AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- While Major League Baseball teams improved racial diversity in hiring senior administrators, the employment of women is still lagging, according to the annual report by Richard Lapchick's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida.
Racial diversity among senior team administrators improved to 19.9 percent from 17 percent.
"The most notable trends are that a team level there was substantial improvement, and that hasn't been the case over the years," Lapchick said. "It's still significantly behind the major league offices in terms of percentage of people of color, but that we thought that was a really positive trend."
MLB's central offices have 30.8 percent people of color. The sport's overall score of 92.5 points equaled its top mark in 2010, and racial hiring received an A grade for the fifth straight year. Gender hiring remained a C+, with its points increasing from 75.2 to 76.6.
Gender hiring improved from a D to a C among senior team administration, but it remained an F among team vice presidents.
"What baseball tells me, and I'm sure there's probably some truth to it, is that there's such a small turnover at the team level in particular that you can't see a lot of change quickly," Lapchick said.
Lapchick has been conducting his study since 1988. He said changes among players were within yearly fluctuations. African-American players on opening-day rosters dropped to 8.3 percent this year from 8.9 percent last season, and the percentage of Latino players rose from 27.5 to 28.2.
Managers of color remained at five this year, down from 10 as recently as 2010. For coaches, 39.1 percent were people of color in 2012, up from 31.2 in 2011.
GMs increased by one to four, but Lapchick included San Francisco's David Martinez, whose title is general manager retail. There are no women or people of color who are controlling owners or CEOs.
"Major League Baseball has made important strides in instilling overall diversity throughout our industry, and today's findings illustrate the depth of those efforts," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "We recognize, however, that there is more to accomplish and improve upon."
MLB last month instituted an 18-member task force that will study ways to increase diversity in the game, especially among black players.
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