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.
Someone on Reddit’s /r/baseball page linked to this New York Times article from June 1986.
Dave Kingman, then with the Athletics, was 37 years old and playing in what would be his final season. He was fined $3,500, which is a little over $7,600 in 2016 dollars, for sending a live rat in a pink box to a female reporter, Susan Fornoff of The Sacramento Bee. The rat wore a tag that said “my name is Sue.”
Kingman refused to apologize, saying, “I’ve pulled practical jokes on other people and I didn’t apologize to them.”
According to Fornoff, Kingman had said to her that women don’t belong in the clubhouse, and Kingman had been harassing her since she began covering the team in ’85. The Athletics didn’t keep Kingman around after the season, and he ended up hanging up the spikes.
Pete Dexter wrote in more detail about the incident at Deadspin a few years ago. It’s a good read.
I wasn’t familiar with this story as I was still more than two years from being born when it happened. Sports media has made strides towards being more inclusive of non-white cisgender straight men, especially compared to 30 years ago. But, of course, we’re still a long ways away from an ideal world in which everyone is treated equally and everyone has equal access. Some of the best baseball reporting and analysis these days is being done by women and it’s nice to see sites, especially FanGraphs recently, make a concerted effort towards diversification.
Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller continued to struggle on Tuesday, serving up six runs on eight hits and four walks with three strikeouts over five innings against the Pirates. His ERA, in 10 starts this season, stands at an unsightly 7.09 with 30 strikeouts and 29 walks in 45 2/3 innings.
The D-Backs acquired him from the Braves over the winter, sending 2015 first overall pick Dansby Swanson to Atlanta along with pitching prospect Aaron Blair and outfielder Ender Inciarte. It’s a trade they’d most likely take back if they had the luxury.
Instead, GM Dave Stewart is considering optioning the right-hander to Triple-A Reno to figure things out, Jack Magruder reports for Today’s Knuckleball. Stewart said, “We want to get him on track the best way we can. We will figure it out and do what’s needed.”
Miller is currently slated to start against the Padres on Sunday, so the club has a few more days to consider what to do. Josh Collmenter will likely be activated over the weekend, which would create a convenient way to put him back on the roster and deal with Miller.
Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. and shortstop Xander Bogaerts both extended their hitting streaks on Wednesday night against the Rockies, and both did it in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Bogaerts led off the inning with a solo home run to left-center off of Chad Bettis. After David Ortiz walked and Hanley Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice, Bradley laced a single to left field. Bogaerts’ streak now stands at 18 games and Bradley’s is at 29. Bradley is tied with Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest streak in Red Sox history. He trails Tris Speaker and Nomar Garciaparra at 30 and Dom DiMaggio at 34.
The Red Sox entered Wednesday’s action averaging 5.87 runs per game, the best mark in baseball. The major league average is 4.28. Bogaerts and Bradley, unsurprisingly, have been a big part of the offense’s success thus far.
Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos struck out in a big spot for the Tigers during Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Phillies. Trailing 7-5 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Castellanos had a full count with runners on first and second base facing reliever Hector Neris.
Castellanos had just gotten set in the batter’s box when he watched Neris sneak in an 87 MPH splitter for strike three to end the inning. Castellanos wanted home plate umpire Brian Gorman to intervene because of the quick-pitch, but he didn’t.
Here’s what Castellanos said after the game, via Catherine Slonksnis of Bless You Boys:
“He did. That’s the first time I’ve been quick-pitched, probably since A ball,” Castellanos said, visibly frustrated after the game. “It is what it is. I was frustrated that it happened. Usually, it’s been attempted, but it’s always been stopped. Usually (the umpires) give the hitter that courtesy, but just, learn, and move on.”
And here’s the MLB.com video.
The Tigers also took issue with Gorman for what they feel was unequal treatment in giving batters time out. The Phillies were granted time — some late, as Slonksnis notes — but the Tigers weren’t afforded the same luxury. Mike Aviles also believes he was quick-pitched in the fifth inning.
The Tigers lost the game 8-5 but won the series, taking two out of three from the Phillies. Manager Brad Ausmus missed the game due to his mother’s death, so bench coach Gene Lamont took the role on Wednesday afternoon. Ausmus is also expected to miss Friday’s game for his daughter’s graduation.