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By Murray Chass

September 25, 2016

At around the same time Adam Jones was recently gaining baseball-wide notoriety by saying baseball was “a white man’s game,” the Toronto Blue Jays hired an executive and demonstrated once again that baseball is a white man’s game.

In naming Ben Cherington their vice president for baseball operation, the Blue Jays did what all of the other Major League Baseball teams do. They hire white guys as managers and front-office executives. Blacks, Latinos and women need not apply.

The last time I wrote about diversity hiring in baseball, a reader questioned my omission of Kim Ng as a general manager candidate, and he was right so I mention her upfront this time.

However, not that I doubt Ng’s credentials or her ability – she has been assistant general manager of the Yankees and Dodgers and currently is an executive in the commissioner’s office – but I am realistic and certain that no owner will hire a woman to be his team’s general manager. Owners can’t even put aside their prejudices to hire a black man or a Latino.

But this column stems more from the recent eruption of the controversy over protests by black players that were triggered by Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and quickly inflamed by Jones, the center fielder of the Baltimore Orioles.

I have no problem with player protests as long as they are civil and peaceful. If players don’t want to stand for the National Anthem, that is their prerogative. I don’t even understand why the National Anthem is played before sports events. It is not played before Broadway shows or concerts or movies. It is an unnecessary holdover from …

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By Murray Chass

September 11, 2016

It was not my idea to be out of the country during the final weeks of one of the most bizarre and unlikely post-season races in recent years. It was the idea of my granddaughter, who in collaboration with her fiancé decided to get married this week.

I don’t blame Elital. She doesn’t know the difference between the Blue Jays and the Red Sox and even if she did she wouldn’t let them get in the way of her wedding. Yes, there are more important things in life than baseball. At the same time, though, she also wouldn’t let her personal happiness detract from the crazy things happening in Major League Baseball.

Some aspects of the races have remained stable. It’s very safe, for example, to say that the Cubs will win the National League Central title and finish with the best record in the majors. Their regular-season record, on the other hand, will have no effect on their fans’ goal, which is to deliver a World Series championship to Chicago’s North Side for the first time since 1908. The record, however, demonstrates how …

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By Murray Chass

September 4, 2016

The roster of names is as impressive as any team has had, more glittering than most: Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Gary Gaetti, Zoilo Versalles, Bert Blyleven, Jim Kaat, Frank Viola, etc., etc., etc. The Minnesota Twins were as good as any team and better than most teams at discovering talent. They scouted these players, in some cases drafted them, and signed them. No analytics were involved.

“The people who worked hardest on that were George Brophy and his scouting staff,” Clark Griffith, a former Twins executive and son of long-time owner Calvin Griffith, said in a telephone interview Saturday. Then he related an incident that epitomized the way the Twins conducted their scouting business.

“Jim Rantz, who was Brophy’s assistant, in ’81 during the strike went to see his son play at Illinois,” Griffith recalled, “and he spotted a player named Kirby Puckett. That’s the way we ended up with Puckett.”

Besides Puckett, the Twins had enough talent to win division titles the first two years of …

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