Yesterday was International Women’s Day, as I’m sure you’re aware. An interesting announcement came from the offices of Major League Baseball, with former Dodgers assistant GM Kim Ng joining Joe Torre as the senior VP for baseball operations at Major League Baseball.

Ng is still considered a rising star in the baseball business with an excellent CV full of success as a member of the Yankees front office during their most recent glory days (1998-2001) and with the storied Dodgers since. Often among the first names mentioned for available General Manager roles around baseball, Ng has interviewed for multiple vacancies including the Mariners job which eventually went to Jack Zduriencik.

While this role within MLB is something a parallel move to join her friend Joe Torre and escape the sinking Dodgers ship (which she denies), Ng insists becoming a general manager is still her priority.

With her résumé, one can only wonder how long before she does get the chance to steer a big league ship? An argument could be made that she has more experience and past success than many GMs appointed in recent years, including a certain Canadian “promoted from within” wunderkind.

Has Kim Ng run up against the so-called glass ceiling? Is the old boy cronyism of baseball impervious to making a “progressive hire” like Ng? Hard to say. I don’t think some sort of institutional bias keeps Ng and others like her out of the GM’s seat, there are simply very few seats. With only 30 jobs to go around, countless qualified individuals are passed over every day. Many teams groom up-and-comers for years in advance, making real opportunities even more rare.

Hopefully for Ng and for all of us, she can take the reins of a big league club one day. Some believe she could be poised to step in once Brian “Housemoney” Cashman gets sick and tired of the Steinbrenner’s act and opts to read cricket periodicals on a beach.

The only downside to Ng (or any potential female GM) taking over in the Bronx would be the obnoxious glut of “GOTTA BE TOUGH TO HACK IT IN NEW YORK, IS THIS BROAD TOUGH ENOUGH?” articles such a bold Yankee move would inspire. First woman to present a salary arbitration case? Youngest assistant GM in baseball at the time of her promotion? I think she’s got the toughness covered.

Image courtesy of Alyssa Milano’s MLBlog. Eh oh, oh eh!

Comments (11)

  1. I hope she gets it, but I’m far more interested to see when we get the first female to play in the majors.

  2. Steve, sadly I don’t think I’ll see that in my lifetime. But getting more women in the front office is a great start.

  3. Howzabout gettin’ in Ms. Milano’s front office? OH!

  4. I hope she gets an opportunity, but if/when she does, she’ll have a lot of pressure on her to succeed. Unfair as it may be, others will judge her success or failure based on her gender. If she flops as a GM then the next female GM candidate(s) will have a hard time being the second female GM.

  5. I don’t care if I ever see a woman play in the majors. A woman’s never going to throw like Justin Verlander so it’s more interesting for me to see girls compete against each other.

    Speaking of …. What happened to the Japanese teenage knuckleballer? I think she had something like a 0-4 record last year but was applauded by teammates for her grit. Spare me.

    The Kim Ng story interests me greatly though. Good for MLB and good for her. I read Jamie’s comment to my female colleagues and they all basically threw up. I kind of hope the female in the front office story doesn’t have any legs – give Ng a chance to do her job like any other newly promoted executive without being put under the microscope because she’s a woman.

  6. @Meredith why would they react that way to my comment? I never said it was fair that she would be put under the microscope (I actually said it was unfair) but I’m convinced that it will happen. That’s just the way it is. It’s definitely wrong, but if things were right then Ng would have already gotten her chance.

  7. @Jamie: Why do you hate women so much?

    It’s unfortunate, but the first of anything seems to always have to be so far superior to anyone else. Think: Jackie Robinson.

  8. First and foremost, since I have a penis, I feel the need to say I’d like to press Alyssa Milano up against any glass.

    Secondly, in response to the Japanese female knuckleballer – she is bloody awful. I saw her last season when she came to Calgary and took a bunch of pictures. She’s a side-arm knuckler, and because of that, her pitches do not have the same quality of movement you would expect from a Wakefield-type. Seriously, awful. That game lasted over 4 hours.

  9. @Jamie – Nothing personal. You agree that any sexist judgments following her successes or failures are unfair. Good on ya. It’s the “that’s the way things are, nothing you can do about it” indifference that’s frustrating. But the problem doesn’t lie with you; it’s the fault of all men, so damn you all to hell.

    I’m kidding. This is a happy story and I’m glad the guys at Getting Blanked covered it.

  10. I know it’s only Batting Practice Meredith, but this story’s for you:

  11. I think whatever it is women should be respected.

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