don’t know english. don’t know schmidt.

mike schmidt had a hall of fame career as a third baseman with the philadelphia phillies. nowadays he is a weekend analyst for the phillies so his opinions about the team generate some interest with the public. last week, however, schmidt’s analysis of a current phillies player received much more attention than normal.

mike schmidt giving his hall of fame induction speech

mike schmidt never played a tough cop in an 80s action movie, but he could have. (mark d. phillips/getty images)

in an interview with angelo cataldi of sports radio 94 wip  schmidt said he doesn’t think the phillies center fielder odubel herrera can be a central piece of the the team’s future because he doesn’t speak enough english. herrera is venezuelan and spanish is his mother tongue (native language).

odubel herrrera celebrates with his phillies teammates. (ap photo/todd kirkland)

an  l.a. times article reports that cataldi couldn’t believe the negative reaction schmidt’s comments got. he said

it’s ridiculous the media has blown this out of proportion. if this was newsworthy, iwould’ve known as soon as he said it.

blow out of proportion means exaggerate. newsworthy means it should get attention from the media, literally worthy of news. if this was (2nd conditional) and would’ve known (3rd conditonal) indicate a hypothtetical idea. in reality, cataldi definitely did NOT understand how much the rest of the media wanted to talk about what schmidt said.

fun elt practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

mike schmidt from his playing days

i don’t wanna offend anyone, but odubel’s english? horseshit.

mike bates at noted that schmidt

doubled down in a non-apology that blamed the media

bates calls it a non-apology because it was released as an apology, but doesn’t really say “i’m sorry”. instead, schmidt blames (says it is their fault) the media for the controversy.  double down means maintain the same position but with more intensity, which is what schmidt’s non-apology did. he says he didn’t mean any harm and reiterates (repeats) that english is essential to odubel’s ability as a leader.

i assure everyone i had no intention of [offending anyone]. odubel is a dynamo on the field, and as he becomes more comfortable with the language, his leadership skills will improve

skills are abilities.

mike schmidt at the field of dreams
is the media to blame for blowing mike schmidt’s comments out of proportion? (getty)

bates calls schmidt’s opinion about odubel herrera and spanish speaking players in general horseshit (terrible).

in the movie big daddy, adam sandler is too late to order breakfast at mcdonald’s and he thinks it’s horseshit.

other baseball blogs share bates’ view. evan grant at says there is no such thing as a language barrier i.e. it doesn’t exist, and chris korman at observes

anyone trying to say that spanish-speaking players can’t pick up the nuances of the game or aren’t earnestly trying to learn it is hopelessly out of touch.

pick up means learn. nuance is a small difference or detail.  earnestly means sincerelyout of touch is not connected or not familiar with new techniques. it is also the title of my favorite song by philly natives hall and oates.

herrera told that he has never had trouble communicating with his teammates and he realizes

of course it helps to speak english if you’re a baseball player. this country is better if u speak english. it’s the main language. i want to speak english. but sometimes u can lead by example. u can lead by doing other things. in my case, i think i bring energy to the team. i think they can feed off of that.

lead by example means by action, not by words.  feed off of means the other phillies feel and take energy from herrera.

odubel herrera flipping his bat

odubel believes teammates can feed off of his energy. (

schmidt called herrera to apologize, but odubel doesn’t hold a grudge. his reply to schmidt was…..

i told him to calm down, that everything was ok

calm down means relax.

frustrated lady biting her laptop
does biting your laptop help u calm down?

is speaking the predominant language of the team more important in sports than other work environments? can u be a leader if u aren’t fluent in the predominant language? share your opinions under leave a reply




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