Whether it’s the Sultan of Swat, the Splendid Splitter or The Big Unit, baseball has a storied history of nicknames for its stars.
Minnesota Twins color commentator Jim Kaat tried to add a new chapter to that history on Thursday and failed miserably.
While describing Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes’ incredible start to the season during Thursdays Twins-Tigers broadcast, Kaat dubbed him “Nestor the Molester.”
“‘Nestor the Molester,’ Nestor Cortes,” Kaat said. “Angles and different speeds. He’s a pitcher.”
Kaat, an 83-year-old man who played for the Washington Senators, has been making rather curious remarks on air as of late. In 2021, he apologized after saying 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.
“While they have a little break here,” Kaat said later in that broadcast. “In fact 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.”
Cortes is having a star-making season for the Bombers. He’s 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 0.87 WHIP with 68 strikeouts in 60 innings. He’s allowed three runs or fewer in his last 19 starts. He’d previously been dubbed “Nasty Nestor” by Yankees fans.