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FIVE PERCENT IS NO SOLUTION

By Murray Chass

May 21, 2015

In another time, the sign would have read: “Colored need not apply.” Now it reads: “Blacks and Latinos need not apply.”

The sign doesn’t actually exist outside 245 Park Avenue in Manhattan – Major League Baseball headquarters – or at the offices of MLB’s 30 clubs.

But it might as well.

When Bud Selig was commissioner, he established a policy that clubs had to consider and interview minority candidates when they were seeking people for five decision-making positions, most notably manager and general manager.

This was not an original idea from Selig’s playbook, but he did it at the urging of Len Coleman, the National League president. Selig, however, seemed to allow his policy to lapse to the point where today blacks and Latinos have virtually no chance of being interviewed, let alone hired.

Major League Baseball, again through Coleman’s lobbying efforts, celebrates Jackie Robinson for the heroic role he played in baseball history, but MLB mocks Robinson’s legacy. Today Robinson couldn’t get a job as manager or general manager.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that I thought Rob Manfred, the new commissioner, would do the right thing and reinvigorate the interview policy. I continue to think that despite this month’s developments that saw the hiring of two managers who look very white.

Milwaukee hired Craig Counsell and Miami hired Dan Jennings, both making the appointments without interviewing any blacks or Latinos and incurred no disciplinary action by Manfred.

“Both clubs advised the commissioner’s office they were …

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QUALITY RELIEF IS QUITE A RELIEF

By Zachary Kram

May 17, 2015

It’s not really going out on a limb to claim that the Royals’ trio of stellar relief pitchers was instrumental to the team’s surprise World Series run last year. Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland collectively threw 64% of the Royals’ relief innings during the 2014 playoffs; that number shoots up to 77% in games in which the Royals were competitive, discounting their two blowout losses in the World Series. The trio allowed just five runs in 40.1 innings, not surrendering a single lead throughout October as Kansas City finished one agonizing run short of a title.

That dominance led to a great quip from Royals’ manager Ned Yost: “After the sixth inning, my thinking is done,” he said during the postseason.

Through the first 36 games of this year …

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YOGI AND JOEY G., 90 YEARS OF FUN AND FAME

By Murray Chass

May 14, 2015

Joe Garagiola Sr. knows more about the 90-year-old life of Yogi Berra than anyone, but he doesn’t know why the St. Louis Cardinals let Berra get away.

“A blind man could see he was the best hitter on the block,” Garagiola said.

The block Garagiola referred to in a telephone interview Wednesday, the day after Berra’s 90th birthday, was the block on Elizabeth Avenue in St. Louis, in the Italian section known as The Hill, where Berra and Garagiola grew up across the street from each other.

“It was great growing up with him,” said Garagiola, who is nine months younger.

Both became catchers, good catchers, because …

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