Mike Schmidt says Spanish-speaking ballplayers can’t be clubhouse leaders

In a stunning development, somebody asked a retired baseball player for his opinions on the modern sport, and he responded with regrettable, out-of-touch quotes.

Remain calm. I’ll explain.

Mike Schmidt, the greatest third baseman in baseball history, was asked if the Phillies should rebuild around outfielder Odubel Herrera. His answer was … uh, oh boy:

My honest answer to that would be no because of a couple of things, Schmidt, who played for 18 years in Philadelphia, told SportsRadio 94WIP on Tuesday. First of all, it’s a language barrier. Because of that, I think he can’t be a guy that would sort of sit in a circle with four, five American players and talk about the game. Or try and learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game. Or come over to a guy and say, ‘Man, you gotta run that ball out.’

[He] just can’t be because of the language barrier that kind of a player.

Things have changed since then. After Friday’s win over the Yankees, the Blue Jays find themselves right back in the thick of the division race. They are still in last place in the American League East, mind, but they are only one game under .500 and just 5 1/2 games out of first place. After finishing April with an 8-17 record and eight games out of first place, they’ve been the best team in the division with a 19-11 record since the start of May.

With the resurgence of the Blue Jays, the American League East is now arguably the most competitive division in the league and possibly the hardest to decipher. If the Blue Jays win on Saturday, every team in the division will have at least an even record. There also isn’t a team that looks as if it’s going away.

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