Found October 14, 2011 on Fox Sports Southwest:
ARLINGTON, Tex. Texas Rangers right-hander Yoshinori Tateyama came to the United States for spring training knowing the basics of the English language. Fastball translates in any language. So does curveball. But not much else did for Tateyama, who was added to the Rangers' postseason roster for the American League Championship Series for a team that can wrap up a World Series trip with a victory in Game 6 Saturday night. Tateyama, 35, has been his rookie year in the major leagues changing that. Tateyama has given himself a crash course in the English language. He's done it without books or tapes. Instead, he's relied on studying the way his teammates talk and learning from them. He's gotten good enough that he can conduct interviews in English, something that would have been impossible when he showed up at spring training in Surprise, Ariz., in February. "I wanted to be able to talk to my teammates," Tateyama said. "That's why I did this. I speak English so I can communicate with everybody in the clubhouse." Tateyama didn't exactly reach the United States with no grasp of English. His wife Miyako lived in San Francisco for three years and tried to help him some. He spent the last couple of years of his career with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters driving the English-speaking players to the park, trying to pick up on some of the basics. His sink-or-swim moment though came with the Rangers. When he was in spring training, he had translator Hajime Watabe to help him with interviews and when coaches had questions for Tateyama. That came to an end though when Tateyama didn't make the club out of spring training. Instead he headed to the club's Triple A-affiliate Round Rock without any help on the language front. Working as a reliever, Tateyama tried to pick up on how the other relievers talked. He would also try to ask questions. Some of the words came a lot easier than others. "Slang," Tateyama said. "The other stuff was very hard. I studied every day when I was in Round Rock." Once he was recalled in May, he had a translator again but still tried to soak up as much as he could from his Texas teammates. "A lot of it has been him listening to us," said reliever Mark Lowe, who isn't on the ALCS roster because of a left hamstring strain. "He's definitely eager to learn. He'll ask me about certain ways to say a word. When he says something the wrong way, he wants to know how to do it right. From spring training to now, it's very impressive. There's no way I could do what he's done. It just shows how much he cares and how much he wants to learn." As much as he wants to learn English, Tateyama also wants to be a successful major leaguer. He was through June and July but struggled in September. He became just the second big leaguer to ever give up grand slams to consecutive batters. After allowing the second one, Tateyama did his interview in Japanese with the help of a translator. But when the translator was preparing to ask the question about what was wrong with Tateyama, he was already answering in perfect English. "The control's no good," he said. Tateyama wore down in September and didn't earn a spot on the American League Division Series roster. He made his ALCS debut In Tuesday's 5-2 loss in Game 2, retiring two of the three batters he faced. While Tateyama's ability got him to this point, he thinks learning to speak English has also helped. He gives a lot of credit to his teammates for that. "It's helped just talking with people," he said. "Mark Lowe. Harry (Matt Harrison). They teach me English. They teach me slang. It's made it easier for me to do my job."

Workout day interview with Derek Holland

Workout day interview with Rangers pitcher Derek Holland

Live: Follow the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the ALCS

Follow along with our writers and columnists during Game 5 as the Texas Rangers attempt to clinch their second consecutive World Series berth.

Holland eyes long outing to close out ALCS

Rangers manager Ron Washington has leaned hard on his bullpen, but he'll hope to get more mileage out of young starter Derek Holland in Game 6 of the ALCS on Saturday.

Cruz, Rangers a win away

The Rangers, still with a 3-2 series lead, can get to their second consecutive World Series with a victory in Game 6 on Saturday night.

Bats: Ginger Ale Remains the Rangers' Bubbly of Choice

Out of sensitivity to outfielder Josh Hamilton, Texas continued its custom of keeping Champagne out of its on-field celebration.

With Cruz's boomstick, Texas win from 2nd AL flag

Nelson Cruz is slugging away for the Rangers in October.

Texas Rangers Best Detroit Tigers, Return to World Series

Nelson Cruz set a postseason record with his sixth home run of the series, Michael Young hit a pair of two-run doubles in a nine-run third inning, and the Texas Rangers romped to a 15-5 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night that won the AL pennant in six games. Becoming the first repeat AL champion in a decade, the Rangers will open the World Series on Wednesday night at...

Rangers earn 2nd consecutive World Series berth

Nelson Cruz and the Texas Rangers are headed to their second straight World Series, finishing off the Detroit Tigers to become the American League's first repeat champion in a decade.

Rangers earn a return trip to the World Series

Texas slugs its way to a 15-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 of the ALCS.Reporting from Arlington, Texas -- Late in the summer, before the Texas Rangers had clinched so much as a playoff berth, infielder Michael Young was talking about how the attitude around the franchise had changed since last year's World Series appearance.

World Series Bound! Rangers Win 2nd AL Pennant

The Texas Rangers are headed to the World Series for the second straight year after winning their second American League pennant with a 5-15 victory over the Detroit Lions Saturday. The Rangers were on fire in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series at the Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers had a record nine-run inning in the bottom of the third inning. Elvis Andrus...

Rangers finish off Tigers, ride into Series again

Nelson Cruz and the Texas Rangers are headed to their second straight World Series, finishing off the Detroit Tigers with a huge offensive burst to become the American League's first repeat champion in a decade.

Detroit Tigers (2-3) at Texas Rangers (3-2), 8:05 p.m. (ET)

The Texas Rangers take another crack at securing their second straight World Series berth this evening when they play Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers.

Texas Rangers (3-1) at Detroit Tigers (1-3), 4:19 p.m. (ET)

The Texas Rangers hope to punch their ticket to the World Series for the second straight season when they try to put the Detroit Tigers away in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park.
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.