Skip to content

MLB creates a task force to study the decline of U.S.-born blacks in baseball

Apr 10, 2013, 11:03 AM EST

Image (1) mlb%20logo.jpg for post 6694

Even if we are taking the annual Lapchick study with a grain of salt due to its failure to use common denominators, Major League Baseball takes the underlying issue of the decline of U.S.-born blacks in baseball seriously enough that it’s doing something about it:

Major League Baseball has created a task force to study why the number of African-Americans playing the sport has declined in recent years, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The 17-member committee, which will be chaired by Tigers president/GM Dave Dombrowski, will hold its first meeting in Milwaukee on Wednesday. He’ll be joined by several other baseball executives, plus Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir; Frank Marcos, senior director of baseball’s scouting bureau; and former White Sox and Mets manager Jerry Manuel.

I wish baseball hadn’t made a mockery of task forces and studies with that whole Oakland thing, because I would like to think that this would lead to some actual useful and actionable information. Here’s hoping it does, because it would tickle me pink if baseball could figure out how to get more kids to put down the footballs and basketballs and pick up a bat and a glove.

The answer, at least in part, is probably money and engagement by people and organizations with money. Because we have to face facts that baseball is not a cheap sport to play on the amateur level, what with its single-use fields, travel and equipment requirements.  I know there are urban initiatives afoot by the league, but in addition to that I’d like to see something less charitable/community-involvement-oriented and something of something that is more ruthlessly talent-development-orients. A system in which teams try to identify and support young baseball talent in the U.S. with an idea toward making them major league ballplayers. The draft disincentivizes this, sadly, but perhaps there’s a workaround or league-wide solution.

Latest Posts
  1. Craig Kimbrel is messing with a changeup

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 8.24.38 AM AP

    Because he wasn’t dominant enough as it was.

  2. Report: Josh Hamilton could get a suspension of “at least 25 games”

    Feb 27, 2015, 8:30 AM EST

    Josh Hamilton Josh Hamilton

    But Major League Baseball is also trying to be “compassionate,” and is thus still not close to a decision.

  3. Wanna hear Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig attempt a comedy routine?

    Feb 27, 2015, 7:41 AM EST

    Ruth Gehrig

    Gehrig on going to Columbia: “I was seven years in the Freshman class!”

  4. Mets don’t intend to talk extension with Daniel Murphy

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:02 PM EST

    Daniel Murphy AP AP

    While Daniel Murphy would like to discuss a contract extension with the Mets, it looks like a foregone conclusion that he will test free agency after the 2015 season.

  5. Nick Markakis apologizes for his comments regarding contract talks with the Orioles

    Feb 26, 2015, 9:49 PM EST

    Nick Markakis AP AP

    Braves outfielder Nick Markakis recently expressed frustration about how contract talks with the Orioles broke down over the winter.

  6. Shane Victorino is ready to go back to switch-hitting

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:40 PM EST

    Shane Victorino Getty Getty Images

    Victorino gave up hitting from the left side late in 2013, but he’s ready to give it another shot.

  7. Matt Harvey tentatively scheduled to make spring debut on March 6

    Feb 26, 2015, 7:15 PM EST

    Matt Harvey AP AP

    It will be Harvey’s first game action since he underwent Tommy John surgery 16 months ago.

  8. Blue Jays sign Johan Santana

    Feb 26, 2015, 6:06 PM EST

    Johan Santana Getty Getty Images

    Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to injury.

  9. Barry Zito on his one-year retirement: “You want to be back in that game so bad”

    Feb 26, 2015, 5:17 PM EST

    Barry Zito Getty Images

    “I think hanging it up is going to be harder for guys than they realize, after being out of it for a year.”

  10. What’s driving the A-Rod media circus? The media, of course.

    Feb 26, 2015, 2:06 PM EST

    Alex Rodriguez AP AP

    Shame on A-Rod for making the reporters obsess about him.

  11. Ike Davis is still mad at the Mets for saying that he partied too hard

    Feb 26, 2015, 12:30 PM EST

    ike davis getty Getty Images

    It’s been two and a half years, but it still leaves a “dirty taste” in his mouth.

  12. Wily Mo Pena is staying in Japan

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:47 AM EST

    wily mo pena headshot ap AP

    Pena once looked like a potential star for the Reds and Red Sox, but then washed out by age 26.

  13. Max Scherzer has added a cutter to his arsenal

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:32 AM EST

    Max Scherzer AP

    He also (a) wants to emulate Greg Maddux; and (b) asked Sandy Koufax about his curveball.

  14. The Phillies slowly enter the era of analytics

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:00 AM EST

    phillies logo

    Welcome to 2002, Ruben Amaro!

  15. Francisco Rodriguez re-signs with the Brewers

    Feb 26, 2015, 10:23 AM EST

    Francisco Rodriguez AP

    Two weeks ago Francisco Rodriguez was said to be holding out for a two-year contract.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (4301)
  2. Y. Moncada (4134)
  3. Z. Greinke (3701)
  4. F. Rodriguez (3629)
  5. M. Harvey (3617)
  1. E. Cabrera (2871)
  2. B. Beachy (2583)
  3. A. Gordon (2487)
  4. B. Moss (2436)
  5. A. Beltre (2378)