Boston Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy had a problem with Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka during Tuesday’s game in New York because the Japanese pitcher needed a translator during a mound visit.
After a fourth-inning meeting at the mound, Remy thought a Yankees trainer was going out to check on Tanaka. Upon realizing that the team’s translator was in fact joining Tanaka for the meeting, Remy claimed that such an accommodation for a non-fluent English speaker should be illegal. He wanted Tanaka to “learn baseball language.”.
This was the exchange on NESN, transcribed:.
Remy: I forgot with Tanaka they take out a translator. I don’t think that should be legal.
Dave O’Brien: Seriously?
Remy: I really don’t.
O’Brien: What is it you don’t like about that?Remy: Learn baseball language. Learn – 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.
There was a lot wrong with Remy’s remarks. He essentially saying that someone who can’t speak English fluently isn’t deserving of the ability to communicate with his teammates during a game. There’s no reason to even state that, and it was clear that his colleague, O’Brien, was taken aback by that suggestion.
He gave Remy a chance to walk back on the remarks, but instead, Remy doubled down.
Baseball fans took offense to Remy’s comments.
These comments came the same day Mike Schmidt questioned Odubel Herrera’s potential as a franchise centerpiece based on a “language barrier.”.