Yankees' Balkovec laughs off negativity: 'This is the American dream'
Rachel Balkovec, the new skipper of the Low-A Tampa Tarpons in the New York Yankees organization, isn't concerned about what critics have to say after becoming the first woman to be named manager of an affiliated minor-league club.
"If you know my story, and you have a pulse, it's pretty hard to not get behind what's going on here," Balkovec said Wednesday. "The negativity, it's hilarious to me because this is the American dream."
Balkovec, who joined the Yankees as a minor-league hitting coach in 2019, said she wants to be a role model.
"I want to be a visible idea for young women," the 34-year-old said, according to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic. "I want to be a visible idea for dads who have daughters. I want to be out there. I have two jobs, and that's fine."
She added that one of her long-term goals is to become a general manager in the majors, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he's pleased to see baseball progressing with the Balkovec hiring.
"We wish Rachel well in this capacity and appreciate her mentorship to the growing network of women in baseball operations and player development roles," he said in a statement.
Balkovec said tennis legend Billie Jean King also reached out.
"OK, I can die now. My career's over," Balkovec said after the interaction with her long-time role model, according to James Wagner of The New York Times.