New York Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran believes Major League Baseball should have more translators available for Spanish-speaking players when interacting with the media.
Beltran made the comments in light of teammate Michael Pineda admitting to reporters that he used pine tar after it was announced the right-handed pitcher was suspended 10 games.
Pineda spoke to the media in English, which is his second language. He was born and raised in the Dominican Republic.
Beltran asked why catcher Roman Rodriguez, who usually translates for Spanish-speaking teammates, was not there.
"It's a problem, of course, because he can't express himself the way he wants to," Beltran said of Pineda.
A team spokesman told the Star-Ledger that Pineda refused Rodriguez's help because he wanted to speak English.
However, one player told the newspaper that Pineda "doesn't understand a lot of the questions."
Manager Joe Girardi praised Pineda for addressing the media in English.
"I think Michael did a tremendous job last night, standing up in front of you and not necessarily maybe using an interpreter and hiding behind an interpreter or doing anything like that," he said.
The Yankees employ three full-time translators for Japanese players Ichiro Suzuki, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka. There are no official translator for Spanish-speaking players on the team, which is not uncommon for teams.
"In the big leagues, we aren't given an interpreter," Beltran said. "Personally, I understand that it's also on the player to find help if he doesn't feel he can express himself in the way he wishes to. But, like I said in spring training, there should be something available for these situations because at the end of the day I know it's a difficult moment for him as a person.
"At the same time, he needs to make sure he understands the questions that are being asked 100 percent and that he also has the help so he could express himself the way wants to. It's something that MLB or the Players Association has to address."
According to SABR, 26.9 percent of major-leaguers in 2012 were Latino.