Earlier today, James Wagner of the New York Times posted a story called: ‘Friends,’ the Sitcom That’s Still a Hit in Major League Baseball. So, naturally, I had to check out what the hell he was talking about.
And as it turns out, watching ‘Friends’ isn’t exactly some strange MLB fad going on (though, that would be funny enough anyway). Instead, it seems it’s used by many non-English-speaking players as a way to kickstart and/or brush up on their English!
Indeed, each of Freddy Galvis (Phillies, Venezuela), Luis Severino (Yankees, Dominican Republic), David Peralta (Diamondbacks, Venezula), and Miguel Gonzalez (Rangers, Mexico), among others, admit to binge watching Friends for this exact reason.
“Now that it’s on Netflix, I always put it on and watch it,” said Mets infielder Wilmer Flores, 26, who is from Venezuela. “When I get up in the morning, I turn on the TV, and whatever episode is there I’ll watch and keep watching. I stop it when I come to the stadium. When I come home from the stadium, I pick up where I left off.”
Jerry Blevins, Flores’ teammate, later added that Flores’ English is now “near perfect,” and that’s it’s rare for him not to know something [in English] anymore.
Could there BE a better way to learn English?
To be fair, some of these guys just genuinely seem to like the show. Galvis, for example, says he’s watched every episode of ‘Friends’ at least five times each, to the point where his wife continually asks him, “Yet again?!”
And at that point, I think you’re not learning English anymore … you just like Chandler’s quips, or Joey’s schemes, or Pheobe’s phalange.
Check out Wagner’s story in the New York Times for much more MLB/Friends fun (and to find out whose mom thinks he watches it way too much).