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Ozzie Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot Again

In the middle of his team’s playoff run, Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has suddenly decided that Asian players get advantages that Latino players don’t:

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“Very bad. I say, why do we have Japanese interpreters and we don’t have a Spanish one. I always say that. Why do they have that privilege and we don’t?” Guillen said Sunday before Chicago played the Oakland Athletics. “Don’t take this wrong, but they take advantage of us. We bring a Japanese player and they are very good and they bring all these privileges to them. We bring a Dominican kid … go to the minor leagues, good luck. Good luck. And it’s always going to be like that. It’s never going to change. But that’s the way it is.”

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There’s so much wrong in there that the Deep Dish barely knows where to begin, but let’s start here: first of all, most teams that sign Dominican (and other Latino) players send them to classes to learn English when they come to the USA.

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Second, most North American major and minor league teams have several players and/or coaches who speak Spanish — the Spanish-speaking athlete isn’t alone. This isn’t the case for Asian (primarily Japanese, but also Korean and Taiwanese) players, who are often the only player on their team who speaks their language.

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Finally, at least one Latino player — Vladimir Guerrero — has a team employee (a Spanish-speaking radio broadcaster) serve as his interpreter, even this season, although Guerrero has been playing professional baseball in the USA and Canada for 16 years.

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Sorry, Ozzie. You’re wrong here. As David Pinto said at Baseball Musings:

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I am disappointed Ozzie is playing the victim card here. I would bet that if Miguel Cabrera asked for an interpreter as part of his contract, he would probably get one. What Ozzie misses, of course, is that the Japanese players with interpreters are stars. If US teams started signing Japanese amateurs like they do Latin-Americans, there would not be an interpreter for each player.

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Kenny Williams might want to get Ozzie an interpreter, he could then filter what Ozzie can’t.

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