Nestor Cortes’ winning ways continue off the field.
A day after Jim Kaat dubbed him “Nestor the Molester” as he talked about Cortes’ incredible start to the season, the Yankees lefty starting pitcher let him off the hook.
“Hey everybody — Jim Kaat has spent an entire lifetime in this game we love,” Cortes wrote on his Twitter feed on Friday. “He reached out to me and apologized for his remark last night, but he didn’t need to.
“We all make mistakes and feel 100% there was no malice intended. I plan on lifting him up with this tweet and I hope others do too.
“No sweat here Jim!”
Cortes, the 27-year-old Cuban hurler, has won his last four starts and after pitching seven shutout innings against the Angels on Thursday has a 5-1 record on the season with a staggering 1.50 ERA.
Kaat, 83, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Golden Days Era Committee this year, is a broadcaster for the Minnesota Twins. He was calling the Twins-Tigers game Thursday night when he made the offensive remark.
“Nestor the Molester,’ Nestor Cortes,” Kaat said while describing Cortes’ hot start to the season for the Yankees. “Angels and different speeds. He’s a pitcher.”
It’s the second offensive gaffe delivered by the three-time All-Star pitcher in as many years.
In 2021, he apologized after saying teams should try to “get a 40-acre field full of” players who look like White Sox infielder Yoan Moncada, who is Cuban, during Game 2 of the ALDS between the Sox and Astros.
After the U.S. Civil War, the government pledged to give freed slaves 40 acres and a mule, but the pledge was not kept. Cuba also has an ugly history of slavery-backed plantation farming.
Kaat apologized later in that broadcast. “I need to read this right now. 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.”
Just a few weeks ago, Cortes was offering up his own apology after rival fans dug up and shared old tweets of his dating to his late teen years where he used a racial slur.
“I hate myself for having done that, it’s not who I am or want to be,” Cortes said.