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Jerry Remy says Masahiro Tanaka shouldn’t be allowed to have a translator


Red Sox broadcaster and former major leaguer Jerry Remy apparently wasn’t fazed by the pushback Phillies broadcaster Mike Schmidt got on Tuesday for saying outfielder Odubel Herrera‘s “language barrier” prevents him from being a player the Phillies can build around.

During the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game between the Red Sox and Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka was visited on the mound by pitching coach Larry Rothschild as well as his translator. Tanaka is from Japan and has a personal translator as part of his seven-year, $155 million contract with the Yankees.

As Tanaka’s translator left the mound and play was about to resume, Remy offered his unsolicited opinion on foreign players using translators. “I don’t think that should be legal,” Remy said. “I really don’t.”

Play-by-play broadcaster Dave O’Brien asked Remy, “What is it you don’t like about that?”

Remy replied, “Learn baseball language. It’s pretty simple. You break it down pretty easy between pitching coach and pitcher after a long period of time.”

Here’s a video.

Of course, “learn baseball language,” is a dogwhistle term for “learn English.” Allowing translators is how baseball is made available to players across the globe, which is great for the sport. It’s just not great for the white guys who are so accustomed to the privilege of English being the default language that they never think to learn a second language themselves; they expect others to do it for them. The United States is often described as a “melting pot” — meaning it’s diverse — but according to SwiftKey, the U.S. is one of the top three trailers in bilingualism.

Meghan Montemurro noted in her column about the Schmidt issue on Tuesday that Phillies manager Pete Mackanin speaks Spanish in addition to English, which allows him to be a better communicator. More and more players are coming to play Major League Baseball from overseas and soon, being bilingual will be a prerequisite for consideration for a managing position. You can’t teach an old white man new tricks — or Spanish, in this case — but the rest of us will make a mutual effort to communicate with our peers.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.