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Wednesday, April 25, 2012
MLB sees drop in gender hiring

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball received a high grade for racial diversity among its employees but a middling mark when it comes to hiring women.

Baseball received its fourth straight A for race hiring in the annual report by Richard Lapchick's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida.

MLB's grade for gender hiring fell to C+ from B- last year and a B in 2010. Baseball got an F among team vice presidents and a D among senior administration.

"It was primarily at the team level," Lapchick said Wednesday. "There was a significant drop in the percentage of women in professional positions at the team level."

Lapchick, who has been conducting his study since 1988, recommends that MLB commissioner Bud Selig direct teams to consider minorities and women of color for all front-office jobs, following the example set when he told them they must look at minorities when filling openings for manager and general manager. Baseball's central office was given an A+ for race and a B+/A- for gender.

"If they were able to get the teams to adopt that for all senior administration and professional positions, I think that would change things rather quickly," he said.

With the sale of the Houston Astros and the departure of Pam Gardner as president of business operations, there are no female team presidents or CEOs.

Among management, Lapchick cited as an improvement next week's purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers by a group that includes former Lakers star Magic Johnson. However, Johnson will not be the team's controlling owner or CEO.

The percentage of black players increased to 8.8 from 8.5, which had been the lowest level since 2007. The percentage of Latino players remained at 27 percent.

"We are pleased that the report continues to recognize the diversity throughout Major League Baseball," Selig said in a statement. "MLB will remain vigilant in its efforts on and off the field and is committed to making further progress in many of the areas broached in the report."

Lapchick said the decline in minority managers from six to five was within normal yearly fluctuations.