MLB Network analyst Jim Kaat made things very uncomfortable on Friday.
During Game 2 of the White Sox-Astros ALDS, the booth of Kaat, Buck Showalter and Bob Costas took a moment to discuss Chicago infielder Yoan Moncada’s physique as he came to bat in the first inning.
“I don’t know how much you’ve seen of Moncada, but everybody talks like this guy should be a star, an All-Star,” Kaat told his boothmates of the 26-year-old Cuban star.
“That’s what they look like,” Showalter replied. “I don’t know about the rest of it. The first time I saw him in the big leagues I looked around the dugout and said ‘Can we have one of those?’ That’s what they look like.”
“Get a 40-acre field full of ’em,” Kaat said.
Kaat’s cringeworthy wording implied a reference to slavery. Freed slaves were promised 40 acres and a mule following the Civil War.
Word about his words got back to Kaat, who offered an apology in the top of the fifth inning.
“Earlier in the game, when Yoan Moncada was at the plate in an attempt to compliment the great players that he is, I used a poor choice of words that resulted in a hurtful and insensitive remark,” he said. “And I’m sorry for that.”
Kaat is the latest MLB analyst to have to apologize for a poor word choice this season. Diamondbacks analyst Bob Brenly issued an apology to Marcus Stroman over comments about the Mets pitcher’s du-rag, and Tigers color analyst Jack Morris was suspended for mocking Angels dual-threat Shohei Ohtani with an Asian accent.