NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes presented broadcaster and Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Kaat with the franchise’s Lifetime Achievement Award Thursday night, about three weeks after Kaat used an offensive nickname when referring to the left-hander from New York.
Kaat, 83, called the pitcher “Nestor the Molester” during a Minnesota Twins telecast this month, then reached out to Cortes to apologize. Cortes told The Associated Press later that night he took no offense and then tweeted to say he readily accepted Kaat’s apology.
“Jim Kaat has spent his entire life in this game that we love,” wrote Cortes. “He contacted me and apologized for his remark last night, but he didn’t need to. We all make mistakes and 100% believe there was no malicious intent. I plan to lift it with this tweet and hopefully others will too. No sweat here Jim!
Cortes presented Kaat with a clear trophy near home plate before New York’s opener of a four-game series against Houston. Kaat pitched for 25 seasons and was a longtime commentator who also worked for the Yankees.
Kaat was scheduled to broadcast Thursday’s game with play-by-play man Bob Costas for MLB Network.
Kaat has pitched 44 of his 898 games with the Yankees, going 2-4 with a 4.12 ERA.
He also issued an apology after an on-air remark last October. It came after he said teams should try to “get a 40-acre field full of” players who look like White Sox infielder Yoán Moncada.
His comment on Moncada reminded some viewers of the U.S. government’s broken promise that freed slaves would be given 40 acres and a mule after the Civil War. He apologized later in that game between the Astros and the White Sox.
“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 which resulted in an insensitive and hurtful remark,” he said. he declares. “And I’m sorry about that.”
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