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Tag: Los Angeles Dodgers

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.

2010 Los Angeles Dodgers

I’m pretty jazzed up for this weekend’s interleague set between the Yankees and Dodgers. Not just because of the familiar faces in the opposing dugout (yes, Joe Torre, but also Don Mattingly, who has also never been part of the Yankees’ opposition before tonight and who never wore another team’s uniform before following Torre to L.A. for the 2008 season, and former undesirables Manny Ramirez and Jeff Weaver, whose presence helps stir the emotional pot), but because it’s Yankees-Dodgers. This matchup was the greatest World Series rivalry in baseball history. From 1947 to 1956, the Yankees and Dodgers met in the World Series six times in ten years, and from 1977 to 1981 they met three more times in a five-year span. Altogether, the Yankees and Dodgers have played 11 World Series against one another, the most of any paring in major league history, with the Yankees holding a 8-3 advantage in those Series.

Given that history, it’s shocking to me that this is just the second interleague meeting between the two teams and that they have yet to play an interleague game in the Bronx (which means the the final dozen years of Yankee Stadium’s existence passed without such a matchup). Since the Dodgers come-from-behind victory in the 1981 World Series, the Yankees and Dodgers have played just one series, a three-game set in Chavez Ravine in mid-June of 2004 that the Dodgers took two games to one. The winning pitchers in that series were Brad Halsey for the Yankees in the middle game and Weaver (who, in his first Dodgers stint immediately following the Kevin Brown trade, beat Javy Vazquez in his first  stint with the Yankees) and the late Jose Lima for the Dodgers.

This year, Weaver is in the bullpen and Vazquez won’t pitch until the Yankees return home next week, but the matchup is even more compelling. Beyond that history and the familiar faces, this series pits the defending world champions against the team that lost the last two National League Championship Series. Say what you want about Joe Torre, but he has kept his postseason streak alive since leaving the Bronx.

I figured the Dodgers would make it 15 straight seasons for Torre before this season started, and though they got off to a slow start (13-17 and six games out of first place on May 8), they turned things around in a hurry with a nine-game winning streak, the start of a 23-7 run from May 9 to June 9 that put them a game ahead of the inexplicable Padres. They’ve only won three of their last 12 since then, however, and have fallen back to third place, three games behind San Diego. Included in that swoon has been a 1-5 performance against their local rivals in Anaheim and a three-game sweep at the hands of the surging Red Sox in Boston, where the return of Ramirez and old rival Torre added a similar charge of emotion.

The bad news for Yankee fans is that despite the Dodgers slide, Manny has been red-hot, hitting .421/.463/.711 with three homers in his last ten games (nine starts) and enters this game with a six-game hitting streak. The Dodgers are finally seeing some signs of life from Andre Ethier as well. Ethier was having an out-of-his-mind season before breaking a finger in batting practice in mid-May. He didn’t hit a lick upon returning on May 31, but has gone 5-for-13 with a pair of doubles in his last three games. The same goes for Matt Kemp, who slumped badly for most of June but went 4-for-13 with a double and a homer in those three games. The Dodgers also just got Rafael Furcal back in the lineup after he missed close to a week on bereavement leave.

The most favorable pitching matchup in this weekend’s series for the Yankees is tonight’s as CC Sabathia takes on Vicente Padilla. CC has been sharp in June, going 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA 28 strikeouts in 29 innings, a 3.11 K/BB and just two home runs allowed, both in his first start of the month. Padilla, meanwhile, has made just one start since April 22 due to a nerve irritation in his right forearm that shelved him for nearly two months. Padilla gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings at Fenway his last time out. In his last start against the Yankees, on June 2 of last year while he was still a Texas Ranger, he gave up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.


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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver