US: Interpreting Needs of Baseball Players Often Unmet

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US: Interpreting Needs of Baseball Players Often Unmet

When it comes to interpreters, baseball teams offer preferential treatment to Asian players, says Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen. While Guillen’s comments have been explained away by many teams, Spanish-speaking players on the New York Mets team agreed with his assessment. The Mets have more Asian players than any other team. Most are provided with interpreters. The team’s Latin American players are not. Baseball managers say the difference is that Japanese and Korean players negotiate for an interpreter before they sign a contract. Managers also point out that most Asian players cannot communicate directly with anyone in the organization because they speak little to no English. The Mets, like many teams in the league, depend on bilingual players to interpret for their Spanish-speaking teammates. This season rookie Jenrry Mejia from the Dominican Republic needed Alex Cora, an infielder from Puerto Rico, to interpret during interviews with reporters. General Manager Omar Minaya says the team tries to have at least one Spanish-speaking staff member at every level of the organization, but team managers also focus on teaching English to their Hispanic players. He adds, “We value the educational part of it. That is very important to us.” However, several Mets players remember how difficult it was when they first arrived in the States. Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran says he was 18 years old and spoke no English when he joined the Gulf Coast Royals. Meetings with his manager were in English, and he had no idea what was being said. He would just nod his head in agreement. Francisco Rodriguez recalls his sense of isolation and frustration. He says, “I couldn’t communicate at all. I sat in my hotel room for six or seven days, and I never went out and never ordered room service or anything. They had some guys who were supposed to speak English and Spanish, but they didn’t really speak Spanish at all.” He adds, “What Ozzie said is not a secret. It would definitely help if they had interpreters for the Spanish-speaking players, too.

From "Mets See a Bit of Truth in Guillen's Comments"
New York Times (NY) (08/02/10) Waldstein, David

Source: ATA Newsbriefs - August 2010
Ο λόγος είναι μεγάλη ανάγκη της ψυχής. (Γιώργος Ιωάννου)


 

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