NEW YORK — New York Yankees pitcher, Nestor Cortespresented Hall of Fame broadcaster and pitcher Jim Kaat with the franchise’s Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday night, about three weeks after Kaat used an offensive nickname when discussing New York’s left-handed pitcher.
Kaat, 83, called the pitcher “Nestor the Molester” during a Minnesota Twins broadcast this month, then reached out to Cortes to apologize. Cortes told The Associated Press later that night that he hadn’t been offended and later tweeted to say that he had gladly accepted Kaat’s apology.
“Jim Kaat has spent his entire life in this game that we love,” Cortes wrote. “He came up to me and apologized for his comment last night but he didn’t need to. We all make mistakes and feel 100% no harm was done. I plan to cheer him up with this tweet and hope others do too. Don’t worry! Jim!”
Cortes presented Kaat with a trophy near home plate before New York’s first game of a four-game series against the Houston Astros. Kaat pitched for 25 seasons and was a longtime broadcaster who also worked for the Yankees.
Kaat was set to broadcast Thursday’s game with narrator Bob Costas for MLB Network.
Kaat pitched 44 of his 898 games with the Yankees, going 2-4 with a 4.12 ERA.
He also apologized after an on-air comment last October. That came after he said teams should try to “fill a 40-acre field” with players who resemble the Chicago White Sox infielder, Yoan Moncada.
His comment about Moncada reminded some viewers of the US government’s broken promise that freed slaves would receive 40 acres and a mule after the Civil War. He apologized later in that game between the Astros and the White Sox.
“Early in the game, when Yoan Moncada was at the plate, in an attempt to congratulate the great player that he is, I used a poor choice of words that resulted in an insensitive and hurtful comment,” he said. “And I’m sorry about that.”
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Cortes presents Jim Kaat with Yankees award