The Yankees and Red Sox face off in a battle for 1st place

The Yankees and Red Sox begin a three-game series Tuesday, their first meeting since April when the Red Sox were hovering around .500 and the Yankees sat just out of first place in the AL East. Things have changed for both clubs in the intervening weeks and months, with New York now on top of the East with a two-game lead over Boston, who, for whatever it matters in early June, has the AL wild card lead.

Tuesday’s game will feature Masahiro Tanaka vs. Drew Pomeranz. Tanaka’s season started out rough with seven runs allowed in 2-2/3 innings, and has only gotten marginally better since. For the year, the guy who’s supposed to be the Yanks’ ace posted an 8.42 ERA in May while allowing 11 homers and a 1065 OPS. Meanwhile, Pomeranz took some time to shake off a spring training injury and had issues pitching deep into games to begin May, but has 19 strikeouts against one walk and just three earned runs allowed over his last two games, so maybe he’s coming around.

The more times I read it, though, I’m pretty sure Schmidt’s point is that a player who doesn’t speak English as a first language is immediately eliminated from clubhouse-leader contention. Which is absurd. Ken Rosenthal shot down the idea in one tweet:

And for the record, Herrera speaks English — enough to tell a teammate that he should run hard down the line or stop clipping his toenails in the clubhouse without cleaning them up. You know, leader stuff.

Schmidt has had better opinions — honestly admitting that steroids would have tempted him back in the day, for example — but this was a stinker. Spanish-speaking baseball players can be clubhouse leaders, and that shouldn’t be especially controversial.

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