HOUSTON – MLB Network broadcaster Jim Kaat apologized during Friday’s AL Division Series game between the Astros and White Sox after saying teams should try to “get a 40-acre field full of” players who look like Chicago infielder Yoán Moncada.
Kaat, a former All-Star pitcher and longtime commentator for the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, made the remark in the first inning of Game 2 in response to a comment from broadcaster Buck Showalter about Moncada, who is Cuban.
“After the first time I saw him in the big leagues, I looked around the dugout, like, ‘Do we have one of those?’” said Showalter, who opposed Moncada while managing the Baltimore Orioles.
Kaat replied: “Get a 40-acre field full of them,” a remark that reminded some viewers of the unfilled promise by the U.S. government that freed slaves would receive 40 acres and a mule following the Civil War.
The 82-year-old Kaat apologized during the fifth inning.
“Earlier in the game when Yoán Moncada was at the plate, in an attempt to compliment the great player that he is, I used a poor choice of words that resulted in an insensitive and hurtful remark,” he said. “And I’m sorry for that.”