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JSam21

Women in the profession

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Sigh, again. 

These articles never help to balance things out or fix any issues. They seem to strongly suggest that it's all the fault of white men.  If only white men wouldn't have existed, think of how much better this world could be.

I agree with the player's comments. I don't care who is calling balls/strikes - if they can do the job, let 'em.  This is how simple it should be. 

From my understanding, it has nothing to do with sex (or color) of the applicant, but who you know that's on the job that can help you get an opportunity.  And I believe it's the same in every business I've ever worked in, so it's not just MLB.  

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My daughter (8) asked me the other day why there are no women players and or umpires in MLB.

Players was a much easier answer than the umpiring one... My only real response was not enough women are trying to join the ranks and break into the big time...

I saw a gleam in her eye... I think I awoke a monster :-)

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4 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

I don't care who is calling balls/strikes - if they can do the job, let 'em.  This is how simple it should be. 

That's not the problem. Many, many (but not all) people can umpire, given training and support.

4 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

From my understanding, it has nothing to do with sex (or color) of the applicant, but who you know that's on the job that can help you get an opportunity.

That's the problem.

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Just now, maven said:

That's not the problem. Many, many (but not all) people can umpire, given training and support.

That's the problem.

Totally agree... but it honestly has nothing to do with what the article insinuates is the problem.  But, I don't see how you can ever change that either. 

If you owned a business, would you rather:

1. take references from your business partner and employees whom you know the work ethic and performance of?

or

2. go out and try to find someone based on what they tell you they can do and trust any references they provide?

In short, it's not a perfect world - instead of complaining about the problem (which all these articles/movies/movements are doing) - find or at least offer a reasonable solution. My Dad taught me not to complain if I can't offer anything to help fix the problem.

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1 minute ago, wolfe_man said:

But, I don't see how you can ever change that either. 

That's a very large issue, and one that is bound to get this thread locked up fast. So, as politically neutral as I can be:

The problems with looking only at "trusted associates' references" when making hiring decision are well studied: human beings are bad at interviewing, and our cognitive biases blind us to many features of situations. The "status quo bias" for example leads us to replicate the status quo in our hiring decisions (and in our politics).

If you're not familiar with cognitive biases, there are a lot. The great font of psychological wisdom, Wikipedia, lists dozens, not all equally well supported by scientific studies (for those who believe in such things).

Coping with cognitive biases, say, by adopting better interviewing techniques, isn't that difficult in practice. For anyone who bothers to look at that link, you'll see nothing politically controversial at all. Indeed, those recommendations do not even mention discrimination, even though they are partly designed to diminish it.

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6 minutes ago, maven said:

That's a very large issue, and one that is bound to get this thread locked up fast. So, as politically neutral as I can be:

The problems with looking only at "trusted associates' references" when making hiring decision are well studied: human beings are bad at interviewing, and our cognitive biases blind us to many features of situations. The "status quo bias" for example leads us to replicate the status quo in our hiring decisions (and in our politics).

If you're not familiar with cognitive biases, there are a lot. The great font of psychological wisdom, Wikipedia, lists dozens, not all equally well supported by scientific studies (for those who believe in such things).

Coping with cognitive biases, say, by adopting better interviewing techniques, isn't that difficult in practice. For anyone who bothers to look at that link, you'll see nothing politically controversial at all. Indeed, those recommendations do not even mention discrimination, even though they are partly designed to diminish it.

It's a start.  I know my employer has several new initiatives for interviewing and hiring designed for just such a purpose.  As with all things, it'll take time and a lot of effort and open-mindedness by all in order to succeed.

I enjoyed the response and your willingness to discuss fairly.

My biggest issue is I feel these articles are nothing more than finger-pointers.  They aren't written to help women (or non-caucasian males) get a job with MLB. Instead, they're written to cast blame or suggest it.   I'd have much more respect - applause, even - for a writer who chose to take steps to help someone succeed or move forward.  My problem with today's movements is they aren't adding to our country - they're further dividing it.

I agree we'll not fix it on here for sure.  And it gets touchy fast for a lot of folks.

Also, this will be my last comment as I don't want to turn this to politics either. :) I apologize if I hi-jacked the thread as it was not my intent.

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All I will say is if women can officiate in the NBA and NFL, being a woman cannot in any way, shape or form prevent one from obtaining the skills necessary to be a highly competent MLB umpire.  Two leagues have actively sought to develop and hire women, one has done the complete opposite.

Based on my experiences in the 1990's and early 2000's, the working conditions for a woman professional umpire were horrible...and I'm not just talking about the way the leagues/league administrators treated them.  

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Read Pam Postema's book "You've got to have balls to make it in this league".  She worked spring training games and was a crew chief in AAA.  A friend of mine was on her crew and thought she deserved the next step.

When I read the book, I got the impression she was given opportunities because she was a women and didn't seem hungry enough until they fired her. Every time she was ready to quit, they promoted her.

The book is a good baseball/umpire read.

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27 minutes ago, lawump said:

the working conditions for a woman professional umpire were horrible...

a la Earl Weaver v. Bill Haller?

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Who knows, maybe Jen Pawol makes it to the big leagues for real. If she can become at least a AAA/MLB call-up, and work some regular season MLB games, more will follow. 

The big question that needs to be answered if associations are to recruit (female) umpires is why would someone want to umpire. If that question can be answered for the membership in general, then it would be possible to derive the reasons why a woman would want to become an umpire. If baseball associations can do a better job in recruiting officials from other sports, maybe the number of female officials can increase (especially if the sports in question have significant female participation, e.g. volleyball, basketball, and/or softball). 

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2 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

a la Earl Weaver v. Bill Haller?

More along the lines of Sororicide.

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10 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

From my understanding, it has nothing to do with sex (or color) of the applicant, but who you know that's on the job that can help you get an opportunity.

This may be true at the higher levels, but I think most umpiring associations across the US and Canada are in shortages, and would literally take anybody who was willing to join the clinic and wear the uniform - doesn't matter if you're black or green, or cisgender, or identify with any gender/non-gender you want.  If you want to umpire at the amateur level, you can...they'll take you, and they'll teach you, and they'll work with you.   Umpiring is one job that will let you take as long as you need to improve - and if you don't improve they'll probably still have a spot for you.  Most teams/players/parents would agree that a bad umpire is better than no umpire. In short, except for extreme cases, becoming an umpire, and staying an umpire, at the entry levels, is purely a matter of choice for the prospective umpire.  It doesn't matter who you know.

 The problem is interest at the grassroots level.  There is just a very low percentage of women even thinking of entering the profession.   I've coached female teams in our National Championships and most of the time you wouldn't have enough female umpires working the tournament to be able to field a full female crew for the gold medal game.   I don't know what it looks like in baseball, but even in entry level girls softball, ladies leagues and girls/ladies tournaments, I don't think I observe 1 in 20 umpires being female.   I can easily go to a tournament and not see a female umpire all weekend.  I can only imagine it's even lower for baseball.   That's not going to translate to higher level opportunities.

If you solve the problem about initial interest, then we might be able to start worrying about politicking and nepotism - they are real problems, but at this point it's about whether white dude one is more connected than white dude two.   

Coaching too.  It's amazing how few female coaches there are for female softball teams.   Get more female coaches...maybe you'll see more female umpires???  At least at the entry level?

 

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13 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

From my understanding, it has nothing to do with sex (or color) of the applicant, but who you know that's on the job that can help you get an opportunity.  And I believe it's the same in every business I've ever worked in, so it's not just MLB.  

This is true...and precisely why white males have an advantage, as people tend to network with people of similar backgrounds and experiences.

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9 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

In short, it's not a perfect world - instead of complaining about the problem (which all these articles/movies/movements are doing) - find or at least offer a reasonable solution. My Dad taught me not to complain if I can't offer anything to help fix the problem.

There is no reasonable solution that the minority can do unless the majority adopts it as its own. The primary reason that there has to be division is to create the tension the majority needs to recognize it as a problem (cf. MLK's analogy of the gadfly.)

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Before we start commenting on the female officials working/or not working professional men's sports with professional players, let's talk about female officials working/not working Major D1 men's sports of amateur players.

Not 1 female is working any of the d1 conference baseball tournaments going on, much less the power 5 or 6. There is a great feeder system with the women's d1 major conferences in softball to bring the women into the baseball ranks if all the men were so inclined towards inclusion. I have never seen any women in the last whenever, working any D1 Conference Men's Tournament or working the power 5 or 6 Conference Men's Tournament. So no kudos to the pro umpires working the amateur College Mens players either, and we will not even mention the fact of no women ever at the regionals, super regionals or CWS ever in history. Go to the D2 and D3 levels and see how many are working the NCAA men's Regionals, SR, and World Series in those areas either. If some women have by chance made it into d2 or d3, then why no promotion to d1 Conference games on weekends and why no d1 Conference Tournaments or NCAA post season?

And the NCAA men's basketball at the d1 level should not be let off the hook either. How many women are working d1 Conference season games. How many working the Conference Tournament, and NCAA post season. Not 1 lately if ever. Basketball has a perfect feeder system built right in also, with the D1 Women's game and moving the D1 women right on over to the D1 men's game if they were so inclined for the inclusion of women.

Dee Kantner and Violet Palmer where hired by the NBA back in 1997 and Kantner was let go (and which D1 Conferences Mens staffs stepped up to the plate to hire her for their Conference games staff after she was let go in 1999- seems like Dee is still around for D1 women staffs). So it took the NBA almost 20 more years before they hired another woman recently. With all the D1 College women out there and the ones who have worked in the WNBA which has been in existence for quite a while now, but no job offers for 20 years basically until Lauren Holtcamp recently. The NBA is not to be commended for their piddling poor outreach to get good press, yet not back an aggressive effort over the past 20 years. And an amateur league that hired a former NBA official to supervise, did not back up a woman on the staff who T'd a coach and the coach deserved it. When the former NBA guy was outed, he quit and this was not that long ago.

The NFL gets no kudos either at this time since it took them forever and there are more openings on the field to start with, with crews of 7 and if it was not for Jerry Austin taking a personal interest in this endeavor to include women. How many are trying to find the women for the d1 NCAA men's football since there is not a D1 women's football teams feeder system like baseball and basketball.

But, before we harp on those professional players in men's leagues and the inclusion of women s officials in those leagues, let's harp on and take a good look in the mirror at the highest amateur D1 men's player leagues and the inclusion of women officials, just as hard if not harder since there are many more openings to start with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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