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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Jim Kaat apologizes for 40 acre field Yoan Moncada comment

Jim Kaat holds a microphone

MLB Network analyst Jim Kaat apologized on Friday for a poorly phrased compliment towards a player.

Kaat was one of the commentators during MLB Network’s telecast of Game 2 of the ALDS between the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox.

Moncada was up at the plate in the top of the first, and both Kaat and Buck Showalter were raving about him.

Showalter said the first time he saw Moncada, he said, “I said, ‘can we have one of those? That’s what [stars] look like … strong, play a lot of positions, switch hitter …”

Kaat agreed and seemed to say he wanted a team-full of Moncadas. However, his phrasing was poor.

“Give me a 40-acre field full of ’em,” Kaat said.

Here is the audio:

In the top of the fifth inning, Kaat apologized for saying 40 acres.

“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,” Kaat said.

The term “40 acres” is associated with “40 acres and a mule,” which is part of Special Field Orders No. 15, a wartime order during the Civil War. Many freed slaves believed the new rules entitled them to own land no greater than 40 acres, and to have a mule.

Kaat mentioning a 40-acre field full of Moncadas led some to think he was making a slavery reference.

Kaat, 82, pitched 25 seasons in MLB and made three All-Star teams. He has called games for MLB Network since 2018.

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