Mike Schmidt called Odubel Herrera to apologize for comments
Mike Schmidt has already apologized to Odubel Herrera for the comments he made about the Venezuelan youngster on Tuesday morning.
Schmidt, a Hall of Famer who played his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies, joined Angelo Cataldi on WIP Tuesday morning and was asked about Herrera, who is struggling this season. Schmidt noted that he and Herrera, who is open about his love of bat-flipping, are completely different.
“He’s not afraid to do things that sort of irk the other team, if you will, and you know what that is,” Schmidt told Cataldi. “I probably would hate him if I played against him because of his antics on the field, but he’s not afraid.”
Schmidt then crossed the line in the mind of many when he said Herrera was not the type of player you can build around because he’s incapable of being a leader, in part due to a language barrier.
“My honest answer to that would be no,” Schmidt said when asked if Herrera is the type of player you can build around. “First of all, it’s a language barrier. Because of that, I think he can’t be a guy that would sort of sit in a circle with four, five American players and talk about the game; or try and learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game; or come over to a guy and say, ‘Man, you gotta run that ball out.’ ”
Schmidt’s comments quickly received attention and were condemned by many. It didn’t take long for the former third baseman to apologize.
Odubel Herrera said Mike Schmidt called to apologize for comments he made on WIP.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 6, 2017
Schmidt also issued a statement of apology in which he recognized his comments were “disrespectful to Herrera and Latin players in general.”
— Nick Piccone (@nickpiccone) June 6, 2017
Cataldi is still defending Schmidt either way:
Mike Schmidt did NOT make a racial comment about Odubel Herrera on our show today. He was talking about a language barrier. That's all.
— Angelo Cataldi (@AngeloCataldi) June 6, 2017
Herrera, 25, is batting .243 with 18 doubles and five home runs this season. He was an All-Star last year after posting a .781 OPS, leading the Phillies to sign him to a $30.5 million deal.
You can listen to the interview below: