Bettors responded to the Miami Marlins’ hiring of Kim Ng as their general manager Friday by improving the team’s odds to win the World Series.
The team’s historic announcement makes Ng not only the first female GM in all of North American professional sports. It also signals the long-overdue promotion of one of the most tenured and successful front office personnel in the game.
The Line Shifts But Miami Still A Longshot
The Marlins opened the 2020 offseason at +6600 to win the 2021 World Series. Friday, post-announcement, the line had moved to +5000 for most sportsbooks.
Whether it was Ng’s hire, rumors that owner Bruce Sherman has green-lit the front office to go after top-line free agents this offseason, or the fact that last year was a coming-out party for one of the best young rotations in the league—or a combination of the three—Miami is a now a sexy longshot to deliver another championship to South Florida.
“On behalf of principal owner Bruce Sherman and our entire ownership group, we look forward to Kim bringing a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Miami Marlins,” chief executive officer Derek Jeter said in a statement. “Her leadership of our baseball operations team will play a major role on our path towards sustained success.”
Record of Achievement Over Long Career
The new GM brings to South Florida three-plus-decades of experience in MLB, including 21 years handling day-to-day front office ops for the White Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees.
But it was her nine seasons in the early 2000s with Los Angeles where her impact was most profound. During her time with the reigning world champions, she oversaw the scouting department, arbitration, free agencies, and the medical and video departments. She essentially built the juggernaut that has won their division 10 times since 2008.
In 2005, Ng interviewed for the GM position in LA, but the Dodgers instead hired Ned Colletti from the San Francisco Giants, and Ng became his assistant. She left the organization six years later as Vice President and assistant GM.
In 2011, Ng took on the role of Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball, where she reported to former Yankee manager Joe Torre. Throughout the last decade, she has been shortlisted for GM posts around the league, interviewing for the job in Seattle, San Diego, Anaheim, and San Francisco.
“Kim’s appointment makes history in all of professional sports and sets a significant example for the millions of women and girls who love baseball,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “The hard work, leadership, and record of achievement throughout her long career in the National Pastime led to this outcome, and we wish Kim all the best as she begins her career with the Marlins.”
Empowered women empower women. pic.twitter.com/pGw5IeucQw
— MLB (@MLB) November 13, 2020
Miami an Organization on the Upswing?
Ng is the fifth GM in Marlins franchise history and is also the second person of Asian descent tapped to helm an MLB team, following current San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.
She joins a Marlins team that is coming off a break-though campaign in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. The team reached the playoffs for only the third time in franchise history and upset the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs before being swept by their division rivals Atlanta Braves. Finishing the shortened season at 31-29 gave Miami their first regular-season winning record since 2009.
“This challenge is one I don’t take lightly,” Ng said in a Friday morning press conference. “When I got into this business, it seemed unlikely a woman would lead a Major League team, but I am dogged in the pursuit of my goals. My goal is now to bring championship baseball to Miami.”