October 25, 2004

On minority candidates ...

Was Howard Eskin right or wrong Monday night when he implied that Atlanta Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton is only being interviewed for the manager job because he’s a minority candidate? (photo: City Paper online edition)

Eskin said on his radio show the Phillies wanted only candidates with managerial experience and believes that Pendleton, who has no managerial experience but has the endorsement of top officials in the Braves organization, is being interviewed “as a favor.”

As far as we can tell, Pendleton has as many outside endorsements as any candidate in the running, and if you’re searching for a credible source, look no further than Atlanta. So instead of criticizing the Pendleton interview as an act of minority privilege, why doesn’t Eskin call out the Phillies for interviewing a former manager (Jim Fregosi), a former player (John Russell) and the father of the team’s third baseman (Buddy Bell)?

Unless you’re a former player or connected in some other way, it’s not easy breaking in as a first-time manager. The policy installed by Major League Baseball making it mandatory for clubs to interview at least one minority candidate is designed to create an equal playing field for minorities, but it’s also a way to inject candidates into interviews otherwise reserved for the predominantly white bodies already juiced into the organization. The Phillies are guilty of this more than any team in baseball, and it should come as no surprise that the two minority candidates, Don Baylor and Terry Pendleton, are also the least plugged in.

If history repeats itself, in the words of the King, they do, indeed, have “no shot.” And if the Phillies or WIP comes down on him for suggesting it, he doesn't deserve it this time.


At 11:57 AM, Blogger Tom Goodman said...

The Phillies have alreay disgraced themselves on the minority candidate front by interviewing Don Baylor without really considering him for the post. I think Pendleton is a legitimate candidate because of his experience in Atlanta and his reputation among the players. Frankly, I'd like to see someone like Pendleton given the job over Jim Leyland. It's time for new blood, new imagination, new personality, new approaches.

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Jason Weitzel said...

I like Pendleton too, and wonder why Varsho wasn't considered.


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