Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy took bizarre exception to Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka being visited by Japanese translator Shingo Horie and pitching coach Larry Rothschild in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game.
“I don’t think that should be legal,” Remy said. “I really don’t.”
“What is it you don’t like about that?” asked Dave O’Brien, Remy’s partner in the booth.
“Learn baseball language. You know, learn—it’s pretty simple,” Remy said. “You break it down pretty easy between pitching coach and pitcher after a long period of time.”
“I would say that probably, you know, they’re concerned about nuance being lost in some of these conversations,” O’Brien responded, trying to steer the discussion back to more inclusive ground.
Remy’s demand that foreign players “learn baseball language” comes off as stodgy and stale at best and xenophobic at worst. Additionally, MLB doesn’t seem to think there’s only one language in the sport, given that the league mandated full-time Spanish-speaking translators before the 2016 season.
Correction (June 7, 3:56 p.m. ET): This post originally stated that Koji Uehara’s translator visited the pitcher on the mound during a game; it was actually Masai Takahashi, who has translated for Japanese Red Sox players but is an assistant athletic trainer and was visiting the mound due to an injury to Uehara.
H/t to J