MLB Network broadcaster Jim Kaat apologized on Friday for the “poor choice of words” he used towards Chicago White Sox third baseman Yoán Moncada. In the first inning of the Chicago ALDS game against the Houston Astros, Kaat said he wanted a “40-acre lot full of” Moncadas while the Cuban was at home plate.
The comment that Kaat later described as “sensitive” and “hurtful” came after fellow broadcaster Buck Showalter espoused Moncada’s star potential, jokingly “Can we have one?
“I want to add a little break here,” Kaat, 82, said in the fifth inning. “Actually, I have to read this right away, because earlier in the game when Yoán Moncada was at home plate trying to compliment the great player, I used the wrong choice of words which resulted in a sensitive and hurtful remark. . And I’m sorry.”
Kaat’s apology left his booth mates, Bob Costas and Showalter, silent until an ad hit the screen. After the announcement ended, the three white men – all aged 65 or older – continued their analysis of the game. The incident drew heavy criticism on Twitter during the game.
Kaat’s comment on the “40 acre field” refers to an 1865 Civil War order issued by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, which allocated each newly liberated family a parcel of land not exceeding 40 acres with a mule.
Race-insensitive comments aren’t new to the MLB this year. Arizona Diamondbacks analyst Bob Brenly and Detroit Tigers analyst Jack Morris have received voluntary leave and 23-day suspension, respectively, for a few of their own. Brenly joked about Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman’s “do-rag” headgear, and Morris – who also took bias training – laughed at the English-speaking Asian accents while talking about the Los Angeles star. Angels and native of Japan Shohei Ohtani.