MLB Network is the exclusive home to today’s White Sox-Astros ALDS contest.
For the occasion, the network rolled out a broadcast booth of Bob Costas, Buck Showalter, and Jim Kaat, which has to be one of the oldest booths in recent memory.
Combined age of today's booth: 216 pic.twitter.com/nLTOmkndiB
— Kevin Kaduk (@KevinKaduk) October 8, 2021
In the top of the first inning, with the White Sox threatening and Yoan Monada at the plate, Kaat and Showalter launched into a discussion on Moncada. Kaat brought up his potential, which Showalter used to springboard into a discussion of his physique. That’s uncomfortable enough, but it got worse quickly:
— Dan Ewen Ⓥ (@VaguelyFunnyDan) October 8, 2021
Kaat: “I don’t’ know how much you’ve seen of Moncada, but everybody talks like this guy should be a star, an All-Star.”
Showalter: “That’s what they look like. I don’t know about the rest of it. The 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.”
Kaat: “Get a 40-acre field full of ’em.”
So, yeah, that’s not good. If you’re wondering what happened after that, the comments went unaddressed, with Costas simply waiting out a pause and then going back to the call.
— The IC Workstation (@ClippelBoardy) October 8, 2021
Suggesting that any player, especially a player of color, has the kind of build you’d love to see laboring in fields is bad enough. Making that field 40 acres, though, is very specific and racially charged language.
— LibertyBill (@LBillSports) October 8, 2021
Jim Kaat has been riding and occasionally going over the edge of cringe for a while https://t.co/t75axJEkeR
— Internet #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) October 8, 2021
It's more evidence for getting new people in these booths, not people who look and sound the same as everyone else, and aren't adding value to the broadcasts. https://t.co/IDIRfFP73O
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) October 8, 2021
Kaat’s comments are clearly over the line, and as with Jack Morris a few months ago, it doesn’t matter where he was really coming from. As a broadcaster, the entire job is choosing your words to convey your meaning. If you can’t do that in an acceptable fashion, you shouldn’t be on the air.
Kaat addressed the remarks later in the game.
wow that sounded heartfelt pic.twitter.com/5XEzLhFrGL
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 8, 2021