Rowley: Is diversity in baseball a threat to the new membership club?

From Megan Rowley at Baseball Prospectus on November 4, 2015:

The Mariners found their guy in Jerry Dipoto, and he found his guy in former catcher and Angels executive Scott Servais. The Phillies found their guy in that same Angels front office, hiring Dartmouth grad Matt Kentak. The Angels found in Billy Eppler their guy to replace those guys. The Brewers made fresh-faced Harvard man David Stearns their fresh-faced Harvard man.

And then these guys, and other guys, started hiring their guys: The Marlins chose Don Mattingly, the Padres chose Andy Green, the Nationals chose Bud Black—then lost him with a lowball offer so that now the Dodgers might choose him. And then, on Tuesday, a minor miracle: Washington chose Dusty Baker, the first move in months to suggest this isn’t all just a little bit of history repeating. Though it probably is.

After Servais’ Mariners press conference, much was made of the rapport between the new manager and the new GM, their previous collaboration, and the importance of speaking the same language. This is a crucial phrase, nearly as troubling in the figurative meaning as if it were literal. At the heart of the push for front office and managerial diversity is the desire to expand the range of common language.

The existing language of the modern front office might make those already on the inside more comfortable, but it isn’t the only way to talk about baseball, and it certainly isn’t the only or even the best way to move the game forward. Look at the organizations that we just saw in the World Series: The Royals and Mets took very different routes to arrive at the top of the baseball world, as did the Giants in 2014, and the Red Sox in 2013. There are very different routes available. In a game constantly in search of the next edge, do we really think when the front office sings a universal refrain of “market inefficiency” it can’t use those lyrics to actually find the next one?

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Originally published: November 4, 2015. Last Updated: November 4, 2015.