It doesn’t sound like Shohei Ohtani will be seeking further punishment for Jack Morris, or even another apology from the Detroit Tigers broadcaster.
Morris, a Hall of Fame pitcher, used a mocking Asian accent when suggesting the Tigers should “be very, very careful” when pitching to Ohtani in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game. He apologized on-air during Ohtani’s next at-bat, but was suspended indefinitely Wednesday by the television network Bally Sports Detroit.
Ohtani, the biggest star in baseball right now, might have taken some of the heat off of Morris with his reaction.
“I did see the footage and I heard it,” Ohtani told reporters through an interpreter, according to The Athletic. “Personally, I’m not offended and I didn’t take anything personally … He is a Hall of Famer. He has a big influence in the baseball world. It’s kind of a tough spot.”
The Tigers supported the television network’s decision to suspend Morris, who will now undergo “bias training,” according to a statement.
“There is no place in the game for it,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch told reporters. “I love this sport. This sport is arguably the most diverse sport, certainly of our four major sports here in the U.S. … So we need to celebrate that and learn that comments like that are not only unnecessary but unwarranted.”
Morris’ apology seemed to focus on “what I said about pitching and being careful to Shohei Ohtani” and not how he said it. But Angels manager Joe Maddon has a personal relationship with Morris and found the apology to be acceptable.
“My take on the whole thing is that the Detroit Tigers reacted the way they wanted to,’ Maddon told reporters. “And I know Jack, and he apologized. That’s it. That’s where I’m at with the whole situation right now.”
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