Historic changes are taking place in Major League Baseball, with women moving into positions traditionally held by men on at least three ball clubs.
Those crusty old tobacco spitting baseball icons from days gone by like Casey Stengel and Ty Cobb must be rolling in their graves.
On November 22, it was confirmed that the Baltimore Orioles had hired Eva Rosenbaum, 29, a Harvard graduate, to the newly created post of director of baseball development.
What? A woman running a major league baseball team's player development program? And a 29-year-old Harvard graduate at that? What's this world coming to?!!
Rosenbaum came to the Orioles after working as director of international scouting with the Houston Astros, from whence new Orioles VP/General Manager Mike Elias came last year. She was with the Astros for nearly five years after about three years working for the National Football League.
Then today, it was announced that the Chicago Cubs had hired Rachel Folden as the lead hitting lab tech and fourth coach for Rookie League Mesa. Folden, 32, is the creator of Folden Fastpitch in Merrillville, IN and has provided baseball and softball instruction based on biomechanics, science, technology and data since launching Folden Fastpitch in 2010.
She also served as a hitting consultant for Elite Baseball Training, which was created by Justin Stone. Earlier this offseason, the Cubs hired Stone to be their new director of hitting.
"She's going to be a star," Stone said.
Folden played five seasons in the National Pro Fastpitch league (2008-12) and also worked as an assistant softball coach at Valparaiso University ('09-10). She graduated from Marshall University with a major in history and a minor in mathematics.
Now, Folden will run the hitting lab in Mesa, Ariz., while also working as one of four hitting coaches for the Cubs' two Arizona League affiliates.
Meanwhile, the New York Yankees have signed Rachel Balkovec, 32, to become one of the first female full-time hitting coaches hired by a big league organization.
Balkovec is slated to report to the Yankees’ Spring Training complex in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 1. She is expected to be based in Tampa and will serve as a roving instructor throughout the organization.
All three of these women apparently are experts in the new world of baseball analytics, which uses technology to help players improve their skills and executives predict which prospects have a chance and which do not.
MLB is changing. Women evaluating talent. Women as hitting coaches. Using cybermetrics to teach hitting, pitching and base stealing.
Maybe one day we'll see women in the dugout, managing teams, yelling at the umpires and stomping on their hats when they get tossed,
Do you think?