retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

MLB.com has the story of Justine Siegel, who has become the first woman to be hired by a major league team - the Oakland A's - to be a coach.

According to the story, "he A's announced on Tuesday that Siegal, who a few years ago became the first woman to throw batting practice for a Major League team, will serve as a guest instructor for the club's 2015 instructional league. Siegal will work with players Oct. 4-17 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex in Mesa, Ariz."

The story goes on to say that "the A's are the first Major League team to hire a female coach. In 2009, Siegal also became the first woman to be hired as a coach at any professional level, when she served as first-base coach for the Brockton Rox, an independent baseball team. She also served as an assistant coach for the baseball team at Springfield College from 2008-10."

And MLB.com goes on to note that "according to the San Francisco Chronicle, there is a chance the instructional league stint could lead to a full-time coaching job within the organization. The A's, according to the Chronicle report, don't have their Minor League coaching assignments set and do not yet know about possible job openings."

It may seem like a small thing in a highly specialized niche. But the fact is that baseball teams looking for differential advantages - just like any other business - do well to go beyond the usual suspects when seeking people who can make a difference in the organization. And it probably isn't a coincidence that the A's - the team featured in "Moneyball" the book and Moneyball the movie - is the team looking outside the traditional boundaries for coaches with fresh insights and differing experiences.

(By the way, I've always felt this way. I am the oldest of seven children. By far, the best ballplayer in the family and the one with the greatest baseball knowledge was my sister Amy ... and she probably still is.)

It is, in fact, an Eye-Opener.
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