The Nationals, while still negotiating with Black, then circled back to their second choice, Dusty Baker, who quickly agreed to terms and will thus spare MLB the ignominy of its first opening day without a black manager since 1988.
In the 41 years since Frank Robinson became the first black man to be hired as a MLB manager, there have been just 26 more black managers in the major leagues. If one is looking for what that presumed progress has amounted to, consider that apparently all it takes for a black manager to land a MLB gig in 2015 is a willingness to live with being the second choice—even in the eye of the public—and some lightspeed organizational stupidity.
Going by the words of Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, none of this dreck should have been lit aflame in the first place.
“Communication in the clubhouse, communication with the coaching staff, is vital,” Rizzo said when asked in a press conference what the team would seek in a replacement for fired manager Matt Williams. “We feel that where we’re at in our timetable of winning a championship, we certainly would lean toward someone that has some type of managerial experience, especially at the major league level.”