This post has been updated to remove some possibly offensive words.
While the focus of Major League Baseball’s home run derby is normally on the players, it was ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez who was the center of attention Monday night at Citi Field in New York City — all because Gomez dared to interview Spanish-speaking players in…Spanish.
In one interview, Florida-born Gomez asked Yankees second baseman Robinson Canó a question in Spanish and subsequently translated his answer into English, displaying his firm grasp of both languages. Gomez also asked Cuban players questions in Spanish. With this being the age of instant commentary via social media, several users Twitter exploded into various levels of rage.
The commenters criticized Gomez and demanded he speak English, because “this is America.” Of course, a few tweets doesn’t mean everyone on Twitter shared the same opinion of Gomez’s bilingual interview approach, but see for yourself how worked up some on the twitterverse became last night.
Hey Pedro Gomez you’re so cool speaking English and Spanish to Yoenis!!! New HR derby rule: you can’t partake if you can’t speak English.
— Cary Panichello (@CPanichello) July 16, 2013
Some people threw out derogatory language.
Comments like these received instant responses from people like @xthebackseatx’s.
Some took the interview as a publicity stunt, pointing out how Gomez was apparently showing off.
Some did not understand why he asked the question in Spanish.
My name is Pedro Gomez, let me show you how well I can speak Spanish.
— John Guminski (@johnguminski) July 16, 2013
Pedro Gomez is annoying….why does he ask the players questions in Spanish. Then he translates. Just ask questions in english ya jackass
— E. Carter (@ectheprodigy) July 16, 2013
And going to back to what should have been the highlight of the events at Citi Field last night:
Cuban Born Yoenis Cespedes, an Oakland A’s outfielder, crushed 17 homers into the upper deck of left field in the first round – more than two times the number of home runs than any other player.
The final round was a showdown between Cespedes and Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper. But in the end, Cespedes took home the derby crown, hitting 32 homers to Harper’s 24.