Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com did some digging and uncovered why Tim Wallach agreed to a contract with the Dodgers that allowed him to interview for certain managerial openings (like the Brewers) while prohibiting him from pursuing other jobs (like the Blue Jays):
Wallach was allowed to make those lists himself while negotiating the deal, which the source said was unusually beneficial to Wallach in terms of both length and financial compensation. Because there are so many major league managerial openings this winter … the Dodgers didn’t want Wallach to interview for all of them, presumably because that would have held up their effort to fill their coaching staff.
So Wallach was asked to prioritize those eight clubs based on his level of interest before any of those teams even requested permission to talk to him. It isn’t clear how many teams are on the “can-talk-to” list and how many are on the “can’t-talk-to” list. But the source said the Brewers and Blue Jays are the only teams that requested permission to speak with Wallach.
In other words, if Wallach had been better at predicting which teams would be interested in him as a potential manager he’d have been allowed to talk to the Blue Jays, who’re now upset that the Dodgers denied their interview request.
According to Jackson, if Wallach isn’t hired by the Brewers he’ll remain with the Dodgers, likely as the third base coach on Don Mattingly’s staff. Jackson reports that the current third base coach, Larry Bowa, is not expected back in 2011.
Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that the Giants have signed catcher Nick Hundley. It’s a major league deal worth $2 million.
Hundley, who is 33, but who seems like he’s been in the bigs for about 27 years, hit .260/.320/.439 with 10 homers in 83 games for the Rockies last season. Obviously he will be the backup given the presence of Buster Posey.
Major League Baseball has experienced inconsistent progress in its efforts at promoting diversity and social responsibility in recent years despite making it a league priority. Today it has announced several changes in its leadership structure in these areas, with Commissioner Manfred saying, “As the sport of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, we have a responsibility to uphold and honor their legacies, especially in ensuring that our sport and business practices are as inclusive, diverse and socially-conscious as possible.”
To that end:
- Billy Bean has been promoted to Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner. This is a newly-created and elevated position in which Bean will continue his efforts at promoting human rights issues important to Major League Baseball, with a particular focus on LGBT and anti-bullying efforts. He has done such work since 2014 as its Ambassador for Inclusion, but putting him at the vice presidential level and having him answer directly to Commissioner Manfred increases his profile and that of his mission;
- Renée Tirado, has been promoted to Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion. Tirado had previously served as Senior Director of Recruitment. She will direct the implementation of recruitment plans and procedures to support MLB’s staffing objectives and will oversee MLB’s Diversity Pipeline Program. As you may recall, Major League Baseball has struggled mightily in these effort in recent years, and has admitted as much; and
- Melanie LeGrande has been promoted to Vice President of Social Responsibility. She previously served as MLB’s Director of Community Affairs. Her job will be to develop and enhance the initiatives that support MLB’s position in the community and oversee MLB’s community investments, nonprofit/non-governmental organization partnerships, large-scale disaster relief efforts and employee volunteer engagement.
Manfred said, “the promotions of Billy, Renée and Melanie reflect our commitment to have strong, innovative leadership in place that aligns our industry objectives with a desire to be effective corporate citizens.”
While all of these are current employees who have served in roughly similar roles. A business’ organizational chart says much about how much that business values various functions and initiatives. In keeping with Manfred’s comments, that all three of these people have been promoted to the vice presidential level is a strong signal from MLB about what it wants.
Now all it has to do is follow through and get what it wants.