Top Baseball Official Files Gender Discrimination Suit Against MLB

Illustration for article titled Top Baseball Official Files Gender Discrimination Suit Against MLB

Sylvia Lind, a Cuban American woman who is Major League Baseball's top-ranking Latina, has filed suit against MLB, saying she has been paid less and passed over for promotions in favor of less-qualified white men for over 20 years.

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Specifically, the suit names Bud Selig and Frank Robinson—the League's executive director of baseball development and a former player himself—for being the perpetrators of such discrimination. The New York Post writes that Lind believes there is a racial component, as well, with no Latinas in top-tier jobs "in an industry where nearly 40 percent of the players are foreign-born (most of whom are from the Caribbean and Latin America)." Additionally, it was Selig who appointed Robinson above Lind despite, the suit alleges, being less qualified. A problematic performance review this year seems like the incident that put everything over the edge:

While working for Robinson, Lind claims the 79-year-old — who played 20 years and became the first player to win MVP awards in both the National and American leagues, before becoming a manager — subjected her to unfair performance reviews and refused to promote her because she's a woman.

"Sometimes you have to hire a man because there are places women can't go," Robinson told Lind during a 2014 performance review, the suit claims. "Well, I guess they can go most places now, but sometimes it's easier to hire a man because of what it is they'll be dealing with."

Lind also says she was never considered for Robinson's current job, which pays over $1 million annually.

The suit also alleges that Robinson took Lind off many of her key projects, including ones she created, and that he "[had] her take orders from his daughter, Nichelle, who is not an MLB employee, while organizing another league event, the filing claims." If true, those are classic underminer tactics, points of contention that all those of us who've been discriminated against in the workplace can recognize.

The suit says Lind believes that Robinson was trying to "orchestrate her termination" by telling her he was worried about her drinking and then making her take drug and alcohol tests starting this May. She is seeking unspecified damages. "It has been extremely disheartening, utterly demoralizing and extraordinarily taxing on her," says the suit, "both emotionally and psychologically, to almost singlehandedly perpetuate what she has known to be the diversity and equal employment opportunity falsehood."

Image via wawritto/Shutterstock.

DISCUSSION

tazertots
Do Wager, Countess

There is absolutely NO reason why our top female athletes couldn't play at the MLB level except for the fact that their lack of opportunity drive them off that path.

I've spent my 40 years on this planet at more baseball games than should be natural. I've had season tickets and seen about 350-400 games in person the past 10 years. Conventional wisdom seems to think women need to break in as knuckle-ballers / junk-ballers to compete (the independent leagues seldom feature female pitchers).

But there us ABSOLUTELY no talent reason that the MLB realm should be out of reach for our top female athletes EXCEPT that we channel them all toward softball (which I played and LOVED... this isn't anti-softball). But there is NO reason an outstanding woman who can hit and field, is agile and fast, shouldn't get a shot. And I think, that while the rest of the world says, "maybe a pitcher", I say. Nope. 2nd base.

The top 10 2nd basemen in 2014 averaged 10HR each. 30-40 on the rankings (with 30 teams, and injuries / platoons aplenty), those players averaged 3HR each (30 total HR over 1967 AB (http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batt…))

So first of all, that there aren't women yet at / near MLB level is an MLB discrimination problem AND a female-diverted talent reason. Great women go to softball and can hit rise-balls, drop balls, and routinely, based on pitch-speed and distance from mound-to-plate, hit tailing pitches equivalent to MLB pitches 10% faster or more.

That women haven't yet played MLB, I hope, if women are encouraged to stay in baseball rather than softball and prove their stats to hit the sabrmetrics radar of the scouts. I'm SURE if scouts saw a woman with the talent that many of them have, they'd be in the development leagues. They aren't seeing them because we don't let them know there might be an opportunity there.

It would take the top Softball players in the US 6-12 months to adapt their skills to MLB pitching. But none have signed up because the ceiling is there.

As for management / development positions... The notion that women can't know the game as well as men and manage as well because they haven't played is FLATLY RIDICULOUS.

As a manager, playing history may lend you credence with your team. But being a manager who's never played in the majors isn't rare...

Joe Maddon: Career Win-Loss Record 535-509

Buck Showalter: Career Win-Loss Record 998-957

Joe McCarthy: Career Win-Loss Record 2125-1333

Earl Weaver: Career Win-Loss Record 1480-1060

Jim Leyland: Career Win-Loss Record 1599-1595.

Jack McKeon: Career Win Loss Record 1051-990

Terry Collins: Career Record 533-328

John McNamara: Career Win-Loss Record 1160-1233

In short, in history, there is NO reason that a non-player cannot succeed. Joe Maddon's selection as the new Cubs manager ALONE brought their Vegas World Series odds this year from 40-1 to 22-1.

Playing is NOT a requirement for managing ANYTHING in this league, nor should it be a BS excuse to strenthen the glass ceiling.

That women could/should be playing now, that MLB graduation isn't a requirement for an excellence crown among managers, then why SHOULDN'T a woman be able / allowed to manage the league at the highest levels, not to mention ANY team.

Bill James has done NOTHING but crunched states in a room for years and years and years... and he dictates much of what this league does.

A dude NO ONE in mlb would give a second glance to has helped win world series, determine salaries, and empowered a new generation of general management.

But a WOMAN isn't qualified enough because she didn't play?

FUCK ALL ABOUT THAT.

TL;DR

Lots and lots of baseball stats for you, but that women can't do this because they didn't play is A FLAMING SACK OF BULLSHIT. Also, Bud Selig is THE FUCKING WORST.