Sunday, February 05, 2006

Major League Baseball Hiring Procedures

Regardless of your level of interest in professional sports, this topic is particularly relevant to the scope of this course. Historically, Caucasians have been the dominant demographic in Major League Baseball executives, fans and players. Within the past several years, efforts have been made to better diversify MLB via community outreach programs targeted at African Americans and Hispanics, enhanced globalization of the sport through MLB International and in league hiring policies which stipulate that at least one minority candidate must be interviewed for managerial and executive openings. The article below, taken from the Kansas City Star, provides a more magnified glimpse into these dynamics from the Latin American perspective.

While reading the article, ask yourself whether such policies should exist. What are the potential costs and benefits of enforcing these types of policies? Are they effective? If not, how can they be?


Blogger Vince Daniele said...

I don't necessarily believe it is a negative initiative to hire more people of Hispanic origin at the MLB.

The number of Hispanic baseball players constitutes a significant portion of total MLB employment, so I see it as a benefit that more people of this ethnic origin are represented in baseball's more elite positions.

This also helps the MLB's global image, where we have hundreds of players that leave thier home countries of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, etc... in order to take a shot at playing in the major leagues. By having more Hispanic people in executive positions, the players may percieve the MLB as more hospitable and caring towards their needs.

Overall, I tend to think there would be a greater sense of unity, comraderie, and understanding when you have a diverse executive staff that truly represents the employees being employed.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Matthew Crawford said...

I think the initiate to bring more minority canidates into management/executive positions is a necessary move for bud selig and the rest of MLB.

Obviously, the first initiative to do that is to REQUIRE teams to interview at least one minority canidate. Hopefully by enacting a policy like this, the MLB will ensure that the best canidate gets hired...regardless of color.

Good move MLB.

I remember when University of Michigan tried increase the number of minority students. The admission policy considered the applicants GPA, SAT score, class rank, and race. UM totaled up these points, and if your point totals were high enough, you were admitted. To solve the race problem, they simply gave minorities additional points.......

5:53 PM  
Blogger A. Das said...

While I think the MLB's policy of requiring teams to interview at least 1 minority candidate for employment is a good start at bringing a broader range of people into the upper-management mix, I think policies such as this tend to go in the wrong direction. Sure, it's a good idea to have people of different backgrounds and experiences on your team, but it shouldn't be because of a quota system; it should be because these are people qualified for the job. My problem with these "affirmative action" policies is that they tend to start out on reasonable grounds and then grow into something unreasonable. What I'm saying is that it is not too far-fetched for me to expect in a few years, the MLB will raise its quota to where teams have to interview 2 people of minority decent. Or perhaps hire at least one person of minority decent. This, in turn, leads to employment based on ethnicity/race rather than qualifications. The MLB is right in opening the doors for Latin Americans, but I think the ultimate goal should be to eradicate the policy in a few years. By this time, if certain teams have not realized the benefits of a diverse employee base, then they will suffer the consequences. The best African American, Latin American, Chinese, etc. managers and coaches will prosper at other teams.

Matthew Crawford mentioned the policy upheld by the Univ. of Michigan regarding minorities and how they were awarded extra points so they would gain admission. While this may be a good policy initially at attracting a diversity of students and opening the doors for those less fortunate, ultimately, I foresee this as having detrimental effects as minorities realize they have to do less to get into the best places. The UM should be sending the following message, "We'll take whoever wants to come here ... as long as they are qualified." Being Latin American or African American should not give someone a few extra points of qualification!


2:30 PM  
Blogger Professor Prenkert said...

Just to clarify: The Supreme Court actually found the University of Michigan's undergraduate admissions practice of assigning a specific "plus" number in an admissions formula to be a violation of the US Constitution (remember that U of M is a state actor as a state school; private schools don't have the same constraints when it comes to affirmative action plans). Michigan Law School's admissions policy of considering race as a (non-numeric) plus factor along with a number of other plus factors in a wholistic review of the application was upheld.

MLB is not a state actor, so doesn't have Constitutional concerns like the U of M, but does have to be sure not to run afoul of Title VII's antidiscrimination prohibitions and similar state and local prohibitions. A policy that requires at least one Hispanic applicant to be interviewed probably does not violate Title VII as long as the decision of whom to hire is not motivated by the applicant's race or national origin (except in very limited exceptions probably not relevant here).

9:05 PM  
Blogger Matthew Crawford said...

To show where I was going with my previous comment.. Found here:

Michigan’s undergraduate admissions 150-point process awards 20 points to Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans because they are underrepresented groups on campus. However, a White applicant who is socio-economically disadvantage can also earn 20 points; but an applicant can’t receive points in both categories.

At Michigan, scholarship athletes are automatically awarded 20 points. Under the “provost’s discretion,” 20 points can be awarded to an applicant regardless of his or her race. A person who lives in an underrepresented Michigan county can receive 16 points—10 for being a Michigan resident and six for geographical reasons. Sons and daughters of Michigan alumni receive an automatic four points.

10:24 PM  

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