From Aaron Kasinitz at PennLive.com on April 7, 2016, with mention of SABR member Tyrone Brooks:
Johnny Rodriguez smiles when he peeks in on the English classes designed for the St. Louis Cardinals’ players.
Like many organizations, the Cardinals offer language lessons for Spanish-speaking prospects and major leaguers adjusting to life in the United States.
But Rodriguez, the Cuban-born manager of the Class-A State College Spikes, isn’t just proud of the 20-year-olds hitting the books. He’s happy to see 40- and 50-year-olds in the classroom, too.
“I’ve seen plenty of coaches take these classes,” Rodriguez said. “And that’s a very, very good thing.”
Any steps toward progress are encouraging for Rodriguez, because he remains a part of a community often overlooked in the sports world.
He’s a Latino baseball coach who’s spent more than a quarter-century in the minors and dreams of one day leading a major league team. But when he surveys the list of managers in the big leagues ahead of Monday’s traditional Opening Day, that goal seems nearly unattainable.
In a league with more than 30 percent Latin-born players, 27 of the 30 managers are white. Two are black. And one — the Atlanta Braves’ Fredi Gonzalez — is Hispanic.
Read the full article here: http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2016/04/uncleared_hurdles_why_arent_th.html
Originally published: April 8, 2016. Last Updated: April 8, 2016.