LADY AT THE BAT: Tony Pena's Turn

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tony Pena's Turn

Yankees First Base Coach Tony Pena is to be interviewed today for the team's managerial job. What a waste of time!

I'm not saying this just because I feel Don Mattingly is a shoe-in for the job. He probably is. But the question has to be asked: Would the Yankees be interviewing Pena if there wasn't a rule stating that teams have to interview at least one minority candidate during their search process? I'm not so sure they would be.

I know that Pena has done a lot of work with guys like Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera. He's well-respected by players and fellow coaches alike. He probably wants the job and more than a few people in the organization are in his corner. However, I can't help thinking how Pena so conveniently helps the Yankees meet their requirement to interview a person of color.

If a person of color isn't under real consideration for a job, and they know it, should they go for the interview anyway? I've heard some people say yes, they're getting valuable interviewing experience. But, what if the person already has that? Is it still worth it? I'm a person of color and, I've never (knowingly) been in such a situation. But if I were, I can't see myself agreeing to be interviewed. On the other hand, there are people like Chris Gardner, and the African-American football coach who, as a minority candidate, convinced a team to hire him anyway. (I'm sorry, I don't follow football close enough to remember the coach's name.) Anyone with personalities as strong as these two men have should never consider an interview to be a waste of time.

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