Sch­midt clar­i­fies re­marks on Her­rera’s lan­guage bar­rier

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - SPORTS BRIEFS

PHILADEL­PHIA | Phillies Hall of Fame third base­man Mike Sch­midt says Philadel­phia cen­ter fielder Odubel Her­rera can be a team leader as he “be­comes more com­fort­able with the lan­guage.”

Sch­midt drew crit­i­cism Tues­day for say­ing in an in­ter­view on 94 WIP-FM that Her­rera’s lan­guage bar­rier pre­vented him from be­ing a player the Phillies can build their team around. He later clar­i­fied his re­marks in a state­ment.

“All I said was the lan­guage bar­rier he has now would make it dif­fi­cult to be a team leader,” Sch­midt told The Associated Press. “In the fu­ture when he learns to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter, he can be any­thing he wants.”

Her­rera, a Venezue­lan na­tive, was an All-Star in 2016. Sch­midt, a part-time an­a­lyst and spring train­ing in­struc­tor for the team, said he picked him to win the NL bat­ting ti­tle this sea­son. The 25-year-old Her­rera speaks to re­porters through an in­ter­preter and isn’t as com­fort­able do­ing in­ter­views as some of his Span­ish-speak­ing team­mates.

“I’m very sorry that this mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of my an­swer oc­curred and may have of­fended some­one,” Sch­midt said in a state­ment re­leased by the team. “I as­sure ev­ery­one I had no in­ten­tion of that. Odubel is a dy­namo on the field, and as he be­comes more com­fort­able with the lan­guage, his lead­er­ship skills will im­prove, and no doubt he will be a cen­ter­piece in the Phillies fu­ture.”

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