination of genetic potential and training adaptation.

        I find it very strange that you would phrase your comment this way.

        You make fun of me for saying that athletes are born, as if major leaguers just got there without practicing (or as if anyone would state such a thing).

        But then say that it’s a combination of “genetic potential” and “training adaptation”.

        Don’t we all realize that Albert Pujols doesn’t do a special set of hitting drills that no one else knows about? The secret to Mickey Mantle’s 5-toolsyness is not alcohol and sex (Wow, I wish it was!).

        The difference between “the best” and the “the rest” is genetic, since everyone pretty much trains the same. I think an argument could be made that some of the “the rest” trains both “smarter” and “harder” than the best. The difference is entirely genetic or innate.

        When someone says “athletes are born”, they do not mean that the athlete can reach the pinnacle of their sport without practicing. They just mean that, in the end, genetics rule. Surely, that goes without saying.

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      • Garrett says:

        Everyone pretty much trains the same?

        More utter retardation. Congrats.

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      • Garrett says:

        You likely don’t read this blog as you would have actually read this article. But maybe you’ll pay slightly more attention.

        http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/article/physical_conditioning_results/

        PS: I reread your argument comparing pitching a baseball to swinging a baseball. Evidently every “athlete” only places baseball. Cute sample. Congrats.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Garrett,

        I’m really at a loss in what you’re arguing. You’re making a lot of insults, and saying some rather obvious and simple things.

        [1] Yes, most baseball players pretty much train and practice the same. At this point in the deal, many of them play/train year-round. Many have private coaches, and do the same types of workouts. They may differ a little on philosophy, but there are pros with different approaches and philosophies … so that’s not a make or break issue.

        The guys that go on to the pros are not doing “secret drills” or attending “private sessions” with the coach, where the coach gives them the “real information” that the rest of the team does not get.

        If they do, please share the information.

        [2] I’m not talking about athletes of other sports … otherwise I would have asked you what Barry Sanders did to become Barry Sanders, and why don’t more people just do that? (especially the undersized guys). I’m talking about baseball players, because of the content of this site.

        [3] I’m not sure what you want me to gleen from the article. Athletes from all sports are bigger and more conditioned than they were 25 years ago. Many of them train year round, so do college players … so do a lot of HS players. I’m not following how that plays into whether athletes are born or not.

        I am however, flat out, saying that major league baseball players do not and were not doing special drills or special practices that their non-pro college and HS teammates were not doing.

        Most of these guys had coaches/college coaches/scouts talking about how special they were at age 12, well before they would have received the “special instruction” or “top secret drills”.

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      • Garrett says:

        Considering you did not even address the other article that Tango mentions (the one introduced with “glove slap”), nor seem to have passing knowledge of training methodologies outside of baseball (which is woefully lagging behind virtually every other sport in terms of both preparation and science… though the latter will likely beget the former). I’m at a loss for what you actually are “discussing”.

        Perhaps every baseball player is doing 5/3/1 in the offseason at the MLB level. Perhaps every “athlete” (since we’re drawing the pool of athletes into the most specific sample we can) harbors secret misgivings about modern training methodologies like Ken Griffey Jr. (Ever wonder why Bonds is GOAT and Griffey gets comments about his body “giving out”. Oh. You just handwave that away with a fundamental misunderstanding on athletic preparation and talk about genetics.) etc etc etc

        You are unfamiliar with the subject and have narrowed you already myopic focus. Perhaps if you delve into the athletic community more broadly or even bother to understand training in the baseball community, you’d understand something. I’ll even give you a hint. Learn to differentiate between GPP (general physical preparedness) and SPP (specific physical preparedness). From there you can understand which category “drills” would fall in and which category talks about athletic ability. Perhaps in some distant point in the future you can even begin to understand how athletic training works.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Garrett, we’re not even talking about the same topic.

        Just show me what drills and workouts major leaguers did that their college and high school teammates did not. What did they do differently?

        My only reason for continuing the discussion is to arrive at the point that “Athletes are drafted for what coaches cannot teach.”

        In other words, 5’9 160 pound dads can lay off their kids, and stop dragging the to private coaches all over the state, and yelling at them for everything (I mean encouraging them).

        You already made the best point in the discussion, and you didn’t realize it. The average Mariner is 6’3 226.

        The difference between “the best” and “the rest” is natural ability. That’s reality.

        You’ve moved onto another subject that deals with bringing ability closer to potential. That’s not what we were discussing.

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    • Garrett says:

      Garrett, we’re not even talking about the same topic. ~ Obv. Because you’re uneducated so its impossible for me to engage you in discussion.

      Just show me what drills and workouts major leaguers did that their college and high school teammates did not. What did they do differently? ~ Have I discussed SPP one iota? You clearly did not read or understand my prior post. Given the fact you are ignorant, it isn’t surprising. You gloss over pertinent information about the training of “athletes” and instead rant about SPP for baseball players. Cool starry bra.

      My only reason for continuing the discussion is to arrive at the point that “Athletes are drafted for what coaches cannot teach.” ~ Cool cliche. Thanks for alerting everyone that professional athletes are at elite genetically.

      In other words, 5’9 160 pound dads can lay off their kids, and stop dragging the to private coaches all over the state, and yelling at them for everything (I mean encouraging them). ~ Didn’t you just talk about Tim Lincecum? He is smaller framed than the person you mentioned and slightly taller. David Eckstein is around this size as well. So congrats. More nonsense.

      You already made the best point in the discussion, and you didn’t realize it. The average Mariner is 6’3 226. ~ And how good is the average Mariner? I spy the best player on the team being around 4 inches and 50 lbs short of that mark. Best point, eh? Too bad I didn’t even give a shit about that article. I was like the Boddy article that explained how not everyone does the same drills. Yet you instead continue to insist that all players train in the same fashion. You also ignored the Granderson remark. Note the repetition here: Ignorance.

      The difference between “the best” and “the rest” is natural ability. That’s reality. ~ Yes and no. See Griffey and his comments regarding modern athletic prep. Perhaps actually looking into other sports (Oh wait, you’re ignorant to athletes in other sports. Still don’t understand how GPP is applicable across sports to various athletes.) Welp… can’t make that point since you don’t bother to read prior points.

      You’ve moved onto another subject that deals with bringing ability closer to potential. That’s not what we were discussing. ~ Really? I thought we were discussing athleticism. We already provided some preliminary definitions. Force production for example starts at virtually 0 and is developed. Using a fairly broad indicator of hip extension, such as a power clean. We can easily conclude that almost everyone who trains force production in this way will be superior to those who don’t train explosive hip extension (instead laying on their couch or what not). So how exactly could we discuss athletes without discussing their training methodology. Again, brazen ignorance coupled with your faux-know-it-all attitude.

      Lets looks at a quote you made: “But, it does bother me, that at an intelligent website that we equate appearance with ability. That applies to the comments about Cabrera being fat as well.” That is what you said then. What about… now: “I never said that BF% does not hinder performance.” Hrm…. So saying that Miggy is fatter… Could be a valid assessment of his athletic performance (GPP)? Wao. Isn’t that the exact opposite of what you just railed against?

      Fucking trolls.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Thanks for alerting everyone that professional athletes are at elite genetically.

        Exactly. Those that are not pros, are generally not at the same level in regards to athleticism and natural ability (genetics).

        When you look at high school practices, college practices, high school off-season programs, college off-season programs, the players are generally doing the same things. Which brings us to ….

        I was like the Boddy article that explained how not everyone does the same drills.

        And yet the former-pro (Nomar) talked about it as if it was from another planet. I wonder why that is? Surely not because most baseball players train in the same fashion? Heck he even mentioned that as a pro, he did not think clubs would allow him to continue the workouts. Again, I wonder why that is? Because it’s common for professional baseball players to have individual workouts? Or to do speed/agility enhancement training?

        It’s only a big deal because all of the other athletes aren’t doing it … which was my point all along. The difference between pros and non-pros, up to today, has not been “training differences”.

        You keep telling me that training improves performance, and we all know that. My point is that, when looking at the group of professional baseball players, it’s not an issue because they all train in a similar way … and your example, specifically Nomar’s reaction to it, hammers the point home.

        What could happen in the future is that it is common for baseball players to train in this fashion, and it’s probably a good idea. But then, that’s how the vast majority of baseball players will train … and we’re back to the same situation. Why do some stand out? Or specifically why do some make it to the pros whereas their teammates do not?

        Steroids, as mentioned in the article, is a good example. When only a few were doing it, they had a big advantage (Canseco, for example). When the most gifted athlete used them, it was game over for everyone else. When the group was doing the same thing, the ones with the most natural ability won. It’s actually a pretty good study for topic we’re discussing.

        You can continue to call me all sorts of names and mock my intelligence, and I will continue to ask for information regarding how current major leaguers trained/practiced differently than their college and high school teammates who did not make it to the professional level. It’s very simple.

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      • Garrett says:

        http://ericcressey.com/tim-collins-why-everyone-should-be-a-kansas-city-royals-fan-at-least-for-a-day

        You’re a full on retard. Learn about the sport before your spout off.

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      • Garrett says:

        Oh. Pls cite your Nomar comments and link. I link my evidence. Or cite commonly understood (not in your case) basics of exercise science. You rely on retelling anecdotes.

        Funny.

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  86. Coby DuBose says:

    Not reading 343 asinine comments and non-sequitors.

    Will say that there’s a massive gap in argumentation in most (if not all) of these comments.

    The author seems to think that:

    1) Professional baseball experience is not necessary to be a successful executive.

    This, I agree with. There are plenty of examples of guys who didn’t play in the Big Leagues who are running teams.

    Where you miss the mark is in dismissing baseball experience at ANY level. Go through the guys on your GM list and see how many have played baseball at the high school level, college level, or minor league level. I’d be willing to bet that your number climbs to somewhere near 100%.

    There’s a lot to be learned about the game from getting in the dirt, no matter what level. This is an important part of the foundation for any successful baseball executive. The guys who make it add brains, people skills, luck, timing, and about 7 more factors to get to the top. But don’t dismiss the fact that they’ve built a strong foundation for front office success with at least some baseball experience.

    It’s entirely possible that a person could have success with no baseball experience whatsoever. There’s nothing to really substantiate that with at this point, though.

    The stat community would gain a degree of legitimacy if it would drop the militant “playing experience is unnecessary” rhetoric. It reeks of needy self-confirmation and largely misses the mark in a lot of ways.

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  87. Jim says:

    I like how Alex demands objective evidence of other people to back up their points, yet he continually falls back on, “Ng and Siegal tell me there are tons of women who want jobs in MLB!”

    I also like how he ignored the point about no female writers on FG.

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    • Kim Ng has been in major league front offices for 20 years, and her experience and opinions constitute data. Qualitative data, not quantitative data, but data nonetheless.

      Bethany Heck, whom I quoted and who commented in this thread, writes for Notgraphs.

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      • fredsbank says:

        no one’s opinions constitute data, that’s why there are two different words for them- opinions are (subjective) things you think based of off data, whereas data is (objective) measuring of the attributes of variables

        bethany was quickly trounced with facts in her brief foray into the comments on this thread, and so probably isnt the best name to be name-dropping, and notgraphs, well, i think the title of that site pretty much sums it up.

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      • No. In the realm of statistical analysis, very few things are truly “objective,” as you no doubt have realized by now. Constant discretionary choices are made when models are formed, to determine what is included, what is ignored, what is assumed away, and what is emphasized. And, of course, intelligent analysis of the exact same data can frequently produce diametrically opposing results — and there is very little “objectivity” at any point in that process.

        In this case, Kim Ng’s opinions can be used as a proxy for quantitative data, because she has been in major league front offices for 20 years and therefore in a position to observe the effects that she speaks of. You can think of her as an expert witness in a trial, if you like — expert witness testimony is a type of evidence.

        Your definition of “opinion” applies best to your own opinions, which are both subjective and largely irrelevant, because you don’t work in a front office and have no firsthand experience. You’re entitled to state your opinions, of course — it’s a free country. But your opinions are qualitatively different than those of a woman who works in baseball.

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  88. Jim says:

    @Coby DuBose

    Really, dude? You honestly think playing high school ball or warming the bench for Yale gives you a significant edge on someone who never played?

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    • bflaff says:

      It infuses your bones with baseball’s magical essence – something a non-player will never experience. Apparently. Eating pizza with Coach Reed and the other Cubs after a 14-2 stomping really prepares you for management at the highest levels of MLB.

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  89. Jim says:

    And for god’s sake can Appelman put an IP ban on CircleChange or something? I think we’ve all had enough. We get it dude, you’re the coach/dad/regular joe guy who tries to step in and bring some reality to the stat-obsessed keyboard gazers. Go away.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      This is what I don’t get. I don’t trash other posters. I don’t talk as if my preference is the only preference. I link to sabermetric information I read.

      I’m not trying to bring reality to anything or anyone. I simply am highly interested. I’ve said many times that I’m a stats geek trapped in an athlete’s body.

      Everyone realizes that I/We don’t walk down the street and folks yell “Hey man, awesome comments on Fangraphs yesterday” or even “Get a life you Jag; you’re a waste of bandwidth.”

      People do seem to think that the comments in the forums are life-changing events, or even important. They’re not. It’s just a bunch of fans talking baseball and stats.

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      • Danmay says:

        CircleChange11-

        At the risk of sounding like a dick: I don’t think you should be surprised when some people get annoyed by your style of commenting.

        Don’t get me wrong, I think that your comments are generally great and almost always add something to the conversation. I, personally, would really miss your comments here and at inside the book. It’s not that I always agree with you, but your contributions clearly show that you care about what you say and have put thought into your writing. Finally, unlike many commentors, you do actually bring personal experience to the table and make your background well know; which I think makes it easier for someone with a different background to understand where you are coming from.

        But, as a coach/teacher/parent, I think you should understand best of all that some people just get rubbed the wrong way, and it is not a reflection of anything that you are doing wrong.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I’m fine with that. I have to make decisions every day that not everyone is going to be happy with.

        I just want to be sure that the way I am saying things does not ruin other people’s enjoyment of the forum.

        When I speak of my background, it’s not to use it as a “I know better than you” hammer, just it’s a large part of who I am.

        I’m the guy that’s refining formulas to send to Dan (the ZiPS guy) that he can use to convert 2012 projections into player ratings for The Show (video game). I think that’s about as far from “bringing reality to the stats community” as one can get. *big grin*

        I don’t mind being unpopular. But, I don’t want to be offensive.

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    • fredsbank says:

      you know what the cool thing about the internet is?
      you dont have to read his posts if you dont want to.

      really.

      like, for serious.

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  90. Omerta says:

    There will be a woman who pitches in the majors, either as a starter or a reliever, before the end of this century.

    I’m much more doubtful on the chances of there being a successful hitter/fielder.

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  91. williams .482 says:

    I believe that a woman could potentially play Major League baseball on this logic:
    1) there is a large amount of variance in baseball playing ability between people, of the same sex or not (duh).

    2) the difference between the baseball playing ability of men and women is smaller than the difference between, say, Albert Pujols and Willie Bloomquist (more debatable).

    Essentially, (this is my belief) there is eventually going to be a woman with proportional talent to Pujols, and that will be good enough for at least a utility job in the majors, possibly more.

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  92. kev says:

    Until they start putting kitchens in the dugout, women will not be in baseball. Period.

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  93. Kat says:

    It would be great if Fangraphs would at least have a poll asking for the gender of its readers. I suspect there are more women here than are represented by male and/or gender neutral names in the comments section. Especially if, like me, the female readership of this quantitative/stats oriented site has a significant overlap with women who have interests or professions in quantitative, technical, or otherwise male-dominated fields and spend most of their free energy dealing with gender issues in their professional life and don’t care to deal with that in their non-professional interests/hobbies as well.

    Doing a poll of the gender of Fangraphs readers would at least lay to rest the assertion that women who are interested in baseball statistics is practically zero. Given the number of women I see posting on the SBNation fan site that I frequent who are at least reasonably fluent in baseball statistics, I’ll humbly guess that there are a few more women who read the site than the handful who have been brave enough to comment in this somewhat hostile thread. If readers are saying “more stats please!” at least provide a pathway toward getting stats that this website has access to.

    I’m not saying that the female readership of Fangraphs is the same as the female applicant pool for baseball FO positions, but quite a few people here have made assumptions that no or very very few women read this site because there are no women in their fantasy baseball league, which is a rather laughable assumption.

    Kudos to RoxGirl, Bethany, and others who are representing here.

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  94. jfish26101 says:

    This thread is really depressing. It is 2011 people, not 1950 or 1850.

    The article speaks to the real disparate treatment against women in baseball (sports in general). To support that assertion, it focuses on a woman who has been on lists as one of the top GM candidates for nearly a decade and asks (1) is she qualified to be a GM and (2) if so, is she getting a “fair” opportunity. I put fair in parentheses because it is difficult to determine what fair is.

    There are over 300m people in the USA, 51% of which are female. Alex puts forth a study showing 35% of females are interested in baseball and Jean Hastings Ardell in her book “Breaking Into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime” puts forth an analysis of MLB attendance figures showing that in 2002 35% of fans in attendance were females (and rapidly growing with studies showing women preferred to watch on television). So I think it is relatively safe to say that females are approaching equal interest levels in baseball so we can throw that argument out. I think we can also throw out the argument that women are only casual fans and are not interested in statistics or the subtleties of the game. So if women are relatively equally interested in the game of baseball (at least 40-60 but probably closer to 45-55) and the ratio of men to women is equal (51-49 in favor of women), shouldn’t there be relatively equal ratios for employment?

    Oh but “men are better at baseball!” Let me ask you, do you have to be an expert at the jobs you are managing to be a good manager? Meaning do you have to be a chemical engineer to manage chemical engineers? If so then companies all across the world are doing it wrong because that just isn’t how it works. The job of a manager is to manage resources (time, people, capital, etc.) while attaining organizational goals. They don’t have to be experts at the jobs they are managing, they just have to have a fundamental understanding of those jobs and be able to create the environment and conditions allowing their employees to accomplish those goals. GMs (like all high level executive jobs) surround themselves with scouts, lawyers, statisticians, etc. that do those jobs for them. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think it is inherently wrong to seek experience (either on the field, in the dugout, or in the front office) as desirable criteria but it isn’t essential and the lack of said experience shouldn’t disqualify otherwise equally qualified candidates.

    OK so if interest is relatively equal, availability is relatively equal (ratio of men to women), and being good at baseball isn’t a bona fide occupational qualification, what exactly is the problem? Perception! This same argument can be seen throughout our country; the lack of women with high executive positions in Fortune 500 companies is another example as was the 2010 with the presidential election and Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, the problem is too many people don’t think there is a problem.

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    • jfish26101 says:

      …that should have been:

      “This same argument can be seen throughout our country; the lack of women with high executive positions in Fortune 500 companies is another example as was the 2008 presidential election and Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, the problem is too many people don’t think there is a problem.”

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      My question is “How do we know that 2 women in MLB front offices is not really good progress?”

      We need to stop acting like women have had the same interest or attempts in [1] becoming a MLB GM and [2] attained executive positions in the business world.

      They’re not and we need to stop acting like it’s an open and shut case of “keeping women where they belong”.

      That MAY be the case. But, it also may not.

      Ng said that 4 teams interviewed her for GM positions, and she did not express that they were just token interviews. That’s pretty cool to me, because I doubt there have been very many women actually trying to get GM jobs in baseball for very many years.

      What I’m saying is let’s at least “aim before we shoot”.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        It isn’t a question of whether it is really good progress. If 50 years ago there were no female FO execs, 10 years ago there were a dozen, and today there are 2-3 dozen…that may be good progress but it could still violate EEO policy and be disparate treatment against women (a protected class). Of course baseball is above the laws of this country (drug use, operating as a cartel, allowing agents as “advisers”, etc), I suppose nobody should be surprised that EEO policy doesn’t apply to them.

        I don’t understand why men think women would be less interested in sport. Is it because they have a vagina? Is it because society still sees them as playing with barbie dolls? To be interested in sport would put their sexuality into question? There is nothing that I can think of that explains why some men inherently think women aren’t interested in sport, or at least not as interested as they are. There are a lot of laws dealing with this issue due to those types of attitudes.

        I wish data from MLB was made more available, it would make it much easier to prove a point on this issue one way or the other. As it stands, either said can just say “prove it” and stay entrenched on their side. However, I think you are being very naive if you think women have equal opportunity in professional sports because certain classes of men still don’t have equal opportunity hence why the NFL needs rules like the Rooney rule.

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      • RC says:

        “I don’t understand why men think women would be less interested in sport”

        Because its statistically verifyable with attendance figures, merchandise purchases, neilsen ratings, etc.

        As the population is currently constituted, women are less interested in sports than men.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I don’t understand why men think women would be less interested in sport.

        It’s either because they have a vagina or because in general, far more men, are interested in playing, coaching, owning, managing, and operating a professional baseball team.

        You do understand why people think men would be more interested in running a baseball team. You are not being honest. You know this because of your everyday experience in baseball as a fan, as one interested in stats, etc. You, like everyone else, can simply “look around” and notice the predominant gender of those doing the same thing.

        I’m not saying that women are not interested in running a baseball team. Clearly their are. But folks need to stop acting like they’re everywhere and it’s obvious to everyone.

        I would also say that we have to be getting close to the point where the number of females participating in sports is nearing, or perhaps surpassing, the number of males participating in sports. Sports are not “just for boys”, and haven’t been for a long time. The big difference between the two genders that I noticed is that the best female athletes are also among the best students.

        Anyway … those of us commenting that women interested in becoming a GM are fewer in number (Much fewer) are simply speaking from what we view as common knowledge. It is entirely possible that we are operating with an outdated opinion. If that is the case, then I would think that someone would show us some evidence to change our mind, so that we may be more accurate.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        Fair enough CircleChange. You are speaking from your experiences, I can understand that. I just happen to think (1) your experiences may not be typical or (2) the lack of opportunity is the reason for your experiences not their (women) want/opinion. If I know there is little use in pursuing something, I probably wont pursue it but there are people out there that do it anyway…that pave the way for future generations. Take your last line of the 4th paragraph, I think female student athletes take their studies more serious because they know there aren’t many opportunities for them in sport so they have to have a backup plan. Boys all across the country grow up thinking they will be in the MLB, NFL, NBA, etc. and, unfortunately, are left with very few prospects when the vast majority fail. It isn’t that women aren’t more interested in their sport, they just know they better have other options.

        Like I said though, I can understand speaking from your experiences. Thanks.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I personally think that women as female baseball exucitves is a fairly new endeavor … as opposed to say politics.

        Women as leaders has become more and more commonplace, including areas that have traditionally been ‘male”.

        I think we have kinda knee-jerked to the “other side” in regards to political correctness, and I think women have become unreasonable (sometimes) in their expectations of the rate of social change.

        I have very little doubt that there will continue to be more and more female executives … especially when considering how the role is changing. It isn’t so much gut feeling, talking with the boys, etc. It’s managing communication lines, scouting departments, … much more like running a regular business than ever before.

        We know that men and women’s brains are “wired” differently, we know we have different levels of hormones, etc. I think we could say that in a scientific sense, a women’s brain is more suited to running a MLB front office than a man’s. Actually, looking at how the world is changing, we (guys) should have kept telling women that Science was gross and that Math is boring, and how lucky they are to really like “reading novels and stuff”, because once they figured out that girls can do and are good at lots of things, they are taking over (look at college campuses for a glimpse of the future). The future I see is one where guys (generally speaking) come up with ideas and play around with stuff, and then women go “make it happen”. Our world is changing from a hands-on type of environment to a “mental organization” type, and that doesn;t favor men … genetically and physiologically.

        So, if I were talking to women …. I’d ask them to relax, keep at it (You’re doing great), and the only thing that can stop the “Takeover” is if the aliens beat you to it. Be gentle.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        I have a problem with that though. It sounds like you think women can do the job and should eventually get the chance to do so but, for now, they should just be happy with the opportunities they are given. The rate of social change shouldn’t be an issue to me, if something is wrong you fix it immediately not take years and years of slow, hard fought progress until you ultimately reach a point where things are relatively equal. Instead of being afraid of women surpassing men, I wish those men would just bust their ass a little bit and improve themselves.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Not only do I think that women can do the job, I think the changing nature of the job, are likely better suited for it. It’ll be based less and less on observations, impressions, experiences, etc … and more based on who manages, interprets, and analyzes “fx data” better and whose formulas and programs best analyze mechanics and injury risk. Women have been “running stuff” since humans appeared. It’s no secret.

        But, what I am is realistic about social change and the rate at which it occurs. I don;t want women to have to wait longer than they should for their opportunities, but I also don;t want us to knee-jerk the other way and hand jobs to women just to make ourselves feel good. If they’re the most qualified, then give them the job.

        I make the same point about prospects v. veterans (service time be damned). The American Way (in theory, is the best person gets the job), in practice it has been the best white male with family/friendship connections gets the job … but largely in the past.

        As I mentioned before, we were desegregated in the 50s. We currently have a biracial President. 60 years. I’m sure for some that’s a long time. For me, viewing human history, that’s pretty darn remarkable.

        There are 2 FO execs in MLB that are fmale. I doubt ladies have been trying to become GMs for decades. I say “give it some time” (before we start the mob) since I view it as a relatively new endeavor.

        Over the next deacade I could see a handful more becoming FO execs, and that would be tremendous progress (comparatively).

        I don’t think we necessarily have to get to 35% of the GMs being female for it to be “fair”.

        What I am specifically saying is that it is unreasonable for women to demand that more GMs be female immediately (or in the next couple years) without proving that there are MORE qualified female candidates that have not been hired due to their gender. That has been an assumption, or an insuation by some, but has not been demonstrated or really supported.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        How do you prove women are qualified to be a GM? Especially when it is extremely difficult for them to get any job in baseball?

        If you agree that being the GM of a baseball organizational is mostly general managerial/business principles then there is nothing that you could do/say/show that says a women can’t be as qualified as a male. That is just a fact.

        So the obstacles remains opportunity and it is changing very slowly. Professional organized baseball has been around for nearly 150 years and I believe you can count the number of female GMs, assistant GMs, Presidents, VPs, on your hands.

        It is OK to be a realist but don’t promote/accept/perpetuate the problems. I’m not suggesting MLB pressures the next 10 MLB owners/presidents that have GM openings to hire the first 10 women that walk in off the street but it simply isn’t logical to think there are a couple hundred males more qualified than the most qualified female. Ng has been considered one of the most qualified GM candidates for nearly a decade yet hasn’t gotten a chance to sit behind the desk. How many GMs have there been in that same time frame? 50? 100?

        It at least seems you are willing to admit there is a problem, you just don’t think we should be too concerned with it.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        I apologize for the grammatical errors, should have taken a little more time in writing that one. :D

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      • WilsonC says:

        Even an immediate fix won’t show immediate results. Even if a company went from a policy of almost never hiring a woman to a perfectly egalitarian hiring process overnight, it would take years before the company’s staff appeared equal. Change in procedure can sometimes be quick, but even if an unrealistically perfect scenario, it can take many years for that change to filter through the system.

        Take a hypothetical organization of 100 employees, 90% male. New ownership comes in and gets rid of their discriminatory hiring processes. Over the next 10 years, there’s a 30% turnover – 27 men and 3 women leave the company, to be replaced by 15 men and 15 women. In addition, 10 executive-type positions open and are filled internally, 9 by men, 1 by a woman, all company veterans. The raw stats for that company might look discriminatory – 78-22 male/female ratio, 9/10 executive positions filled by men – despite the company operating under perfectly fair procedures for a decade. It might take 40 or 50 years before there’s a 100% turnover and the workforce perfectly represents their egalitarian hiring practice.

        Kim Ng is an interesting individual story, but if we really want to look at the state of opportunity in baseball, we need to start from the bottom up. The interns, the minor league staff, the sales directors, etc. might not be people any of us have heard of, but they’re more realistic positions for people getting their foot in the door to start building their networks. How many of the low-end positions are filled by women? Of the women in the industry, is there a significant difference in their rate of advancement compared to the men? How much of the difference comes from playing experience? Are there particular areas in the field where it’s particularly hard for women to break into, and what reasons are there for it? How do these numbers compare with past years? Whatever the results, what are some possible causes for the percentages?

        There could very well be a real lack of opportunity for women in certain roles in the front office. Or a perceived lack of opportunity based on the state of the game twenty years ago could be leading most of the top female talent away from the game. Or it could be that there was a lack of opportunity years ago when the current crop of execs were starting their careers in baseball, with more women currently at earlier points in their career arcs. Or it could be that outside of a handful of meteoric risers, a large percentage of the front office personnel was hired when playing experience was weighed disproportionately as a criteria on a resume. Or it could be that there are certain entry points into the field, such as scouting, that few women pursue.

        I suspect we’ll start seeing more women in prominent positions over the next decade or so, but it’ll take a generation or two before the overall numbers reflect a change in hiring practices.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        It at least seems you are willing to admit there is a problem, you just don’t think we should be too concerned with it.

        I’m more than willing to acknowledge a prolem. It’s not that I am not concerned. It’s that it hasn’t been demonstrated that there is a problem.

        No one, to my knowledge, has posted any data showing what % of GM applicants are female, what % have been interviewed, and a general discussion of their qualifications.

        I generally approach situations without emotion, until I’m shown a reason to get fired up.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        But you will never see that data. Ever. MLB wont release information like that.

        So if that is the stance you are going to take then there never will be a problem. You said you were basing some of your opinions on personal experience and observation. Well how often do you even hear of a female applicant? How many times has a woman been interviewed? Has anyone besides NG been interviewed? Whatever, I’ll stop replying but I think you are way off on this.

        To WilsonC, I don’t disagree. Even if people inside of baseball decided to fix the problem, it will take years, decades for there to actually be equality in baseball (racial and gender). Again, I don’t mean 50-50, I mean equal amount of positions for equal amount of interest/qualified applicants. There is nothing about being the GM of a baseball team that makes a man more qualified than a woman. I hope Ng doesn’t get discouraged, many people in baseball are at least willing to admit she is qualified so you would hope it happens in the next decade (it shouldn’t take a qualified person 20 years to get one shot) but the ol’ boys club is so close knit that I’m not sure it will happen.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Why wouldn’t we ever hear about it? It’s not a National Security secret.

        If I were conducting research on the issue and I contacted each team and asked them how many female applicants/interviews they have had over the last 20 years and then the number of male aspplicants/interviews, why wouldn’t they tell me?

        If I asked the commissioner/office, why wouldn’t they tell me?

        “I think we’re downplaying the difficulty of these jobs,” she says. “Just because someone fails, that doesn’t mean it’s just because she’s a woman. I think we need to get a lot more women in the system. And then maybe one of them will be good enough.”

        Ng’s comments.

        I think some folks are convinced there’s a problem whether there is or not, and the evidence/research be damned.

        Ng says the need is getting a lot more women in the system. Doesn’t that seem like an indication of their not being very many?

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      • jfish26101 says:

        Because MLB doesn’t like to disclose any information they don’t have to. That is sort of common knowledge and part of why Selig has been trying to help find a resolution to the Wilpon-Madoff case to insure there is no risk of MLB books being opened and why the SABR movement has had so many problems advancing. No MLB isn’t a national security issue but they act like it is.

        Yes part of the issue is the lack of women in the system, but the underlining issue is the lack of opportunity for them to get into the system. It isn’t that hard to understand and it isn’t like MLB hasn’t had an adverse reaction to change in the past (African American ball players most notably). You really aren’t thinking critically about the issue here, you have very little incentive to take MLB’s word on anything yet it seems to me you are perfectly fine ignoring the writing on the wall because you are being told it isn’t an issue.

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      • WilsonC says:

        “To WilsonC, I don’t disagree. Even if people inside of baseball decided to fix the problem, it will take years, decades for there to actually be equality in baseball (racial and gender). Again, I don’t mean 50-50, I mean equal amount of positions for equal amount of interest/qualified applicants. There is nothing about being the GM of a baseball team that makes a man more qualified than a woman. I hope Ng doesn’t get discouraged, many people in baseball are at least willing to admit she is qualified so you would hope it happens in the next decade (it shouldn’t take a qualified person 20 years to get one shot) but the ol’ boys club is so close knit that I’m not sure it will happen.”

        I agree that Ng is extremely qualified and would love to see her get her chance, but I think you’re underestimating how hard it is to get an opportunity for anyone past the point where Ng is. Scott Proefrock has similar credentials and it’s taken him even longer to get a shot. Al Avilla has a similarly extensive resume. Bill Geivett, Ben Cherington, Jason McLeod, Damon Oppenheimer, Bobby Heck, David Forst, Tony LaCava, Logan White – there’s an enormous number of hugely credentialed individuals in the same boat as Ng, some of whom have been waiting as long or even longer than she has. If Ng was a man, it’s certainly possible that she have gotten a GM position if she was a man, but it’s just as possible that this article would be written about Afterman and Ng would be yet another name on the long list of veteran executives with the same ambitions.

        Then consider that there’s 30 MLB GM jobs in the world. Of those, I count 10 that have been filled by the same person since 2002 or sooner, which leaves about 20 jobs that have had turnover since she rounded out her resume on the player development side in 2004. At least seven positions were filled internally. Several others were filled by someone who had previous GM experience. Even considering some of the positions that have turned over more than once, there’s been maybe 10-15 openings where a candidate in Ng’s position would have a reasonable chance at advancing regardless of gender, and several times that in GM hopefuls with major credentials. A few of those were filled by people with very little inside experience, but rather exceptional young business minds where experience clearly didn’t play much of a role in the hiring.

        On the other hand, there’s at least 60 women in the AL East alone in various executive, manager, director, or administrator type positions, not including the minor league staffs. That includes only the job titles that imply some kind of coordinating or supervisory role; there’s also a lot of executive assistant, financial, HR, marketing, etc. positions held by women. I counted ten Vice Presidents, including Assistant GM Jean Afterman. The majority will likely never advance anywhere near the point of being a GM candidate, but that’s true of anyone in a middle management position. There’s a lot more women with the foot in the door in some form of decision-making role in baseball than the conventional wisdom seems to imply. I have no idea if this sample is representative of the other 25 teams.

        An area where women seem to be extremely rare is in scouting, which count well be one barrier as to why we don’t see many women yet in assistant GM roles. A number of GM’s have some degree of scouting background (Zdurednik, Williams, Towers, Sabean, etc. ). Other assistant GM’s come from a scouting and player development background (White, Oppenheimer, Cherington, etc.). A lack of women in scouting undoubtedly reduces the talent pool from which GM candidates are formed. That could also be an insider/outsider thing rather than a gender one – the origins of scouts is an article in itself, really.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        WilsonC, again, I agree with most of what you say. I understand how difficult it is having had the opportunity to discuss those issues with two current GMs about their experiences. In one instance (about 3 years ago), I even asked them what they felt about Ngs’ situation and they gave a very political answer basically saying she is an extremely intelligent and talented person with many of the skills necessary to do the job but not saying anything definitive one way or the other. Both times I came away thinking it was a good ‘ol boys club more than ever.

        Take your final paragraph, the lack of women in scouting. This is where the two main topics of the discussion blend together (1) the ability to play/understand/analyze baseball and (2) the ability to manage a baseball organization. There is a certain school of thought that says you must be good at the first to be able to do the second, but we are seeing that isn’t the case. That school of thought is the traditionalist view of baseball any part of the problem which restricts opportunities for women. The lack of minorities in higher executive positions is more interesting in this context because there has been an increased acceptance of minorities in baseball for 70 years, yet we still don’t see high levels of minorities.

        The discussion is extremely interesting, it just frustrates me when people downplay the very apparent issues. Just browse this thread and read all of the shortsighted, disgusting, offensive comments being made under the anonymity of the internet. There is still a real aversion to women and minorities holding top management and executive positions in America because white males still have enough of the pie to influence how things work.

        Thanks for the comments, very interesting.

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      • “Ng says the need is getting a lot more women in the system. Doesn’t that seem like an indication of their not being very many?”

        I asked her what she meant by this, and she meant that there were not many women being hired into the system. She implied that qualified women were indeed applying for these jobs. When she said “getting women into the system,” she meant getting baseball teams to hire qualified women.

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      • WilsonC says:

        I think it’s important that we don’t confuse the insider/outsider disparity with the gender disparity, though. If a man who can’t hit, run, or throw faces the same barriers as a woman, the statistics will overwhelmingly favor men in those areas, but it’s not a true gender issue; 99% of the male population faces the exact same barriers. There could still be gender biases beyond that, but they’re two separate subjects, and it’s a way that statistics can easily present a different picture than what’s going on.

        We’ve seen that you don’t necessarily need to come from an extensive baseball background to be successful, and there’s certainly no reason to think that a woman in the mold of Jon Daniels or Andrew Friedman – a brilliant business mind with a passion for baseball coming from the outside – couldn’t be just as successful. On the other hand, if a team places a higher value on the established connections and the ability to intuitively process the information provided by scouts and statisticians, there could be a real advantage to someone with a baseball background who’s advanced through the system. A team thinks a scouting background is important, which would be the bigger gender issue: to look for people with the skills they seek despite the fact that there’s few women in that pool, or to devalue those skills in order to achieve a particular gender distribution?

        We may well see more of a shift toward business experts rather than baseball experts, or we could strike more of a balance between the two – it’ll evolve in whichever direction is most efficient over time – but I think it would be extremely smart of an organization to make a focused effort on recruiting outsiders – especially women – into their scouting departments. There’s a lot of subjectivity involved in scouting – having a balance of women would help give a wider range of perspectives when looking at a player. Another entry point would help get more women into the system with a broader range of skills.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        Eh, I don’t hold as much faith in the free market as you do. I think history shows, if left alone, change with these types of situations is slow at best but typically stagnant or nonexistent until something forces change. Usually that change agent has been government but I hope they stay focused on more important issues. It took a couple hundred years for correct side to win out when it came to slavery in this country, even longer for women’s rights, yet there are parts of the world that still haven’t come around. Obviously this issue wont take that long but baseball fans are going to think how backward we were when women are finally accepted in baseball.

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    • RC says:

      35% != 65%

      It isn’t approaching even interest levels. Its not even close.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        That was in 2002 and interest levels have been rapidly increasing.

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      • RC says:

        Got a datapoint for “Rapidly increasing?”

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      • jfish26101 says:

        You continue to be very constructive with your comments. /sarcasm

        Even if the ratio is 65-35 (despite MLB attendance figures showing the percentage of females in the stands are above 40 percent for an extended period of time), what percentage of FO jobs are currently held by women? If the availability of women is 35 percent of the market, 35 percent of those jobs should be held by women. I’m not looking for 50/50 necessarily, I’m looking for fair, for equal opportunity. There is no legitimate reason why a women couldn’t be the GM of a baseball team and it surprises me that anyone can say with a straight face that they don’t feel women have less of a chance to hold that position than a man of equal intelligence and qualifications (again, playing baseball is not a bona fide job requirement to be the GM of a baseball team).

        No matter the time period we are in, there is a certain percentage of people that will never change their opinions on subjects like this and I would wager a guess that posters like RC and CircleChange11 fall into that category. They are well behind the times; the kind of people that were pro slavery well past abolitionism, were against women and minority rights and their opportunity to participate in sport well past the Civil Rights Act, and will continue to be well behind the times into the future. They are afraid of change, they are afraid that advancement of a certain gender or race probably means less rights/opportunity for them. I’m not trying to say those kinds of people are racist or sexist necessarily (for example, you can be against women in sport without being sexist) but they are set in their ways and wont change. Maybe one day they open up their eyes and minds but they are lost causes until that day comes.

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  95. jfish26101 says:

    Verify it for me then.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=FEkgMoEMVkAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Breaking+Into+Baseball:+Women+and+the+National+Pastime&hl=en&ei=b8GITfHfI4WO0QGtk6TpDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Page 215

    MLB’s own market studies showed that 35 percent of the fans in the stands during the season were female despite studies showing women prefer to watch on television. That was nearly 10 years ago, I would guarantee interest levels have risen with MLB’s attempts to market their product more towards women.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2010/04/20100412/Opinion/Gender-Barrier-Weakening-In-Baseball.aspx

    “It saddens me to say that if Ng were a man, she would have become a general manager years ago based solely on her baseball pedigree, vast experience in contract negotiations and her two decades of service to the sport. Unfortunately, it will take an epiphany by one progressive owner to realize that gender should not be a deciding factor in who will run the baseball operations department.”

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2003/06/20030616/Special-Report/Leagues-Work-To-Build-Diverse-Crowds.aspx

    “Major League Baseball’s fan demographic patterns since 1998 suggest the league may be relying too much on proactive teams like Anaheim. In 2002, MLB had the second-highest percentage (46.6) of female fans of all the leagues, but that was nearly stagnant since 1998, according to a study conducted by SportsBusiness Journal in conjunction with ESPN Sports Poll.”

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/images/articles/SBJ200306162302-02.jpg

    Shows the percentage of MLB fans that are women has been between 42-46 percent from 1998-2002. Again, I imagine female interest in MLB has risen since MLB unrolled their marketing plan specifically targeting women in 2003.

    http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/binary-data/WSF_ARTICLE/pdf_file/191.pdf

    Page 34: “In 2001, women purchased 46% of official NFL merchandise. (Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, Dec. 24-30, 2001.)”

    Could keep going…and going…and going…

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  96. Arturo says:

    I will tell you guys why Baseball operations is a men’s industry. Think about baseball players specially the ones living in a minor league academy where they have to follow strict rules that include no visitation and a curfew. Most of these guys do not even have cars (at least the recent international picks) and the number of women they encounter is very slim.

    Imagine a woman putting herself in this situation and dealing with players on a day to day basis… that might include walking into the clubhouse and watching these guys in their underwear. IT IS SIMPLY NOT A WOMAN’S WORK ENVIRONMENT. So instead of taking the risk and hiring a woman that might file sexual harrastment complaints they hire just guys. I am not saying women don’t belong in baseball but they simply do not belong in the baseball part of the industry. Women can be great at sales and customer service but leave baseball operations/scouting for people who have actually played the game

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  97. Opinionated says:

    you guys are mostly all sexist jerks go away and let the women out onto the damn field!

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