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

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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.

It’s the tenth anniversary of the biggest rout in baseball history

Associated Press
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Ten years ago today the Rangers and the Orioles squared off at Camden Yards. The Orioles built a 3-0 lead after three innings and then all hell broke loose.

The Rangers scored thirty (30!) unanswered runs via a five-spot in the fourth, a nine-spot in the sixth, a ten-spot in the eighth and a six-spot in the ninth. That was . . . a lot of spots.

Two Rangers players — Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez — hit two homers and drove in seven runs a piece. The best part: they were the eighth and ninth hitters in the lineup. There was plenty of offense to go around, however as David Murphy went 5-for-7 and scored five times. Travis Metcalf hit a pinch-hit grand slam. Marlon Byrd drove in four. It was a bloodbath, with Texas rattling out 29 hits and walking eight times.

On the Orioles side of things, Daniel Cabrera took the loss, giving up six runs on nine hits in five innings. That’s not a terribly unusual line for a bad day at the office for a pitcher — someone will probably get beat up like that in the next week or so — but the Orioles’ relievers really added to the party. Brian Burres was the first victim, allowing eight runs on eight hits in only two-thirds of an inning. Rob Bell gave up seven in an inning and a third. Paul Shuey wore the rest of it, allowing nine runs on seven hits over the final two.

The best part of the insanely busy box score, however, was not from any of the Orioles pitchers or any of the Rangers hitters. Nope, it was from a Rangers relief pitcher named Wes Littleton. You probably don’t remember him, as he only pitched in 80 games and never appeared in the big leagues after 2008. But on this day — the day of the biggest blowout in baseball history — Wes Littleton notched a save. From Baseball-Reference.com:

Three innings and 43 pitches is a lot of work for a reliever and, per the rules, it’s a save, regardless of the margin when he entered the game. Still, this was not exactly a game that was ever in jeopardy.

When it went down, way back on August 22, 2007, it inspired me to write a post at my old, defunct independent baseball blog, Shysterball, arguing about how to change the save rule. Read it if you want, but know that (1) no one has ever paid attention to such proposals in baseball, even if such proposals are frequently offered; and (2) the hypothetical examples I use to illustrate the point involve an effective Joba Chamberlain and Joe Torre’s said use of him, which tells you just how long ago this really was.

Oh, one final bit: this massacre — the kind of game that the Orioles likely wanted to leave, go back home and go to sleep afterward — was only the first game of a doubleheader. Yep, they had to strap it on and play again, with the game starting at 9PM Eastern time. Baltimore lost that one too, 9-7, concluding what must have been one of the longest days any of the players involved had ever had at the office, both figuratively and literally.

Hall of Fame baseball announcer Rafael ‘Felo’ Ramirez dies

Associated Press
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MIAMI (AP) Rafael “Felo” Ramirez, a Hall of Fame baseball radio broadcaster who was the signature voice for millions of Spanish-speaking sports fans over three decades, has died. He was 94.

The Miami Marlins announced Ramirez’ death Tuesday.

Ramirez, who died Monday night, began his broadcasting career in Cuba in 1945 before calling 31 All-Star games and World Series in Spanish. He was the Marlins Spanish-language announcer since their inaugural season in 1993 and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2001.

He was known for an expressive, yet low-key style and his signature strike call of “Essstrike.”

Several Spanish-language broadcasters, including Amury Pi-Gonzanez of the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants, have admitted to emulating his style.