Kim Ng may or may not be the best person for the Padres job, but she is qualified to be a GM

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A conversation developed on Twitter a bit ago that sort of pissed me off. It began just after (a) Bud Black said the Padres would name their new GM in 48 hours; and (b) the San Anotinio Spurs announced that they were hiring a woman as an assistant coach.

I tweeted — more jokingly than anything — that the Padres should hire Kim Ng — who is a candidate — right now and then the NBA and Major League Baseball can turn to the NFL and say “your move.”

This caused a couple of people to respond seriously, saying that the Padres should not be in the business of hiring someone simply for the good press. That came along with the strong implication — and in a couple of responses, the clear statement — that Ng is not qualified to be the Padres general manager and that hiring her would be mere tokenism.

Let me start out by saying that I have no idea if Ng is the best person for the Padres’ GM position. I don’t know the other candidates — which include Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler, Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller, and Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen — too well. I certainly can’t say I know their resumes as well as I know Ng’s. It’s quite possible that any or all of them are better suited to what San Diego is looking for or a better fit. It’s also possible that Ng isn’t too enamored with leaving her post at MLB to take over what would clearly be a big job of building the Padres into a contender. In short: whoever the Padres hire is their business and there are tons of 100% baseball reasons why Ng may not get the job.

But I will not accept the assertion, because it is 100% counterfactual, that if the Padres did hire Ng it’d be some sort of P.R.-driven/affirmative action/tokenism kind of hire. Ng has held almost every conceivable job in baseball, from arguing arbitration cases to running international academies to coordinating pro scouting. She has spent many, many years in this game and there is zero suggestion that she is not capable. If you are unfamiliar with her resume, here’s a good place to start. That’s three-years-old, by the way and does not include her experience at MLB headquarters.

Again, maybe she’s not the right fit for the Padres, but to the extent people are suggesting that she is unqualified, please, present some information about that. Don’t assert things that are plainly wrong because you’re so utterly convinced that her candidacy is some liberal, p.c. conspiracy.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.

Yankees activate Didi Gregorius from the disabled list

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The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.

Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.

Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.