NEW YORK (AP) — Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy says pitchers such as Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka shouldn’t be allowed translators on the mound and should instead “learn baseball language.”
Remy’s comments Tuesday night during the NESN telecast of the Boston-New York game quickly drew harsh criticism on social media, with some saying there isn’t one universal language for baseball.
The Red Sox analyst made his remarks on air after Tanaka was visited by Japanese translator Shingo Horie and pitching coach Larry Rothschild in the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium.
“I don’t think that should be legal,” Remy said, telling play-by-play man Dave O’Brien, “I really don’t.”
“Learn baseball language. You know, learn, it’s pretty simple. You break it down pretty easy between pitching coach and pitcher after a long period of time,” Remy said.
O’Brien answered: “I would say that probably, you know, they’re concerned about nuance being lost in some of these conversations.”
As he left the broadcast booth after Boston’s 5-4 win, Remy said he had nothing more to say on the subject.
“I’ve got no comment on that. Really,” he said.
However, by Wednesday he Tweeted a statement, saying “I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments during the telecast last night.”
A popular Red Sox announcer since 1988, Remy also was a Boston infielder for seven seasons and is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame.
In 2013, Major League Baseball adopted a rule that permitted interpreters to join mound conferences.
Remy’s comments came the same day Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt said Philadelphia outfielder Odubel Herrera’s language barrier “would make it difficult” for him to be a team leader. Herrera is from Venezuela and conducts his interviews with English-speaking media in Spanish, through a translator.
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