Women Are Coming to Baseball, Like It or Not

A month ago, I wrote a column about Kim Ng, the senior vice president for baseball operations for Major League Baseball. Ng, the Dodgers’ former assistant general manager, wished that more women were hired to jobs in baseball and thinks that there are more women who want and deserve jobs in baseball than are able to get them. This blog post became, I think, the most-commented on post in the history of Fangraphs. Many of the comments were negative toward women — either incredulous at the idea that many women wanted to work in baseball or openly hostile toward the idea of women in the sport.

A few of the comments:

“The only way there will be more women working in MLB is if they start to have cheerleaders.”
“I think what the comments show is that there’s a lot of feminine men out there who are ruled by their women.”
“I’m not disappointed about the lack of women in MLB – I’m happy about it.”
“A lot of estrogen fueled whining about something that hasn’t been calculated.”
“Until they start putting kitchens in the dugout, women will not be in baseball. Period.”


A lot of the comments probably were intended as humor, but regardless of the intentions, they showed there are a number of male baseball fans who are uncomfortable with the idea of women in the sport. It shocked me to read that kind of bile on Fangraphs, so I talked to two more women who are trying to make their way into and around the sport. The first was Kate Sargeant, an umpire who has worked at girls’ baseball camps run by Justine Siegal (whom I interviewed in the previous article), who has struggled to find work in professional baseball. The second was Marisa Ingemi, the newest blogger at John Sickels’s minorleagueball.com, who also writes about baseball, lacrosse and hockey on a host of other blogs. She is 14 years old.

When it comes to hiring women, Major League Baseball still has a ways to go — just today, Richard Lapchick’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida released its latest report on baseball’s hiring diversity practices, the 19th that the Institute has issued. While baseball received an A for racial diversity, it received a B- overall in gender diversity, down from a straight B last year, including an F for gender diversity in Team Vice Presidents and a D for Senior Administration positions. The report explains, “The decrease in the grade for gender was a result of a drop in women in the League office, team vice presidents and team professional positions.”

Justine Siegal is 36, and she has struggled in her attempts to break into the game. “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,” Siegal told me. “And that’s frustrating when we want the job.” Marisa Ingemi is that next generation, though she is an an aspiring sportswriter and radio host — her role model is ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan — rather than an aspiring umpire or executive.

Ingemi has had a quick rise, needless to say. “I started following baseball about three years ago when the Red Sox were in Japan playing Oakland,” Ingemi told me by email. “I fell in love with the game. Along with that, I followed the PawSox because I wanted to know what was going on when players were called up, and that turned into the whole minor leagues.” She now writes on one of the most prominent baseball blogs, as well as a host of others, covering three sports by blog and podcast. “I haven’t had too many issues, gender-wise,” she said. “It’s mostly been my age that has gotten me negative feedback.”

Kate Sargeant got into umpiring through her dad, a Little League ump. If you want to be an umpire in Major League Baseball, there’s only one way to do it: go to one of the two official umpiring schools, pass your evaluation and then work your way up through the minor leagues. Sargeant went to both academies, ultimately going through umpire school an almost unprecedented four times. “I had friends who were embarrassed on my behalf,” she said. “People have the idea that you’re born an umpire or you’re not.” She reached the evaluation stage the third time, but she was unable to pass.

In her four trips through umpire school, Sargeant was joined by three other women. Two of them wanted to be umpires and came to school at the same time. Another time, Sargeant was joined by a woman who wanted to own a team and wanted to understand every facet of the sport. None of the women made it as minor league umpires. Generally, the instructors treated the women well, though they were certainly conscious of their gender. “I didn’t think I was treated differently from other students,” Sargeant said. Until the school’s evaluation came — and though the umpire crews were supposed to be assigned randomly — all three women were told to work together. “I kind of thought we were being made a spectacle of,” she said. “It seemed like a little bit of fun was being made.”

Sargeant had more trouble with the men she worked with. “Among my peers, there are people who didn’t want me there,” she said. “There were some people who were very vocal about being very upset that a woman was trying to get the same job that they had.” Ingemi agreed: “I’ve had my fair share of people saying women shouldn’t be in sports.”

Sargeant made more serious allegations regarding a former minor league umpire, Ria Cortesio, who in 2007 became the first woman in 18 years to work a major league exhibition game, and then was fired later that year. According to people Sargeant talked to, Cortesio was the top-ranked AA umpire going into the 2007 season, and would have been eligible for promotion as soon as a retirement created an opening. So, in order to block her promotion, the AAA umpires agreed that none of them would retire until the umpires were re-ranked and Cortesio was no longer at the top of the list. At the end of the season, Cortesio was let go because the minor leagues has a policy to terminate any umpire who has not been promoted within three to five years, and it was her fifth season.

Both Sargeant and Ingemi agreed that while it’s absolutely true that more men follow baseball than women, the number of women is significant. “I know more men who follow the sport, but more women do than you think,” Ingemi said. “Sometimes I feel women are afraid to show they like sports because of public reaction.” Initially, many women may get into the game due to family connections. “Most of the women I know who umpire have some connection to the game,” Sargeant said. In large part, that’s because most girls are steered to softball while boys are steered to baseball. But that is changing. As of 2009, more than 1,000 girls were playing high school baseball, and Siegal’s baseball camps, clinics and tournaments are trying to make the sport even more accessible to females.

Between her stints in umpiring school, Sargeant worked in a number of independent and college baseball leagues, including the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League and the Independent United League. Through league play and through Siegal’s camps, she continues to network with women who are passionate about the sport. She can tell that times are changing, but it isn’t happening quickly. Mentioning Eri Yoshida and Tiffany Brooks, both of whom played independent league baseball last year, Sargeant said, “I think there are women knocking at the door, playing-wise.” As for women like her, she says, “Just because I can’t hit a ball 450 feet doesn’t mean that I can’t make sound judgments at the plate [or] make sound judgments on the bases.”

The more women who get involved, the easier it will be. For Ingemi, so far, gender has been no hindrance. “In my lacrosse writing, I think it may have helped me because I am one of the only women writers, but for baseball I haven’t been doing it long enough yet to get feedback for my gender.” she said. “I don’t know if being a women will help me or hurt me somdeay.”

Sargeant had a very different experience, and has worked at reaching out to girls to demonstrate that there are other women who are passionate about baseball. “When I was coming up, I didn’t know any other women umpires. I thought I was totally alone,” Sargeant said. “There’s just going to be more exposure to the idea that women can be involved in the national pastime.”

UPDATE: A reader at the Inside the Book blog pointed out Bruce Weber’s book “As They See ‘Em,” about umpires and umpiring. From pages 152-162, Weber discusses Ria Cortesio. He corroborates Kate Sargeant’s timeline of events, and though he doesn’t explicitly allege collusion against Cortesio, the insinuation isn’t hard to draw.




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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.


324 Responses to “Women Are Coming to Baseball, Like It or Not”

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  1. CircleChange11 says:

    You lost me at “women” followed up by a wall of text.

    -128 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ari Collins says:

      Was it reformatted in the 25 minutes since you posted that? Doesn’t look like a wall of text to me.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TinyTim says:

      Cosigned.

      -65 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Telo says:

      Seriously. We are still talking about this? I love title though – he’s really sticking it to us!!!!!

      Dude, no one cares. The ratio of women working in baseball to women who love baseball and want to work in baseball is approximately the same as the men who work in baseball who love and want to work in baseball. If you think that isn’t true, you are delusional and looking for injustice where it doesn’t exist.

      This is not something worth writing or talking about ever again.

      -75 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jaywrong says:

        i think most of the people who complain about too many women have had too little amount of them in their lives.

        try to get some head for the first time and come back.

        -45 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        jay he said nothing about “too many women” but you forced that joke out just the same…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • patmccaw says:

        Where do you get those figures? Do you see the hypocrisy in commenting on a site dedicated to statistical sophistication, and making up facts to reinforce your prejudices?

        Or wait. Was that not intended to be a factual statement?

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      • jaywrong says:

        @tom, what makes you think it was a joke? granted, i was a bit too drunk, but this isn’t just a man’s game. negative comments on my post aside (i really could give a flying funk i got the minus button), i think anyone who is against women in baseball or an article like this should frankly be punched in the nads.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Noxage says:

      He lost me when he failed to back up any of his arguments with any quantitative proof.

      Well intended.

      Poorly executed.

      A trend for Mr. Remington. The weak link of FG writers. (Your post regarding the Winter Classic is still worse. So maybe you’re actually getting better).

      -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Technically, Alex is a womyn

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      Did I reference my half-assed college career yet?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Franco says:

    I like how you acknowledge that the comments were meant as jokes… than write a way too long article as if they weren’t jokes.

    -85 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • I have no idea if they were meant as jokes. I didn’t ask their authors. They were offensive, regardless of how they were intended.

      +96 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        If you have “no idea if they were meant as jokes”, then it was a mistake to write that they “probably were intended as humor”.

        Even if it is true that “there are number of male baseball fans who are uncomfortable with the idea of women in the sport” (how could it not be? 1 would suffice), the comments you quoted do not constitute evidence of that.

        The article would have been just fine without the reactionary, PC opening, which is better described by the word “bile” than the comments quoted in it. You intentionally created drama where there was none.

        -35 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • There was a great deal of drama in that comment thread. I was greatly offended by those comments, as were a number of other commenters in the thread, both male and female. (All of the comments I quoted received numerous negative votes.)

        +55 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        “There was a great deal of drama in that comment thread. ”

        Sure. But this article isn’t about that thread, is it? And if you’d say that it is, I’d say – why would you want it to be?

        The fact that you were offended by some comments that day doesn’t seem to me to warrant making what the excellent and I think interesting subject of women in baseball all about how you think certain jokes are in poor taste (and/or mistakenly take them as evidence of the fact that there is a gender discrimination problem in baseball).

        Cut off the first couple paragraphs and this is just plain ol’ interesting research – the stuff fangraphs is usually good for.

        -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Not A Moron says:

        That’s because you’re the kind of moron who gets offended by jokes.

        -73 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Septimus says:

        Or because those are the kind of jokes that are designed to offend people — jokes that express a bigoted and barbaric viewpoint. If you’re not trying to hurt people, you don’t make those jokes, or else you couch them very clearly in terms of “hey, this is what an idiot would say.”

        (And even then, the intent is pretty dubious… what’s funny about being reminded of the existence of sexism?)

        +59 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • WilsonC says:

        It would be a stronger article if you cut the opening.

        Any article on a popular, public website that touches on a potentially controversial topic is guarantees to draw out trolls. There are ignorant people out there, and there are people who simply like to get an emotional rise. There’s an informative article in there about some women who are working their way into baseball, but I had to force myself to read past the opening to get to the meat of it. In responding to the trolls, it also sets a tone for the article that doesn’t need to be there.

        Let the article be about the women you interviewed, without digging up the dregs of the response to the last article.

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      • Erik says:

        Not to mention they weren’t even funny if they were intended as jokes

        +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Gee says:

        Welcome to the internets

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      • fredsbank says:

        wait, erik, you’re the absolute source and judge of all humor? thank god we’ve found you, now quick, someone get him all existing artistic material for evaluation!

        -26 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • evo34 says:

        By all means, any time you are offended, write a new article about it. Put it on the front of fangraphs. Make sure it’s sufficiently inflammatory and poorly researched to draw a ton of comments. Do what you can to take attention from real baseball issues.

        -24 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Surrealistic Pillow says:

        “. . . I was greatly offended by those comments . . .”

        Really? If you’re truly capable of being offended by anonymous, facile comments over the Internet then I recommend thickening your skin a bit.

        -13 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Paul Thomas says:

      It’s arguably worse to write offensive things, not because of an honest-if-hopelessly-misguided belief about the way the world works, but rather because you get your jollies offending people.

      One is a bigot, but the other is simply an asshole.

      +36 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Josh says:

    I, for one, am thrilled at the prospect of women integrating into the baseball world. I always love hearing lots of viewpoints and educated opinions about baseball goings-on, and I’m sure that we are missing out on many of those viewpoints and opinions by excluding half the population from the discussion. I think that more women baseball writers and executives will make the sport richer and more enjoyable for everyone who is willing to accept these new voices.

    +70 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. adam b says:

    Excellent work, fascinating read. I learned new things, hooray!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Reverend Black says:

    “A lot of the comments probably were intended as humor, but regardless of the intentions, they showed there are a number of male baseball fans who are uncomfortable with the idea of women in the sport.”

    …No, they didn’t.

    -68 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Septimus says:

      Yep. They just show that there are a lot of baseball fans who like making women feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. The motives of said jerks are a matter of speculation, and while “there are a number of male baseball fans who are uncomfortable with the idea of women in the sport” is a logical inference, it can’t be proven that that’s true in all cases. Maybe some people are just jerks.

      +36 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fredsbank says:

        no, they showed there are a lot of fangraphs readers who have grown accustomed to actual data and analysis, not mere conjecture and supposition.. though to be fair, alex does have a career trend of more ConSup+ produced than wDATA and wANA…

        -15 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rob says:

        How does derision toward women show that you’ve grown accustomed to data and analysis?

        +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Gee says:

      I’ll take it one step further. These posts, even thought they might be jokes, show that all men are uncomfortable with women in the workplace. Comments on the internet are the best source of information, and it’s best to use that evidence in an anecdotal way.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jason B says:

        “show that all men are uncomfortable with women in the workplace.”

        Whaaaa? That’s a wee bit of a leap, no? I know some men are uncomfortable working for or around women, some always will be, but “all men”? Lawd.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Someanalyst says:

        @Jason B – I think Gee attempts reductio ad absurdum. I haven’t seen that spell cast in a while… and totally deadpan. Solid.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. LionoftheSenate says:

    “like it or not” might as well say, “I have an agenda and I am going to shove it down your throat.”

    I have no problem with anyone getting a job, anywhere……just as long as they are the best qualified candidate that applied for a given position.

    This is America, we have done more than any place on Earth/history for creating equality in the workplace. Deserving women will eventually get their shot…..it’s not easy for anyone to break into baseball.

    -26 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ari Collins says:

      It’s nice to believe there’s equality in the workplace. But the facts do not back it up.

      +38 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Adam says:

      Hey, this is America: if someone writes an article whose political thrust differs from yours, then you have the right – or if you will, the privilege – to ignore it. Moreover, suggesting that someone else’s insightful, well researched, and provocative post for a free website is being “shoved” down anyone’s throat tells us far more about you than it does about the writer.

      +50 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • matt w says:

      This is America, we have done more than any place on Earth/history for creating equality in the workplace

      Please provide your evidence that America has done more to create equality in the workplace than modern-day Sweden.

      +19 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • matt w says:

      I have no problem with anyone getting a job, anywhere……just as long as they are the best qualified candidate that applied for a given position.

      Then you must be very concerned by the allegations about AAA umpires conspiring to block Ria Cortesio’s promotion, even though she was the best qualified person who had applied for the position.

      +35 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        I’d be a lot more concerned if any actual evidence that it happened was posted/linked to/etc.

        I’m not going to take Alex at his word here. He likes to make statements without giving any evidence to back them up.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • PhillR says:

      “This is America, we have done more than any place on Earth/history for creating equality in the workplace. ”

      Nice bit of jingoism but according to the 2010 GAP report, Iceland has done the most for creating gender equality in the workplace. America is 19th. Not surprising considering that Women still earn 77 cents on the dollar here.

      +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. don says:

    There’s quite a lot of former players at all levels of baseball operations. It’s tougher for women for sure but it’s an insular business as a whole.

    I support any initiative to replace Joe West and CB Bucknor with the first competent man, woman, or robot who wants the position.

    +46 Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. bflaff says:

    Keep chopping wood, everybody….

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. PossumAloysiusJenkins says:

    Yeah, I’m also kind of shocked about how all of these snot-nosed toddlers who don’t seem to deserve to be within 100 yards of a woman under any circumstances are coming out of the woodwork in what has always seemed to me to be such a sophisticated web community.

    Perhaps that teaches a larger lesson about the secret prevalence of emotionally and intellectually stunted male chauvenists in our society. I guess even worthless people need to feel like they’re better than somebody else.

    Super depressing.

    [Honestly, I tried to give those example comments the benefit of the doubt of being tongue-in-cheek, but there is just no way that they are. MAYBE the estrogen one. Anyway, the first 7 comments of this thread proves the point.]

    I’m pretty disgusted. I think the regular Fangraphs writers might want to sign on to a brief editorial statement that bigots will be disapproved of and mocked at Fangraphs. No this isn’t political. This is political like Jackie Robinson was political.

    +59 Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Levi Davis says:

    I would love to see more women involved in baseball, at all levels, but every time I read about it, Ng is the only name mentioned. I just don’t know if the trend is picking up any steam.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • There are plenty of women involved in baseball. The report I linked to names many of them. And there are many more women who want to be involved.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • cpebbles says:

        And of course an absolute ton of men who want to be involved, in every aspect of the sport. It seems that the fastest way to get involved in MLB is to start learning to pitch with your left hand. You really need more than anecdotal evidence and head counts (Which is all the linked study is) to make a convincing argument of gender bias in an industry in which white men with highly-marketable degrees sign on for a quarter of what they could be making elsewhere just to get their foot in the door.

        +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Powder Blues says:

    Like most sequels, this second version is neither original or insightful.

    -16 Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. CircleChange11 says:

    I’m not sure who the CC11 is that commented first is, but it’s not me. I’ve never written a post that short. *grin*

    Alex, I commend you for exploring this deeper. I would not over-react to comments on a forum.

    I do think you presented some real biases in the umpiring game. I have a buddy that was let go as a MiLB umpire who was not promoted after a 5th season as well. He wasn’t real happy about it either.

    This is definitely something to follow in the future.

    Your article does show that MLB responds to changes in the game, particularly the increase in Latin players leading to an increase in Latin execs.

    Women are likely not going to have that situation. As for the 1000 girls that play baseball, our conference has about 120 players and that probably represents 1% of the state. Nationwide, 1000 players has the be under 1% of the total … so it’s probably not significant enough to draw attention.

    +25 Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Azmanz says:

    I was hoping this was going to be an article about how women were going to be playing professional ball. I honestly don’t care whether the people in charge are men/women/black/white, I just want the Giants to win.

    +20 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Well by cutting women out of the equation, though, you are sacrificing a great opportunity to be the smartest team going. I think hiring the first female GM would got a lot further toward a repeat title for the Giants than any female player could. Somewhere out there are a hundred female Theo Epsteins and Andrew Friedmans who aren’t getting their shot because they are women and have no foot in the door.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        Or you are cutting out the oppurtunity to be the most irrational team going.

        Seriously it’s like some of you have never argued with a woman before. You want to put someone in a position of power in a day-to-day industry that can’t accommodate for mood swings?

        You’re going to put women behind the plate on the rag? lol….

        -45 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • patmccaw says:

        Good point. There are likely many more women with the experience necessary to step into senior front office positions than professional playing roles. I’m not saying anything about ability. Just that the lack of significant HS or college baseball programs for women makes it unlikely any are ready to make that jump. The management world, while far from great, at least has some accessibility to women.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Erik says:

        @Tom B

        So, you’re post just now wasn’t irrational, moody, and just downright sissy? Color me surprised how stupid some of my fellow males act when trying to sound manly.

        +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fredsbank says:

        ‘you’re’ is a contraction representing ‘you are’… stupid says what?

        -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Erik says:

        oooo burn! my apologies to the grammar police

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  14. Joe Targia says:

    Hey guys! Did you know its totally okay to be sexist, racist or homophobic! All you have to do is claim they were intended as “jokes.”

    Its useful knowledge for all of us trying to juggle the tasks of spreading vitriol and being socially acceptable.

    +41 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TheUnrepentantGunner says:

      you do realize this strategy has made daniel tosh millions of dollars right?

      on a more serious note, given that a huge majority of managers played at some decent level (say minor league at least), and there arent many women in the minor leagues… are we at least partially seeing a casuation error?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Anon21 says:

        Remington’s talking about front office positions, not on-field managerial positions. While there is still a healthy complement of ex-players among the ranks of upper management, playing experience is not a job requirement for those positions.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • James says:

        Is it necessary to play baseball to be good at evaluating talent, writing contracts, managing rosters, line-ups, or bullpen usage? It could certainly help as experience is always useful, but considering how often this website decries decision baseball people make every day it clearly isn’t a necessity.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • patmccaw says:

      Ah, Scott Adams has taught you well!

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  15. maguro says:

    Women are, and probably always will be, a novelty in baseball. Why? Because there are a lot more men than women who are fanatically interested in baseball. Orders of magnitude more. Citing a few outliers doesn’t change that.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • You’re asserting that women who are interested in baseball are outliers by definition. That is demonstrably not true, as evidenced by the fact that 38 percent of the employees in MLB’s central office are women. That number is from the diversity report I linked:

      http://www.tidesport.org/RGRC/2011/2011_MLB_RGRC_FINAL.pdf

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      • maguro says:

        And how many female writers does Fangraphs employ, hmmm?

        +32 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        “You’re asserting that women who are interested in baseball are outliers by definition. That is demonstrably not true, as evidenced by the fact that 38 percent of the employees in MLB’s central office are women.”

        That doesn’t demonstrate the falsity of his assertion at all. At best, it is flimsy evidence of hiring patterns and not evidence of the prevalence of interest among women relative to interest among men.

        With all due respect, it’s really discouraging to see a writer on fangraphs make the kinds of mistakes you’ve been making.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        How many of those women are secretaries of men? That study is bupkiss.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Septimus says:

        Exactly. Some positions are open to women, others are not.

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      • Pat says:

        This fact works directly against your point sir. Do you really believe that 38% of baseball fans are women?

        Personally, and this is strictly through observation, the percentage of baseball fans that are women seems to be significantly lower than 38.

        So, without speculating to causes, the fact that 38% of the employees in the league’s front office are women would imply that they AREN’T being discriminated against. Because I don’t think it’s too much to assume that given the ratios of the sexes that are fans of this sport, FAR more than 62% of applicants are male.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • You’re making a lot of assumptions, and I don’t think they’re necessarily true. In the last column, I cited a 2002 Gallup poll that noted that 37 percent of women followed baseball. I would actually be willing to bet that number has risen over the last decade, due to the increased popularity of the Boston Red Sox, a team that has done a tremendous job of adding women to its fanbase.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/6745/baseball-fan-numbers-steady-decline-may-pending.aspx

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • NBarnes says:

      And it’s a total coincidence that some male fans of baseball will go out of their way to make sure that women are uncomfortable and understand that they are unwelcome, and then there are relatively few female baseball fans! Gosh, how’d that happen?

      Two completely unrelated phenomenon, obviously.

      +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Garrett says:

      Basically. There is and should be a vast bias due to applicants. Steps to “rectify” this “problem” will harm the game.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • NBarnes says:

        Could I get you to expand on your use of the word ‘should’ in your statement?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        There are more men who want jobs in baseball than women. When that is a case, if you have equally qualified applicants, and no prejudice, there will be more men getting those jobs.

        These are jobs where there are drastically more applicants than openings (a difference in order of magnitude). The vast majority of qualified applicants are male, simply because the interest pool is significantly larger.

        Because of that, you would expect that majority of jobs to go to males.

        If there are 2000 qualified applicants for 10 jobs, and 1900 of them are men, is there really a problem if all 10 jobs go to men?

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  16. CSJ says:

    Major League Baseball as an entity has the history of being a “good old boys club.” If you don’t fit in with them, you don’t belong. It’s pretty terrible. The person who would do the best job should be the one who gets it. Everything I’ve heard about Ng is that she would be a great general manager. If that’s the case, she should get a GM job, purely based on her qualifications.

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Lewis says:

    Oh boy. There’s going to be a whole lot more of this:

    http://xkcd.com/386/

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Wraithpk says:

    Haha, you interviewed Marisa? She’s a good kid, pops into Pinstripe Alley from time to time. We have to correct her when she repeats Red Sox homerisms, like Buchholtz’s 2010 ERA being anything but luck, but other than that we enjoy her input. And in case anyone was wondering, she has an NLL press pass.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • B N says:

      “Buchholtz’s 2010 ERA being anything but luck”

      I like her already! :) We Red Sox fans need some positive energy lately.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • blackoutyears says:

        Marisa is certainly advanced for a 14-year-old, but most of the flak she’s taken is over the quality of her observations and her writing. It is impressive for her age that she’s already able to ape the mediocre standard of most amateur baseball writing.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Grant says:

    Everyone come quick! There’s still room on the holier than thou bandwagon.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Christian says:

    Doesn’t every single individual you could speak to struggle to break into the game? While I am sure there are biases and sexist decisions that are made, it is hard to point to anecdotes like this as evidence.

    Like it or not, playing baseball at a reasonably high level is one of the biggest ‘ins’ you can have in order to break into MLB administration, and women are at a serious disadvantage in this regard.

    For a man who didn’t play the sport past high school, there are far more individuals who want to be in these types of roles than there are number of successful individuals who you can point to to say that men have these opportunities.

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. Purple_Haze says:

    Holy Jesus, some of you guys are some hardcore mysogynists.

    “You lost me at “women” followed up by a wall of text.” Are you serious???

    Right, humor. I forgot that these are all “jokes”. My bad, I guess that makes it all okay.

    +28 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JB says:

      I guess you’re new this internet thing. People like to stir the pot just to get holier than thou reactions out of people such as yourself.

      While I don’t agree with the sexist comments, I’m hardly surprised.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Purple_Haze says:

        I’m usually resistant to this sort of thing but damned if misogyny isn’t my weak spot.

        If the trolls are high-fiving themselves over my anger, then screw them because their words mean the same thing one way or the other.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Erik says:

      Sort of sad isn’t it? I’d imagine most of these guys are probably single.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Rob says:

    I think some of the pushback in the comments likely stems from the assumption that the barrier to entry is based on having a vagina as opposed to, for example, being only a handful of the thousands and thousands of interested and qualified applicants for any executive level position within baseball(or any sport for that matter). I’m a middle manager at one of the nations largest banks. I have an MBA, CSOP and have passed 2 levels of the CFA and would love to one day become a vice preisdent. I’m 6’8 and there aren’t any people over 6’4 on our executive team. Should I assume this is policy based, or is just more likely that the qualified pool of applicants is hundreds of people, less than a handful of whom are over 6’4?

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • NBarnes says:

      When every AAA umpire gets together and agrees that nobody retires until the threat of a female umpire getting promoted to AAA from AA…. I’m pretty sure most people can draw some conclusions.

      Or are all the non-really tall people above you in your bank conspiring to block your promotions until you quit or are fired? Before you answer; that’d be grounds for a lawsuit on your part, were it to actually happen.

      +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rob says:

        Glad you missed the point.

        As to the specific instance mentioned, all the article said was that one failed umpire suggests that another failed umpire was treated that way. Can we be sure that’s what happened? Is there a pending lawsuit? Have MLB owners stopped firing GM’s in an effort to prevent women from getting the jobs? Can we have 7 more articles assigning blame to men? Perhaps something more than anecdote.

        I’m all for equal opportunity, but I’m not seeing a compelling case that the lack of females is anything more than a reflection of the qualified applicant pool being overwhelmingly male and the number of positions being quite limited.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Septimus says:

        Are there centuries of anti-tall-people discrimination in all walks of life?

        Unfortunately, “this industry is biased against women” is a fair assumption in the absence of very clear evidence to the contrary, because MOST if not all industries in America are biased against women, and the businesses that aren’t appreciably biased against women had to work very hard to get there.

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Slamcactus says:

        It actually wouldn’t be grounds for a lawsuit, unless height was somehow perceived as a disability. Tall people aren’t a protected class, because there’s no history of subordination as a group. There is such a history with women in employment.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • evo34 says:

      Probably the best post on this thread. Remington’s lack of reply is telling.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Pat says:

      Rob has it, and everyone taking one cited, and anecdotal no less, example and using it as evidence to some sort of mass conspiracy has far too low of standards for their burden of proof.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. Mr. DNA says:

    A friend and I were sitting behind home plate at a minor league game a few years back.

    Me: “That plate ump is really good. I don’t think he’s missed a call all night.”

    Friend: “I think that’s a girl.”

    Me: “Really? There are female umpires? I mean, I know there are some in high school…”

    Friend: “Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s a girl.”

    I access my smartphone.

    Me: “Well, there is a female umpire in the Southern League, so it could be her.”

    Friend: “Like I would ever miss the chance to scope out a chick.”

    Years later, there’s an article about how she was blackballed from promotion.

    +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Justin says:

    I’d take any living organism working behind the plate than Bob Davidson.

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. CircleChange11 says:

    PH,

    That someone impersonating another, trying to be funny or to stir up the hrnet’s nest.

    The only thing I have asked to see is how the number of female applicants compares to the number of male applicants.

    As the number of GMs who are “analysts” increases, the number of women as GMs may increase as well. Up until recent times, and perhaps even still, GMs have been “baseball guys” that “know the game from playing experience”. That’s a tough hurdle to overcome.

    I doubt anyone asked Nolan Ryan, ” What do you know about baseball, player development, and player evaluation?”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Eric says:

    let the Great “Women In Baseball” thread # 2 begin!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Chair says:

    What about women playing baseball? Seems like they are being kept out early by schools that only offer softball. One of the most overlooked topics in sports by my book.

    Imagine a baseball future that included women and men competing together.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ballens says:

      I’m curious. Do you foresee a day when a woman could compete in baseball at the major league level? I do not. I also find nothing wrong with this reality, nor do I think we need to do anything about it. But that is just my opinion.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B N says:

        I depends. The question is, if they were built like David Eckstein and played like David Eckstein, would we still say they’re “scrappy”?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • patmccaw says:

        Given baseball already allows for a stunning variety of body types and playing styles, I would not be surprised. In a game where Tim Collins, John Rauch and Bartolo Colon all play the same position, who’s to say a woman can’t do it too?

        Look at a woman like Kia “Amazing Kong” Stevens: http://slamzilla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/kong.jpg
        You telling me with some training she couldn’t mash like Prince Fielder?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        I think that of all the major sports, baseball offers the best chance for women to compete at the same level. I don’t know how likely it is, but I do know that the ways in which women have been kept from playing the sport is a major injustice.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kris says:

        If a woman learned to be a really good knuckleball pitcher, she could compete at the MLB level I think. Otherwise there simply is no way.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. fredsbank says:

    oh great guys, alex remington is back to complain about a problem that probably doesnt even exist

    -35 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Telo says:

      Plus 1

      -30 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Charlotte says:

      If it doesn’t exist, why are you very, very angry about it? It’s not like the site is going to run out of words.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fredsbank says:

        im not very angry about it, unlike the 20 people who have voted my comment down. there’s just no proof whatsoever this is something to be legitimately concerned about, and no one can say anything other than “SEXISMCHAUVINISTOLDBOYZCLUBLOL” despite a complete lack of evidence

        -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. hairball says:

    Great article, and thank you Alex for pursuing this despite the reactionary B.S.

    +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Dan says:

    Alex, this is a much better written and investigated post than your last. Your last pretty much said women like baseball and more women should be employed within the spor, but failed to give any evidence that the proportion of women within to those qualified shows disparity to number of men within to qualified. This post still does not show that but at least it shows the struggles of a single individual. Please, show us something that supports the idea that more women should be hired in the sport based on number qualified for the position and interested versus number of men qualified and interested.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. Llewdor says:

    I fully intend for my daughter to play second base in the majors.

    She’s three years old now. So you neanderthals have some time.

    +23 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • notsellingjeans says:

      In all seriousness, you would have a better chance if you teach her a knuckleball. I’m sure she could develop into a plus defender at 2b, but her speed and power will be inadequate to hit at the major league level.

      But plenty of women can train to be physically capable of throwing a ball 70 mph, which is faster than Wakefield’s velo. If you can help teach her a knuckle that she can locate well with nasty movement, that’s your chance.

      The first woman to play professional football/baseball/basketball will be either a field-goal kicker or a knuckleball pitcher. And the latter is more likely.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Charlotte says:

        I know everyone loves the ‘knuckleballing woman’ theory of how to get a girl into the major leagues, but I always feel like the lower trajectory would disqualify you right out of the gate.

        It’s not something he can teach to his daughter, but a physical freak coming along seems like a more reasonable pipe dream. It’s not football or basketball, after all, where you need to be a total package. How hard can the female Aroldis Chapman throw? Women are slower than men on average, but there are plenty of women with footspeed and reflexes as good as Brett Gardner’s, even if none of them would probably be able to match even his .098 ISO.

        Not saying it’ll happen in our lifetimes, even if someone was devoted to hardball she wouldn’t have the training and infrastructure available to her. But it’s possible, moreso than a knuckleballer, I figure.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Noxage says:

        Also, force her to throw left handed.

        I’m reasonably sure she’s only 5 years or so away from Jamie Moyer velocity levels.

        +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • WilsonC says:

        I’d be curious to see where a top female athlete would grade on a raw tools level. As an example, speed is an easy one to measure; how do elite female sprinters compare with the average MLB runner? According to
        http://www.corrarobaseball.com/majorleaguescouting.htm
        a 50 runner is about 6.9-7.0 in the 60-yard dash, a time which is sustainable by elite women athletes. There are probably no 80-grade female runners, but you could find 50 to 60 runners, with 70 being the upper limit for a specialist sprinter (record of 6.54 I believe).

        It would probably be possible to do something similar with other tools. What’s the range in the average speed of the ball off the bat between the most powerful hitters and the average? How does the ratio between the fastest tennis serves between men and women compare with this? How hard can a typical MLB second baseman pitch, and how does that compare with the top female pitchers?

        How would, say, a female heptathlon world champion grade in each of the physical tools, and where would that put her? I suspect that there are women who, on a tools level, could profile at an MLB level if they had the skills, and there’s no reason a woman couldn’t develop skills like a plus glove or batting eye.

        I think we’ll see it happen eventually. I could see the daughter of an MLB player being the first – someone who grew up around the sport and learned from the best at an early age, who has a genetic advantage, and who comes from a wealthy enough background that the temptation of pursuing a career with better odds in a women’s sport doesn’t filter her out of the system.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        ” but there are plenty of women with footspeed and reflexes as good as Brett Gardner’s”

        No, there are not. A woman would have to be a world class sprinter to keep up with Gardner.

        The women’s record for the mile is 4:12. There are boys in highschool that run that. And they’re not that uncommon. The sprint events all have similar records. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there’s not a single woman on earth who could keep up with Garnder/Ellsbury/Crawford from home to first.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. Telo says:

    I love baseball more than anything else in the world (excluding people.)

    I am extremely qualified, motivated and dedicated. I would do whatever it takes to succeed in the baseball industry.

    However, something that prevents me from dropping everything and trying to make a career in baseball is the fact that I don’t have experience playing the game at a high level. This is a quality that opens many, many doors for you.

    Any woman complaining about not having equal opportunity finding a baseball job (come to think of it, where are they again?) is making this argument, and swapping BASEBALL EXPERIENCE with BEING A WOMAN. They are simply taking the fact that they’ve never played baseball personally. It’s absurd. Of course you are at a disadvantage trying to break into the industry. They constantly hire people who have real hands on experience with the game. The fact that you think it’s because you’re a woman is disgusting and moronic. The world is full of people who blame their problems on other people, making excuses for their shortcomings, and not making their own luck.

    If you want to work in baseball, nothing is stopping you. And the same to myself. We could do it without baseball experience, it would just be much harder. But if you think that Jane Doe with all the skills in the world has a worse chance at working in a front office as John Doe with the exact same background… well, you are the type of person I just described. Nothing is ever your fault. The world is out to get you. If you took the energy you spent on complaining about perceived inequality, you’d have achieved your goal already.

    -13 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Telo says:

      The reason I feel so strongly about this is because I can related to what is being complained about. The difference is I don’t blame my lack of a job in baseball for on anyone but myself. Ultimately, I probably wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice everything it would take, and wouldn’t me motivated enough to struggle for years waiting for my big break. That’s a realistic assessment of my own situation. Or I could just say “Waaahhh the baseball industry isn’t fair because theyre bias to people who have experience”.

      -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Septimus says:

      There are much less reactionary businesses than baseball in which discrimination against women is a very real thing. Therefore, it stands to reason that it is probably a problem in baseball.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        “there are people who are racists, therefor it stands to reason that you are probably a racist”.

        See how that works? If one, than many, right Septimus?

        -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Telo says:

      Also, of all the content-less comments Remington responded to, not surprised he didn’t address this. Sensationalist media at it’s finest!

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • I haven’t responded to you because you’re not actually addressing anything that I wrote in my piece. Not a single woman that I have quoted has “swapped BASEBALL EXPERIENCE with BEING A WOMAN.” On the contrary, Siegal and Sargeant are working hard to bring baseball to as many women as possible, so that women who love baseball will be able to play it.

        If you want a job in baseball, apply for one. Take an unpaid internship working for a team in the ticketing department — that’s often where the entry-level jobs are. Apply to minor league teams. Work as an equipment manager for a college or semipro team.

        But don’t put words in other people’s mouths and call them “disgusting or moronic.”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Telo says:

        “Siegal and Sargeant are working hard to bring baseball to as many women as possible, so that women who love baseball will be able to play it.”

        That’s awesome, it really is. I always wondered why girls were always kind of funneled into playing softball and not baseball. There are girls who can definitely play at a high level.

        The question is, the study you linked showed that there are really are quite a few women in baseball, despite not having real experience with the sport. The one place that there’s really an under representation is in the highest level/most senior positions. This again is understandable. This quote is from your piece:

        ““I started following baseball about three years ago when the Red Sox were in Japan playing Oakland,” Ingemi told me by email. “I fell in love with the game. Along with that, I followed the PawSox because I wanted to know what was going on when players were called up, and that turned into the whole minor leagues.” She now writes on one of the most prominent baseball blogs, as well as a host of others, covering three sports by blog and podcast. “I haven’t had too many issues, gender-wise,” she said. “It’s mostly been my age that has gotten me negative feedback.”

        I just don’t understand what the issue is? As Seigal said, she just got into baseball a few years ago. GMs and Senior Execs are lifers, save the new wave of young guns, (Theo et al). It’s really no surprise we don’t see women in those positions.

        By the subject of your own article “I haven’t had too many issues, gender-wise”. I just don’t get what the entire point of this series is?

        Where is the inequality exactly? Spell it out for me. I just don;t see it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The girl who got into baseball three years ago was 14-year old Marisa Ingemi, who got into baseball when she was 11.

        Justine Siegal is 36, and Kate Sargeant is either in her late 20s or early 30s (I’m sorry, I didn’t ask her exact age) — and they became passionate about baseball two decades ago, and have been working at making their way in the sport ever since.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Telo says:

        So, you ignored the rest of the points I made. Ok, they have been fans of baseball since they were young. How much actual experience with the game did they have?

        Where is the inequality besides the highest levels of the senior management?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Telo says:

        Uhh

        Your article: “Ingemi has had a quick rise, needless to say. “I started following baseball about three years ago when the Red Sox were in Japan playing Oakland,” Ingemi told me by email.”

        She told you by email when she was 11? Oakland played Boston in Japan in 2008. Three years ago.

        “The girl who got into baseball three years ago was 14-year old Marisa Ingemi, who got into baseball when she was 11.”

        Still waiting for you to provide examples of inequality.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Telo says:

        Hahaha. This girl is a teenager. I get it now. So… trying to find a reason she would be included in this piece at all, since she isn’t old enough to drive herself to work.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • @Telo: In response to your aside, “I always wondered why girls were always kind of funneled into playing softball and not baseball. There are girls who can definitely play at a high level.”

        Jean Hastings Ardell gives this question an excellent treatment in her book “Breaking Into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime.” The gist of it is that when Little League Baseball received its charter in 1964, it was explicitly a boys-only program. In 1972 a girl from Hoboken, NJ, Maria Pepe, tried out for a Little League team and made the team. She was subsequently banned from playing because of the boys-only mandate. With legal assitance from the National Organization for Women, Maria took the case to court and in 1973 it was determined that the boys-only mandate was discriminatory. The decision was appealed multiple times and finally upheld by the Supreme Court in late 1974. In the meantime, in spring of 1973 Little League Baseball unveiled a new softball program just for girls. Even after the decision was ultimately upheld, the vast majority of little girls who wanted to play Little League ball were funneled into this program.

        That’s one facet of the answer to your question.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. Mike says:

    Why does this conversation only come up with women? How many men work for Oprah? The bottom line is most women aren’t big fans of baseball and don’t share the same passion for the game as men. This is a fact.

    Are there girls who love baseball? Sure. But the ratio is probably 20:1 men to women of die hard fans.
    Just look at fangraphs as an example! I’d say there are 100:1 men to women on this site.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Plenty of men work for Oprah, because Harpo is a massive, massive corporation and there are a lot of people — men and women alike — who want to work in entertainment.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BJsWorld says:

        And as you pointed out earlier – plenty of women work for baseball. Wasn’t your number 38%?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mike says:

        I didn’t intent to use Oprah as the argument. I simply picked her name out of thin air. All I’m saying is you can find something traditionally liked by women ( and some men) who have mostly women working for the company/show.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Septimus says:

        Exactly. 38% of employees in baseball are women, and practically none of them make it to upper-level management positions. That is, at the very least, questionable.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • evo34 says:

        Alex, Are you allergic to data? This (fangraphs) is an odd site to be repeatedly posting random, unsubstantiated opinion as fact.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BillWallace says:

      Women are vastly underrepresented in:

      garbage collecting/janitorial
      almost everyone of the most dangerous occupations there are
      dying in military service
      jail

      I say Obama needs to enact legislation to counter all of these ‘problems’

      -11 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Septimus says:

        It’s nice to see hardcore misogynists represented here. At least when guys like you say idiotic things, it’s clear you’re not joking… you’re actually idiotic enough to believe them.

        Oh, if only creepy rage were an asset for baseball front office work, you’d be a shoo-in.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • KB says:

        This Septimus guy….

        can’t tell if trolling or just very stupid

        -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Erik says:

        It is so lame when people inject politics into something that has nothing to do with them.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Slamcactus says:

      Men get to sue when they can prove systemaic disparate treatment, too. There was a case here men successfully sued Hooters for exclusion from employment. The Supreme Court has been very, very clear that anti discrimination laws in this country, while designed to help correct for subrogation of entire classes of people, also serve to protect the privileged classes.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. Dan says:

    You do bring up a great point alex. The current procedure to becoming an mlb umpire is full of dumb rules that ensure the most qualified people are not in the most important positions (man or women). With the horrible calls that are made all the time, this is something that needs to be changed.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. Mubm says:

    “The second was Marisa Ingemi, the newest blogger at John Sickels’s minorleagueball.com, who also writes about baseball, lacrosse and hockey on a host of other blogs. She is 14 years old.”

    Does she have a boyfriend?

    -18 Vote -1 Vote +1

  36. soladoras says:

    Professional sports, baseball in particular, have a long history of being ahead of society as a whole when it comes to race relations and employment (ex. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier 17 years before the Civil Rights Act was passed). Completely ignoring candidates for jobs for nonsensical reasons (race, gender, etc.) puts you at a competitive disadvantage with other teams at winning and making money, both of which are strong, strong motivators.

    Given that I think it’s intuitive that barriers to racial equality in 1947 were higher than barriers to gender equality are now in 2011, I think it’s more likely to point towards things like the limited number of positions, the increased networking advantages of former players, and the “interest” disparity as the primary causes of gender hiring disparity in baseball. There are lots of businesses with large disparities in gender hiring that have little to do with sexism. I’m sure that sexism in baseball exists, but defaulting to “sexism” or “racism” or any other sort of bigotry as a major cause in hiring practices is just lazy and flat out devoid of critical thinking.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • NJ says:

      “Completely ignoring candidates for jobs for nonsensical reasons (race, gender, etc.) puts you at a competitive disadvantage with other teams at winning and making money, both of which are strong, strong motivators.”

      Then why did it take over half a century to break the color barrier to begin with? Was Jackie Robinson the first person of color good enough to be in the majors?

      People tend to be racist and sexist and nasty. Sad, but true.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Paul Thomas says:

      George Ruffin broke the color barrier at Harvard Law School in 1869, well before the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (much less the better known one of 1964) was passed.

      Does that mean that law has a history of being way ahead of society as a whole when it comes to race relations? (Answer: no. It’s a reactionary profession, for the most part.)

      Ignoring candidates for jobs for nonsensical reasons does not hurt you if the competitive advantage you lose based on making hiring decisions on criteria other than talent is compensated for by the competitive advantage you WOULD lose, if you were to hire based on talent, because of the prejudices of your marketplace.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  37. Dan says:

    Alex, why don’t you reply to anyone asking for real evidence? Why do you pick and choose the easy comments to respond to, like that oprah one?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  38. Jim says:

    Just a side note: Before we get too carried away talking about how many negative votes those comments got, one blatantly racist comment (in reference to Ng) “Can she buy a vowel?”, currently sits at +8.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • maguro says:

      How is that racist? .

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BillWallace says:

        The most modern definition of racism is anything that is said whether it is positive, negative, or neutral, true or untrue, that specifically identifies and differentiates one group of people from another, with the exception of negative things said about white gentiles.

        Positive things said about Non-Asian Minorities are sometimes, but not always, exempt.

        In this case, it is noted that asian names translated into english don’t follow english spelling conventions, thereby pointing out a difference between asian people and other people, which is by definition racist.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • matt w says:

        Because it’s making fun of her for having a very common Chinese name.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BillWallace says:

        ok doormatt…. good comment.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • David K says:

        I may be late to the party here since I am reading this thread a few days late, and I can see how that “buy a vowel” comment could be construed as racist, but let me as you this: if someone made the same comment about Coach K, for example, it wouldn’t be construed as racist, right? Unless you consider it bigoted against people of Polish descent (or Eastern Europe in general, since there are a lot of surnames from that region that have similar constructs).

        In other words, I wouldn’t necessarily assume the comment to be racist.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  39. Danmay says:

    Alex-

    As I mentioned in the previous thread, I find anything regarding women in baseball to be fascinating. I am also glad to see that the “second women thread” is much less hateful in the comments than the last one.

    I do have to echo some of the comments above me though: Those first few paragraphs are completely unnecessary and off the point. I could be mistaken, but I doubt that your intention is to convince the entirety of the Fangraphs community that there should be more women in baseball. Given that (if I’m assuming correctly) I don’t see any point in spending time pointing out how much of the Fangraphs community seems to have a problem with women in baseball. You’re inviting defensive comments in my opinion, and that shouldn’t be the point.

    The rest of the article is great though, particularly that you didn’t feel the need to come to any sort of conclusion. You just presented the actual cases and provided links. Great stuff.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  40. NJ says:

    Why is it that when you point out that people tend to favor individuals belonging to their group (be it gender, race, tribe, religion, etc.) there’s always a portion of the population that will argue that it’s not really the case?

    Humans are wired to favor other members of the in-group. It happens all over the world and causes all kind of strife. If MLB (or any group, really) doesn’t actively dissuade such behavior, people will be people and favor their own kind.

    As an aside, has anyone looked into the allegation about those AAA umpires? Sounds like one of them “journalistic opportunities” I’ve heard them talk about so much lately.

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  41. me says:

    While I’m as bothered as anyone by the prejudices that women face (in baseball or elsewhere), can’t we at least agree that women are terrible drivers?

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  42. BJsWorld says:

    Enough of political correctness. I could honestly care less if a female was running my team. What I DON’T WANT is affirmative action creeping into baseball. We have enough morons in high positions already. Adding to that population by hiring folks that are not qualified but who happen to be female will just make things worse.

    Look, if there is hard evidence that women are being discriminated against then they have the courts available as a recourse. Baseball, like every other business, must follow civil/gender laws when it comes to hiring and promotions. Rumor and speculation that discrimination is occurring on a widespread basis is not enough. Facts please!

    Smart owners should seek out the most talented people to build a winning/financial viable organization. Will there be bias – sure. But that’s true in any business. If an owner is stupid enough to pass up on opportunity to bring in a gifted female executive it’s their loss.

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  43. BillWallace says:

    Alex,

    I agree this article is better than the previous one. Most anti-feminists have long since given up engaging feminists in a logical manner. That’s partially why the negative reactions to your posts are mostly snark and intentional provocation.

    Your main point in this article is “When it comes to hiring women, Major League Baseball still has a ways to go”. And for support you link to a report by that diversicrat. The rest of the article is just color (this is not a criticism, one point per article is good). Actually providing support instead of just asserting that MLB has a gender problem as a given is a huge step up. So therefore the merit of this article depends on the merit of the linked report.

    I actually expected worse from the report, given that it’s written by someone who’s job it is to identify diversity deficiencies. Usually reports by such biased sources are made up of bad science and unsupported assertions. But it’s not completely terrible. I didn’t parse it word for word, but it doesn’t appear to explain its grading methodology, which is a pretty big problem. That said, it’s clearly based on assumptions of what the demographics of baseball ‘should’ look like, and how far baseball deviates from that.

    But who determines what the demographics should look like? And why should I trust their assumptions?

    People have long made the argument that some group is underrepresented in some area due to a bias. But to truly logically and rationally make that argument is very difficult, and here’s why.

    It is trivial to understand that there are numerous situations where absent any bias some group will be overrepresented in one area because they are naturally superior or inclined to that area. The most trivial is men vs women in athleticism. It’s clearly not bias and social conditioning that’s preventing women from competing with men head to head in sprinting and lifting for example, it’s the simple genetics of our species. And if you disagree, please stop reading right now.

    What this trivial point means is that because there can be natural reasons why one group is overrepresented in one area, there is a burden of proof on any accusation of bias. One cannot simply say “there are unequal outcomes, so there must be unequal treatment.”

    For an example at the other end of the spectrum of triviality would be that immigrants from northern sweden are more likely to prefer accounting, whereas those from southern sweden are more likely to prefer sales. I have no idea if this is true or not, but the point is that it COULD be true, and so if there happened to be a bunch of southern swedes in sales, there should be no call for measures to increase diversity by forcing northern swedes into sales jobs.

    Joking aside, the important conclusion is that the starting point for the question of “what should the demographics of one area be?” is always “what they are now, unless there’s any concrete evidence of unequal treatment”. And therefore, the only way to legitimately support that “MLB has a ways to go”, is to provide that evidence. The only thing I’ve seen so far that qualifies is that umpire story, if it is in fact true (seems believable).

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    • Septimus says:

      Most racists have “long since given up” engaging anti-racists in a logical manner too.

      And despite that optimistic estimation of bigots’ capacity for reason, institutional racism is alive and well.

      So if one group of bigots still manages to exert influence despite the fact that practically nobody is willing to espouse overtly racist views in public, how can you plausibly argue that another group of bigots doesn’t hold influence, when society can’t even keep them from being bigoted in public half the time?

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      • BillWallace says:

        I’m not sure I entirely follow your argument, but to me it sounds like “we know there’s currently racism, so therefore you can’t argue that there isn’t sexism as a default”

        To which I say:
        1) My argument is that the burden of proof is on the accuser of bias, and you’re just saying “no” without saying why.

        2) I don’t know exactly what you mean by “alive and well”. Certainly there are instances of racism and sexism in this world, although you may not be willing to admit that there are some in both directions in both cases. The burden of proof in any one case still rests on the accuser.

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      • Septimus says:

        My point is that if you came out here and said openly racist things, you’d be greeted with the disgust and derision you deserve.

        But you seem to think that saying equally hateful things about women won’t merit that reaction — and sadly, there are instances in this world where you’re right.

        The first step to eradicating prejudice against women is to approach bigoted talk like yours with the reaction it warrants. Sure, that first step won’t get rid of privately expressed prejudices, and it won’t get rid of unconscious prejudices. But as soon as bigotry is met with ostracism, it’s a lot harder for bigots to operate.

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      • Ron Burgandy says:

        You’re just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us. It’s science.

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    • Slamcactus says:

      Wow. “the reason everyone defending a bigoted position sounds like an immature, snot-nosed brat who’s too du mb to tie his shoelaces is that we all implicitly recognize that everyone complaining about bigotry is irrational. That’s why they all sound like morons. Yeah.”

      Nice work

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  44. KrunchyGoodness says:

    The question is… are there any Major League level women out there? Only so many players are that good, and giving that job to a woman that doesn’t deserve it is just as wrong as depriving a woman that does.

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    • patmccaw says:

      No one is really talking about players here. As pointed out, women currently are not given the opportunity to train at an elite level for baseball. If they were, who knows how far they could go?

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  45. MSKati says:

    I love all the people trying to defend the inequality. Wake up, guys; just because you wouldn’t discriminate (would you?), doesn’t mean that nobody does. People in charge tend to be older. Older people tend to be from the generations of people who have very strong opinions on gender roles and are very willing to try to enforce those roles. I think thirty or fifty years from now, when more of the smart young people from today are in charge, it’ll be a whole other playing field. It’s already way better than it was thirty or fifty years ago.

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  46. t ball says:

    Regarding Marisa Ingemi, my first thought was not “a girl?” it was, “wow, 15?”

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  47. CircleChange11 says:

    For the next installment, we really do need data in regards to how many female applicants there are.

    Just stating that there are a certain percent working in front offices is too vague. There were likely a decent % of front office jobs held by women in the 1950s as well. I’m not being cute or funny. Just saying that women work in front offices may be the apple to the GM orange.

    It would be interesting to talk to the people that conducted the study to see if they know how many female applicants apply for GM jobs or if they are just looking at overall GM genders.

    There may be a real situation here, but so far the evidence has approached it from the side door.

    There needs to be more analysis of the specific situation, based on actual data and less personal accounts. While they are revealing to a degree they do not specifically address the issue.

    I understand that the women featured in this series really want a front office job, but so far there has not been largescale data presented.

    I don’t know if ML resource departsments would reveal this information or not.

    I would also imagine that the major mend sports lag behind other fields in gender % in regards to GM, owners, coaches, etc … and not inherently because of sexual discrimination.

    ————————

    It might also be interesting to hear from MiLB umpires in regards to the situation described in the article. I wonder if the felt she was being rated highly because of her gender, not solely on her performance? I say that because such a discriminory act, if true, seems like such a certain open and closed lawsuit … or they could just be jerks.

    But hearing just one side is like talking to a person about their divorce. You’re likely getting a slanted view of the situation.

    It is difficult to make a fair argument when you seemingly start with the conclusion and then build evidence.

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    • I would love to see this data too, of course. But, to the best of my knowledge, Major League Baseball doesn’t make it available. I have cited the data of which I’m aware — the gender diversity report and news articles — and supplemented it with interviews.

      “Largescale data” of the type you’re looking for doesn’t really exist — but I believe the issue is still worth examining.

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      • evo34 says:

        If you have not found the necessary data, it does not mean you should assume that if you did find it, it would support your wild claims. That is what you are doing by claiming gender bias in this reckless article. It’s a serious charge, and you should not be so lazy.

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  48. filihok says:

    I happen to like women.

    And I like baseball

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93hxKtd4CdA

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  49. My echo and bunnymen says:

    I like women, I love baseball.
    I’m looking for a woman who likes men and loves baseball.
    I’m all for women in baseball.

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  50. captain_oblivious says:

    Anyone happen to know how many women work, or what percentage of executives are women, in the front offices of NBA, NFL or NHL teams?

    The problem is likely systemic: professional sports are a boys club. That’ll change with time, you just need that first owner who’s gutsy enough to make that hiring choice.

    Of all the sports listed above though, MLB does seem likeliest to produce the first female star; I’d bet as a pitcher, but would love to be wrong. Although I do recall there being a female goalie making waves back in the day, don’t know whatever happened to her though, which probably says it all right there.

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    • The same institute that published the 2011 report card for MLB published 2010 report cards for the NFL and NBA. The NFL received a C on gender hiring practices, and the NBA received an A- on gender hiring practices. The NBA report notes that, in the NBA, “Women held 44 percent of the professional positions.” But in the NFL, “the percentage of women in management positions” was 27.5 percent.

      In other words, Major League Baseball was more or less exactly in the middle.

      http://www.tidesport.org/RGRC/2010/2010%20NFL%20Racial%20and%20Gender%20Report%20Card.pdf

      http://www.tidesport.org/RGRC/2010/2010_NBA_RGRC1.pdf

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      • evo34 says:

        Learn something about percentages. The proper denominator is the number of qualified women who applied. If you really care this much about the subject, establish that there is actual bias in the hiring practices.

        Think for a moment what the racial hiring report card would be for NBA players from the perspective of non-black players. It would be ridiculous. Does this mean that non-black players are discriminated against? Of course not. Step off your soapbox and think analytically for once. That’s what this site is for.

        +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  51. Nate says:

    After reading this thread, it’s not hard for me to figure out why women are underrepresented in baseball.

    +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Charlotte says:

      In Fangraphs’ defense, it’s mostly the same couple of people posting over and over again.

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      • patmccaw says:

        Thankfully true. But I like to think Fangraphs’ readership is more sophisticated that average sports fans. I quake to think what would happen if this were posted on BR!

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  52. delv says:

    Informative article. thanks

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  53. taite says:

    I go to a school in New England where hockey is king. Hockey is God. Hockey is everything here. You get the point. The hockey games are VERY popular and a lot of people attend just as a social event, with no prior interest in hockey. However, I know a lot of people, girls especially, who had never watched hockey before they came here, but got into it because of the school and are now big hockey fans.

    Obviously that’s hockey and not baseball, but I do think girls’ perspectives are shaped by what they’re told it’s acceptable to like. My parents take me to a Red Sox game every year so it became something that I was interested in. Plus, it perfectly combines my loves of math and poetry.

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  54. james wilson says:

    One-half of all MLB organization are below average, so no doubt there is room for incompetent women to replace incompetent men. But do it on your own dime.

    Is there suddenly a shortage of rich widows who could buy baseball teams and stock them with female executives?

    Here’s a little secret. Baseball players do not want female umps on their field. And yes, what they want does matter. This is not because they like umpires. Nobody likes umpires. Players do not want to get into it with female umpires.

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  55. GVeers says:

    MLB got a B- in gender diversity…that doesn’t seem alarming to me. Seems better than expected, frankly.

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  56. Matt says:

    Why aren’t there more women in baseball? I think the comments of this threat generally reflect this. The people who care enough to devote time to read articles on what the general public commonly considers “nerdy baseball websites,” are almost all guys. I’m not saying there aren’t women qualified to be in front offices, nor huge baseball fans, but the people ratio of women working for front offices isn’t going to be any higher than the number of women who want/ are qualified to do so. Alex, if you want to make a point to the contrary, instead of brining up a few interesting personal cases where you know the particular woman, why don’t you find a way where you could try to quantify the number of qualified men and women looking for front office jobs versus the actual number in baseball.

    To the idea that women will be in baseball, does make me a male chauvinist and sexist to admit there are different hormones that lead to certain physical limitations. I don’t think thats ever going to happen, I hope the “sophisticated non bigots” won’t yell at me for this opinion

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    • patmccaw says:

      There are physical differences resulting from gender. But who’s to say that the extreme physical peak of female athletic ability is below say major league replacement level? The best male baseball players are pretty much freaks of nature, so why couldn’t a woman be the same way? I’m not saying we’re ever gonna have a female Barry Bonds, but a female Dustin Pedroia or Chad Bradford?

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      • BG says:

        Field f/x will find them. And I’m serious about that.

        I don’t think “lifelong training” is required to be a major leaguer though.

        I don’t follow this type of stuff all that closely, but on the Rays (if memory serves me correctly), none of Rocco Baldelli, Carl Crawford, Joey Gathright, or Elliot Johnson played very much baseball or even necessarily followed baseball growing up. Not like the kids who go to all those skills camps, etc. I know that’s not an outstanding list, but they all made it to the pinnacle of the sport.

        If you can find really athletic females, you can make ML’ers out of some of them.

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  57. KB says:

    Does anyone think this is actually a problem?

    -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  58. mike says:

    I’m pretty sure that a lot of the comments were just incredulous at the idea that a large percentage of women could PLAY in the major leagues. I have nothing against women being involved in X sport but very few women could compete at the MLB level. Just a fact.

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    • patmccaw says:

      How is it just a fact? I don’t know if a woman has ever thrown a 90 mph fast ball, but how many have received the life-long training necessary? And are you telling me a woman could never hit as hard and run as fast as David Eckstein? Never say never.

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      • fredsbank says:

        no woman could ever be as scrappy as eckstein, though

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      • SF 55 for life says:

        If you are fine with women playing in mens leagues then you have to be okay with men playing in womens leagues. I for one am not okay with that, therefore I don’t think it should ever happen.

        Front office work, managing, etc. doesn’t bother me though.

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      • Kroot says:

        I don’t know if it works like that think about the NBA / WNBA. It’s not the MNBA / WNBA , like it might be in college, here too it’s not the MMLB, just MLB.

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  59. hahaha says:

    i lol’d at the part about women having sound judgement

    -10 Vote -1 Vote +1

  60. omniart says:

    I think it’s hilarious when traditional sportswriters joke about us sabermetric types sitting around in our mom’s basement in our underwear. Such jokes get more and more original with each repetition–aging like fine vinegar. Plus those poor sportswriters get to feel like “one of the guys” by insulting us nerds–their fragile egos needing as much boosting they can get.

    So I thought it was hilarious just to see “women” and “kitchen” in the same sentence. So clever! And what better way to boost our egos than by insulting someone else.

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  61. Slats says:

    Women need to stick to the kitchen and not baseball.

    -14 Vote -1 Vote +1

  62. Nate says:

    Most people don’t care about gender, just winning.

    The problem most of the negative comments have is with Alex Remington who seems to think that it’s his personal mission to make it happen.

    If it happens, treat her like any other baseball person.

    If it doesn’t, then shut the **** up.

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  63. LowcountryJoe says:

    This will happen in due time. All barriers eventually come crashing down…the desire to win cannot keep the truly talented and skilled from the game. Until then, though, the title of Pam Postema’s book remains a clever word play.

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  64. Jim says:

    “The most modern definition of racism is anything that is said whether it is positive, negative, or neutral, true or untrue, that specifically identifies and differentiates one group of people from another, with the exception of negative things said about white gentiles. ”

    Poor white people. How we will we ever persevere in this life with all of these horrible double standards working against us. Oh well, back to ruling the world…

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Beasy Bee says:

      +1

      This is, along with sexism, another huge elephant in the room. As much as I like what the article is getting at (I’m a Women and Gender Studies major), another conversation that could be had is how much white privilege there is in the game, in all its facets, and how little (never?) this is owned up to.

      It’s not coincidence that nearly all the owners, execs, managers, et al (even an argument for players) are rich, white and male.

      But some people just take for granted that the people in these positions are the best suited, that equal opportunity was given, or that race, class and gender discrimination is actually just coincidence.

      And I may be more liberal than some, but I’m not talking about plain, raw statistics here. I’m talking about a fundamental misunderstanding of how true discrimination rears its ugly head.

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      • Bron says:

        That would be much more worthy of an article. God only knows the proverbial shit storm that would erupt in the comments of that article.

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  65. Z says:

    “Women Are Coming to Baseball, Like It or Not”

    Though, to be fair, we’ve known this ever since the fan-group Grady’s Ladies started printing out provocative calendars.

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  66. Joe West says:

    What happens to sound judgment during their period? I would also eject that 14 year old girls writing, pointing out the obvious apparently gets you hired at sbnation.

    -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  67. Adam says:

    You did really well until the sexist joke. And honestly, where is a more appropriate site than a well respected baseball site? I might get banned for this, but I honestly think all the sexist trolls who have commented here could do the world a favor by not being alive tomorrow by your own bloodied hands. Good God, I thought the internet was free from idiots likt this. Apparently not. That is sad. Good, great article. Sad comments; good people who read the comments and thumb down all the stupidity. Peace out everyone (well other than above).

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  68. SF 55 for life says:

    There are some really sad and just plain mean people out there. Hopefully most of this is just typical internet posturing and isn’t really underlying sexism.

    I have no problem with women in baseball. I’m not going to complain if there are too many or not enough, the same way I feel about african-americans in baseball. The only condition I have is that women are not allowed to play with the guys, sorry but I can’t accept that.

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  69. syh says:

    I’m amazed how depressing this thread is. You can disagree with the article without being an asshole. You can argue whether there is occupational sexism or to what degree without being an asshole. You can also realize on-field, administration, and umpiring are different issues.

    Kitchen, sandwich, period jokes, etc. are all so played out even hacks don’t use them. They are the “airline food” jokes of assholes. The “compare a black guy to a monkey” or “make slanty eyes regarding Asians” jokes of assholes. The only people that repeat them are either completely clueless about their comedic abilities or actually assholes.

    And the “this is the way the internet is” stuff is such a cop-out.

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    • RC says:

      ” You can disagree with the article without being an asshole. ”

      And people can agree with the article without calling everyone who doesn’t a sexist asshole.

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  70. Slats says:

    Women have already been in baseball: Billy Bean anyone??

    -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  71. OzzieGuillen says:

    As Danmay said above, this article (and especially the title) is inviting negative comments about women. The entire premise seems to be, “I’m better than you because I actually want equality for women.” Jokes aside, I don’t think too many men have a problem with equality. What they have a problem with is the way in which stuff like this article is presented to them.

    If you were to explain a new food to a child with, “Like it or not, you are going to eat it all!” then you can’t expect the child to react in a positive way, regardless of how tasty that food is.

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    • Beasy Bee says:

      “I don’t think too many men have a problem with equality. What they have a problem with is the way in which stuff like this article is presented to them.”

      As someone above already pointed out, no one is forced to read this article. We’re all privileged people who have internet and computer access and can browse as we see fit.

      But I feel like, even past this, I’m not so sure I agree with you. I think many men do have a problem with equality. Maybe not even actively so, but acceptance wise. It’s easy to say: “Yeah, sure, equality for all.” Few have a problem with it ideologically. It is another thing altogether to actually accept difference.

      The same can be said in regards to homosexuality. Many people “accept” them, but do not want to actually accept their difference; they want them to remain invisible.

      But the way for social change to happen is to be extremely visible – to upset the established traditions and commonly held beliefs. Perhaps that’s why I have little problem with the title. And as for it being a stretch or different type of article for fangraphs, well, personally I like the diversity.

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    • JoeDaddy says:

      I don’t know…I’ve had consistent success w/ Pizza and/or FishSticks regardless of presentation method.

      To further your analogy, however, I think the key when offering healthier alternatives is to let the consumer (you had to figure I’d squeeze in a double entendre) decide for themselves amongst a variety of similarly healthy choices; ie. if they didn’t like the broccoli, don’t give ‘em MORE broccoli– maybe try carrots, instead.

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    • I put “Like it or Not” in the title because of the tremendous amount of negativity toward women the last time I wrote a piece about this subject — not to mention, as I said, incredulity that there were actually women who were interested in baseball. This is clearly a controversial subject regardless of whether I pick a controversial title — but I wanted to make it clear that there ARE women who want to be in baseball, regardless of the negativity or incredulity in the comments.

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  72. Mark K. says:

    Going down and reading the comments that were “liked” and “disliked” by people and the subsequent arguments has already made my Friday. It’s only six minutes into the day.

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  73. Justin Bailey says:

    This is not FreeRepublic.com, you freaks.

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  74. MuttonChops says:

    I know that this has probably been said, but it’s 1:00AM and I’ll shoot myself in the face if I see another blatantly sexist comment. I get that you don’t like the idea of soneone of the opposite gender running a team/umping/presidenting/anything, because baseball is a sport, and females don’t usually play an integral part in the onfield mechanics of sport, but the reaction here is getting ridiculous. I don’t care what the purpose was behind the comment, it’s sexist. If I drop the ‘N’ bomb around an African American person, there will be a reprecussion. How is some of the stuff being said here any different? Also; that AAA umpire story made me feel sick to my stomach. That’s a disgusting display of ethnocentrism (I know, wrong word, sue me). If someone has the ability to do a job better then someone else, then they should be used in that role. If every job in the MLB has a male who can do the job more effectively than a female, then by all means, let him do the job, but I seriously doubt that’s the case. All I want is the best league that is humanly possible, regardless of gender.

    P.S I’m a teenage guy, if you’re an adult who falls on the other side of the fence then frankly, you deserve to be there.

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  75. Kroot says:

    Great work here

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  76. Kroot says:

    The two things that seem to get FanGraph readers commenting: Girls in baseball, Dave Cameron’s rankings.

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  77. JoeDaddy says:

    Ah…yes, the inevitable article condemning the perceived lack of tolerance w/ even more unabashed non-tolerance.

    Oh, how I miss the “kill ‘em w/ kindness” days of lore…was it really all that long ago that “fighting the good fight” could be persevered w/out a stick in-hand?

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  78. RC says:

    Typical for your articles. A whole lot of claims, no evidence.

    Example:” So, in order to block her promotion, the AAA umpires agreed that none of them would retire until the umpires were re-ranked and Cortesio was no longer at the top of the list. ”

    Thats a HUGE accusation, yet you don’t site a quote, article, anything. Its just shitty writing.

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  79. BRIAN says:

    Everybody in this world needs lighten up. Everything is a big deal in the media these days, that mind set even trickles down to the geeks on fangraphs.

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  80. Mafrth77 says:

    There are plenty of ” deserving” men who can’t get a job in baseball either. The fact of the matter is that any time a meaninful job in baseball ops opens up there are literally a thousand people who will do the job for free.

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  81. Sox27 says:

    So baseball gets poor “grades” for their lack of gender diversity in regards to team presidents and administration. So you mean to tell me, the NFL, NBA, and NHL have better grades???? Not a chance!

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  82. Jim says:

    I’m embarrassed by Fangraphs comments, but I guess that’s nothing new.

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  83. Don says:

    Women should only be in baseball if they are serving drinks or cleaning up the clubhouse after the game.

    -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  84. Anon says:

    The butthurt is strong with this one.

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  85. jorgath says:

    All you people who don’t want women in baseball are nazis.
    /Godwin’s Law.

    Anyway, totally in favor of women being eligible for any position in the majors or minors. Would like more data from Alex, so I don’t know how big the problem actually is (I believe it’s there, just don’t know the degree). Considering the number of completely incompetent and irrational men in this sport (screw you Omar Minaya) I’m of the opinion that a larger recruit pool can only make things better.

    P.S. Am 25-year-old male.

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  86. Chip Buck says:

    I expect these kinds of comments over at ESPN, not Fangraphs…

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  87. HotPinS says:

    The comment in the article said that the little girl blogger thinks that some women are afraid to say they like sports because of the possible public reaction…to me that kind of came off negative. But if you ask around i can guarantee that most men prefer women to like sports. shows how much a 14-year-old girl knows about sports and public preferences.

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  88. Telo says:

    It’s hilarious the amount of “OMG the comments here are so blahblalhlab”. Why don’t you post something with content and actually add to the discussion? Or better yet, actually engage someone who is willing to intelligently discuss the both sides of situation instead of dismissing the entire thread from your high horse. Yes, posts like this will always bring out the one liners “Go back to the kitchen”… they posters are called trolls. Welcome to the internet.

    Oh and queue “WOMEN IN BASEBALL: HERE TO STAY” part III from Remington. From the looks of the comment numbers, these are about 1000 more popular than Dave Cameron railing against the world.

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  89. Jack Weiland says:

    I like jokes. I also like women.

    That is all. Carry on.

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  90. Matt says:

    Listen again, I don’t want to be attacked by the PC community but I’m sorry the idea that a women will be able to produce similarly to Dustin Pedroia, the 2008 AL MVP is just ridiculous. It’s not a matter of thinking women are any less then men, it’s a matter of not being stupid…

    Yes there are a few trolls saying some of color jokes/flat out offensive remarkas making the segment countering Alex’s point seem like idiots, but when saying something there will be “a female Dustin Pedroia” in the future while not as equally offensive, is equally as ridiculous..

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  91. Pam says:

    Thanks for the article. I always appreciate a look in on some of the troubles women have in baseball. I can really only relate my personal experience, but as a woman who loves baseball, I can attest that dealing with the sexism of many of the male fans can be quite tiring.

    Often, when it comes out that I am a baseball fan, male fans put me through a series of tests and questions to try to “prove” that I’m not really a baseball fan. “Oh yeah? Well what pitcher has the most career Golden Glove awards then? What was Mickey Mantle’s batting average in 1957? Who was the last player to hit for the cycle in the regular season?” I think they all think I must only be in it for the hot dogs. I try to avoid the questions and skepticism mostly by not letting on to men that I like the sport. I generally don’t get involved in Baseball discussions except with the other managers in my fantasy league, who learned that I’m serious about Baseball last year when I whupped their collective asses. Mostly this works out well: I enjoy Baseball on the sly and I don’t have to deal with that weird, sexist vetting process. It does get a little lonely not having anyone to watch games with, but that’s not such a big deal.

    I know men claim to “like woman who like sports,” and I think that’s true for the most part (except for some of these commenters, apparently) there is still some pretty pervasive sexism from many male baseball fans. Some of theme seem to “like women who sort of like sports as long as they stay out of the way of the ‘serious’ male discussions and mostly just hang around as eye candy. You know, like on those beer commercials.”

    When I was a little girl I wanted to be the first Major League female umpire (I even printed out the entire baseball rulebook and read it through). Though I no longer want to call balls and strikes in the major leagues, I would still love to see a female umpire call a game during the regular season.

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    • Fegelein says:

      “Mostly this works out well: I enjoy Baseball on the sly and I don’t have to deal with that weird, sexist vetting process.”

      Whoa, hold up there, are you assuming that such a thing is reserved for women alone? any group of people that find themselves to have a higher and established knowledge and love of ANYTHING do this, and they don’t discriminate. It is ego that drives us to do this, because there can’t possibly be anybody who knows as much or more than we do right? Anyones claim to the contrary is met with skepticsm usually, and they’ll test you on your knowledge. Hell do you know how many times i’ve been put through this by some of the elder male sports fans in my family alone?

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  92. Don says:

    Hey, I am all for women being in sports. There should be drink mixing sports, bed making sports, and cooking sports. Those are sports women are suited for. Has anyone watched the WNBA or womens softball. Yikes.

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  93. CircleChange11 says:

    Alex, Im not surprised that MLB does not reveal this data. It’s unfortunate because it is the most important information.

    —————–

    As for knuckleballers, are they even drafted anymore?

    Tim Wakefield is often mentioned, but IIRC, he was a struggling player in the Pirates MiLB system that just started goofing around with the KB while playing catch in the OF. I think Steve Sparks was a similar situation. Not sure about Haeger. Niekro, Hough, etc were all traditional pitchers that realized they weren’t going to make it and found something new. I don’t think anyone starts off as a pro knuckleballer prospect.

    As a side note, Moyer and Tanana were hard throwers as prospects and injuries forced to them change their approach.

    Good luck to anyone trying to get drafted/signed throwing under 90mph.

    The growing trend is to note the size of MLB players. One article listed the average Mariner as 6’3 225, and last night at the Cubs broadcast, they rattled of the sizes of the Padres relievers … all big boys.

    David Ecksteins aren’t hot commodities and are likely on the endangered species list. If he is the type of player that gives women players hope, then it is probably false hope. Any female athlete over 6’0 is probably pushed onto a volleyball or basketball court as fast as possible.

    I have seen good girl baseball players before, namely at ages where girls “grow first”, and are stronger than their male peers. I like to say “nothing before puberty matters.” … and for good reason.

    By the time everyone is 16+, the boys have surpassed the girls in physical attributes. The girls that remain tall and strong are seeking scholarships in sports where they dominate.

    It seems unpopular today to discuss differences between men and women, but those differences do exist in everything from physicality to how the brain works. Call it design or evolution or whatever. I have stated that given the brain activity, women probably are more suited to “run things” in terms of organization, etc. As the nature of management changes to being more “analyst” or “directors”, that may play into the women’s favor once the stigma of “never played” subsides.

    Even the stereotype of math and computers being “men’s domains” is decreasing. I’d be interested in seeing demographics for college “sports management” classes/degrees as well.

    As a side note, going by brain science, men have a tendency to have interest in finding out “how things work” and trying to prove things right or wrong. Women tend to have more interests in logistics (for lack of a better term) I can think of no better example than Albert Einstein and his wife. He came up with ideas, and his wife “did the math”.

    There is absolutely no reason why women could not effectively run a major league team, just like they run other companies. My experience in the workplace is that men have fewer issues with female authority than women subordinates do, which is an interesting dynamic.

    I don’t know how much of this applicable, but once I get going, I just go with the thoughts. *grin*

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  94. dave in gb says:

    I don’t have a problem with women in MLB or sports in general. Right now with the state with my team the Orioles, I’d take a women over Peter Angelos and Andy MacPhail if she was better qualified. As long as a woman is kept at the same standards, I’m fine with it.

    But the minite it becomes a PC issue and MLB is forced to have a certain amount of women in senior positions just to keep a certain numbers, that’s when I have a problem with it. Otherwise, if the person is the best fit for the job, I’m all for it.

    Maybe for the Orioles sake, a woman is what the franchise needs. I don’t how it could be much worse than the current regime or past 13+ years.

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  95. UncleCharlieVT says:

    What do you have to do to get your comment deleted? What is the criteria? My last one was deleted, I think because the author of the article is a bit sensitive.

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    • I didn’t delete your comment. That was moderated by another one of our editors. You can find a pretty good list of what not to do on the “Terms of Service,” linked below. Among other things, the policy states:

      “You agree to not use the Service to… upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable.”

      http://www.fangraphs.com/tos.aspx

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      • UncleCharlieVT says:

        Thanks for responding, Alex. I can see that what I posted certainly qualified and am glad it was removed.

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  96. Nick says:

    The appalling comments left on this post and the previous one just go to show that sadly, most FanGraphs readers, like the rest of our society, subscribe to very proscribed gender roles that date back hundreds of years.

    Wake up gentlemen (I use the term loosely) and realize that your masculinity isn’t at all tied to your domination of women. Your genitalia determine your sex, not your gender. There’s absolutely no reason why people with different sex organs and gender expressions can not be supportive of and involved in baseball, or anything else for that matter. To say otherwise reveals your implication in patriarchal norms that contribute to the oppression of women in your life, whether it be your partner who is questioned for not wearing make-up at work, your daughter who is discouraged from playing a sport she loves, or your sister who is harassed by a classmate and his enabling buddies.

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  97. Nick says:

    *some FanGraphs readers, not most, thankfully

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  98. DodgersKings323 says:

    Hey chick, can you keep a consistent strike zone? Can you not steal the attention of a game because you are trying to promote your country band (Joe West)? You think you can tell when a ball is 2 feet foul during the ALCS? Ok, i’m sure you can do the job!

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  99. zenguerrilla says:

    I absolutely love fantasy baseball but I despise how MLB is ran. They can’t even get a salary cap? Do you really expect them to break the gender equity barrier in management? lol Republicans run golf and baseball…did you really think they would compromise to the times when they don’t even in politics? pffffttt please!!! I don’t see the “good old boy” network changing anytime soon.

    I am surprised a women hasn’t played pro ball yet in this day and age. I remember in the early 80’s my little league team had a gal on it who threw harder than any other boy on the team. I kid you not. She use to hurt my hand playing catch with her. There has to be a few gals on the planet that can play pitcher, middle infield or outfield like an Ichiro. To think not would be pretty ignorant imho. Just sayin…..

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  100. neuter_your_dogma says:

    Oh stop the comment whining. There’s no crying in baseball.

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  101. hamzen says:

    Ho hum, same as it ever was.

    From the UK, only got into baseball 5 years ago, and two things struck me immediately, the amount of spitting, and the large number of women in the crowds, way higher than I’ve seen in any other major sport that wasn’t a women only sport. I found that hugely encouraging.

    Has there ever been any analysis done on m/f splits in spectators for sports?
    My guesstimate was around 35% but I’d like to see that officially confirmed.
    It was also obvious that women come together to games on their own, again very encouraging, as well as with partners and as part of a family unit. I’ve also come across plenty of baseball blogs by women, so I can’t believe that there aren’t plenty of women who’d be capable and interested and intelligent enough about the sport to do the executive jobs. But we all know how male sporting environments operate, exactly as Pam’s post articulated, and Alex hinted at, collusion is so difficult to prove.

    Over here there was a lot of media interest, and a lot of male negative reaction when Karen Brady became the first woman executive to run a footy “soccer” club at Birmingham City, she still gets flack purely because of her sex. There was also a situation recently where a lineswoman was in an EPL game, fully qualified, and the commentators not realizing the mic was still on, made the usual standard “jokes”, even though she’d done a good job, and made the right call on a couple of tricky decisions, ho hum. They did get sacked though.

    I also remember an amateur game I was in here, where when the opposition were doing their pre-game drills, there was a woman involved who looked really good. Our pitcher was shitting himself about pitching to a woman, it was well funny. Shame though, she didn’t play, even though it was only a friendly.

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  102. CircleChange11 says:

    There is also probably some misconceptions on what a GM does.

    The GM is likely not the best scout in the organization, nor are they likely the best analyst, nor the most knowledgable baseball person. Just as a principal is not the best teacher, secretary, or custodian.

    What the head person’s main job is to hire the best talent, put them in the position that suits their skills, give them the support they need, and develop and communicate the philosophy and strategy with collaboration from those on the frontline.

    If we use “best at all aspects” then no GM will meet the criteria.

    We often point to the Rays as an example. These are not “baseball guys”. They are however guys that had a good strategy and process and directed the baseball guys to do what they do within the team’s philosophy.

    The front offices that struggle are those that fail to accurately identify their needs or reality, fail to develop or communicate a sound and consistent philosophy, or listen to the wrong people, etc.

    I’m guessing that the best GMs are rarely the proverbial smartest guy in the room, but are often really good at communicating the teams needs, putting people in the right situations, and know who to listen to.

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  103. pinball1978 says:

    It’s both a nice and horrible thing the Internet does when it allows us to see how the reactionary shits of the world really think but also how very many there are.

    The nice-ness of this is that the RSs feel free pretty much ONLY when safely Anon., andd even moreso that a large percentage of them believe they are “trolling” or engaging in “humor,” which means they are themselves both semi-aware and -ashamed of what RSs they are.

    I haven’t heard such asinine opinions as these spoken within hearing in years and years.

    Baseball is the greatest sport in the world, but I have to overlook the fact that it is mostly operated by, played by, and watched by people I really wouldn’t want to be stuck making conversation with, or working in the same office with, or FSM forbid!, be related to, even by marriage.

    Please would the RSs here try out their infantile babbling in public? See what you really are, you whining cowards.

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  104. I Am Not A Troll says:

    Seems an article more fitting for the Huffington Post than Fangraphs.

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  105. sstracher says:

    Great article! Good job!

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  106. DownwiththeDH says:

    Cut through the crap and get to the real issue: One of the main reasons men involve themselves in baseball is to get away from women for a portion of the day/week/month/year, whatever it be. We’re uncomfortable, some even spooked by the idea of hearing the tone and amount of talking a woman could produce in ‘our’ haven of sport and retreat from life. The extra issues that would be brought up, the change, the extra stress – we don’t want it.

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  107. bonezzz says:

    ” WHY ARE WE ALL YELLING”

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  108. Jim says:

    ““You agree to not use the Service to… upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable.””

    Yeah, and this isn’t selectively enforced at all.

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  109. Ann says:

    Thank you for characterizing the Blog posts you quoted as vile. As a Nationals fan, I was forced to listen to the sexist comments that poured routinly poured from Rob Dibble, the Nat’s former TV commentator. He was finally fired but if MLB wants to keep or increase their fan base they can’t afford to ignore women. Can we at least see some bat girls?

    Thanks for this story. I’m glad to know women are pushing to change the make up of this great game.

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    • Dibble was an interesting case — he was chastised for the comments that appeared to be misogynist, but he seemed to have been fired for his criticism of Stephen Strasburg. (When he said that Strasburg should have pitched through the pain, and Strasburg wound up having to be Tommy Johnned.) If anything, the message seemed to be: you can complain about women, but don’t complain about Strasburg.

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  110. The Iron Horse says:

    I find this post and discussion fascinating. Not because it is convincing in the least, but rather because of what it says about some people who live in our society. Lets forget about the fact that no proof was offered that any qualified female candidates were being passed over. The real issue is that some people (the author included) feel that everyone must be equally represented in every field.

    There is nothing stopping women from starting their own professional league and hiring whomever they want to hire. But that isn’t good enough. There is outrage that men are dominating a field that they created.

    Throughout history most of the owners of baseball teams have been rich investors and former baseball players. GMs and Managers both used to be former major league players. Since it’s a Male sports league, it makes sense that ex. players would be men. Thus, managers and GMs would be men.

    Only recently have teams decided to hire people to run teams who are not former players, but are analytical types with an MBA or JD. Not all teams have done this mind you. Yet, there is outrage that the first people hired under this new criteria weren’t women.

    As for who is actually qualified to be a GM, no one on the outside really knows. I remember Keith Law speaking about this, and while he isn’t the be-all and end-all, he did work in a major league front office (something that the author has not done). What Law said was that no one who has never worked in a MLB front office has any idea who is actually qualified to be a GM. He even admitted that he didn’t know all the qualifications either. And looking at the flimsy evidence that the author offers to try to prove his point, I know the author doesn’t have any superior knowledge either. That’s what makes the whole article pretty ridiculous.

    Baseball is a male dominated field because people want to pay to see these men perform. Managers are men because you need a strong man to tell these men what to do (they don’t want to listen to their mommies anymore). GMs are men because up to this point the 30 individuals who are best qualified to run teams have been male. And shouldn’t an owner of a team be allowed to hire the people thet he sees fit? Who are any of you to tell someone who spent his own money on a team who he must hire?

    However, I still find it fascinating at the outrage that women do not have jobs in a field that they had nothing to do with creating. And all the name calling of “misogynist” or “sexism” is just a cover for not being able to have a logical argument. Once someone has to resort to name calling in order to make their point, they have none worth discussing.

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    • Jason says:

      I’m sure you’ll get flamed for this post, despite it being spot on.

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    • “However, I still find it fascinating at the outrage that women do not have jobs in a field that they had nothing to do with creating.”

      Baseball is not a “field.” It’s a game, with numerous related jobs, from managers and coaches to umpires to executives to players to analysts to writers. None of those job titles must necessarily be filled by a male. Justine Siegal has coached in college and independent baseball; Kate Sargeant has umpired; Kim Ng is an executive with Major League Baseball; Tiffany Brooks and Eri Yoshida play professional baseball; Helen Zelman (whom I mentioned in the previous article) was an analyst with the Arizona Diamondbacks; Marisa Ingemi is a blogger. No one really knows who invented baseball — other than John Thorn, of course — but perhaps the game that the Knickerbockers played against the Nine was related to town ball or rounders, which is actually a game that today is most often played by English schoolgirls.

      If your argument doesn’t hinge on the origins of the sport, but merely on the origins of the monopoly corporation of Major League Baseball, then it is certainly true that men founded that company — but there are many companies in America that were founded by men. None are legally permitted to categorically exclude women from employment. Indeed, according to the numbers I cited earlier, 38% of employees in baseball’s central office are women. So, not only is Major League Baseball not legally permitted to bar women from employment, but it actually employs a number of women. Women, therefore, have every right to seek employment with baseball.

      Inicidentally, in addition to the Baseball for All camps and tournaments run by Justine Siegal, there actually is a North American Women’s Baseball League in Massachusetts, and last year, the American Women’s Baseball Federation sent a team to the Women’s World Cup of baseball. The USA came in third; Japan and Australia finished first and second. The point of the articles I’ve written is that there are women who love baseball, and that those women want to be involved with baseball.

      It is my opinion that qualified women should have equal opportunity to seek such employment, and should not be discriminated against solely on the basis of their gender, as happened to Ria Cortesio, according to Kate Sargeant’s sources, which Bruce Weber seems to corroborate. The only valid reason to hire someone or terminate someone should be competence, not sex. As Kim Ng told me, “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.”

      You write the word “outrage” three times — yet you don’t define the outrage. Speaking as the author of this piece, none of the women I talked to were “outraged,” and the only outrage I felt was at the comments I received on the last piece, some of which I quoted at the beginning of this piece. Does my belief that women should have equal opportunity constitute “outrage”?

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Alex, if baseball were just a “game”, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Connect Four is a game.

        Also … if all we basically have are the 7 women you listed, and around 1000 female high school baseball players … then well, No … women really aren’t coming to baseball. Sure older women are increasing their fandom (according to statistics), but that isn’t really relevant to this scenario.

        The women involved in the sport seem to say that they have been treated fairly. They just wished there were more women in the sport.

        I wish there were more lefties that throw in the low/mid 80s. *grin*

        You keep bringing up that 38% of the employees in MLB’s front office as if it is meaningful (not saying that in a mean way). That doesn’t mean they like baseball, or that they are even doing jobs that require baseball familiarity.

        Like I said earlier, it’s very possible that in 1950, 38% of the employees in the MLB central office could have been women.

        What we need to see is evidence that women are doing meaningful things in a baseball personnel capacity and are being prohibited from promotion due to their gender. I don;t think Ria’s case shows that, but only serves as evidence that such discrimination is possible.

        Some of the comments here act as if the the discrimination case against MLB has already been heard, and they were ruled against.

        To me, this discrimination scenario (women as GMs) looks a lot like a strawman.

        There haven’t been any women in the 30 years complain about being colluded against or discriminated against in terms of becoming MLB GMs? That have spoken about it now since they don’t have anything to lose?

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  111. Jenn says:

    The worst article ever written by FanGraphs’ worst contributor. You’re a below replacement level writer.

    And I’m a woman who works as an exec for a mid sized engineering firm in the midwest.

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