Stephen A. Smith tried to clarify his comments regarding Shohei Ohtani, the star pitcher of Japanese descent who leads the league in the circuits. During a segment on “First Take” Monday, Smith argued that it’s actually bad for baseball, the main attraction of this week’s All-Star Game needs a performer to communicate with fans. American baseball.
“I don’t think it helps that the number one face is a dude who needs an interpreter so you can understand what he’s saying in this country,” Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take” Monday morning. Hours later, Smith released a video statement in which he did not exactly respond to those comments.
“People misinterpret what I’m saying… I’m talking about the marketing and promotion of the sport,” he said in the video, which you can see below. “If you are a sport that is trying to please the American public, like Major League Baseball does, because of the issues you face in terms of improving the attractiveness of the sport, it helps if you speak English. It doesn’t mean anything more than that.
Smith’s comments earlier Monday went as well as expected.
Smith also apparently forgets that Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui both enjoyed long and popular major league careers. Ichiro was even the top vote-giver for fan All-Star teams during several of his early years with the Seattle Mariners.
Ohtani, in his third year with the Los Angeles Angles, leads all baseball with 33 homers and is averaging 3.49 earned runs as a pitcher, which is pretty much unprecedented in history. baseball. He’s set to compete in Monday’s home race derby, where he’s ranked as the seed and consensus favorite to win. Then, on Tuesday, Ohtani will be both the American League’s starting pitcher and the first designated forward in the AL batting lineup.
ESPN is already reeling from Rachel Nichols’ controversy over her comments on Maria Taylor. Unlike Nichols, Smith knew he was recorded.