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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Columnists: Fox: Big Angels deal coming? Like maybe English class?

Holy shitdoggies!...I linked to ReNew America by mistake!

Dash the Spanish: I’m tired of Angel players who don’t speak English. At least not with a mike in from of them.

This Kendry Morales ignoring our language for Spanish the way Vlad does is outrageous. This is an American team with American fans paying them American millions.

Learn to speak to us without a Jose Mota dictionary, for crying out loud.

Follow hockey’s lead. Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux were two French Canadians who entered the NHL knowing hardly any English. The Habs and Penguins made sure they learned it. Simple marketing. They knew their fan base spoke English, so get with the program, guys.

The Angels should do the same. So should every team in baseball, which has crashing attendance as it is.

Fans want players they can relate to. It sure would help if they could understand them.

Repoz Posted: July 14, 2009 at 01:51 PM | 153 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, media, special topics

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   1. Alex Vila Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:16 PM (#3252986)
Pendejo.
   2. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:18 PM (#3252989)
What is "the columnists.com"? Is this just a random blog to be ranty at?
   3. BDC Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:19 PM (#3252991)
Thanks for my morning dose of xenophobia, Repoz :)
   4. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:20 PM (#3252993)
No, it's a collection of superannuated writers with mediocre print credentials. If you're curious, TheColumnists.com's home page links to an "about us" page with an incredible amount of information about all their elderly and obscure columnists. Make sure to check out the last one, Johnny Sheffield.
   5. aleskel Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:21 PM (#3252995)
This is a 'merican team with 'merican fans paying them 'merican millions.

Fixed
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:21 PM (#3252996)
"Fans want players they can relate to. It sure would help if they could understand them."

Maybe the fans should learn Spanish.
   7. Matt Welch Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:21 PM (#3252997)
Thankfully, this represents a minority of Angel fandom.
   8. bfan Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:23 PM (#3253004)
I am sorry, but this is not xenophobic; it exhibits neither fear nor dislike of the unkown or different from oneself. I would view it as good marketing and public relations. Does it help if I believe that any basketball player from the USA who goes to play in Europe ought to learn the language of the country in which he plays? I hope Josh Childress learned Greek.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:24 PM (#3253006)
BUCKY FOX earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1977 and has spent more than a quarter century working as a reporter, columnist and editor in both Europe and the U.S. From 1980-99, he worked for European Stars and Stripes in a variety of jobs, including assistant European desk editor, weekly sports magazine editor, Sunday magazine editor and sports reporter. He has served as sports editor for the Carlisle, Pa., Sentinel, and was a sportswriter for the Beaumont, Tx. Enterprise & Journal. As a freelance writer, he has been published in the Washington Post, Detroit Free Press, Santa Rosa Press Democrdat, Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and numerous European magazines. He joined the staff of TheColumnists.com in January, 2004.


That being said, if the Angels were composed entirely of non-English-speaking players, it's hard to imagine they would have many English-speaking fans. There's not much chance that will happen, though.
   10. aleskel Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:25 PM (#3253007)
I am sorry, but this is not xenophobic; it exhibits neither fear nor dislike of the unkown or different from oneself. I would view it as good marketing and public relations.

this is a joke, right?
   11. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:27 PM (#3253009)
Maybe the fans should learn Spanish.
It's too bad the Angels don't play in a market where there are likely to be a lot of Spanish speaking people.
   12. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:30 PM (#3253012)
I am sorry, but this is not xenophobic; it exhibits neither fear nor dislike of the unkown or different from oneself.
It exhibits a disgust that a person who is paid to play baseball would not learn a foreign language, something that has absolutely nothing to do with their job.

I assume that these guys are also insisting that US players on the Blue Jays or US NHL players learn to speak French, right?
   13. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:31 PM (#3253015)
If Alex Ovechkin didn't speak English he wouldn't be as badass though.
   14. RJ in TO Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:32 PM (#3253016)
Follow hockey’s lead. Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux were two French Canadians who entered the NHL knowing hardly any English. The Habs and Penguins made sure they learned it.


I had never heard this about either LaFleur or Lemieux, and I have a hard time believing it for Mario. After all, Lemieux was born in Montreal, which is a heavily bilingual city. I suppose it's possible for LaFleur, as I know absolutely nothing about Thurso.
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:33 PM (#3253018)
It exhibits a disgust that a person who is paid to play baseball would not learn a foreign language, something that has absolutely nothing to do with their job.

I assume that these guys are also insisting that US players on the Blue Jays or US NHL players learn to speak French, right?


If they want to be able to interact with the fans, they would be advised to do so, if they play in a place where most people are fluent in French but not English. In other words, Montreal. Although most people there speak some English.
   16. still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:33 PM (#3253019)
Agree with the great Matt Welch, this is thankfully a small minority of Angels fandom (though, the fanbase does include the city where the founder of the Minutemen lives).

Anyway, do you honestly think Arte doesn't see the advantage in having Latino players when he's trying to push into a media market with a huge Latino population?

As for the rest of the article, Physioc = lame, Hudler = goofer but entertaining. If you pair Hudler with a competent play-by-play man who actually knows something about baseball, you'd have an adequate broadcast team.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:34 PM (#3253020)
On the other hand, he calls the Rev. clueless, so he's got that going for him.
   18. Answer Guy Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:35 PM (#3253021)
It exhibits a disgust that a person who is paid to play baseball would not learn a foreign language, something that has absolutely nothing to do with their job.


It is something of a career limiting move to not know English in the USA, and that's not going to change any time soon.

The excerpt from the article represents a stupid mentality but if you can't communicate with most of your fans you're damaging your prospects as an entertainment commodity.
   19. bfan Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:36 PM (#3253022)
I assume that these guys are also insisting that US players on the Blue Jays or US NHL players learn to speak French, right?


I'm sorry; I thought Toronto was in English-speaking Ontario. Now if you had made the point about the Expo's, I might feel differently. US NHL players who play for Montreal learning French-yes, not a bad idea.
   20. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:37 PM (#3253025)
I assume that these guys are also insisting that US players on the Blue Jays or US NHL players learn to speak French, right?

I'm not sure why American players on the Blue Jays need to learn to speak French. Toronto is in Ontario, not Quebec, and English is by far the predominant language in Ontario.

But yes, I think that if any person is going to spend years of his life living and working in another country, it's courteous to make an effort to try to learn how to communicate the way most people in the country do. I apply that to Americans going somewhere else as much as anyone coming here.
   21. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:39 PM (#3253027)
I think all MLB players should learn Flemish so I won't know a damn thing they're saying. And Tim McCarver, too.
   22. still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:40 PM (#3253028)
The excerpt from the article represents a stupid mentality but if you can't communicate with most of your fans you're damaging your prospects as an entertainment commodity.


Because no one speaks Spanish in the Los Angeles area.

Look guys, do you know how hard of a language English is to learn? Think about it--it's a mongrel language, combining Romance and Germanic influences, filled with non-sensical rules that have huge exceptions that nearly make such rules useless. Think about how hard it would be to be a full-time baseball player, with all the time commitment that entails, and have to learn such a particularly difficult language.

I agree, as a Latino, in an ideal world, Latino baseball players would learn English. A large number of them do. But acknowledge the difficulties involved. Also, acknowledge the fact that it doesn't seem to make that big of a difference. Vlad hasn't done an interview in English in an incredibly long time, but the fans still got nuts at the Big A when he comes up to the plate.
   23. JoeHova Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:40 PM (#3253029)
This reminds me of 2002, when the Rockets drafted Yao at #1 and hired him a personal translator. Meanwhile, the Nuggets drafted Nene at #7 and expected him to learn English immediately with no help. Both approaches worked, as both give interviews in English now, but I don't really see the problem with letting guys speak in the language they understand best. It's not like anybody is dying to hear what Kendry Morales has to say anyway.

I hope Josh Childress learned Greek.

Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, who cares? Not everybody has a great ability to learn new languages. One of my friends' parents have lived in the US for 30 years, yet speak English in such a broken and heavily accented manner that it is almost impossible to decipher what they are saying. Does that make them bad people? It's not like they have sort of anti-English bias.
   24. Maxwn Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:41 PM (#3253030)
I think all MLB players should learn Flemish so I won't know a damn thing they're saying. And Tim McCarver, too.

I could get behind that.
   25. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:45 PM (#3253037)
I assume that these guys are also insisting that US players on the Blue Jays or US NHL players learn to speak French, right?
The US players on the Blue Jays should learn to speak Canadian, eh?
   26. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:45 PM (#3253038)
it's courteous to make an effort to try to learn how to communicate the way most people in the country do.
It's courteous to do so. It's not rude not to.

"Being a good idea to" is not the same as "We should be disgusted by your not".

One would think it would also be courteous for a sportswriter who deals largely with Spanish-speaking players to learn Spanish.
   27. aleskel Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:46 PM (#3253039)
the truth is, most if not all Spanish-speaking MLB players know English, at least enough to get by. Think of it, most of them come from team academies and spend years in the minors, where they have to pick some up. But there's a big, big difference between knowing a language and being comfortable giving an interview in it that will be seen by millions. I took Russian classes for 10 ####### years, but you won't see me on the Moscow evening news.
   28. still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:47 PM (#3253040)
One would think it would also be courteous for a sportswriter who deals largely with Spanish-speaking players to learn Spanish.


BINGO BINGO BINGO!
   29. BDC Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:48 PM (#3253041)
I think that if a player plays good baseball, no fan knows or cares what language they speak. D/FW is neither the most nor least xenophobic community in America, for instance: there are lots of Spanish speakers here, there are also lots of intolerant Anglos; the majority of folks are pretty live-and-let-live about language issues. The Rangers were at their all-time most popular in the late 1990s when they were winning division titles and their biggest stars were Latin players; the biggest of all, Juan Gonzalez, was very tentative in English. No fan gave even half a hoot what language Gonzalez spoke.
   30. Answer Guy Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:49 PM (#3253043)
Because no one speaks Spanish in the Los Angeles area.


If there is almost nothing stopping your bosses from reassigning you to a city where hardly anyone speaks Spanish (there aren't a ton of them big enough to have MLB franchises but they exist) that doesn't matter a whole lot.
   31. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:50 PM (#3253045)

It is something of a career limiting move to not know English in the USA, and that's not going to change any time soon.


Vlad Guerrero should feel lucky _any_ team was willing to sign him.
   32. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:50 PM (#3253046)
I don't think this guy actually "deals with" any players at all. He's just a columnist (a TheColumnist) who can't identify with players who couldn't in theory, communicate with him, and probably imagines a dystopian scenario in which the Angels are composed entirely of players who can't speak English, and imagines, probably correctly, that in that world most Anglophones would lose interest in the team. However, this is something he shouldn't bother talking about at all.

And in fact he only mentions it for a couple paragraphs.

Most of the article is about how bad Steve Physioc is, anyway.
   33. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:51 PM (#3253048)
Why is it the author's assumption that Kendry Morales is ignoring English? He may very well be trying very hard to learn it but is still not comfortable with speaking it in public. I know that when I lived in another country and was taking classes to learn the local language, I was very shy about speaking it lest I sound ridiculous.
   34. bfan Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:54 PM (#3253052)
Does that make them bad people?


No, of course not. But 2 things. First, there is a lot of room between "Your a bad person if you do not", and second "It would be a good idea if..."

Second, I don't know your friends parents' or their occupation, but there are several occupations where learning the language would have been of significant advantage to them from a career perspective. Now maybe they chose not to go into one of those careers, and if they did not, that is fine, too. But the point of this article is that baseball is one of those careers where learning the language helps. If you believe that MLB baseball is pure sport, where all that matters is skill, then you really don't need to learn any language; you can grunt mono-syllabically and still hit .300, and yes, that is all that matters. If you believe that baseball is an entertainment enterprise fighting other businesses for the consumer dollar, and that the players ultimately want to be paid well for their skill, and that payment is a product of tickets sold and ratings on the televisions, then maybe players that can speak to the largest component of the ticket-buying public is a good idea. Whether you agree or not, I find the notion that raising that idea is xenophobic is just wrong.
   35. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3253061)
I’m tired of Angel players who don’t speak English. At least not with a mike in from of them.
#### you!
   36. Maxwn Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3253062)
Yes, I won't criticize anyone for failing to learn another language and/or being unwilling to speak it in public. I had to take quite a bit of Spanish for my major in college, and I suck at languages. I certainly don't disagree with those who say it would be a good idea to learn for marketing reasons, but this isn't just something everyone can learn overnight.

Also, is MLB's attendance really crashing like he asserts? I'm assuming it's down because of the recession, but is it going in the tank?
   37. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: July 14, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3253063)
No, it's a collection of superannuated writers with mediocre print credentials.

And Ann Jillian.
   38. Maxwn Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:01 PM (#3253065)
Whether you agree or not, I find the notion that raising that idea is xenophobic is just wrong.

It's not, but he opened himself up to that charge when he raised the idea in a rather rude and ill-considered manner. He's not being thoughtful, he's just ranting.
   39. still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:02 PM (#3253066)
Oh gods, I just realized who this is. This article has also been posted on Halos Heaven, and it's by an infamous and particularly crochety poster who has made similar remarks in the past. This all makes sense now.
   40. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:03 PM (#3253067)
First, there is a lot of room between "Your a bad person if you do not", and second "It would be a good idea if..."
Yeah, this screams "it would be a good idea if...":
I’m tired of Angel players who don’t speak English. At least not with a mike in from of them.

This Kendry Morales ignoring our language for Spanish the way Vlad does is outrageous. ...

Learn to speak to us without a Jose Mota dictionary, for crying out loud.
   41. aleskel Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:03 PM (#3253068)
But the point of this article is that baseball is one of those careers where learning the language helps.

Vlad Guerrero (one of the players the writer cites by name as a player who doesn't "know" English) is widely viewed as one of the best players of his era and has made a billion kajillion dollars in his career.
   42. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3253069)
it's courteous to make an effort to try to learn how to communicate the way most people in the country do.


It's courteous to do so. It's not rude not to.

"Being a good idea to" is not the same as "We should be disgusted by your not".

One would think it would also be courteous for a sportswriter who deals largely with Spanish-speaking players to learn Spanish.


That hits all the right notes, Larry, especially that second line.

If I were an agent, I'd advise any player to learn English, because it would likely help him in many ways. But given that cliches dominate all player interviews anyway, it's always easy to get a translator for the Spanish equivalent of "I was just looking for a good pitch to hit" and "I'm just glad we won."
   43. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3253071)
Also, is MLB's attendance really crashing like he asserts? I'm assuming it's down because of the recession, but is it going in the tank?

If you go by the official tickets sold numbers that teams release to the public, it's down, but not dramatically.

But if you go by the numbers of people actually going to the games, from what I have seen in television and in person, the gap between the "official" numbers and the numbers of people who are really there is bigger than I've ever seen it this at this point of the season.
   44. RJ in TO Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:07 PM (#3253075)
Also, is MLB's attendance really crashing like he asserts? I'm assuming it's down because of the recession, but is it going in the tank?


It's down about 1600 per game compared to last season, but about a third of that can be attributed to the smaller stadiums in New York, and another 200 of that to the generally terrible state of the Nats (and another 250 to the Tigers, who are down over 8000 a game from last year).

Toronto is also down significantly (-3600), which isn't surprising given that the Jays were talking about this season as a rebuilding year and with the tanking of the auto sector.
   45. Answer Guy Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:08 PM (#3253076)
If you believe that baseball is an entertainment enterprise fighting other businesses for the consumer dollar, and that the players ultimately want to be paid well for their skill, and that payment is a product of tickets sold and ratings on the televisions, then maybe players that can speak to the largest component of the ticket-buying public is a good idea. Whether you agree or not, I find the notion that raising that idea is xenophobic is just wrong.


But you've made a much better argument than "This Kendry Morales ignoring our language...is outrageous. This is an American team with American fans paying them American millions."
   46. bunyon Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:09 PM (#3253077)
His ranting tone definitely distracts from the point a lot of folks make above. I have no idea if the columnist is xenophobic or not, but the idea that people living and the working in the US would be better off learning English is neither.

Americans get beat up for not knowing other languages when we travel internationally and then beat up because we won't learn visitor's languages when they come here. Which is it? Are the people in a foreign land required to learn English when I visit or do they have to learn it to come here?


Although it would be nice, we're not all going to know the same languages. Getting mad at people for that is silly.
   47. Maxwn Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:09 PM (#3253078)
But if you go by the numbers of people actually going to the games, from what I have seen in television and in person, the gap between the "official" numbers and the numbers of people who are really there is bigger than I've ever seen it this at this point of the season.

Maybe, I haven't noticed that, but I haven't really been looking. Anecdotally, the one game I went to in person in St. Louis looked to be sold out or nearly so. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if it was quite a bit down, given that the economy sucks so much, but I don't think Kendry Morales learning English is going to help that much. But hey, if he can learn English and then fix the economy, I'm on board. Let's go, Kendry.
   48. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:11 PM (#3253080)
Maybe, I haven't noticed that, but I haven't really been looking.
There are always clearly fewer people in the seats at Orioles games this season than the paid attendance. Unless they're all sitting in the upper deck above the press box.
   49. TerpNats Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:12 PM (#3253081)
If the Washington Nationals had a roster of 25 players who spoke only Albanian and were pennant contenders, I wouldn't object. (Okay, cue the ensuing Nats jokes.)

But so what if the Angels have a lot of Spanish speakers? Los Angeles is, and always has been, a multicultural town -- even from 1885 to about 1950, an era when the Times and others tried to convert it into a refuge for white midwestern Protestant emigres. If folks in Orange County (many of whom may be descendants of said ex-midwesterners) haven't gotten the hint from all the Asian restaurants they frequent, times have changed.
   50. still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3253084)
If folks in Orange County haven't gotten the hint from all the Asian restaurants they frequent, times ahve changed.


OC's got it fine, it's just a handful of fools like this guy who makes us look bad.
   51. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:16 PM (#3253086)
As an introvert, were I in a position at work to limit the number of non-essential conversations by either not speaking a second language well or exaggerating my limitations with the language, I would do so. That being said, the perfect solution is certainly to learn a language well enough to communicate but not so well that you eliminate your utterance of malaprops. Everyone loves those.
   52. BDC Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:18 PM (#3253088)
a roster of 25 players who spoke only Albanian and were pennant contenders

Albanian baseball players are a distinct market inefficiency.
   53. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:19 PM (#3253091)
That being said, the perfect solution is certainly to learn a language well enough to communicate but not so well that you eliminate your utterance of malaprops. Everyone loves those.

I like Ozzie Guillen's knowledge of English. But I enjoy Ichiro's translated quotes even more.
   54. rr Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:20 PM (#3253093)
That being said, the perfect solution is certainly to learn a language well enough to communicate but not so well that you eliminate your utterance of malaprops. Everyone loves those.


This explains Jerry Coleman's 50-year broadcasting career.
   55. RJ in TO Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:21 PM (#3253095)
I like Ozzie Guillen's knowledge of English. But I enjoy Ichiro's translated quotes even more.


I prefer the quotes which Ichiro provides without translator assistance.
   56. Maxwn Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3253100)
There are always clearly fewer people in the seats at Orioles games this season than the paid attendance.

They only look empty. They're really filled with the presence of Matt Wieters.
   57. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:28 PM (#3253103)
I'm tired of all the Spanish in the name of the team. From now on, they're the The Angels Angels.
   58. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 14, 2009 at 03:40 PM (#3253113)
What do they speak? Illegal Immigrant?
   59. Excel Hearts Choi Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3253162)
I've seen bigger reactions to players for the Habs who don't learn French (Koivu). Hell, I've been refused service at a restaurant in Montreal because nobody at our table was speaking an French. Once we said something loudly in French about the lack of service, somebody came right over to take our order. Montreal might be bilingual, but French is definitely favored over English.
   60. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:05 PM (#3253171)
"Although it would be nice, we're not all going to know the same languages."

Esperanto estas imponega!

"From now on, they're the The Angels Angels.

Use the full name, please: The Angels Angels of the Home by the Saint Anne River.
   61. AROM Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:13 PM (#3253182)
The excerpt from the article represents a stupid mentality but if you can't communicate with most of your fans you're damaging your prospects as an entertainment commodity.


Most fans could care less if their star players could only communicate in Klingon. As long as they can hit the ball and play winning baseball, the fans are happy and will fill the stadium.

LAA hasn't exactly seen any attendance drops since they signed Vladimir.
   62. AROM Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:14 PM (#3253184)
Actually, whether you could understand anything he said or not, a player being interviewed in Klingon would be entertaining.
   63. RJ in TO Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:14 PM (#3253185)
I've seen bigger reactions to players for the Habs who don't learn French (Koivu).


Don't forget Mike Keane, who was basically run out of town by the press for having the audacity to be appointed team captain while not knowing how to speak French.

Montreal might be bilingual, but French is definitely favored over English.


That also depends on the area. In the downtown area, either is fine, and neither is favored (as in old Montreal). In a lot of the suburbs, French is heavily favored.
   64. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:15 PM (#3253188)
Actually, whether you could understand anything he said or not, a player being interviewed in Klingon would be entertaining.

I actually caught a bit of The New Generation last night. My god, that show is much dorkier than I remember.
   65. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:17 PM (#3253189)
That being said, the perfect solution is certainly to learn a language well enough to communicate but not so well that you eliminate your utterance of malaprops. Everyone loves those.


True story. When I was a student in Prague I once asked a waiter if I could go down on him. I thought I was asking him if I could smoke in the restaurant. Turns out the verb "to smoke" in Czech can be conjugated in funny ways!
   66. bfan Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:18 PM (#3253192)
When I was a student in Prague I once asked a waiter if I could go down on him. I thought I was asking him if I could smoke in the restaurant.


I hope he at least considered that his tip.
   67. BFFB Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:21 PM (#3253195)
Think about how hard it would be to be a full-time baseball player, with all the time commitment that entails, and have to learn such a particularly difficult language.


Soccer players manage it all over Europe and they only get 1-2 months off a year not 5-6. Infact the clubs will very often enroll them in language classes.
   68. TerpNats Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:21 PM (#3253196)
True story. When I was a student in Prague I once asked a waiter if I could go down on him.
What you do with your sexuality is your own business, but at least have a sense of propriety and get to know your partner first.
   69. bunyon Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:24 PM (#3253202)
True story. When I was a student in Prague I once asked a waiter if I could go down on him. I thought I was asking him if I could smoke in the restaurant. Turns out the verb "to smoke" in Czech can be conjugated in funny ways!

I do believe this is a story I would choose to finish, were I telling it.
   70. SandyRiver Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3253206)
Look guys, do you know how hard of a language English is to learn? Think about it--it's a mongrel language, combining Romance and Germanic influences, filled with non-sensical rules that have huge exceptions that nearly make such rules useless. Think about how hard it would be to be a full-time baseball player, with all the time commitment that entails, and have to learn such a particularly difficult language.

Looking at a side issue: The excerpt, above, is all true but misses a point about the English language. Though exceptionally difficult to master, it's also fairly easy (or so I've read from folks who would know more than this WASP born/living in the Northeast) to acquire enough to get by. One of the finest outcomes of the "mongrelization" was the elimination of noun gender and the differing articles and adjective endings needed as a result - many, many potentially embarrassing errors in usage are avoided due to this. Of course, this doesn't change the excellent point made by the poster whose 10 years of Russian wouldn't make one comfy giving interviews in Moscow.

Back to the entertainment/fan connection issue: Would Papi be so beloved by Bosox fans if he had very limited English? I think not, even with his 2004 PS?
   71. Maxwn Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:33 PM (#3253212)
I actually caught a bit of The New Generation last night. My god, that show is much dorkier than I remember.

I've watched some of the first season on DVD recently, and man, the writing is terrible. I feel like the only thing that held it together is the fact the Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner are very good actors who were way better than the material deserved. I think it got better, but I don't know. I was pretty young when I first saw most of it.
   72. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:33 PM (#3253215)
I do believe this is a story I would choose to finish, were I telling it.


Okay, I will. Basically, I asked him something like "Mozou vykourit tady?" when I should have said "Mouzou kourit tady?" if my memory is right. Czech speakers might want to correct me if there are any here. This was at ski resort restaurant on the Czech/German border. The waiter, who also ran the lodge and the one person doing everything that weekend, gave me quite a confused look and walked away. I noticed and then went to a table filled with Czechs inlcuing one of my professors who had come along on the trip. When I told them what I said, everyone at the table was in hysterics. I learned of my hilarious mistake. For the rest of the weekend, I avoided eye contact with the waiter. He also avoided me. I did not blow him or smoke his penis.
   73. Maxwn Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:35 PM (#3253219)
Looking at a side issue: The excerpt, above, is all true but misses a point about the English language. Though exceptionally difficult to master, it's also fairly easy (or so I've read from folks who would know more than this WASP born/living in the Northeast) to acquire enough to get by.

Hell, you could argue that most of the people from where I'm from (rural Middle Tennessee) don't really master the language but just get by with a mongrel form of it.
   74. Obama Bomaye Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:36 PM (#3253223)
the Nuggets drafted Nene at #7

No. The Knicks drafted him. And then traded him away. For nothing.

Sigh. ####### Knicks.
   75. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3253227)
True story. When I was a student in Prague I once asked a waiter if I could go down on him. I thought I was asking him if I could smoke in the restaurant. Turns out the verb "to smoke" in Czech can be conjugated in funny ways!

Also, make sure you don't call his daughter a whore. Very similar words.
   76. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3253231)
Hell, you could argue that most of the people from where I'm from (rural Middle Tennessee) don't really master the language but just get by with a mongrel form of it.

The most flawless, grammatically correct English I've heard spoken in the last few years was when I was watching a TV broadcast originating from India.
   77. Maxwn Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:44 PM (#3253237)
The most flawless, grammatically correct English I've heard spoken in the last few years was when I was watching a TV broadcast originating from India.

I feel like native speakers tend to honor the rules of a language mostly in the breaking of them.
   78. bfan Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:47 PM (#3253240)
I feel like native speakers tend to honor the rules of a language mostly in the breaking of them.


True dat.
   79. Ron Johnson Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:48 PM (#3253243)
I have a hard time believing it for Mario.


It's absolutely true though. He really couldn't communicate en anglais when he first came up.

I'm pretty sure Marcel Dionne helped Luc Robitaille through some really awkward times when he first came up. Couldn't speak English well enough to order food in a restaurant and couldn't cook for himself.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I had a friend in the same boat in Quebec City( unilingual English ). He'd just point at a menu item and eat what they brought him.
   80. RJ in TO Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:52 PM (#3253256)
It's absolutely true though. He really couldn't communicate en anglais when he first came up.


Huh. You learn something new every day.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I had a friend in the same boat in Quebec City( unilingual English ). He'd just point at a menu item and eat what they brought him.


I'm also surprised by this, since Quebec City is such a heavy tourist spot. I guess it might be a matter of things being very different in terms of anglo tolerance inside and outside the old Quebec City areas. Or it could have just been a matter of waiters ####### with your friend.
   81. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 04:57 PM (#3253262)

I've watched some of the first season on DVD recently, and man, the writing is terrible.


The first season is by far the weakest. The second season is better and the show really hit its stride starting with the third season.

This is the pattern with most sci-fi shows, and indeed TV series in general (Season One of Seinfeld is definitely sub-par).
   82. Ron Johnson Posted: July 14, 2009 at 05:53 PM (#3253355)
Ryan, it was on the campus of Laval University (during the Carnival) -- and during the early 70s. I doubt we'd have had any problems any place else. My French was good enough to order in the caf (particularly since they gave you full credit for the attempt to speak French and would play along)
   83. RJ in TO Posted: July 14, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3253367)
Ryan, it was on the campus of Laval University (during the Carnival) -- and during the early 70s.


Ah. That makes more sense. Thanks for clarifying.

Also, you're right about them giving full credit for attempts at French. It's still very much that way - as long as you're willing to give it a decent shot, the locals will generally cut you some slack about the specifics.
   84. Maxwn Posted: July 14, 2009 at 06:02 PM (#3253373)
Yes, it was. The writing didn't get better until Roddenberry was pushed out.

First Season Wesley Crusher has to be one of the most absurd characters of all time.
   85. philphan Posted: July 14, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3253390)
Anyone who ever heard Richie Ashburn narrate the "Yo la tengo" story knows how important it is for everyone on a ballfield to be able to speak both English and Spanish.
   86. zenbitz Posted: July 14, 2009 at 06:15 PM (#3253394)
To paraphrase Yogi:
"You don't hit the ball wit your tongue, do ya?"


True story. When I was a student in Prague I once asked a waiter if I could go down on him. I thought I was asking him if I could smoke in the restaurant. Turns out the verb "to smoke" in Czech can be conjugated in funny ways!

I do believe this is a story I would choose to finish, were I telling it.


"Needless to say, I got the job"
   87. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 14, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3253399)
When I was a student in Prague I once asked a waiter if I could go down on him. I thought I was asking him if I could smoke in the restaurant. Turns out the verb "to smoke" in Czech can be conjugated in funny ways!


yadda yadda yadda dinner was free!
   88. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2009 at 06:25 PM (#3253408)
yadda yadda yadda dinner was free!

Hey, you left out the best part! (/straight line)
   89. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 06:28 PM (#3253413)
I've watched some of the first season on DVD recently, and man, the writing is terrible. I feel like the only thing that held it together is the fact the Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner are very good actors who were way better than the material deserved. I think it got better, but I don't know. I was pretty young when I first saw most of it.

Wesley Crusher concurs.
   90. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: July 14, 2009 at 07:19 PM (#3253496)
This was the single worst article in the history of writing. Poorly written, horribly formatted, and every opinion offered is either insultingly stupid or painfully offensive.

Honestly, why is this #### being linked?
   91. RJ in TO Posted: July 14, 2009 at 07:25 PM (#3253503)
Honestly, why is this #### being linked?


Because it has garnered 93 comments so far.

It's all about the page views.
   92. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 14, 2009 at 07:42 PM (#3253527)
You know who I hate? Colin Farrell.
   93.     Hey Gurl Posted: July 14, 2009 at 07:51 PM (#3253536)
Honestly, why is this #### being linked?


Because the author is a primate (in every sense of the word.)
   94. Tuque Posted: July 14, 2009 at 07:54 PM (#3253542)
Vlad Guerrero should feel lucky _any_ team was willing to sign him.

I know this is sarcasm, but maybe he should feel lucky to get another contract. I hadn't noticed his stats until just now. Uuuugly. I guess this is just what happens when a guy with his approach loses his power.
   95. BDC Posted: July 14, 2009 at 07:58 PM (#3253546)
Huh. I had no idea Vlad's overall numbers were so low. Naturally, he is hitting .429/.478/.571 against Texas. No, I love the guy, really :)
   96. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: July 14, 2009 at 08:04 PM (#3253553)
This was the single worst article in the history of writing. Poorly written, horribly formatted, and every opinion offered is either insultingly stupid or painfully offensive.

Honestly, why is this #### being linked?
the sad part, is this inbred offers his services as an editor, for pay.

Because it has garnered 93 comments so far.

It's all about the page views.
spot on
   97. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: July 14, 2009 at 08:21 PM (#3253568)
Vlad hit better between DL stints; 299/320/431. Obviously not great but better than before he went on the DL the first time. And for June and July (basically taking out the first week he was back from the DL, during which most players struggle) he hit 311/339/454. He was basically improving with time, which one would expect ... and then he got hurt again.

If he's healthy, he's still Vlad. The only question is if he can stay healthy long enough to do it.
   98. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: July 14, 2009 at 08:23 PM (#3253572)
You know who I hate? Colin Farrell.


I hated him to. But then I saw In Bruges, and I stopped hating him. Brilliant film, and he's brilliant in it.
   99. BDC Posted: July 14, 2009 at 08:29 PM (#3253580)
Brilliant film, and he's brilliant in it

I believe what you are trying to say is that he's "on great actor."
   100. Ron Johnson Posted: July 14, 2009 at 08:29 PM (#3253582)
Honestly, why is this #### being linked?

Because it has garnered 93 comments so far.


And nobody bothered to read the article so it's not like the trolling got page views for the host site.
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