MLB’s New Trend, Leaving Out Black Managers

There were two managers hired in Major League Baseball on Monday.

They had one thing in common. Both are white.

The Chicago Cubs hired Joe Maddon, the former Tampa Bay Rays' manager. And the Minnesota Twins hired Paul Molitor, the former Twin, to replace the canned Ron Gardenhire.

The Maddon hire isn't the problem. He's a veteran skipper who has had success. It's the Molitor hiring that should make aspiring black and Hispanic managers feeling salty.

While a great player, Molitor doesn't have any managerial experience – not in the minors or majors.

That's a new trend in MLB, hiring guys who have never managed before. Some have never even been a coach on the minor league or major league level.

Enter Brad Ausmus. Somehow, Ausmus got the Detroit Tigers' manager's job without ever being a coach first after his playing days were over.

Sadly, the last three managers to get such a plum gig had more than just no experience in common. All three were white.

In St. Louis, Mike Matheny was named manager of the Cardinals in 2008. It was a shocking hire because Matheny had no prior managing or coaching experience in professional baseball, but took over for the retiring Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa.

The trend would be cool if it were happening to all involved in MLB, if black and Hispanic former players were landing these gigs as well. But it's not the case.

Right now, there's only one black manager left in the MLB ranks. That's Lloyd McClendon of the Seattle Mariners. McClendon had a good first year, just missing the postseason in the final week of the season.

There were three African American managers when the 2014 season started. But Bo Porter was fired by the Houston Astros and Ron Washington resigned from the Texas Rangers for personal reasons.

And often, even when an African American is offered a major league job, it's some bad team no one wants. That's what happened to Porter in Houston. They wanted him to win with almost nothing. At one point, Alex Rodriguez was making more in a single season than the total Astros' payroll.

And there is just one Hispanic manager currently in MLB: Atlanta Braves' skipper Fredi Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was able to survive despite the fact that the Braves didn't make the playoffs and the team fired the general manager in September.

It's troubling that there's just one Hispanic manager as MLB becomes more brown with Latin players every year.

Latin players should have the same opportunities to become managers and GMs as their white counterparts.

There's a possibility that the last opening in the majors could go to a Hispanic.

With Maddon gone from Tampa Bay, the Rays need a new skipper.

It should have been a layup. Dave Martinez, their longtime Hispanic bench coach, should have gotten that gig already.

Martinez is qualified, to say the least. Best of all, he knows the organization and the personnel. Plus, Martinez has been interviewed for numerous managerial gigs in the majors in recent years. He hadn't gotten a gig thus far mainly because the fit wasn't right.

But instead of nabbing Martinez, the Rays have opened up the job and looking at a number of candidates to replace Maddon.

It would be a crime if Martinez doesn't get the job. The man has paid his dues. That's the way guys used to become managers.

The Texas Rangers recently hired Jeff Banister, who is white, to replace Washington. No one will argue his credentials. Banister managed in the minors for 10 years. In 2010, Banister became the Pittsburgh Pirates' bench coach. Now, he's getting his chance in the Big Show.

No one is saying that black or Hispanic players shouldn't have to pay their dues like Banister.

But they shouldn't be left out when it comes to bypassing experience to get an opportunity.

Black and Hispanic managers have excelled in the game of baseball and know the game as well as any group of people on the planet. Just check the record book.

So far, though, only white men have been given a golden ticket to go to the majors without paying any dues.

It's not fair.

Let's hope new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred looks into some of the questionable hiring practices by a few franchises.

Rob Parker is a columnist for The Shadow League. He is also an analyst for Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles. He co-hosts The Odd Couple on Fox Sports Radio and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.