Portland Sea Dogs first female coach credits “Moneyball” for eureka moment to work in baseball

Krall says she understands the responsibility she has in this role not only because of the success of the Red Sox, but also because of her gender.
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 6:07 PM EST
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PORTLAND, Maine (WABI) - With just 10 weeks until opening day, the Portland Sea Dogs are making history by adding the first female coach to their staff.

In recent years, professional teams have been making moves to diversify their staff.

For Katie Krall, that move started about 11 years ago with her godfather, a bullpen coach for the Minnesota Twins, and a book.

“I read Michael Lewis’s book, Moneyball, and it completely shifted the paradigm for me in that there could be different ways of thinking about the game that you could question some of the philosophies and orthodoxy that had dominated for the last 100 years or so,” Krall said.

Since graduating from Northwestern University, she’s made stops at the MLB’s inaugural diversity fellowship program and the Cincinnati Reds as a baseball operations analyst.

Now, she’s ready to suit up and leave the front office as a development coach right here in Maine.

“At the Reds, it was more at the acquisition perspective of here are the guys we have on our roster, who should we add to make us better, whereas now from a coaching perspective, these are the guys in the trenches with us. We’re going to do the best that we can in order to optimize their performance,” Krall said.

Krall says she understands the responsibility she has in this role - not only because of the success of the Red Sox, but also because of her gender.

“The best message I got was from a total stranger who said I have a four year old daughter and she’s going to grow up in a world where you can have a female vice president, and you can have a female minor league baseball coach. That was pretty extraordinary, and that to me is when it really dawned on me that wow, this is bigger than baseball.”

Krall credits the success of Red Sox minor league coach Bianca Smith for setting the bar high.

And for anyone, like her godfather, who might say spread sheets are ruining baseball - she has a message for you.

“We’re simply measuring things that have always existed. When Sandy Koufax pitched for the Dodgers, he had a spin rate on his curveball. We just didn’t have the technology at the time to measure it. So, we’re not discounting any of the old orthodoxy or thoughts. We’re more so taking advantage of the tools and methods we have today,” Krall said.

Krall has never been to Maine, but she’s prepared to be a little chilly on opening day.

She says she still dreams of one day holding the title of General Manager, but being on the field has certainly heightened her competitive edge - and she’s ready to win.

“I have a great deal of pride when I put on my hat or put on my uniform, and think, wow, I am part of the next chapter of the Red Sox story,” Krall said.

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