Yankees’ Beltran speaks out against lack of Spanish translators in baseball

  • Tyler Race

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Carlos Beltran has taken over as perhaps one of the most outspoken Latino players in baseball.  If there is one player in baseball who understands what it is like for Spanish-speaking players and being uncomfortable with communicating in the English language, it would be Beltran.

It took Beltran a few years into his major league career to really became comfortable speaking English. Not to mention, Beltran is from Puerto Rico, where the English language is much more common than, say, the Dominican Republic, which is another hot spot for baseball.

Thursday, after pitcher Michael Pineda had been ejected and suspended for the use of pine tar, Beltran was shocked. Pineda is from the Dominican Republic, and he too faces difficulty with English.

Via the Star-Ledger:

“Wasn’t Roman there?” Beltran responded, referring to Yankees bullpen catcher Roman Rodriguez, a native of Venezuela who has translated for Spanish-speaking Yankees players.

When Beltran was told Rodriguez, who offered to translate but was informed he was not needed, was not used to translate for Pineda, Beltran expressed disdain.

“It’s a problem, of course, because he can’t express himself the way he wants to,” Beltran said. “It’s a problem. Of course it is.”

Although Pineda has admitted to having difficulty with English, the 25-year-old mentioned Thursday that he does not use a translator because he is in the process of learning the language, according to a spokesperson who had spoken to the Star-Ledger.

The Yankees have three translators, but they are, however, for the Japanese stars Ichiro Suzuki, Hiroki Kuroda and rookie Masahiro Tanaka.

Beltran hopes soon the team will  be required to employ a Spanish-speaking interpreter. But, for now, Beltran understands that players need to search for help if they have trouble expressing themselves.

“In the big leagues, we aren’t given an interpreter,” Beltran said. “Personally, I understand that it’s also on the player to find help if he doesn’t feel he can express himself in the way he wishes to. But, like I said in spring training, there should be something available for these situations because at the end of the day I know it’s a difficult moment for him as a person.”

Pineda will face a 10-game suspension for the use of pine tar. As a result, he will be eligible too return by May 5.

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