• FOR HIS LATEST TRICK, MANFRED’S FELLOWS

    By Murray Chass on October 11, 2017

    The timing was stunning. It was impossible to ignore. Less than two and a half days after the previous column on the very subject was posted on this website, a news article popped up on MLB.com. It carried the byline of the MLB.com reporter who for years has written house pieces about Major League Baseball and its commissioners. Mark Newman probably wrote enough puff pieces about Bud Selig when he was commissioner to fill a book.

    It was as if Rob Manfred or an aide to the commissioner summoned Newman and said, “OK, Mark, we got another one for you.” I don’t want to be fanciful about this, but Newman might also have been told, “Chass has another one, and this will answer his latest criticism of our diversity hiring program.”

    “MLB announces Diversity Fellowship Program,” this article’s headline said.

    Major League Baseball seems to announce new diversity programs regularly. They keep coming up with these new programs because the previous programs haven’t worked. If at first you fail, fail, fail again.

    When Manfred became commissioner three years ago this coming January, MLB had a real sharp guy who knew how to find and hire minorities. But for some reason, Manfred didn’t like Frank Marcos, the senior director of the Major League Scouting Bureau, and excused him from further duty despite his sterling track record of filling the bureau with minorities.

    Manfred has tried a series of programs to enhance baseball’s minority landscape, but the picture just keeps getting whiter and whiter. At times, it has seemed as though had a large sign on its front door saying, “Blacks and Latinos need not apply.”

    Not long ago …

    Murray Chass



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