Schmidt clarifies remarks about Herrera's language barrier

While on a radio show in Philadelphia discussing the 2017 Philadelphia Phillies, Mike Schmidt made a controversial comment about the team's highest-paid player. Following the game, the 44-year-old Colon said, "Physically and mentally I still feel good". He's embraced fully his role as Antiquated Baseball Guy, wearing it with all the grace of a 1980s mustache (he once called a throw "girlish.") His latest lamentation from yesteryear: That the Phillies can't build around centerfielder Odubel Herrera in large part because he does not speak English all that well. Or try and learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game. "[He] just can't be - because of the language barrier - that kind of a player". Unsurprisingly, Schmidt revealed that he's not exactly a fan of Herrera's ways, saying that his approach to the game was "almost exact [ly the] opposite" before offering his thoughts on whether the 25-year-old All-Star is the kind of player the Phillies can build around. But that came only after this blatantly racist opening. It's just not worth it. But this is now a global league, and the Phillies have shown a strong commitment to developing talent in Spanish-speaking countries. These are absurd beliefs. If Maikel Franco were more consistent, he'd have an interesting case but he presents even more drawbacks than Herrera at this point. But it's sad to watch these old white men, facing down a game that's increasingly worldwide and multi-cultural, desperate to keep their place atop it in which they lead and the players of color simply have to follow, thrashing around like dinosaurs sinking into a tar pit. Freddy Galvis, a fellow Venezuelan, is the team's clubhouse leader. So he's of that era of baseball, a fact that is in no way meant to accuse him of being a bigot. So, um, I think an Aaron Altherr can become that kind of guy. He's not afraid to do things that sort of irk the other team if you will, and you know what that is.

One reason was that his on-field antics would someday catch up to him, while the other was the language barrier the Spanish-speaking Herrera faces. He's not afraid to do that.

Philadelphia Phillies legend Mike Schmidt has been an iconic figure for the franchise over the past several decades for his play on the field.

"To answer your question, those are the reasons that I don't think you can build a team around him", he said. Now, I truly think he can hit second or first on a championship team. There's no question about that. The team he is trying to beat?

Schmidt did go on to dig into the on-field concerns about Herrera as a centerpiece of the future of the organization, and even suggested Herrera's personal flair can be a good thing for a team. The same can be said of Asian players like Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki who still managed to earn great respect on every Major League Baseball team they played for, despite the language barrier.

  • Julie Sanders