Baltimore Orioles’ Front Office – A Very “Exclusive Club” ???

July 15, 2009 |

It is so therapeutic to be sitting in front of a computer and writing about some natural and passionate feelings regarding a sports topic. While I am devoted to causes concerning cancer research/treatment, much of the work is, well ….. work.

Admittedly, I’ve neglected my passion for sports over the last few weeks. So, I’m gonna catch up with some blogging, and providing Glenn Clark with that fodder he so desperately craves …..

One of the topics occupying my mind is the Orioles managerial situation, and respective plight of Dave Trembley. It’s fair to say he’s not really on the prospective “invite list” for Baltimore Orioles Spring Training – 2010, right?

And, as Manny Acta proved, Monday, having a deficit of true talent on the roster is not an excuse for losing. Indeed, the manager pays the price.

I’m not suggesting there’s a Dave Trembley “Fired Pool” circulating around taverns and lunch rooms, in Baltimore. But, none of us will be surprised if his contract expires, without an extension, right? I guess that amounts to a divorce – albeit, in less humiliating circumstances.

So, if Andy MacPhail is staring out his Russell Street digs, with that befuddled and perplexed gaze, as his team hovers nearly 10 games below .500, one of his inner-thoughts must be regarding the plight of his manager. And, perhaps, he’s really thinking “who’s gonna be my next field general.”

I think it’s safe to suggest the next skipper will be of Andy’s direct choosing. The decision might be an easy one – given his tenure and extensive relationships within the baseball community. Or, does the Prez of Baseball Operations have a very unique set of circumstances on his hands …..

Dave Trembley is the 17th manager in the rich history of the Baltimore Orioles franchise. And, he’s the 16th white male to hold the position. In fact, he’s the 11th different manager to lead the club, since this trainwreck really started to jump the tracks following the 1983 World Championship.

Of those 11 managers, 10 have been white and beyond their 45th birthday. The only exception is Frank Robinson. A few of you might be starting to steam between the ears, while thinking “great, Rex, is making this a black/white issue …..”

Not exactly.

But, in considering the cultural makeup of the Orioles roster and the generous Latin influence on today’s game, as well as the emerging Asian presence, I’ve pondered the likelihood of a manager with a more “diverse” background. Uh-huh, the word DIVERSE is not embraced by many of us white males, right?

I’m not suggesting managers of a Latino, Asian or African-American heritage equate into being winners. Heck, just look at Manny Acta, again. But, as I’ve already suggested, he had NOTHING to manage. He had less in his cart than Dave Trembley.

However, looking at the history of Orioles managers has inspired me to examine the Orioles front office and power structure. And, I believe what I’ve found is pretty interesting …..

According to the Orioles website, there are 15 members of the “front office.” Of the 15 guys, they all share a common trait – they’re white. Yes, it’s 2009 and the entire upper power structure, as according to the team’s website, is comprised of middle-aged (or older) white males.

Is this a problem?

In my opinion, given the diversity within the game, I think it’s a potential pitfall. And, once again, I don’t believe racial makeup is the most important factor leading to one’s success in most business ventures. However, I do think it’s good business to ensure the different cultures within the workplace are represented within management.

I don’t think an Asian, Latino or African American presence should be established simply from a perceived necessity to do it. But, if any profitable workplace realizes success due to contributions from a background outside Caucasian influences, isn’t it best to employ leaders who can cultivate that talent?

And, if the long-term future of an organization is definitely dependent on a multi-cultural influence, I’d be absolutely bent on ensuring the presence of leaders who understand the motivations and needs if such talent/players exists.

The Boston Red Sox seem to embrace this rationale. So do the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers and every other organization committed to stability.

In fact, according to MLB.com and the respective pages of every major league franchise, the Baltimore Orioles are the only organization with a front office completely comprised of white males. That’s right, I’ve examined each team’s official website, and each front office is represented by persons of different racial or gender makeup – except, the Baltimore Orioles.

And, lets be clear about one thing – I am not a proponent of Affirmative Action policies and I have no desire to turn this into a political or racially-biased debate. I have endured the harsh reality of scoring higher on a promotional exam and being passed over for a minority candidate with less experience and education.

And, that same candidate ranked several spots below myself and others in the prospective, scored, promotional process. Trust me, it sucks …..

Thus, I’m not suggesting the Orioles or any organization should “skip” qualified white employees, for established positions, to achieve a certain racial qualification within it’s power structure. In fact, positions directed at representing the cultures of all employees should be established.

Maybe the Orioles have such employees in place, and they’re just not listed on the website. Then again, maybe not. After all, the Director of International Scouting is a white guy from Missouri.

In my review of the front offices of every Major League Baseball franchise, I’m left with the feeling the managerial situation might not be the only personnel position in need of Andy McPhail’s attention, as he officially prepares for the upcoming off-season.

Maybe, I’m making something out of nothing …..

Or, maybe ….. just maybe, I’ve found another area where the Orioles are trailing everyone else when it comes to things regarding PEOPLE.

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