The LA Times’ A.J. Adande writes that Dodgers executive Kim Ng (whom you might remember from Bill Singer’s South Beach Slur-fest) is fully qualified for a promotion to General Manager, but she’d be foolish to accept.
When it comes to coaches and general managers, diversity is normally a byproduct of prosperity or desperation ” and we know which category the Dodgers are in. That makes this job the wrong place and time for Ng (above, right) to become the first Asian and female GM in major professional sports.
Ng would be set up to fail, just another candidate to join the growing list of former Dodger general managers. Then it would be impossible for her to land another GM job. As hard as it would be for a team to sell a female general manager to its fans, imagine trying to sell them on a woman with a losing record. And the problem with being first is, Ng would represent every woman who hoped to follow her.
Chavez Ravine has been such a bad place for general managers over the last eight years that even male GMs can’t overcome the stigma. Of the four men who have held the position since Fred Claire got the boot in 1998, none has landed a similar job with another team.
The situation is as bleak as it has been in a while. We don’t know how closer Eric Gagne and shortstop Cesar Izturis will recover from their surgeries. We don’t know whom the Dodgers will get to replace Milton Bradley. There are questions at the corner infield positions. There are payroll restrictions and few tradable assets. The one strength, a solid farm system, might not kick in soon enough to benefit her.
Most of all, we don’t know who will manage the team.
Could Ng survive if a manager who wasn’t her pick second-guessed her decisions to the media?
Perhaps the biggest question is how she will be received in the clubhouse. One of the problems with Paul DePodesta was he wasn’t at ease with the players. Will Ng be able to interact comfortably with them in that ultimate boys’ room, when the players are in various stages of undress? Perhaps more important, would any potential employers have the confidence that she could?
Heck of a pep talk, though if Ng is likely to have an awkward moment or two in the LA clubhouse, surely she’d face the same thing anywhere else. Under the stewardship of the McCourts, this might not be the dream job, but how many perfect situations exist?