Quote of the Day: "I'm tired of Angel players who don't speak English"

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I’m tired of Angel players who don’t speak English. At least not
with a mike in from of them. This Kendry Morales ignoring our language
for Spanish the way Vlad does is outrageous. This is an American team
with American fans paying them American millions. Learn to speak to us
without a Jose Mota dictionary, for crying out loud.

Follow hockey’s lead. Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux were two French
Canadians who entered the NHL knowing hardly any English. The Habs and
Penguins made sure they learned it. Simple marketing. They knew their
fan base spoke English, so get with the program, guys.

The Angels should do the same. So should every team in baseball,
which has crashing attendance as it is. Fans want players they can
relate to. It sure would help if they could understand them.

Bucky Fox of The Columnists.com,
forgetting that, even though it’s an American team with American fans
paying them American millions, the players themselves are not, in fact,
Americans. Fox also forgets that the team is owned by a Latino and
plays in a Latino-heavy market and that, for that reason, maybe having
a lot of Spanish speakers is not the unmitigated disaster he thinks it
is. Finally, Fox fails to state how the ballplayers not speaking
English hurts anyone other than themselves in terms of missed
endorsement opportunites. Last time I checked, they were paid to hit
and throw baseballs, not serve in public relations.

(link via BTF)

What to watch for on the final day of the regular season

Cole Hamels
AP Photo/LM Otero

Here we are, the final day of the regular season. And every game with playoff implications will start at the same time: 3:05 p.m. ET. What to watch …

American League Wild Card


This is where the most intrigue lies heading into the day. We have the Yankees currently in position for hosting duties, but they’re only one game up on Houston. And then Houston is only one game up on Anaheim. Also at play here is that the Astros are just one game back of the Rangers in the American League West standings. If the Yankees, Astros, and Rangers all win on Sunday the current postseason map stays the same — the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday will be at Yankee Stadium with the Astros visiting. And the Angels would obviously be out. But if the Angels win and the Astros lose, we’ll have a play-in game Monday. And if the Yankees lose, the location of the Wild Card Game on Tuesday could change.

American League West


As we touched on above, the Astros are still in a position to force a tiebreaker for the division if the Angels beat the Rangers again in Arlington. It’ll be Garrett Richards against Cole Hamels in that one. Houston is throwing Lance McCullers vs. Robbie Ray in Arizona.

American League Best Record


If the AL Central-champion Royals (94-67) beat the Twins on Saturday behind deadline acquisition Johnny Cueto, they’ll get the Wild Card Game winner in the ALDS and clinch homefield advantage throughout the postseason. But if they lose, the Blue Jays (93-68) could move into that top seed because they won their season series against Kansas City 4-3. Mark Buehrle is pitching for Toronto in what is supposed to be his final major league game.

National League Wild Card


Pittsburgh losing and Chicago winning on Saturday kept Wild Card Game hosting duties alive for Wrigley Field. If the Pirates fall again to the Reds and the Cubs win at Miller Park, the game Wild Card Game Wednesday will be in Chicago because the Cubs have the season-series edge (11-8) over the Bucs. Pittsburgh can wrap up clinching duties with a victory behind J.A. Happ.

Stay tuned. We’ll be covering all angles as the 2015 regular season comes to a close.

Video: Joey Votto tips his cap to A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

There was a pretty cool moment in Saturday’s game between the Reds and Pirates.

A.J. Burnett has announced that this will be his final season, so his start Saturday at PNC Park might have been the last time he ever pitches off a major league mound. (Pittsburgh has to make it through the Wild Card Game to get the 38-year-old right-hander another turn).

Aware of all this, Joey Votto made eye contact with Burnett just before his at-bat in the top of the first inning and gave a tip of the cap. Er, batting helmet …