Things That Matter

This Latino Baseball Star Revealed Painful Memories About Being Unable To Speak English

For decades, Latino baseball players from Spanish-speaking countries – who now make up more than 25 percent of Major League Baseball – wondered why the league didn’t mandate clubs to hire Spanish-language translators. After all, many MLB players from Asia would usually be set up with a personal translator to help them transition to the American game. And if you ask Spanish-speaking players, they’ll tell you the transition is tough.

Well, earlier this year, Major League Baseball and the MLB players’ union negotiated a deal that will require all teams to hire a Spanish-language translator. Several Latino players, including veterans who have already learned English on their own, are breathing a heavy sigh of relief. One such player is Carlos Beltran, the Puerto Rican vet who has played for both the New York Mets and the New York Yankees.

Beltran opened up to the New York Daily News about the difficulties he faced as a young player who didn’t speak English.

Beltran said he couldn’t be his true self.

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Credit: Jonathan Daniel / Getty

“When I was coming up through the Royals’ minor-league system, a lot of people thought I was introverted. People said, ‘He’s a good player, but he doesn’t talk to anybody.’ Maybe my teammates were great people, great human beings, but I didn’t get to meet them because of the language barrier.”

He underscored how the language barrier led to anxiety about dealing with the media.

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Credit: Al Bello / Getty

“If you made a mistake in the game, even before it was over, you would be worrying about having to talk to the media. What am I going to say? How am I going to say it? It was a learning experience.”

Beltran recalled how hard it was to do basic things, like ordering food:

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Credit: Leon Halip / Getty

“I would be on line and there were three people in front of me, so I would watch what they were ordering. When it was my turn, if the person in front of me ordered something I liked, I would point and say, ‘Same.’ If they ordered something I didn’t like, I would go to the back of the line and try again. I would sometimes go to the back of the line three or four times.”

Although he’s learned English, Beltran said it was a long time coming.

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Credit: Al Bello / Getty

“I look at having a translator as a no-brainer because it will help communication between everybody. Players and coaches, players and players, and players and media. I don’t know why it took so long.”

Read the full story @ New York Daily News.

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Residente Tried Out For The Chicago Cubs And Javy Báez Was There To Coach Him

Entertainment

Residente Tried Out For The Chicago Cubs And Javy Báez Was There To Coach Him

MLB / YouTube

Residente and Javier “Javy” Báez playing baseball is the kind of sporting moment we needed.

MLB is rolling out an original series on YouTube and it will give you a chance to see some celebrities take to the field and try their stuff. “The Tryout” started May 18 and the first celebrity up to bat is Puerto Rican rap superstar René “Residente” Pérez Joglar. The show merges both baseball and entertainment in a new and fun way. The show is centered around baseball because, well, MLB, however, it does create special moments of the athletes and celebrities. There is an ease to their conversations that is akin to an interview but just feels like a conversation between friends.

Now, Residente was pretty confident in his abilities to play the game. After all, he has spent his life playing the sport because it is one of his favorite hobbies. Though he tried to temper everyone’s expectations, Residente did say that he would do decent at tryouts. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the “Atréve-Te-Te” singer played catch, caught some ground balls, and batted. Yet, the conversations they had about the best Latino baseball players and their beloved Puerto Rico are where the magic happened.

While warming up, Residente and Báez spoke about Hurricane Maria. It has been three years since the hurricane devastated the Caribbean island they both call home. Maria left millions of American citizens living in Puerto Rico without power, running water, and essential services for many months. When the hurricane happened, Báez and Residente knew that they had to do something.

Residente and Báez swapped stories about where they were during the hurricane and what they did in response. Residente was on tour in Chile and Argentina when the 2017 hurricane killed thousands of people. He immediately went into action and began collecting supplies the people of Puerto Rico needed and sent it all by military plane.

Báez had a similar reaction. The Chicago Cubs player was playing a game when the hurricane hit Puerto Rico. Báez wanted to do something so he was able to convince his manager to send some help. At first, Báez said his manager was concerned he was going to try to go to Puerto Rico but he told the manager that wasn’t possible so they collected supplies and sent them by plane to the people.

There are more episodes of “The Tryout” coming to YouTube soon.

READ: Javier Báez Of The Chicago Cubs Shows Off Athletic Physique In ESPN’s Body Issue

NFL Cancels International Games For 2020 Season Because Of The Same Thing Canceling Everything Else

Entertainment

NFL Cancels International Games For 2020 Season Because Of The Same Thing Canceling Everything Else

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

The NFL has made some limited successes in breaking into an international audience. Part of that strategy has been playing games abroad. Mexico City and London have hosted several NFL games to bring the American sport to international crowds. However, like everything else we love, the NFL is canceling these games because COVID-19 is still a thing.

The NFL is canceling its London and Mexico City games for the 2020 season.

The NFL is canceling the games because of the uncertainty surrounding travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has infected more than 1.2 million Americans and killed more than 77,000. The U.S. has the highest infection and death numbers in the world from the pandemic.

Officials for the NFL made the decision to move the games from abroad for the overall goal of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico, and UK,” NFL executive vice president, chief strategy and growth officer Christopher Halpin said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate the support of our governmental and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom, who all agree with this decision, and we look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season.”

As some countries begin to ease some of their lockdown measures, the fear of a second wave is looming over the global community. Some countries have already seen some second spikes that they have fought to combat.

International fans of the sport are saddened by the news but understand.

The international games are the only chance for foreign fans to enjoy American football. With a few games a year, these fans really look forward to finally being able to don their favorite team’s jersey to cheer them on to victory.

“We also thank our incredible fans in those territories for their passionate support of the NFL,” Halpin said in a statement. “We will continue to serve them through our outstanding media partners and by being active supporters of both grassroots football and COVID-19 relief efforts in Mexico and the UK.”

Even American fans are sad that the teams are missing out on their international games.

If there is one thing that football fans love it is more football. The international games would play in the morning in the U.S. offering a full day of football before Saturday Night Foot. It is hard to overdo something that you love and football is something that people who love really love.

There was one thing of which all of the fans on social media agreed.

The Jaguars in an international game? For some fans, it was too much to understand. The Jacksonville team is not the most popular in the league and their season is calling for 16 away games this season.

READ: A Man Was Arrested By ICE After Criticizing Their Policies So Two NFL Players Bailed Him Out