ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -Major League Baseball received its best grade for racial diversity in hiring, even as the percentage of black players dropped again last year.
MLB received its first A- for race Tuesday from Richard Lapchick, director of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports. Its grade was B+ in last year's study.
Among players, though, just 8.2 percent were black, down from 8.4 percent in 2006 and the lowest level in at least two decades. The percentage of black pitchers remained at 3 percent.
``It is ironic that as the role of people of color dramatically increases regarding who runs the game, African-American players continue to decrease,'' Lapchick said.
MLB received a C+ for gender hiring, up from a C last year. Its overall grade remained at B.
Lapchick said 28 percent of employees at baseball's central offices were nonwhite, including 20 percent among senior executives. Women were 42 percent of employees, but 26 percent of the senior executives.
He gave baseball a B+ for race and a C for gender for its senior administration hiring, the same as last year. For team vice presidents, the grade was B for race - the same as last year - and D- for gender, up from an F.
General managers were given a C for 2007, and Lapchick noted that the Los Angeles Angels promoted Tony Reagins to GM, where he joins Kenny Williams of the Chicago White Sox and Omar Minaya of the New York Mets as the only minorities.
Managers received an A, with six minority managers last year. The total increased to eight at the start of this season.

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