comScore MLB Great Mike Schmidt: Teams Can’t Build Around Spanish-Speaking Players Because of the ‘Language Barrier’

MLB Great Mike Schmidt: Teams Can’t Build Around Spanish-Speaking Players Because of the ‘Language Barrier’

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Hall of Fame baseball player Mike Schmidt is under fire for comments about a Spanish-speaking Philadelphia Phillies player, whom Schmidt does not believe is capable of leading the team because of the “language barrier.”

Speaking on WIP Radio in Philadelphia, the retired Phillies great said that the team’s current centerfielder, Odubel Herrera, is not a player that the team should build around because of, in part, the fact that he doesn’t speak fluent English.”

“[I]t’s a language barrier,” Schmidt said. “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.”

Schmidt is also not enamored with Herrera’s style of play, which he believes shows up other teams.

“He’s not afraid to do things that sort of irk the other team if you will, and you know what that is,” Schmidt said. “I probably would hate him if I played against him because of his antics on the field, but he’s not afraid. He’s not afraid to do that.”

Fans, sports writers, and others on Twitter reacted swiftly to the comments:

[image via screengrab]

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo