Wednesday, May 14, 2003

The race police strike again

Looks like baseball's antitrust exemption doesn't exempt individual teams from arbitrary "affirmative action" policies:

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is investigating whether the Florida Marlins followed minority-hiring guidelines when they replaced manager Jeff Torborg with Jack McKeon.

"Bud's looking into it," Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said Tuesday.

In 1999, Selig sent a letter to teams requiring them to notify him about certain job vacancies, including manager. Teams are to provide a list of minority candidates, and the commissioner's office reviews the names before anyone is hired.

The Marlins could be fined if it's determined they failed to follow Selig's guidelines. He has the power to fine teams up to $2 million.

McKeon is white, in case you hadn't figured it out. He was recently hired to replace Torborg. Reports suggest McKeon was the only candidate actually considered. Given that this was a mid-season hiring, this should come as no great surprise to anyone. Most teams would have a candidate in mind when firing their manager while the season is actually going on. It's not an ideal time for an open-ended national search.

The commissioner shouldn't be exercising any control over individual franchise hiring decisions. I'm amazed the normally independent baseball owners would allow Selig to fine them for not placating the Jesse Jacksons of the world.

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