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Mets pitching coach dropped ethnic slur in clubhouse

Mar 12, 2014, 10:39 PM EDT

You’ll want to read the entire story from Stu Woo of the Wall Street Journal, but here’s an excerpt:

In the New York Mets locker room Monday morning, I was talking with Jeff Cutler, a 30-year old Japanese American from suburban Boston who serves as the interpreter for Japanese-born pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

We were talking casually about Asian communities in America when we heard a voice behind us.

“Jeff!”

Cutler and I turned around. It was Dan Warthen, the Mets pitching coach.

“I’m sorry I called you a ‘Chinaman’ yesterday,” Warthen told Cutler.

“It’s OK,” Cutler replied.

“I didn’t mean to insinuate –- I know you’re not Chinese,” Warthen said. He paused. “I thought it was a pretty good joke, though.”

“It was,” Cutler said, with a small laugh.

Warthen walked away.

Woo asked Cutler if he was offended by the joke and Cutler said he wasn’t, but Woo then asked Cutler to provide the gist of the joke and Cutler responded, “You should ask Dan (Warthen) about that.”

Warthen was supposed to meet with Woo in the Mets’ dugout at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to discuss what happened but he didn’t show, sending word through Mets vice president of media relations Jay Horwitz that he wasn’t going to comment further about the exchange. Warthen did decide to issue a written statement on Wednesday night, packaged with accompanying words from Mets general manager Sandy Alderson …

Warthen: “I apologize for the thoughtless remarks that I made yesterday in the clubhouse. They were a poor attempt at humor, but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting. I am very sorry.”

Alderson: “On behalf of the entire organization, I apologize for the insensitive remarks made by of one of our staff members. The remarks were offensive and inappropriate and the organization is very sorry.”

Warthen has been the Mets’ pitching coach since 2008. He pitched in the majors from 1975-1978.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    The joke was “How many CHINAMEN does it take to run off a blinker?…..Apparently more than it takes to build a railroad!”

    Seriously….the only time ethnic jokes are funny is when the joke is actually on the person making them.

    Or if it’s about those damn dirty Swedes.

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      That….ah….that was supposed to be “turn off”.

      That’s why I’m not a professional comedian.

      And also because you’re not allowed to type your jokes.

      • roanboon - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:08 PM

        tfbuckfutter, what gives you the right to make a comment like that? “Oh, I’m just being sarcastic, dude, can’t you tell it was a joke?” Sounds like something Dan Warthen might say.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:19 PM

        It’s not sarcasm.

        I am highlighting how stupid ethnic jokes.

        And I also don’t care if you don’t get my point. But I am doing you the courtesy of explaining it, which I don’t normally do. But it’s more because I’m bothered by you thinking it was sarcasm than caring that you get it.

      • hockeyflow33 - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:05 AM

        He probably doesn’t get it because he’s polish

    • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      How do you know that Jesus wasn’t born in Norway? Because there are no wise men to the east.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:25 PM

        I don’t get that.

        But it’s probably because my sense of direction is almost as bad as a woman’s.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:40 PM

        Why don’t you ask that nice lady on your GPS to explain it to you?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        tonight…that’s right….there’s gonna be a fight, hey!

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:43 PM

        Because I can’t understand her and her British accent. It’s like…come on, learn English or GTFO.

        And as for the fight….I would obviously win with my strong man arms and full month of consistent and unwavering emotions. (Also, I poke eyes)

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:48 PM

        You have to locate me on a map first.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:52 PM

        I’ll start is Cryingfornoreasonville and if you’re not there I will move on to Bringingupoldcrapfornoreasonburgh.

        And if you’re not in either of those places I will check the beauty salon.

        No. Wait. I’ll check the kitchen first.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:01 AM

        Ha! I’m in Shoptilyoudropistan…with your wallet.

    • seeinred87 - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Damn dirty Swedes would be vitun hurrit in Finnish.

      Just in case anyone wants to insult some Swedes in Finnish some day

  2. arrooo - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    This PC nonsense is getting out of hand

    • fearlessleader - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      Let me guess, arrooo….you’re a white dude? :)

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      Actually it’s not.

      The only people who think that are people who are too dumb to adapt to changing times, or who are mad that no one finds their stupid racist jokes funny anymore.

      Accept that you’re a dinosaur, or evolve. Those are really you’re only options. You can’t bitch about society’s evolution because society doesn’t give a crap about your sad little complaints about people’s valid complaints.

      • Sign Ahead - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:12 AM

        Pffft! Mammals are just a fad.

    • raysfan1 - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      This “you should not be offended at impolite and offensive behavior” nonsense has got to stop. Also nonsense that needs to stop: attempting to insult people insist on politeness and respect by calling that insistence “PC.”

    • ch0psuey - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:12 AM

      I’m with ya Arrooo. Stupid really.

      • karlkolchak - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:53 AM

        You could have just shortened that to, “I’m with Stupid Arrooo.”

  3. chill1184 - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    I remember watching an episode of WWE (then WWF) Monday Night Raw years ago and the wrestler X-Pac who was doing commentary at the time and he said chinaman pretty damm loud and nothing came out of it. Honestly I’m surprised that it wasn’t that race baiting a-hole Andy Martino who broke this “story”.

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      I agree.

      Society should never aspire to evolve past something X-Pac said on a wrestling broadcast 15 years ago.

      That was the apex of enlightenment.

      (Just so you know, X-Pac is actually a local here….he made a drug fueled sex tape with a very manly woman, and then I think he overdosed a couple of times, and once got committed for trying to kill himself….He seems like a good guy despite his troubles, but I’m not really eager to look to him for guidance through social mores.)

      • chill1184 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:08 PM

        Point is I’ve heard outdated phrases and words before said on television in the past and nothing came out of it. It’s not like Warthen said either the C or G word.

        Note: Ive had my share of racial slurs thrown at me in the past (s$%#, t$@^ n%#^#^) and retarded insults like “go back to Mexico” (granted Im not Mexican) and so on.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:14 PM

        You should probably go ahead and remove “retarded” from your vocabulary going forward.

        It is also becoming increasingly frowned upon.

      • jm91rs - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:17 AM

        I think “chinaman” is acceptable if you’re a chinese man. Of course context is everything and if you’re using to talk down to a person, even if they are chinese, it’s a bad thing. The problem is that most of us westerners have a hard time distinguishing between many Asians and it’s sometimes an insult to get it wrong.

        And yes, you should remove retarded from your vocabulary. There’s really no need for it, and if you ever become friends with someone with Downs you’ll see pretty quickly how much hurt that word can cause.

  4. finswins799 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    Everybody just relax….SHEEEESH

  5. frank433 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    What the **** are you talking about? The chinaman is not the issue here, Dude. I’m talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line, you DO NOT… Also, Dude, chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please.

    • largebill - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      “Also, Dude, chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please.”

      Just go with Asian if you feel the need to identify someone by their ethnicity. Going with the stupid hyphenated -American thing is how we end up with idiot news goofs on TV referring to rioters in France as “African-Americans” because they were too afraid to call them black or better yet just call them rioters.

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        Wouldn’t that be French-African?

      • frank433 - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        Large bill, please reference Lebowski, The Big.

  6. brianjoates - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    It is pretty funny that they freaked out over the term, no-one should be put down because of race, yet the current most popular league still says, we don’t mean Redskins in a derogatory way, so it’s alright.

  7. djandujar - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    This is not a journalistic story.

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      I can’t find an antonym for “journalistic”.

      So….what is it then?

      • djandujar - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:05 AM

        A brand new slur.

  8. mrjmcg28 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    Reblogged this on MRJM Sports.

    • karlkolchak - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:44 AM

      Personally, I think we should limit our insults to the annoying twits who try to promote their stupid bligs on this site.

      • karlkolchak - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:44 AM

        “blogs,” obviously. Though it’s funnier the other way.

  9. thetxhammer - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    People need to chill out, this garbage is getting out of hand. If people are going to make ignorant comments, let them look stupid for it.

    They’re not issuing apologies because they’re sorry, they’re doing it because they don’t want the media backlash of not apologizing.

  10. hockeyflow33 - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    Noooooo, someone made a bad joke. He must be the most horrible person ever and should never work again!

    Who cares if someone said something stupid? Grow up, words don’t hurt.

    • lazyrasmus - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      Check your privilege.

  11. shanabartels - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    Using racial slurs is stupid under any circumstances, but the fact that an employee of a New York team openly did so in front of reporters is almost beyond comprehension. According to the most recent census, nearly 25% of the residents of Queens are Asian. (Fun fact: Queens County is the most ethnically diverse county in the US, by far.) So go ahead and offend a quarter of your neighbors in the borough. See how that works out for you.

    • dcarroll73 - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:18 AM

      Are you implying that the Mets could be even more unpopular than they are? Hard to believe, but it would be funny.

      • zzalapski - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:56 AM

        Alderson can trade for A-Rod. Or pee on the American flag.

        It may be a tossup as to which would result in a more deserted Citi Field.

  12. paint771 - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:49 AM

    The Chinaman is not the issue here, Dude.

    • nolanwiffle - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:48 AM

      He peed on my rug, man!

    • nolanwiffle - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:48 AM

      He peed on my rug, man!

  13. baseballisboring - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:17 AM

    So the guy made a racist joke (JOKE, being the key word). The guy who was the butt of the joke said he wasn’t offended, and the coach apologized anyway. If there’s any reason why this is a story, and actually warrants TWO groveling, disingenuous, face-saving apologies I’d love to hear it.

    • dcarroll73 - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:20 AM

      The apologies are always more cringe-worthy and annoying than the original, stupid remark. It really is like something in an elementary school class with a really bad, uptight teacher.

    • sometogethernow - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      From the description of the situation, you think that the person the joke was aimed at felt absolutely free to react honestly, that inherent in the situation there was no pressure on him to let it slide?

      One reason why racist speech DOES matter is that the contexts in which it exists or is tolerated usually include imbalances of power that slant toward the people whom the speech affects the least.

      • scyankee64 - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        Heh heh, you said “slant.”

      • baseballisboring - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

        Racist speech is different from a racist joke. Whatever he said was said in jest, not meant to be taken seriously. The coach also apologized. The public apologies are insincere and vomit inducing.

  14. deadeyedesign23 - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    It seems like he realized it was wrong and apologized on his own. I don’t know there’s any need to continue to flagellate a dude who made an apology without having to be pressured into it by the press.

  15. psousa1 - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Don’t even get me going on left handed people………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. psousa1 - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    This is America. A lot of people want to be offended, they are dying to be offended and need to find offense in anything. They will say a stop sign is offensive to people who don’t want to stop.

    They need to be offended like the air they breathe.

    • paperlions - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      More than that, a lot of people want to be offensive, racist, homophobic, and sexist….harkening back to the halcyon days of white guys owning and controlling everything (as opposed to now, when they only control 98% of things).

      • hockeyflow33 - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        You’re allowed to be any of those things, that’s why this country is great.

  17. stlouis1baseball - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Wharthen was wrong. No arguing that. He has no defense. But let’s not loose sight of the fact the dude was apologizing. Had he NOT apologized we wouldn’t be disucssing this right now.
    That…I have a problem with. He is trying to take corrective measures, apologize for offending someone and he still gets tarred and feathered. That…is where we are. And it’s kind of sad.
    Cause’ again…had he not apologized we wouldn’t know anything about it. It’s between he and the pitching coach (and the organization as whole). Let’s let them do their jobs and we can find something else to RAGE about.

  18. stlouis1baseball - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    And now I am going to apologize for all of those spelling errors. Lol! Wow.

  19. nananabooboo - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    What would John Rocker say?

  20. emdash01 - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Note to fellow white people: if you start to feel inclined to say that the slur does not seem so offensive to *you* and therefore can’t possibly be that bad, what you should do instead is to not do that.

    • hockeyflow33 - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      I’m sorry, saying white people is offensive.

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