ESPN spent most of Tuesday morning attempting to put out fires started by the face of the network, Stephen A. Smith.
On Monday’s edition of “First Take,” Smith was asked if it was good for Major League Baseball that Shohei Ohtani has become the sport’s number one attraction. His answer landed him in hot water.
“The fact that you got 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,” Smith said. “It needs to be somebody like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, those guys. And unfortunately, at this moment in time, that’s not the case.”
Ohtani is from Japan, and while he is not fluent, he can speak English. He also speaks Spanish.
“When you talk about an audience gravitating to the tube, or to the ballpark, to actually watch you, I don’t think it helps that the No. 1