Guillen agrees (generally) with Guillen
When White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen aired his views on the language barrier Latino players face compared with players who come in from the Far East, it wasn’t anything he hadn’t said before over the years. It also wasn’t anything that hasn’t been said by another guy named Guillen.
Carlos Guillen has emerged in recent years as someone willing to express his views on the challenges Latino players face. He talked privately last year about the good that could come from having a Spanish-speaking interpreter in a Major League clubhouse. When Ozzie Guillen said what he said, it sounded familiar.
“Twenty percent of the big-league players, they’re from South America,” Carlos Guillen said Tuesday morning. “Translators? We don’t have them. Personal trainers? We don’t have them. It’s like, ‘Hey, good luck, guys.’ They don’t know if you speak English or if you can’t understand whatever they’re going to say.”
The Tigers have been pretty aggressive in trying to help players from Latin America prepare for and adjust to life in the states. They have someone at their Gulf Coast League headquarters in Lakeland whose job is centered on language and cultural instruction. They also have English instruction at their summer league teams in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
Carlos Guillen said he took English classes in the Astros farm system but still doesn’t feel comfortable with the language to this day.
“You guys are in here every day in the big league clubhouse,” Carlos Guillen said to reporters. “Can you imagine the minor leagues? It’s hard for you guys to understand what we’re trying to say. Sometimes you guys put in something wrong, and it’s not your fault.
Other times, he said, it isn’t about dealing the media, but with the staff.
“How are you going to explain to the manager or the trainer or the doctor the way you feel? How? It’s hard,” Guillen said.
“The communication is the key for everything, I think,” Guillen said. “Your family, your home, if you have good communication with your kids, it’s going to be better. It’s the same thing here. When you have good communication with your teammates, with everybody, you feel more comfortable.”