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Mike Schmidt Believes You Can’t Build a Team Around Hispanic Players Who Can’t Speak English
Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, who now works as a color analyst for Phillies games on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, was a guest on Philadelphia sports radio station 94WIP to talk about Odubel Herrera.
Schmidt revealed that he’s not exactly a fan of the flashy Philadelphia centerfielder, saying that his own approach to the game was the “almost exact opposite” before offering his thoughts on whether the 25-year-old All-Star is the kind of player the Phillies can build around.
“My honest answer to that would be no because of a couple of things,.” Schmidt said. “First of all, it’s a language barrier. Because of that, I think he can’t be a guy that would sort of sit in a circle with four, five American players and talk about the game. Or try and learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game. Or come over to a guy and say, ‘Man, you gotta run that ball out.’ Just can’t be — because of the language barrier — that kind of a player.”
Odubel Herrera, who is Venezuelan, is not the first and won’t be the last big time player who comes to the league not being able to speak the English language, but somehow many other organizations made it work.