The Wall Street Journal's Stu Woo published an item last night about a very awkward exchange that he witnessed in the Mets locker room. While Woo was talking to Jeff Cutler, a Japanese American who serves as the team's interperter for Daisuke Matsuzaka, the two were approached by Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen.
That's when this happened:
"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.
Huh. Woo is a Chinese American, and was understandably puzzled by Warthen's willingness to drop "Chinaman" in front of him. Woo reached out to Mets PR guy Jay Horwitz, who told him that Warthen wouldn't be commenting publicly. Mets GM Sandy Alderson later issued a joint statement with 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," Warthen said.
"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," added Alderson.
OK, but there's just one more thing we want to know: What was the joke?