Mike Schmidt Doesn’t Think Odubel Herrera Can Be A Franchise Player

by Jake Archer | Posted on Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
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Hall of Fame third baseman and Philadelphia Phillies legend Mike Schmidt had an interesting take on current Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera in a radio interview today. Schmidt said that he doesn’t believe Herrera is the type of player the Phillies can build around because he doesn’t speak English.

There is one slight problem with this scorching hot take though. Herrera DOES speak English. It isn’t perfect, but he can get his point across and communicate with his teammates and coaches. So I’m pretty sure Mike Schmidt has no idea what he is talking about or what is going on.

Even if Herrera didn’t speak a lick of English, does Mike Schmidt not understand how language works? He knows that you can learn to speak different languages right? Just because a guy speaks another language or broken English does not mean he’s a lost cause and you can’t have him as a franchise cornerstone. There have to be other reasons you give besides that.

I really don’t understand why Schmidt would make this case. He said that Herrera “can’t be a guy that would sort of sit in a circle with four, five American players and talk about the game.” He also said he couldn’t “try and learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game.”

So not only does he not know that this is just untrue, he thinks this is a huge problem in baseball. Does he know that this is a game with a lot of foreign players coming over and not only doing well but being leaders and important pieces of teams?

There are so many examples of players who have just arrived in the United States finding ways to communicate with teammates and coaches before they learn enough English. So many players have come from different parts of the world speaking only their own languages at first and have done well. They make it work and they learn from the people around them.

Anyway, I’m not trying to say that Herrera is definitely a guy that the Phillies need to be building around. But there are other reasons, like baseball skill, that factor into that decision. Language does not, and it certainly shouldn’t be the first and really only point you make when trying to say why someone isn’t good enough. It sounds like Mike Schmidt either doesn’t get how the world works or just doesn’t like Herrera that much. Something is certainly off because his comments are stupid.

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Jake Archer
About the Author

Jake is a sports blogger with a passion for baseball and the Red Sox. He loves pitcher's duels, ballpark food and listening to games on the radio. He's got some strong opinions on things like pace-of-play, the DH rule and more. Follow him on Twitter at @jarcher04.

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