NEW YORK, NY – It was back in the seventies when a fictional baseball player from Santo Domingo uttered the catch phrase, “Beisoball been berry, berry good to me.” The fake NY Mets player was Chico Escuela, who was played by Garrett Morris, one of the original cast members on Saturday Night Live. It was during the Weekend Update segment of the show that Escuela would answer every question with the line of, “Beisoball been berry, berry good to me.” Escuela didn’t need a translator as his only English words were all he needed to get by.
The game that is labeled “Americas Pastime” has turned into a foreign affair. Talented players from all over the world have displayed their skills without any knowledge of the pioneers from the past. They are putting numbers in the record books, and are being mentioned in the company of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth. While they’re moving up in the Individual Achievement Department, the greats that they’re passing are all foreign to them (No pun intended).
It seems like every player not born in the United States who helped his team win a ballgame needs a translator. Players who signed contracts at the age of sixteen, like former Yankee Gary Sanchez through current Yankee Jasson Dominguez, refuse to put words of the English language together the way Chico Escuela tried.
Watching Mets pitcher Kodai Senga being interviewed after picking up his 12th win the other day had me cringing. His interpreter had more life than the Japanese rookie. Senga delivered his lines in his native tongue sounding like an emotionless politician while his words were translated in a more joyous fashion by the interpreter.
Translators in the big league clubhouses have become a valuable resource and are being paid well… all because the players who use them refuse to utter the universal language. The players, who signed as boys and turned to men by the time they were Major League-ready, need a translation for the words, thank you, when their interviews are finished.
It would be interesting to find out how fast the English words pop out of their mouths if the teams they play for starts to bill them for the usage of the translator. In the meantime, these talented Major Leaguers from foreign countries will continue to pimp their teams with the mindset of “Beisoball been berry, berry good to me.”
On another note...
Mets owner Steve Cohen, who recently okayed the honoring of another guy who needed a translator his whole career – Bartolo Colon – should have another fun day at the ballpark. He needs to reach out to Garrett Morris and have a day for him. Maybe even a Chico Escuela Bobblehead Day. That would be a berry, berry good thing.