04/13/09 5:39 PM ET
Bilingual skill serves Burriss well
American infielder picked up Spanish growing up
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
"D.C. is the kind of city where there's so many different types of people," he said. Burriss never played winter ball in a Spanish-speaking country, which is how many American ballplayers learn the language, but he has visited the Dominican Republic several times.Simply encountering Spanish-speaking teammates since the Giants drafted him in 2006 has helped, too.
"My Spanish coming into pro ball wasn't as good as it is now," Burriss said. Other American Giants with bilingual skills include pitchers Alex Hinshaw, Joe Martinez and Brian Wilson.During the exhibition season, a Spanish-speaking opponent talked strategy with a teammate and didn't realize that Burriss understood every word. Burriss wouldn't name the player, because he wants him to remain blissfully ignorant. Burriss can't wait for something like this to occur in a more crucial instance.
"It hasn't happened during the season yet," he said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.