It sounds like Boston Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy learned nothing from the Mike Schmidt controversy that dominated baseball news Tuesday. Because about 12 hours after the Phillies legend created headlines for his criticism of Odubel Herrera not speaking English, Remy was on the air for NESN saying non-English speaking players shouldn’t be allowed to use translators on the field.
“Learn baseball language,” Remy said.
This came in a discussion about New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, whose translator came to a visit on the pitcher’s mound during Tuesday night’s 5-4 loss to the Red Sox. Remy, who is 64 and played 10 seasons in the big leagues, said such a thing shouldn’t be legal.
Here’s a clip from the broadcast and a transcription of his conversation with play-by-play announcer Dave O’Brien:
— Sports Funhouse (@SportsFunhouse) June 7, 2017
Remy: “I don’t think that should be legal.”
Remy: “I really don’t.”
O’Brien: “What is it you don’t like about that?”
Remy: “Ummm, learn baseball language. It’s pretty simple. You break it down pretty easy between pitching coach and pitcher after a long period of time.”
O’Brien: “I would say that probably they’re concerned about nuance being lost in some of these conversations.”
Remy apologized to “those who were offended” by his comments Wednesday.
I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments during the telecast last night.
— Jerry Remy (RemDawg) (@Jerry_Remy) June 7, 2017
NESN, the channel that employs Remy, apologized for the same thing, and said they do not agree with the views expressed by Remy.
NESN statement on Jerry Remy’s comments from last night: pic.twitter.com/jO175FavK5
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) June 7, 2017
Not only are translators welcome in baseball — a sport which has stars who speak Spanish, Japanese and Korean in addition to English — but Major League Baseball mandated in 2016 that every clubhouse has a full-time Spanish-language translator in the clubhouse.
According to the annual report by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, 34.5 percent of players in MLB this season were born outside of the U.S. Meanwhile, Latino players make up 31.9 percent of the league while Asian players are 1.9 percent.
It’s worth noting that Tanaka’s night wasn’t great, even with his translator. He gave up five runs in five innings, including three homers. Knowing “baseball language” probably wouldn’t have helped much either.
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