Yesterday, for reasons that are only clear to him, Red Sox commentator Jerry Remy opined on the air that players who do not speak English should not be allowed to have translators on the field for mound visits. To the extent Remy explained his comments, it was to say that these players, such as Masahiro Tanaka, who inspired the comments, should “learn baseball language.”
Remy didn’t have some strategic reason for why players should not have translators. He did not identify any unfair advantage this may provide someone like Tanaka. It mostly amounted to an opinion that players should speak English. Which, given that translators are increasingly common and provided for via the Collective Bargaining Agreement, is not consistent with Major League Baseball’s views.
Remy’s opinion was likewise not consistent with his employer’s views. NESN just released this statement:
Between this and the Mike Schmidt nonsense, it may be a good idea for ballplayers who have been retired for 30 years to stop offering unsolicited comments about what language current players speak and why it matters.