SBD/June 13, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Yankees' Jean Afterman Took Unique Path To Top-Ranking Female Front Office Exec

Afterman was hired by the Yankees after helping Japanese pros move to MLB
Yankees Assistant GM JEAN AFTERMAN is profiled by Susan Slusser of the S.F. CHRONICLE, who writes Afterman's "ascension tracks a unique path, marrying her background in drama, a pioneering role in making baseball a more international sport and a negotiating style that only that journey could create." Afterman has been the only woman serving as an Assistant GM since MLB VP/Baseball Operations KIM NG left the Dodgers in '11, making Afterman "the top-ranking female front-office executive in the sport." Former MLBPA COO GENE ORZA said of Afterman, "She's obviously a woman of integrity and honesty, but it's hard for women in baseball -- it's not all fun and games. It's no secret that a lot of management people aren't well regarded by the union, but a number of them are -- and Jean is one of them. She's a straight shooter and honest, not calculating." Slusser notes Afterman "first won the approval" of the MLBPA in the '90s, when she and player agent DON NOMURA "began trying to help Japanese players leave that country's Nippon Professional Baseball league for the major leagues." Afterman and Nomura helped bring Cubs LF ALFONSO SORIANO to the Yankees in '99, and "those negotiating sessions with famed and feared" late Yankees Owner GEORGE STEINBRENNER "didn't just earn her clients Yankees contracts." They also led GM BRIAN CASHMAN "to offer her the assistant GM job" after the '01 season. Cashman: "She was as tough and smart and quick and as unafraid of George as anyone, an extremely good negotiator. I remember many sessions with Jean going at George and not backing off, jumping at his jugular. I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great to have her on this side of the fence?'" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/12).
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