"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Kim Ng Follows Torre, I Follow Kim Ng

Kim Ng

Yesterday the news came that Joe Torre, in moving to his new gig with MLB, is taking Dodgers Assistant GM Kim Ng with him. She told the LA Times she still wants to be a GM eventually (she has already interviewed for three GM positions); if we get a woman GM in baseball in the next decade, she will likely be the first. To the best of my knowledge, Ng is the only woman who’s really been seriously considered for that gig. The Yankees Assistant GM Jean Afterman – who took over Ng’s job when Ng left for LA in 2001 – is the only other woman in a front office position that high, so far as I’m aware, but I haven’t heard anything about her being considered for a top post anywhere, nor do I know if she even has any interest in that (although this 2007 Crain’s article implies that she does, or at least did at one point).

Ng, on the other hand, has frequently been discussed as a candidate (and even championed for that role by Joe Torre, quoted by Yahoo! as saying a few years ago: “Dealing with her this winter, this spring and so far this summer, I’ve been impressed with how ready she’d be for something like that… I hope to hell it happens. She’d be a ground breaker not only for baseball but for women.” No wonder he took her with him to MLB, thereby helping her escape from the McCourt’s sinking ship, and hopefully positioning herself well for future openings.

Realistically, there will not be a female manager any time soon – even setting aside sexism (of which there is still plenty in baseball), the pool of candidates is almost entirely former professional players. There are reasons for that, and you can count on one hand the managers who never played pro ball. Still, though there would be challenges, I don’t doubt the right woman could do the job; there are female neurosurgeons and astrophysicists, and managing a baseball team ain’t that. But how a woman would even get herself in a position to be considered I honestly can’t see, at least at this point. As for general manager, though, there’s no reason I can think of why gender should matter a whit. Right now there’s a dearth of candidates, but Ng seems as qualified as many current GMs and more qualified than some.

There are far greater issues facing woman in America today, but any time someone wants to do a job they’re capable of but doesn’t get the chance, it’s a situation that should be rectified. Although she certainly seems qualified, I don’t know enough about Ng to say with any certainty whether she would be a good general manager. But it would be great if we got a chance to find out.

Categories:  Baseball  Emma Span

Tags:  Jean Afterman  Joe Torre  Kim Ng  Los Angeles Dodgers

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT


1 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 8, 2011 5:45 pm

I think we can all agree that (perhaps with the benefit of hindsight) she should have gotten the job in Seattle over the total clown show Jack Z created there.

2 RIYank   ~  Mar 8, 2011 6:22 pm

[1] The problem is that she's a much higher risk, from the perspective of whomever hires her. So Zduriencik is a clown; nobody blames Nintendo for that. But if the Mariners had hired a woman and she'd flopped, the media and maybe the fans would fry Howard Lincoln (or whoever was perceived to be in charge of the decision).
I do think one positive sign is that nobody ever mentions Kim Ng's appearance. It's so typical to obsess about a woman's appearance when she's just got an important job, or wants one, or is running for something. The fact that hers is treated as irrelevant suggests that she might be taken more seriously, on her genuine merits.

I bet she gets a GM job in the next five years.

3 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 8, 2011 6:41 pm

[2] I think she might be better off succeeding a retiring GM than picking up the pieces of a franchise for that very reason. If (for argument's sake) she follows Cashman in five years and the Yankees are still good, it will be easier for her to slide right in and continue a program then if she's tasked with rebuilding the Astros after their latest implosion.

4 RIYank   ~  Mar 8, 2011 9:04 pm

[3] I wonder which of those jobs an average GM would prefer. People seem to think Cashman is in the really enviable position, but GMing the Yanks means you can't really ever get credit for the good and you'll definitely get blame for the bad. The upside to a GM's rep for building a team back up from the scrap heaps is huge.

5 Boatzilla   ~  Mar 9, 2011 2:11 am

[1] Here, here! I was hoping and wishing the same thing at the time. I really thought she would been the best choice. I am a closet Mariners well-wisher (I couldn't bring myself to say "fan"), because of Ichiro, and it's the only baseball my father-in-law watches, and we get so many of their awful games in Japan.

[2] Who knows what might have happened? Do they get Smoaked? Do they sign Figgins?

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver