MLB Network announcer Jim Kaat apologized on-air during a playoff game for tone-deaf remarks he made about White Sox slugger Yoan Moncada.
The longtime pitching great turned veteran broadcast analyst made a reference to a "40-acre field" in a bizarre and dehumanizing exchange with fellow analyst Buck Showalter during Game 2 of the AL Division Series between the White Sox and Astros in Houston.
Addressing the comments several innings later during a break in the action, Kaat said he had used a "poor choice of words."
"While we have a little break here, in fact I need to read this right now," Kaat said, "because earlier in the game when Yoan 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, and I'm sorry for that."
The exchange in question began with Kaat and Showalter gushing over Moncada's apparent physical talents.
"I don't know how much you've seen of Moncada," Kaat said to Showalter, "but this guy should be a star -- an All-Star."
"That's what they look like," said Showalter, who last managed with the Orioles in 2018. "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 them," Kaat quipped in response.
The comment is considered offensive because of its connotations with slavery. "Forty acres and a mule" is a well-known broken promise of reparations from the American government to freed slaves.
The incident was a trending topic on Baseball Twitter on Friday afternoon, with some saying that the 82-year-old Kaat, who was a three-time All-Star in a 25-year career spanning 1959-83, was out of line and no longer relevant.