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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Alan Ashby apologizes (kind of) for Yu Darvish remark on Astros broadcast

Why don’t these foreigners learn ‘Merican?

Even if Ashby is ignorant of Darvish’s linguistic agility, what he said was silly — and colleague Geoff Blum even said as much in the booth at the time. Here’s a transcript of the relevant part of the broadcast, via the Four DVRs blog in the Houston Chronicle:

Blum: Man. Gosh, that has got to be a tough pill to swallow.
Ashby: That’ll force a guy to learn some of the language here in America.
Blum: Some of the more inappropriate language. I’m loving it. They probably learn that instantly coming over here. But that was a fantastic performance.

Of course Japanese ballplayers playing in North America know how to swear in English. Profanity (can be) one of the first thing anyone learning a new language picks up. Ichiro’s famous (NSFW) “Two rats in a sock” quote is a good example of this.

The Astros must have heard people complaining about Ashby’s joke, because they made him apologize. Here’s his official statement, which reads like a monologue that hostages are encouraged to announce at gunpoint:

“I’d like to apologize if my comments last night were misinterpreted or construed as insensitive. I have the highest respect for Yu Darvish; he’s a great player and his performance last night was outstanding. He showed a great deal of poise in the face of a difficult moment last night, which speaks to the strength of his character.”

That’s a new low for the “I apologize if I offended anyone” brand of apology, and it probably won’t help Ashby with the crowd that will be mad at him no matter what.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:06 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: andy ashby, astros, kansas city in july is hotter than two rats ****ing in a wool sock, yu darvish

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4404204)
Really? This was an issue? Really?

Weak.
   2. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4404210)
I for one am tired of all these Iranian-Japanese pitchers coming here and taking our jobs and Pez dispensers and two-ply toilet paper. Go back to Jaran, commies!

   3. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4404241)
What was he apologizing for, exactly?
   4. Hack Wilson Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4404249)
Profanity (can be) one of the first thing anyone learning a new language picks up.


Yes merde was the first French word I ever learned (will it get by the nanny?).

   5. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4404250)
I think they have curse words in Japanese (and Persian), too.
   6. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4404271)
#4 It's easy to get curses in Joual (Quebec French) by the nanny considering that sacrement, chalic and tabarnak (and many other religious words) are curses. They even use the verb sacrer (literally to consecrate) as "to curse"
   7. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4404272)
Profanity (can be) one of the first thing anyone learning a new language picks up.


My father grew up in a neighborhood full of immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, and so can say the equivalent of \"#### you, you piece of ####!" in several languages of which he is otherwise entirely ignorant.

Curse words are the easiest to learn. I can't imagine that spending all of your time among ballplayers makes it more difficult.
   8. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4404273)
They even use the verb sacrer (literally to consecrate) as "to curse"
And why wouldn't they? That's what the word (sacer) means in Latin, after all.
   9. zack Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4404274)
Yes, if this site were hosted in Quebec we'd have a terrible time trying to discuss Catholic artifacts. Chalice of the tabernacle of the baptism!
   10. andrewberg Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4404287)
What was he apologizing for, exactly?


When I saw just Ashby's words on Twitter, it sounded much worse. Another data point in favor of context.
   11. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4404297)
Jokes arent' always funny. Sometimes they can hurt, even inflame whole ethnic groups, and countries and make them and the world angrier, reducing the civil communication that's absolutely necessary if are ever to achieve the dream of a new world order without strife, war and hate.

You need a license to drive a car, but they let anyone tell a joke.
   12. Yardape Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4404299)
I think they have curse words in Japanese


In my experience, Japanese lacked the depth of cursing that I've found in other languages.
   13. DA Baracus Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4404304)
People who were offended by that should be the ones apologizing.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4404312)
After the Rangers made the 3rd out in the top of the 9th on Tuesday night, Darvish hurried from the dugout 'underneath' - down towards the clubhouse. Does anyone know why he did that? And why he waited until right when he was supposed to go back onto the field to try to get the last 3 outs, rather than doing it earlier in the half-inning?
   15. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4404315)
1. Nice tag, AG#1F.
2. I don't know if I'd call Ashby's remarks insensitive, but they were certainly stupid. What exactly does his nation of origin and (incorrectly) perceived linguistic ability have to do with losing a perfect game? My reaction upon hearing it was, and is, "ugggh".
   16. DA Baracus Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4404321)
After the Rangers made the 3rd out in the top of the 9th on Tuesday night, Darvish hurried from the dugout 'underneath' - down towards the clubhouse. Does anyone know why he did that?


He probably had to pee.
   17. spycake Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4404328)
The transcript of Ashby does seem a bit odd. "Force"? Was Darvish resisting learning English before? "Some"? Does Darvish not know any English at all? And "learning" doesn't make a whole lot of sense in this context either -- Darvish is the person talking. Is he supposed to be teaching himself? Does anger experienced in America just summon new English curse words from deep inside a person's subconscious?

Probably just a routine "can't get the mouth to properly express what the brain is thinking" moment, which seems common (mandatory?) among former players in the broadcast booth.
   18. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4404335)
FWIW, from TFA:
Darvish was raised in Japan and, while teammates say his English is conversationally excellent (he tries to speak Spanish, too), he prefers to do interviews in Japanese with a translator.

I don't think that changes the story all that much.
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4404339)
He probably had to pee.


The Rangers didn't got down 1-2-3, I don't know why he waited until after they made the 3rd out.
   20. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4404383)
He was probably doing some of that ching-chong crazy math. Do they even have numbers in Japan?

One of my regrets as a television watcher is that I've forgotten all the pertinent details of an announcer's comment that I heard about 10-12 years ago-- I can't remember who the announcer was, or the player he was saying it about, or the details of the play. But the astonishment stays with me. It was one of the players who'd recently come to MLB from Asia, and he made a big, score-changing play. The announcer said, "Do you think he knows what he just did?" He actually said that.

After that, it's pretty easy for me to let Ashby's "Darvish needs to learn 'aw, shit'" comment slide.
   21. dirk Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4404386)
After the Rangers made the 3rd out in the top of the 9th on Tuesday night, Darvish hurried from the dugout 'underneath' - down towards the clubhouse. Does anyone know why he did that?


i noticed he did this before the start of the 8th inning, and again before the 9th. i was wondering where he was going too, maybe he keeps a cigarette going at the bottom of the stairs.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4404534)
Maybe he's adding globs of Crisco, Bardol, and Vagisil to his person to use on spitballs.
   23. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: April 05, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4405598)
In my experience, Japanese lacked the depth of cursing that I've found in other languages.


They make up for it with their whackjob pornography.
   24. Leroy Kincaid Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:13 PM (#4405852)
In my experience, Japanese lacked the depth of cursing that I've found in other languages.

No, it's Chinese people that never swear.
   25. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:16 PM (#4405858)
Yes merde was the first French word I ever learned (will it get by the nanny?).


####, yeah.
   26. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:17 PM (#4405948)
#4 It's easy to get curses in Joual (Quebec French) by the nanny considering that sacrement, chalic and tabarnak (and many other religious words) are curses. They even use the verb sacrer (literally to consecrate) as "to curse"


When I discovered this I was impressed that a good-sized region was willing to go to hell for the sake of self-expression.

Taberwet!

Just as good was discovering that the nice, sedate couple down the road with five kids and who had been together for twenty years had never bothered to marry.
   27. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:35 PM (#4405956)
Quebecois cussing is awesome. Really makes "Jesus Christ!" and "God damn it!" really pale in comparison.
   28. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4406483)
Right? And they look so normal.

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