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While her name has come up in a few lists of Chicago Cubs general manager candidates, no one has been quite sure whether MLB executive Kim Ng is actually a candidate, or just a “candidate.”

The reason? Let’s be frank: It’s because she’s a woman.

Being a woman, of course, has no bearing on her ability to be a GM. Say what you will about the locker room, and we could debate whether the theoretical downsides of having a woman coach would outweigh the upsides of her qualifications (for the record, I want to believe it would be just fine, but I’m not a member of a professional men’s sport). But at the front office level, I don’t believe a person’s sex would have much impact nowadays.

So, the questioning of Ng as a candidate is not (and watch for the double “because”) because she couldn’t do the job because she’s a woman. The questioning of Ng as a candidate is only because she’s a woman – and there has never been a female GM in baseball before. Thus, when her name is added to lists, there is a certain measure of distrust. Is the writer being sincere? Is Ng merely the token nod to enlightened thinking?

As the GM search goes on, and Ng’s name keeps popping up, it becomes increasingly fair to treat her as a legitimate candidate – she has, after all, interviewed for a couple GM gigs before. Even if her name keeps popping up on Writer Y’s list only because Writer X listed her, Ng is becoming a part of the discussion.

And, hey, if Ned Colletti can be discussed as a legitimate candidate without his dynamite mustache derailing the conversation (his resume might do that on its own), Kim Ng can be discussed without her sex defining her candidacy.

So, with that very ample and preachy preamble in mind, here’s Phil Rogers’ thoughts on Ng:

Ng is in her second decade as a highly visible, almost universally respected baseball executive. She has provided analysis, research and information acquired through her network of sources for the White Sox, Yankees and Dodgers, and she currently serves as the senior vice president of baseball operations for MLB, working for Joe Torre and Commissioner Bud Selig.

Her skill set perfectly fits the wish list the Cubs chairman has laid out for his next GM, in particular the part about coming from a winning culture. The former University of Chicago softball player long has gotten high marks from Brian Cashman and Ken Williams, among others, and appears to have been better qualified than Jon Daniels and Andrew Friedman were when the Rangers and Rays, respectively, hired them.

Although presently an MLB executive, Ng hasn’t been out of the front office game for long – she was an assistant with the Dodgers until March of this year – so that can’t really be held against her. She probably saw the way things were going in Los Angeles, and sought an escape route when Joe Torre threw her a lifeline to the MLB offices.

But, rightly or wrongly, I’m wary of someone who served under Colletti for five years. Colletti’s penchant for scouting and veterans is, of course, not Ng’s fault, but it doesn’t give her the same pizzazz as an assistant like Thad Levine or Ben Cherington, who have served under – and learned from – Jon Daniels and Theo Epstein, respectively.

  • Fishin Phil

    I’ve got her listed ahead of both Colletti and Toosh.
    ;)

    • Toosh

      I would do a better job as Cub GM than either of them.

  • Cedlandrum

    I have been intrigued by her. Thanks for the rundown. If she is the best person for the job I hope that Ricketts will look at her seriously.

  • Internet Random

    Trademark: GMILF (that’s “General Manager”, not “GrandMother”).

    • MichiganGoat

      Wow IR WOW

    • Bails17

      Oh my! LOL

  • CubFan Paul

    she’ll get a sniff or maybe an interview because she’s an UC Grad like the entire Ricketts family and that’ll be it, anymore than an interview would be a publicity stunt because she’s a woman or charity to the university of Chicago for prestige

    • Toosh

      Carp, anyone?

  • Ron

    Writer Y and writer X…

    Nice, subtle, first history now science.

  • Cheryl

    Brett, Thanks for a very fair assessment. I wanted her looked at for her qualifications and not just because she’s a woman. I was not aware that Cashman and Williams thought highly of her. If she was hired (and I still think it’s a longshot) I hope she’s judged by the same standards as any other general manager. Yes, she’s a woman, but look at her as “the GM” and not as “That Woman GM”.

  • hardtop

    I’m throwing my name into the hat for GM. I’ve invented a new metric by which to judge player performance! It’s sure to help me create a World Series contender in short order (as well as earn a film about me in the near future).
    What is this amazing analytical tool that will save the Cubs you ask? ESPN web gems! The more web gems, the more millions I throw at them. Simple, sound, revolutionary!
    First order of business as new GM: sign Sam Fuld to a 121 mil deal. That’s 11 mill a year over 11 years…. to match his whopping 11 web gems! It’s obvious we were wrong about this fine youngster. With 11 web gems how can you argue his incredible ability to achieve on the field?!!? By welcoming “little Sammy hustle pants” (as I like to call him) back into the Cubs family, I can guarantee a pennant in 2012!
    In case you are concerned about my qualifications… fear not, i played little league baseball until i was 12 yrs. old! I also shared a cabin at summer camp with Tom Rickett’s garderner’s son. Boo-yah! Top that shit Kim Ng!

  • Dude-er

    I can see the top part of her right boob

  • jstraw

    The questioning on Ng as a candidate is only because she’s a woman? Bull crap. She doesn’t satisfy Ricketts’ bullet points. That’s why I question her as a candidate.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s why you question her as THE CHOICE. That’s not why other people question her as a candidate.

      • jstraw

        It’s semantics but I disagree. Ricketts has laid out what qualities would put someone on the list of candidates. If someone lacks one or more of those qualities, it’s irrelevant that the person is a woman. Their name isn’t being tossed around because they’re not a candidate. Someone without those qualities isn’t just not THE CHOICE, they’re not a candidate.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I think the three qualifications are not only fungible in the sense that a “candidate” may not, strictly speaking, have all of them, but also fungible in the sense that “experience in a winning organization” is open to any number of interpretations. I think there’s a strong chance the Cubs at least kick the tires.

  • Jason

    I say we hire her because we’d only have to pay her 70% of the salary that we’d have to pay to a male GM. Just kidding…

    I hope that she’s given the same opportunity to win the job as a male candidate but at the end of the day, I want the best person for the job. The one concern I do have is that she worked for coletti for the past five years, but then again, maybe her gender made it difficult for her to land other Asst GM jobs? No evidence of that occurring – just a thought.

  • Toosh

    Sarah Palin redux.

    • ron

      She is going to have a reality show on Lifetime?

  • Cheryl

    OK. The reactions vary. Imagine that she is selected. How many would try and ride her out of town before she makes her first decision? How many would wait and see how she handles the job? Forget the sexism. Can you wait to judge her? If you can wait and judge her by her actions that’s being objective. Don’t say she doesn’t meet the criteria. Imagine she’s chosen. How would you react?

    • hardtop

      honestly, i would be instantly disappointed. if we didnt win the division by 2014, i would be mad, mostly at ricketts. my first choice for GM is a current GM with who has been recently successful as a GM. if we cant get that, we can start gong down the list, assistant gms to successful gms… i think she’d be down on the list.

  • TC

    The only thing that would have me worried about hiring Ms. Ng, from an ownership point of view, is the sticky situation that you will encounter if you ever have to fire her.

    Let’s say the Cubs hire her, and the team continues on the path its been on for years – mostly mediocre, with some highs and some terrible lows. After, say, 6 years of this, Ricketts is fed up, and moves to fire her. The media shitstorm that would follow such a move would be tremendous. The argument would go along the lines of “Hendry had 8 years to build a winner, and you’re only giving her 6?!? SEXISM! BOYS CLUB! TOM RICKETTS HATES WOMEN! grrrrRRRRAARRGGGhhhhh”
    (If my memory serves me, there is certainly precedent for this. See: Tyrone Willingham, the first black head coach at Notre Dame. When he was (somewhat questionably) axed, the cries of racism were deafening, and I definitely believe that the Cubs could find themself in a similar situation with the hack-y nature of the city’s sportswriters.)

    Now, I understand that this will not be at the forefront of Tom Rickett’s mind when he chooses our new GM, but I guarantee you some thought will be given to the overpoweringly negative media reaction that will accompany her (let’s be honest, nearly inevitable*) firing.

    (*nearly inevitable, cause almost all GM’s are fired at some point. Personally, from everything I’ve read, I believe she will be a first-class GM)

  • Cheryl

    Thanks TC and Hardtop for your reactions. TC your point about having to fire her and what the reactions would be is extremely valid. This discussion of Ng shows how much BN is in the forefront of discussions on various cubs’ topics. Hardtop I think most feel that there are better qualified candidates than Ng. However, it doesn’t hurt to discuss her.

  • rocky8263

    she reminds me of the girls on thai palace.

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    Kyle and I are volunteering to tag-team the GM job. He’ll handle all the scientific stuff, I’ll go get pizza.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If you both promise not to guarantee Darwin Barney the starting 2B job, I could be on board with that.

      • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

        Barney? He’s the scrappy one, right?

        • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

          Yeah, without “upside.”

          Kyle’s answer (I would imagine) “Yeah. We’re going to make sure and spend massive amounts of money to upgrade a position in a shallow free market field to see a marginal increase in offensive production whilst ignoring our umpteen more pressing issues, for instance PITCHING.”

          Caleb’s answer (I DO imagine) “Don’t worry, I’m going to hold tryouts for EVERY position, with only fans of BN eligible to audition.

          Move over, Ramirez. I call 3B.

  • Pingback: Will the Cubs Give MLB its First Female GM? | The Dugout Doctors

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