Tha Sports Junkies 101

Translators in the MLB now let us hear from Everyone


Translators are finally mandatory!

Latin-American baseball players make up about 30% of the MLB nowadays and some of them come right on over from their homeland and on to the diamond.  Some of these players cannot speak English so it is almost impossible to communicate with them.  This is why translators are needed in every clubhouse.  The MLB has fixed this issue this season with a new translator program that informed each team to hire a full-time translator.  Even after a few years in the league, players cannot pick enough English in order to speak it perfectly.  Paul Mifsud, the Vice President for Labor Relations and Social Responsibility, said in an interview:

“It’s important that we don’t lose their voices, and the quality of their voices comes through an important translation.  It’s not easy to speak a second language to the media after you give up a grand slam or something in the ninth inning to lose a game.  We just want to make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak at their highest level and the quality of that communication is as high as it possibility can be for everybody.”

Tony Clark also said this regarding the importance of this act to the player’s union:

“I think it was very important.  If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have pushed as hard as we did. The truth is I think there are a number of things we can do to help players acclimate and adjust to a new culture and new life while trying to play baseball at the highest level, and that’s one of of them. It has taken some time to get here, which is unfortunate, but we are hopeful that it, along with a number of other things that we would like to have some dialogue on, help guys be more comfortable to do what they need to do on and off the field.”

Almost all Asian players in the MLB had a translator because of the clauses in their contracts, but not all Latinos had the same privilege beforehand.  Michael Pineda’s issue with pine tar in 2014 propelled this idea by MLB’s player union.  He could not speak to the media clearly regarding the incident because his English was sub par.  Pineda’s teammate Carlos Beltran was very upset that he did not have a translator and he has been a huge advocate for mandatory translators in the MLB ever since.  Now that there are translators all around the MLB, we can finally hear what our favorite players have to say, no matter the language they speak.