I commented about it elsewhere, but I figured that in order to stop that degeneration of the discussion, I'd better have a post dedicated to the issue.
I'll start by commenting that I'm a foreigner in Toronto too. English is my second language and far from my mother tongue. I have basic understanding of spanish and can handle myself at the streets of latin America.
I can't, for the life of me, understand the commotion about the latino issue. By that I mean the discussion whether we should hire a latino manager, and later whether should we have a latino in our coaching staff.
Latin-American players are human beings same as you or I. They can have trouble adjusting same as a kid from Oregon.
Yeah, Yeah, the language... First of all english, particularly tha basic basebal+small talk vocabulary, is very easy to pick up. Second, Spanish is even easier to pick up, so I'm sure that Farrell knows enough as he was dealing with these "parts" before.
As a foreigner in Toronto, and as one that spent some time in Latin America ( and picked up spanish at the street...) - let me tell you: "Latino" players don't need a "latino nanny". The language (and cultural) barrier is probably higher for Japanese players.
That whole issue, while full of good intentions, smacks of WASP condescension. Maybe I'm too sensitive to that, as I'm a foreigner as well, but just go and ask the "Latino" players what they think, and you'll find out that they don't give a damn.
I do think (and I know that's an unfair generalization which will earn me some rebuke) that people in North America tend to underestimate foreigners. Yes it's true outside of North America as well. But we're at N.America, so I'll make my case here. We (by that I mean "We, the foreigners") come from different cultural backgrounds, including a different linguistic background in most cases. The fact that we have a strong accent and sometimes find it difficult to form a coherent sentence in English, does not mean that we don't understand it very well. And the culture? Give me a break. North american culture has spread all over the world, and that includes Latin America. A large part of the foreigners are very familiar with that culture even though it's not their culture.
And one last thing: I do think that a quick spanish course for all of our coaching staff is not a bad idea. That said, I'm quite sure that many coaches picked up enough spanish to get by.
Go ahead and grill me. We're having a Kosher steak tonight!!!