Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy apologized on Wednesday for his on-air remarks that pitchers such as New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka shouldn’t be allowed translators on the mound.
Remy took to Twitter to announce his apology, one day after he came under fire for his comments during the fourth inning of a NESN telecast.
After Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Japanese translator Shingo Horie visited Tanaka on the mound following back-to-back homers to Mitch Moreland and Hanley Ramirez, the 64-year-old Remy said the following:
“Learn baseball language,” Remy said. “It’s pretty simple. You break it down pretty easy between pitching coach and pitcher after a long period of time.”
Remy’s remark was roundly blasted on social media. On Wednesday, the long-time Red Sox announcer offered his apology.
“I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments during the telecast last night,” Remy wrote.
Tanaka responded to Remy’s comments prior to Wednesday’s game.
“I don’t know why that came out,” he said through an interpreter. “So it’s really hard for me to comment on that. But I think little nuances could get lost in the process of trying to communicate especially when you don’t know the language. I think the MLB rule allows (us) to ask for translators. So I’m just, I guess, taking advantage of it.”
Major League Baseball adopted a rule in 2013 that allowed interpreters to join mound conferences.
Boston manager John Farrell underscored the value of having an interpreter involved in mound discussions.
“Having been in that position (and) dealt with players that I only knew certain words, I think an interpreter is needed,” Farrell said. “I think Major League Baseball changed the rule in 2013 because of the number of pitchers coming from Japan, the number of players coming from Japan.
“Whether it was with Daisuke (Matsuzaka) to Hideki Okajima to guys that were on our pitching staff. I’d have liked to have an interpreter go to the mound pre-2013. We were able to have an interpreter in the bullpen sessions so while trying to learn Japanese, which is a pretty tall challenge, you can learn single words. I found to learn single words and objects or numbers, but when you start talking concepts, let’s face it, communication with players is priority No. 1. So to be clear, the interpreter is needed.”
NESN and the Red Sox were quick to offer statements of their own on Wednesday.
“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,” NESN’s statement read. “The network sincerely apologizes to anyone who was offended by Jerry’s comments.”
“We do not share the views expressed by Jerry Remy during last night’s broadcast,” the Red Sox said in their statement.