NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy apologized for saying pitchers such as Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka shouldn’t be allowed translators on the mound and should instead “learn baseball language.”
Remy’s comments Tuesday night during the NESN telecast of the Boston-New York game quickly drew harsh criticism on social media, with some saying there isn’t one universal language for baseball.
The Red Sox analyst made his remarks on air after Tanaka was visited by Japanese translator Shingo Horie and pitching coach Larry Rothschild in the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium.
“I don’t think that should be legal,” Remy said, telling play-by-play man Dave O’Brien, “I really don’t.”
“Learn baseball language. You know, learn, it’s pretty simple. You break it down pretty easy between pitching coach and pitcher after a long period of time,” Remy said.
O’Brien answered: “I would say that probably, you know, they’re concerned about nuance being lost in some of these conversations.”
As he left the broadcast booth after Boston’s 5-4 win, Remy said he had nothing more to say on the subject.
“I’ve got no comment on that. Really,” he said.
But on Wednesday, Remy apologized in a tweet and in a statement before Game 2 of the series.
“Last night during the course of the Red Sox-Yankee game, I made some comments that offended a number of people in our audience,” Remy said. “I’d like to apologize to my colleagues at NESN, to the Boston Red Sox, but most importantly to the fans who were offended by my comments. I sincerely hope you accept my apologies. Thank you very much.”
A popular Red Sox announcer since 1988, Remy also was a Boston infielder for seven seasons and is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame.
In 2013, Major League Baseball adopted a rule that permitted interpreters to join mound conferences.
In a statement, the Red Sox said the team does not “share the views expressed by Jerry Remy during last night’s broadcast.”
NESN issued a statement as well, apologizing for Remy’s remarks.
“Relative to last night’s NESN telecast from New York, NESN does not agree with any such views expressed by Jerry Remy and we know from talking to Jerry that he regrets making them. The network sincerely apologizes to anyone who was offended by Jerry’s comments,” the network said.
Remy’s comments came the same day Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt said Philadelphia outfielder Odubel Herrera’s language barrier “would make it difficult” for him to be a team leader. Herrera is from Venezuela and conducts his interviews with English-speaking media in Spanish, through a translator.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)