Sport News If only this could be Stephen A. Smith’s last take

When Stephen A. Smith opens his mouth, it’s typically bullshit. Generally speaking, when it comes to an opinion of his having anything to do with sports or adjacent to sports, I completely ignore him and accept him for what he is — someone who delivers hot takes and yells loudly because it gets views, and ratings equal money for the “Worldwide Leader in Sports.” Today, though, he did not offer a sports-related opinion. It was just plain xenophobia.

“The fact that you have a foreign player that doesn’t speak English, that needs an interpreter, believe it or not — I think contributes to harming the game to some degree when that’s your box office appeal. It needs to be somebody like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout — those guys. And unfortunately, at this moment in time, that’s not the case.”


Smith apparently believes that the face of baseball has to be a white American, raised on hot dogs and apple pie, and anything other than that would simply fail to save the game of baseball.

Except for the fact that it’s not failing. Despite the Los Angeles Angels’ current fourth-place division standing, 9 games out of first at the All-Star Break, Ohtani is must-see TV every night. Records continue to fall, his legend continues to grow, and his athletic feats on the field continue to inspire.

According to Frank Pingue of Reuters, Ohtani is the most-searched player on the MLB Film Room video tool.

Ohtani has been named the starting pitcher and leadoff hitter for the American League in the All-Star game, and is also the betting favorite to win the Home Run Derby tonight. Do you know how absurd that is? We make fun of pitchers for not being able to hit. Ohtani is the MVP front-runner and is putting together a season unlike any in the history of the game.

“Baseball was dying in the 90s. What saved it? It was the home run competition between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Obviously Sammy Sosa, we learned later during his testimony on Capitol Hill, that suddenly he needed an interpreter. You know, ‘baseball been very very good to him,’ you know what I’m saying? That wasn’t enough. He needed an interpreter to speak for him when he was on Capitol Hill. He certainly didn’t need that when he was smacking those home runs,” Smith said.

First of all, the “baseball been very very good” reference is from a 1978 Saturday Night Live skit, twenty years before Sosa and McGwire competed for the single-season home run record. Secondly, if I were testifying before the government of a country where I wouldn’t be in a position to speak my primary language, you’d better believe that the most prudent decision I could make, for the sake of accuracy, would be to use an interpreter.

Smith, unfortunately, continued:

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