PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) _ Dan Warthen and the Mets apologized after the team’s pitching coach used a racial slur in describing the translator for New York pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.
“I apologize for the thoughtless remarks that I made yesterday in the clubhouse,” Warthen said in statement released by the team Wednesday. “They were a poor attempt at humor but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting. I am very sorry.”
Warthen approached translator Jeff Cutler, a Japanese-American, on Monday and apologized for jokingly calling him a “Chinaman” the previous day, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Warthen’s conversation with Cutler occurred in front of Journal reporter Stu Woo, who is Chinese-American. Woo spoke with Cutler on Tuesday and asked the Mets to respond, and Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said Woo should meet with Warthen and Horwitz on Wednesday. Horwitz told Woo on Wednesday that Warthen would not comment.
The Mets released apologies from Warthen and general manager Sandy Alderson shortly after the Journal posted its story Wednesday.
Matzusaka, speaking after pitching against the Washington Nationals in Viera on Thursday, did not appear to have any malice against his pitching coach.
“Everyone makes mistakes, and Dan’s already commented on it,” Matzusaka said through Cutler. “I don’t want to dig deeper or try to add to it.”
Nevertheless, Matzusaka indicated he did not have any problem continuing to work with Warthen.
“I don’t expect our relationship to change going forward,” Matzusaka said.
The 61-year-old Warthen pitched in the major leagues from 1975-78. He has been the Mets’ pitching coach since 2008.
“On behalf of the entire organization, I apologize for the insensitive remarks made by of one of our staff members,” Alderson said in his statement. “The remarks were offensive and inappropriate and the organization is very sorry.”
Asked if he was offended by Warthen’s remarks, Cutler tried to deflect the situation.
“Dan’s already commented on it, Sandy’s already commented and I don’t have anything else to add to it,” Cutler said.
Warthen made the trip to Viera on Thursday. Alderson declined to say whether Warthen would face punishment.
“I issued the statement. I put out the apology,” Warthen said Thursday. “I’m sticking by the statement. I already made the apologies to all the appropriate people. I don’t think there’s any ill feelings by any of the people in this room. I made a mistake. I live up to it. It will not happen again.”