The base for this article is on the recent comments made by NESN announcer Jerry Remy during a recent broadcast. You can hear the actual conversation in-game in the video below (although it is sound only):
Furthermore here is an article all about it right here telling some of the aftermath:
Basically Remy saw the translator come out for Masahiro Tanaka, during a mound visit in which the coach and the translator came out, and said that he didn't think it should be allowed. That Tanaka should learn baseball language.
In 2013 the MLB added a rule to allow translators to make the mound visit with coaches. But I don't have a gripe with the extra man headed to the mound in theory. What harm or help could he really do? It's what he represents that's the problem.
Yup. I'm about to defend Jerry Remy. I know... it's weird. The single greatest reason I don't like watching Red Sox games because of his horrible accent and insisting to put "R's" in names that don't have them. But I digress...
While I'll agree when a player who doesn't speak the native language somewhere might be hindered at first, that player should at some point learn the language of where they are working. Could I go to Japan and stay for over a year without learning the language and expect to succeed? I doubt it. Why should Tanaka who has been playing for the Yankees since 2014 still need a translator? I mean learn the language guy. It seems like someone not interested in learning the language your teammates, coach, fans, neighbors, etc. around you speak is really rude and ignorant. I wouldn't want a guy like that on my team and neither would Phillies legend Mike Schmidt who made a statement about not building around a player because of his refusal to learn English.
The saddest part about both of the incidents is that both Mike and Jerry apologized for their statements... they said "I'm sorry".... for pointing out.. THE TRUTH IN A FACTUAL WAY! I hope you all read that last line like comedian Lewis Black would say it. If you didn't, go back and do it now.
Why are we letting political correctness stop us from having Freedom of Speech? In of all places, a baseball field? I guess this article falls out of the sports genre right about here and gets in to the "Just Sayin'" Blogs because honestly people... really? Can we just talk about stuff that makes sense without it all being racial, or insensitivity? If I moved to Japan, as mentioned, and worked there without learning the language and worked for years only talking and interacting with other English speaking people did I really try to fit in? Did I really give it a fair shake? Was I the best friend, employee, neighbor, visitor that I could be? It's rude to think it would be ok. If I were a Japanese person around that version of me I wouldn't care for me either. Why won't he pick up a Rosetta Stone and get on this so we can interact they must think...
In fact I've realized that I have done this by moving to the Boston area. Locals pronounce it "Baw-stun" they also refer to Interstate 90 as "The Pike" and Commonwealth Ave is known by "Cawm-Ave" There is a language that I've picked up and learned to make life easier here. I know when they say Quin-zee they mean the town of Quincy and are pronouncing it wrong. I can either spend 5 minutes telling them why that's wrong or just understand what they mean. It makes life easier and they don't want my lecture about how Quincy is a man's name and has an appropriate pronunciation... you get it by now.
I'm just not sure what they want guys in the booth to do? Their thoughts are valid and true and they shouldn't have to apologize for doing what they are in the booth to do. Comment on the game and add some life to it. They are also considered members of the media... reporting on what they see and hear... did they not do that?
America was intended to be a "melting pot" and some time ago it turned in to a "hearty stew." Big chunks of folks being with their own kind. I'm all for people coming, or going, to try new things, but be respectful enough to learn their language, ways, and customs. I get that there's a learning curve. I didn't want Tanaka to never have a translator, but I do want him to not need one in his 4th year in the league. And I'm guessing his teammates would agree... if they publicly could.