March 29, 2021 – MLB Network today announced it will air a new edition of MLB Tonight: A Conversation presented by CohnReznick this Wednesday, March 31 at 7 p.m. ET, the night before the 2021 Major League Baseball season begins. Hosted by MLB Network’s Lauren Shehadi, the new two-hour program will feature a candid discussion about the struggles, successes and future for women in baseball, with personal insight and stories from distinguished guests, including:
· Jean Afterman, New York Yankees Senior Vice President, Assistant General Manager
· Rachel Balkovec, New York Yankees Minor League Hitting Coach
· Raquel Ferreira, Boston Red Sox Executive Vice President, Assistant General Manager
· Rachel Folden, Chicago Cubs Minor League Hitting Coach
· Britt Ghiroli, The Athletic National MLB Writer
· Michele Meyer-Shipp, Major League Baseball Chief People & Culture Officer
· Kim Ng, Miami Marlins General Manager
· Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle MLB Writer; former BBWAA President
· Suzyn Waldman, New York Yankees Analyst on WFAN New York Radio
To preview the program, Shehadi says, “There are so many women who have loved the game their entire lives and worked tirelessly to find their place in it, and this program spotlights their journeys, which are not always a paved road, to get the position, keep the position and thrive.” A trailer for the program can be viewed here.
As part of the program, Afterman, Balkovec, Ferreira, Folden and Ng will discuss their rise in special Business of Baseball segments presented by CohnReznick with Folden remarking, “The amount of tools and technology that we have at our disposal to analyze pitches, swings, all of that I think is objective now, and I think that’s genderless.”
Four MLB Tonight: A Conversation programs covering the issues around racial injustice and inequality in society and baseball have aired since June 2020. MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds hosted a panel discussion on the most recent MLB Tonight: A Conversation with members from The Players Alliance, including Tim Anderson, Amir Garrett, David Price, CC Sabathia and Cole Tucker. The series has also featured special editions in celebration of Juneteenth and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.