Jerry Remy: Players should 'learn baseball language'

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canderson

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During tonight's game, Remy said translators shouldn't be allowed to take mound visits along with coaches. O'Brien asked him why and he said pitchers should learn basic baseball language with coaches instead.

This is quickly growing into a big story as I saw an ESPN headline and just had a Yahoo Sports notification about it.
 

Cesar Crespo

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During tonight's game, Remy said translators shouldn't be allowed to take mound visits along with coaches. O'Brien asked him why and he said pitchers should learn basic baseball language with coaches instead.

This is quickly growing into a big story as I saw an ESPN headline and just had a Yahoo Sports notification about it.
It kinda goes along with Mike Schmidt's comments made earlier. Not sure if it's being discussed elsewhere. http://fox43.com/2017/06/06/phillies-legend-mike-schmidts-comments-on-odubel-herrera-land-him-in-hot-water/
 

edoug

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Granted "Throw Fucking Strikes!" should be universally known but you have only one visit to get whatever strategy you need to get across and English is a hard language to pick up. Add to that baseball lingo, makes it harder.
 

Sampo Gida

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Remy's position was basically all of MLB's until 2013.

All those Latinos through the last 60 years never had a translator on the mound even before the days when at least 1 IFer or catcher that spoke Spanish. Don't think I have ever seen a Korean or Taiwanese translator on the mound.

I dont have a problem with it and it makes sense but it makes a mockery of the pace of game hysteria.

Not a big fan of Remy and that obviously was not politically correct and feeds the Boston is racist meme, but I am not throwing him under the bus for that.
 

Average Reds

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It kinda goes along with Mike Schmidt's comments made earlier. Not sure if it's being discussed elsewhere. http://fox43.com/2017/06/06/phillies-legend-mike-schmidts-comments-on-odubel-herrera-land-him-in-hot-water/
Schmidt's opinion was painful for this native of the Philadelphia area to read for several reasons.

First, back in his heyday, Schmidt was one of the more progressive players in MLB - heavily criticized both for his belief that MLB needed more minorities in coaching/managerial positions and for his close friendships with black/Hispanic teammates and competitors. (This was Philadelphia in the 70s.)

Second, while I'm convinced that his comments weren't borne from any sort of racial animus, they were clearly ignorant on several levels. Starting with the fact that Herrera speaks English, even if it is not his native tongue.

Lastly, if you read the entire statement Schmidt made, it's much more of a criticism of the "modern ball player" than it is of Herrera not being able to lead because of the language barrier. If anything, that's an even less-informed criticism, because Schmidt's real issue is what I will refer to as the "Yasiel Puig factor" - former players watching a new generation (many of whom are from Latin America) play the game with flair, exuberance and joy rather than being stoic out there. (As Schmidt famously was on and off the field.)

Taken together, the only conclusion I can draw is that one of the heros of my youth has become a cranky old man yelling at players from different cultures to get off his lawn.
 

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During tonight's game, Remy said translators shouldn't be allowed to take mound visits along with coaches. O'Brien asked him why and he said pitchers should learn basic baseball language with coaches instead.

This is quickly growing into a big story as I saw an ESPN headline and just had a Yahoo Sports notification about it.
Remy's a fucking idiot. Koji had a translator for mound visits when he was in Boston.
 

CantKeepmedown

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Dave O'Brien really let him off the hook too, which I guess a good partner is supposed to do. A couple follow up questions could have put Jerry in an uncomfortable situation.
 

BillMuellerFanClub

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I don't have a problem with it provided the lens it's viewed through is how pointless the mound visits tend to be, and how bringing yet another person into the situation as a translator really flies into the face of the MLB's desire to improve the pace of game. There are plenty of players that don't speak English that are capable of communicating strategy with their battery mates without the aid of a translator (hence the language of baseball comment), and if Remy's overall stance is that this further impedes the flow of play, then I agree with him. I think his inability to convey this was a result of 1) being caught off guard by hearing what he said after he said it as an "oh shit" moment and 2) frantically stumbling to clarify as DOB asks him to elaborate and failing to be eloquent.

Jerry, while not everyone's cup of tea, has never struck me, in his years of being in the booth, as the type who would openly discriminate against someone's race/ethnicity or ability to speak English. on T&R this morning on the ride in, they even discuss a segment where he and Tim McCarver discuss how a visit to the mound is essentially a way to waste time and disrupt the rhythm of the batter where strategy rarely comes into play. If he believes this is the case, bringing another person into the fray to waste time could be argued as laughable.
 

Kliq

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I think this is nothing. It's a stupid thing to say but these guys are on the air so much and are tasked with filling dead time that now and then they are going to say some stupid stuff. The media can call him out on it but it's not really a big deal.
 

joe dokes

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I don't have a problem with it provided the lens it's viewed through is how pointless the mound visits tend to be, and how bringing yet another person into the situation as a translator really flies into the face of the MLB's desire to improve the pace of game. There are plenty of players that don't speak English that are capable of communicating strategy with their battery mates without the aid of a translator (hence the language of baseball comment), and if Remy's overall stance is that this further impedes the flow of play, then I agree with him. I think his inability to convey this was a result of 1) being caught off guard by hearing what he said after he said it as an "oh shit" moment and 2) frantically stumbling to clarify as DOB asks him to elaborate and failing to be eloquent.

Jerry, while not everyone's cup of tea, has never struck me, in his years of being in the booth, as the type who would openly discriminate against someone's race/ethnicity or ability to speak English. on T&R this morning on the ride in, they even discuss a segment where he and Tim McCarver discuss how a visit to the mound is essentially a way to waste time and disrupt the rhythm of the batter where strategy rarely comes into play. If he believes this is the case, bringing another person into the fray to waste time could be argued as laughable.

I think if he had kept it to, "I'm surprised he needs a translator because, in my experience, even pitchers who knew very little English understood the few baseball phrases that the pitching coach is trying to convey" it would probably be different. Or if he threw in a self-deprecating, "The pitchers who spoke English couldn't understand me." Instead he came off as another cranky old white American guy.
 

drbretto

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I think this is nothing. It's a stupid thing to say but these guys are on the air so much and are tasked with filling dead time that now and then they are going to say some stupid stuff. The media can call him out on it but it's not really a big deal.
Agreed.

Old man says something insensitive. News at 11.

I think people are reading it as "they should learn to speak American" and I don't think that's what he meant at all. I don't think he meant anything substantive or earth shattering, but I don't think it was xenophobic, just dumb.
 

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The "pace of play" defense is a crock of shit. If the mound visit is limited to 30 seconds, it's limited to 30 seconds regardless of how many people are present for the meeting. The umpire is not going to give you extra time simply because a translator is needed. If anything, adding the translator is going to put you at a disadvantage because it shortens the effective conversation (in a theoretical mound visit during which strategy is actually discussed and the time limit is strictly enforced). If your issue is actually pace of play - and you're not just using that as an attempt to whitewash Remy's argument - your quibble is with the umpire, not the translator.

It was an incredibly stupid thing to say - whether it was borne of malice or not - and he deserves every ounce of shit he gets for it.
 

richgedman'sghost

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I hesitate to argue for Jerry's firing considering the alternative is more Steve Lyons. I think one of the other posters is right when he suggests that what Remy was really trying to get at was the pace of game. Jerry has really been hammering this season about the ridiculous amount of pitcher catcher mound visits. In Jerry's mind, most mound vists are a stalling tactic and a blight to baseball. In order to speed up the game, Jerry would like to limit the amount of mound visits. Last night, Remy was trying to articulate this point, but he did so in a clumnsy manner.
 

redsoxstiff

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There was a time when sports announcers allowed a lather of blessed silence as the games unfolded...You can't go home again...when I hear...the line up is being brought to you by your local fecal dealer my scrotum withdraws within my guts... After Ned Martin I can't abide by the baseball assassins who have changed sports into monkey shows ...Remy is bored stiff but needs the moolah...Fuckem all...
 

Cesar Crespo

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Agreed.

Old man says something insensitive. News at 11.

I think people are reading it as "they should learn to speak American" and I don't think that's what he meant at all. I don't think he meant anything substantive or earth shattering, but I don't think it was xenophobic, just dumb.
I think that's exactly what he meant. I think that's what Schmidt meant too. I'm not sure if it's xenophobic or w/e, unless you consider Patriotism xenophobic. It's borderline. It's definitely ignorant and insensitive.

I read his and Schmidt's comments as "If you are going to live/be in the USA, speak the language." Not sure how else you can interpret it, honestly. Baseball language?
 

Bosoxen

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What does banning a translator for a mound visit accomplish in terms of limiting the number of mound visits?

The visits are limited to 30 seconds, no matter who goes to the mound to chat.
It does nothing. The pace of play argument is merely an attempt to explain away an indefensible argument.

There is an argument to be made about pace of play being an issue but this isn't it. And using the foreigner who can't speak English as a proxy for it is bullshit.
 

The Needler

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What does banning a translator for a mound visit accomplish in terms of limiting the number of mound visits?

The visits are limited to 30 seconds, no matter who goes to the mound to chat.
That's not really true. The rules explicitly grant discretion to increase that window for a player requiring a translator.
 

drbretto

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I think that's exactly what he meant. I think that's what Schmidt meant too. I'm not sure if it's xenophobic or w/e, unless you consider Patriotism xenophobic. It's borderline. It's definitely ignorant and insensitive.

I read his and Schmidt's comments as "If you are going to live/be in the USA, speak the language." Not sure how else you can interpret it, honestly. Baseball language?
Yes. Baseball language. I think they think that the managers should find a way to communicate directly. Like a bit out of a straight to video Major League sequel. Dumb, but not hateful.
 

ArttyG12

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He thought it was the trainer at first. I thought at the time his reaction was basically a quick "that shouldn't be allowed" to cover his error, only then he dug himself deeper trying to justify it. I'd guess he is completely fine with translators and just stupidly tried to cover himself and ended up in a much worse place.
 

Cesar Crespo

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He thought it was the trainer at first. I thought at the time his reaction was basically a quick "that shouldn't be allowed" to cover his error, only then he dug himself deeper trying to justify it. I'd guess he is completely fine with translators and just stupidly tried to cover himself and ended up in a much worse place.
I could see this, too. I've done the same thing quite a few times myself.
 

The Needler

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It does nothing. The pace of play argument is merely an attempt to explain away an indefensible argument.

There is an argument to be made about pace of play being an issue but this isn't it. And using the foreigner who can't speak English as a proxy for it is bullshit.
It's not an indefensible argument. It's just an argument that you don't like. Just because someone believes that between the lines, the same rules should apply to every million dollar player, no matter where they come from, just like they do in the NBA, the Bundesliga, and every other league that has foreign players, doesn't mean we have to tar and feather them.
 

joe dokes

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It's not an indefensible argument. It's just an argument that you don't like. Just because someone believes that between the lines, the same rules should apply to every million dollar player, no matter where they come from, just like they do in the NBA, the Bundesliga, and every other league that has foreign players, doesn't mean we have to tar and feather them.
You know that they don't have translators on the bench in the Bundesliga?
And the same rules do apply to all. I'm sure that if Mickey Rivers or Roger Clemens ever managed a major league team, they'd bring an interpreter to the mound with them so that someone, anyone, could understand what they were saying.
 

joe dokes

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I think that's exactly what he meant. I think that's what Schmidt meant too. I'm not sure if it's xenophobic or w/e, unless you consider Patriotism xenophobic. It's borderline. It's definitely ignorant and insensitive.

I read his and Schmidt's comments as "If you are going to live/be in the USA, speak the language." Not sure how else you can interpret it, honestly. Baseball language?

Schmidt was slightly different, in that he said "roomful of American players" or somesuch. Whether that makes it just clumsier or something worse is YMMV territory.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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It's not an indefensible argument. It's just an argument that you don't like. Just because someone believes that between the lines, the same rules should apply to every million dollar player, no matter where they come from, just like they do in the NBA, the Bundesliga, and every other league that has foreign players, doesn't mean we have to tar and feather them.
The same rules do apply: teams are allowed to bring translators to the mound.
 

The Needler

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You know that they don't have translators on the bench in the Bundesliga?
And the same rules do apply to all. I'm sure that if Mickey Rivers or Roger Clemens ever managed a major league team, they'd bring an interpreter to the mound with them so that someone, anyone, could understand what they were saying.
They have them on the bench in MLB, too. The question is whether they have them on the field. In between the lines. Not between innings. Did Jerry Remy ever say the Yankees shouldn't be allowed to have an interpreter on the bench?
 

joe dokes

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They have them on the bench in MLB, too. The question is whether they have them on the field. In between the lines. Not between innings. Did Jerry Remy ever say the Yankees shouldn't be allowed to have an interpreter on the bench?
You brought up the NBA and the Bundesliga, two leagues where coaches don't go onto the field, "between the lines." I was responding to that.
the same rules should apply to every million dollar player, no matter where they come from, just like they do in the NBA, the Bundesliga, and every other league that has foreign players, doesn't mean we have to tar and feather them.
Are there other sports where coaches go onto the field comparable to a "trip to the mound?" If so, what do they do? If not, then the use of those sports for comparison doesn't really help much.
 
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oumbi

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"Speak the language", as in they should be fluent prior to their arrival? Or, they should be passable upon arrival to do a job? All jobs, even those that are a few days in duration? What qualifies as fluent? How do we define passable? Do we include reading and writing as well?

Do we allow for improvement as such people live here longer? If so, how do we define "mission accomplished" for their English - just job related? Restaurant/shopping worthy?

As you can see, this becomes a murky argument in a hurry.

But back to baseball, this does have an impact on trips to the mound. If a translator is involved, that may double the amount of time needed to present a point on pitching or whatever.
 

Devizier

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I read his and Schmidt's comments as "If you are going to live/be in the USA, speak the language." Not sure how else you can interpret it, honestly. Baseball language?
This is a dumb sentiment, particularly in the case of Tanaka, where he is being paid $155 million to live and work in the United States. Minor accommodations like translators are mostly for the team's sake, not his.

In any event, Remy was wrong, he should apologize, and the problem should end there.
 

The Needler

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"Speak the language", as in they should be fluent prior to their arrival? Or, they should be passable upon arrival to do a job? All jobs, even those that are a few days in duration? What qualifies as fluent? How do we define passable? Do we include reading and writing as well?

Do we allow for improvement as such people live here longer? If so, how do we define "mission accomplished" for their English - just job related? Restaurant/shopping worthy?

As you can see, this becomes a murky argument in a hurry.

But back to baseball, this does have an impact on trips to the mound. If a translator is involved, that may double the amount of time needed to present a point on pitching or whatever.
Why did you put "speak the language" in quotes? You don't mean English, do you? Because Remy never said that. Should he be fluent in "the language of baseball" (whatever that means) before he arrives? I would hope so.

Look, Remy is not a particularly intelligent man, but the question as I see it is whether sports should contain special dispensations in their rules for differences in language, or ultimately other differences. When Jim Abbot went to the NL, for example, he had to hit like every other pitcher. Should he have been allowed a special pinch hitter? When you try to compare sports to every other aspect of life, the the answer would be yes. We make accommodations for people with disabilities. But sports, some people think, are different. It is after all where the entire "level playing field" analogy originates.

Personally, in this case I agree that it's a big nothingburger with respect to trips to the mound. But I also don't find Remy's position indefensible. I look at it from a market perspective. Teams should essentially "price" their players'/prospects' language ability into their calculus, just like they do with any other player ability. Maybe we see X player as a 2.91 xfip pitcher, but he will cost us Y runs over the course of the season because he only speaks Dutch, and our manager only speaks Spanish. Will he learn Spanish? If not, is he still worth it?
 

Tyrone Biggums

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Well I can't see how Remy survives this. This is really bad. I understand what he was getting at and while I believe he didn't have any racist intentions here and was referring to "baseball lingo" such basic English of Curveball Slider etc...this does not fly in 2017. The world we live in since T**** got elected is heightened to this stuff right now. Sucks for Remy since he's having a bad year but you need to deal with the consequences. He's had a good career as a broadcaster and will probably be a Sox HOFer but I would be stunned if he isn't let go or put on a leave of absence.
 

Van Everyman

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This is good?

"It's been made known to me that my answer on a radio interview this morning to the question, 'Can the Phillies build a team around Odubel Herrera?' was disrespectful to Herrera and Latin players in general. I'm very sorry that this misrepresentation of my answer occurred and may have offended someone. I assure everyone I had no intention of that. Odubel is a dynamo on the field, and as he becomes more comfortable with the language, his leadership skills will improve, and no doubt he will be a centerpiece in the Phillies future."
 

rarob

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Per Remy's extension: his narrative has gotten 'old'. Orsillo was special, but although different styles, O'Brien does a very nice job of play-by-play. That being said, I truly get a kick out of Eck. He tells it like he sees it. And yes, he's a 'homer', but a very insightful 'homer'. In addition he doesn't hold back, and his natural enthusiasm for the game is joyfully refreshing.
 

pjr

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Here's the apology,

Jerry Remy (RemDawg)‏Verified account @Jerry_Remy 1h1 hour ago

I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments during the telecast last night.
 

TheCone

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Although I dont care for Remy with all the stuff that came out about how he enabled his murderous son, Icant believe that so many are calling his remark/opinion hateful, racist, zenophobic. Its pretty sad when you cant expect someone who has been in the country for several years (and makes tens of millions of dollars) to learn the language of the country he works in. Learn English if you live & work here...you wanna know why? Here's something that happened to me just this week. I have a special needs son, his school called me & said someone was there from the agency to pick him up...I had no idea why, but when they question the driver further it turns out he wasnt there for my son but for someone else. I was told "the driver had a language barrier"....Imagine if he took my son to someone elses dr's appt/etc? Learn English people. Its pretty simple.
 

AimingForYoko

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Wow the comments on his post are a damn mess. I shouldn't be surprised and yet...

And I'm hardly calling for Remy's job but those kinds of apologies really rub me the wrong the way. How about a simple "I'm sorry for my comments last night" and leave it at that.

And roflmao at English being called "simple"
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Well I can't see how Remy survives this. This is really bad. I understand what he was getting at and while I believe he didn't have any racist intentions here and was referring to "baseball lingo" such basic English of Curveball Slider etc...this does not fly in 2017. The world we live in since T**** got elected is heightened to this stuff right now. Sucks for Remy since he's having a bad year but you need to deal with the consequences. He's had a good career as a broadcaster and will probably be a Sox HOFer but I would be stunned if he isn't let go or put on a leave of absence.
If his employers were already leaning towards terminating him then yes, he does not survive this.

If his employers were not leaning that way then no, he does survive this. See also: Schilling, Curt, with his first many issues while with ESPN.
 

joe dokes

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Although I dont care for Remy with all the stuff that came out about how he enabled his murderous son, Icant believe that so many are calling his remark/opinion hateful, racist, zenophobic. Its pretty sad when you cant expect someone who has been in the country for several years (and makes tens of millions of dollars) to learn the language of the country he works in. Learn English if you live & work here...you wanna know why? Here's something that happened to me just this week. I have a special needs son, his school called me & said someone was there from the agency to pick him up...I had no idea why, but when they question the driver further it turns out he wasnt there for my son but for someone else. I was told "the driver had a language barrier"....Imagine if he took my son to someone elses dr's appt/etc? Learn English people. Its pretty simple.
I think Remy's comment was stupid, but he has done nothing in the 30+ years he's been on the scene to suggests that it reflects anything other than a one time thoughtless comment (by which people could rightly be offended, but that I dont think is a firing offense) But......

English is not "pretty simple."
And you have no idea whether or how well Tanaka speaks or understands English.
 

BigSoxFan

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Although I dont care for Remy with all the stuff that came out about how he enabled his murderous son, Icant believe that so many are calling his remark/opinion hateful, racist, zenophobic. Its pretty sad when you cant expect someone who has been in the country for several years (and makes tens of millions of dollars) to learn the language of the country he works in. Learn English if you live & work here...you wanna know why? Here's something that happened to me just this week. I have a special needs son, his school called me & said someone was there from the agency to pick him up...I had no idea why, but when they question the driver further it turns out he wasnt there for my son but for someone else. I was told "the driver had a language barrier"....Imagine if he took my son to someone elses dr's appt/etc? Learn English people. Its pretty simple.
My wife is Japanese so I have some perspective on this. Many Japanese are able to read/write English but speaking it is a real struggle. Going to Tokyo is nothing like going to Hong Kong. Many Japanese people are not comfortable conversing in English. We've seen this with almost every player who has come over.
 
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