The assumption that foreign-born players use translators because they don’t understand English is a tired one.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez grew up in the Dominican Republic, he was not signed by a North American baseball team until he was 17 years old. He left his family and everything that was comfortable when he moved to a foreign country as a teenager. Expectedly, Spanish is the language he’s most comfortable speaking. And despite what Phil Mushnick of The New York Post writes, that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of understanding or speaking English.
In his Saturday column, Mushnick wrote the following:
Despite defensive lapses, give Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres credit.
Last week the Venezuelan with just four years in the bigs stood for a pregame interview on YES, and through faulty English, nevertheless understood and answered Meredith Marakovits’ questions to the best of his English-speaking ability. It’s clear he’s working on his English.
Gary Sanchez, after seven seasons with the Yankees and before that with the club’s farm teams, still can’t be bothered. He still relies on an interpreter, still as deficient in English as he is in fundamental baseball skills and awareness.
An unwarranted shot at Sanchez. Let’s say Sanchez did conduct public interviews with a second language that he didn’t begin learning until he was an adult, would Mushnick be kind to any potential misspeak? Or would the often-controversial writer use it as an opportunity to disparage Sanchez? Sanchez is frequently criticized by fans and the media, why should he trust that it wouldn’t be worse if miscommunications were an added variable?
This wasn’t the first time Sanchez’s decision to use an interpreter has been viewed as an inability to speak or understand English. During the 2019 MLB All-Star game FOX broadcaster Joe Buck made a similar assumption.
With Freddie Freeman mic’d up and approaching the plate, the Braves first baseman told Sanchez, “I know what you’re going to throw at me,” joking that because he’s connected to the broadcast booth, he’ll be able to steal signs. After Sanchez laughed, Buck said “I don’t think he understood what you were saying,” an assumption that the Yankee catcher can’t understand English.
Masahiro Tanaka spent seven seasons with the Yankees and spoke through a translator during his entire career in New York, but that doesn’t mean he’s unable to speak English. In fact, Tanaka was often described as being one of the more popular teammates in the Yankees clubhouse.
After his contract with the Yankees ran out last year, Tanaka returned to Japan, signing with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. A Japanese magazine recently suggested racism during the COVID-19 pandemic was one reason Tanaka and his family decided to leave the United States. Although it was later reported Tanaka was not quoted in the story.
Sanchez will be a free agent after next season. Despite being a baseball rarity as a power-hitting catcher, the 28-year-old and two-time All-Star has been hardly appreciated in New York, often criticized for his inconsistencies more than he’s respected for his abilities. Mushnick’s column is a clear example of that disrespect, and maybe the best way for Sanchez to earn some credit will be starting fresh with a new team.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Bomani Jones: I’m Better At Talking About Political, Social Issues Than Most In Sports Media
“I personally am better at talking about those things than most people who work in this industry. Like I feel like I can say that fairly and then it not really be an arrogant thing.”
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James found himself in a few headlines last week when he questioned reporters for not asking him about the recent Washington Post story and photo surrounding Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and ESPN commentator Bomani Jones took the opportunity to discuss the revelation.
Jones was pictured as a 14 year old among a crowd during an early stage of integration of public schools in Arkansas during the civil rights movement.
LeBron pointed out that he would field questions when there’s a controversy surrounding a Black person and spoke about the situation with former Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving, but he found it curious that no one had asked his opinion on the Jerry Jones story. LeBron had long considered himself a Cowboys fan, but in recent years he’s stopped supporting the team over Jones’ mandate that Dallas players stand for the National Anthem.
On his ESPN podcast The Right Time, host Bomani Jones talked about LeBron and circled it around to how he and other ESPN personalities caught a ton of flack for speaking about political or societal issues that often don’t fall within the confines of sports.
Jones said that being able to talk about political and societal issues comes easier to him than it does to most members of the sports media.
“I personally am better at talking about those things than most people who work in this industry,” Jones said. “Like I feel like I can say that fairly and then it not really be an arrogant thing.”
Jones said it comes down to the fact that there’s a bias at play. Are people going to take offense to what you’re saying because they disagree, or are they going to like what you’re going to say because they agree?
“They’re reinforcing the fact that you’re reinforcing what it is that you want to hear,” Jones said. “But the truth is that most people are not qualified to talk about these things before the world, because talking about these things before the world is very, very difficult.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
John Jastremski Fires Back After Craig Carton Criticism
“I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”
Earlier this week, WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton said John Jastremski — a former WFAN host now hosting a podcast for The Ringer — “shunned” his radio career advice.
During his New York New York podcast Thursday, Jastremski strongly condemned Carton’s remarks.
“I don’t like going here with this stuff, ’cause I know this plays right into what this guy likes to do,” Jastremski said. “This is his M.O. This is what he’s done his entire career. It’s what he’s done for his entire career and he’s had success doing it. He lives for this stuff. But it really set me off. It set me off because I gotta see it on Barrett Sports Media while I’m on vacation. Like I wanna be bothered with this shit, number one. Number two, it’s just tone-deaf, insulting, and flat-out rude every which way.
“Number one: going after people who work at McDonald’s? Who the hell are you to do that? Number two: You’re insulting a multi-billion dollar company where I work. I have a great job, a great platform, a great producer. I have two great jobs, I might add. And you’re insulting both of them. By the way, you’re on that network. Five days a week. And you’re insulting that network. How stupid are you? Taking shots at people of the network you’re on, I’m on. And I could tell you, it pays well. I do ok.
“As for career advice? Guess what? I listen to legends. Bill Simmons, you ever hear of him? Worth a lot more than you. Mike Francesa? My boy Adam Schein? I listen to those guys. I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”
Calling Carton a crook harkens back to the WFAN afternoon host’s stint in federal prison for participating in a ponzi scheme that scammed investors out of $5.6 million that he in turn used to pay off gambling debts. Carton was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison before serving just over a year in prison before being released in 2020.
The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Moving To New Studio
The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021.
The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021. It has remained the home for the show since Le Batard and John Skipper formed Meadowlark Media.
After a $50 million distribution deal with DraftKings was secured, the Meadowlark podcast network has grown in both reach and talent, allowing for an expanded studio space.
No immediate details were given on where the new studio space would be located.