Major League Baseball has approved an initiative that will require all 30 teams to hire a full-time, year-round Spanish translator for their Latin American Players.
Fox News Latino reported that the initiative was majorly pushed by Carlos Beltran, who is currently playing for the New York Yankees.
Beltran has stated that the push for this initiative began when Michael Pineda, a pitcher for the Yankees, was ejected from a game for having pine tar on his neck. The substance is illegal to use for pitchers as it could give the ball an unfair spin, making it almost unhittable for opposing batters.
Beltran stated that he was shocked and upset that there was no interpreter for Pineda, especially when he was asked the more difficult questions. The all-star outfield claims that it was almost impossible for Pineda to express himself the way he wanted to.
According to ESPN, Hispanic and Spanish-speaking players make up about 25 percent of all the players in the league, and the league is hoping that with this new initiative called "Spanish-Language Translator Program", media obligations will no longer be a problem for those who are not well versed in English and would be more comfortable speaking in Spanish instead.
It had been the unwritten policy of the league that a coach or a veteran teammate who was bilingual could speak for a player if the player was not yet comfortable with speaking for himself in English.
However, the league already has had an interpreter program in place for players who have come from Japan for many years. It must also be noted that Japanese players do not make up nearly as many as the population of Latino players.
To offset the salary of an extra employee, the league will be giving all the teams an additional US$65,000 a year. The New York Times reports that this money will be coming from penalties paid by teams from going over the international signing bonus limit.
The rules of the new translator state that he or she must be with the team before and after games and especially during media events. The person will be reporting to the team's public relations director or general manager. The interpreter must be with the team during the entire length of the season from spring break all the way to the World Series if need be.
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