I instead decided to zoom in - a little, it was just a links post, after all - on Gomez's line about how the fans are booing because they can't actually play the game of baseball. He's correct, of course. If you put me in an Astros uniform and made me play, I'd have a -100 OPS+ quicker than you can say "Jack Daniel."
What I should have done - what I was going to do - was to focus on the actual, direct quote Smith used in his column from Gomez that went as such:
For the last year and this year, I not really do much for this team. The fans be angry. They be disappointed.
It is obviously a direct quote, and you know exactly what Carlos Gomez was trying to say. But it's how it was presented that bothered me, because there was no need to directly quote Gomez like that - in a way that presented him as having a shaky grasp on subject-verb agreement. It belittled Gomez. And I regret glossing over it.
We can argue over what Smith's intentions are/were here. Could Smith have gone this route:
"For the last year and this year, I (haven't really done) much for this team. The fans (are) angry. They (are) disappointed."
Yes, and maybe that would have been more demeaning.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist (and, of course, long-time Houston Chronicle reporter) Jose de Jesus Ortiz especially took offense to Smith's editorial decision:
Latino ballplayers work hard to learn English & deal with the media. No need to disrespect them and then taunt them, @ChronBrianSmith— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) May 5, 2016
It doesn't matter if you don't think Smith was disrespecting and taunting Gomez. What matters is that people whose primary language is not English feel like it was disrespectful and akin to taunting.
I have been working on learning Spanish for a while now, and Carlos Gomez speaks better English than I do Spanish. If I was in a position where I was being interviewed for a newspaper that was not in my native language, and it was presented in a way that made me look, well, like it was that painfully obvious that it wasn't my first language, I, too, would be pissed.
Nobody wants to look stupid. The point of the column remains valid: Gomez knows he hasn't performed to his ability and he's getting frustrated with it. But there was absolutely no reason to quote Carlos Gomez quote like he's Speedy Gonzalez.
Seeing as how all 30 MLB clubs have translators on hand, this could have been avoided. Smith also could have acted as Gomez's own translator and presented the quote like this:
"...Carlos Gomez, speaking through a translator, said, 'For last year and this year, I haven't really done much for this team. The fans are angry. They are disappointed.'"
The meaning isn't lost. The integrity of the column remains intact. You know what you need to know from Gomez: he's been Not Great, and he knows it. That's it.
I'm not so jaded with Teh Media (sic) that I think Brian T. Smith set out to make Carlos Gomez look bad. But I also have read enough of Brian T. Smith's work over the last however-many years to know that he's not going to sugar-coat anything for the Astros' organization. He could have remained #OnBrand and still gone after Gomez's productivity - or the decision to even trade for Gomez in the first place - without today's column being the look.