On Thursday, Jim Kaat called Nestor Cortes "Nestor the molester."
On Friday, Cortes was ready to let it slide.
The New York Yankees pitcher wrote on Twitter that Kaat had reached out to him to apologize and that he's "100%" convinced that the Minnesota Twins broadcaster and former MLB player didn't mean any harm.
"Hey everybody — Jim Kaat has spent an entire lifetime in this game we love," Cortes wrote. "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% that there was no malice intended. I plan on lifting him up with this tweet and I hope others do too. No sweat here Jim!"
Kaat, 83, brought Nestor up while calling Thursday's game between the Twins and Detroit Tigers.
“Nestor the molester, Nestor Cortes,” Kaat said. “Man he is fun to watch.”
Jim Kaat's nickname for Nestor Cortes is "Nestor the Molestor" 😬 pic.twitter.com/ezLhcPBXSB
— MLB Errors (@mlberrors) June 2, 2022
Cortes, 27, is in the midst of a career season with the Yankees, posting a 1.50 ERA, 0.867 WHIP and 68-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 60 innings through 10 starts.
Kaat's comment drew immediate backlash and prompted the Twins to announce that he intended to apologize to Cortes and that he "meant no ill will." Per Cortes, Kaat followed through with the promise of an apology. Though he was never offended in the first place.
“I’m sure, you know, he didn’t really mean it, and people make mistakes," Cortes said on Thursday upon learning of Kaat's comment. "But it didn’t offend me at all. So, you know, I don’t really have anything more than just that, honestly.”
Kaat, a Hall of Fame pitcher, played 25 MLB seasons from 1959-84 including 11-plus seasons with the Twins. Thursday wasn't the first time he prompted backlash for his commentary. In 2021, he said during an Astros-White Sox playoff game on MLB Network that baseball teams should “get a 40-acre field full of” players like Chicago infielder Yoán Moncada.
Kaat apologized on air for that comment later in the same game.