New York Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen has said sorry for calling a clubhouse translator 'a Chinaman'.

As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Warthen interrupted a conversion between a reporter and Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka's Asian-American interpreter when he used the racial slur.

Warthen, who has been Mets' pitching coaching since 2008, apologised for calling Jeff Cutler, the translator, a 'Chinaman' earlier in the week.

As reported by ESPN, the conversation went as follows: "I'm sorry I called you a Chinaman yesterday," said Warthen.

"It's OK", Culter said.

"I didn't mean to insinuate - I know you're not Chinese. I thought it was a pretty good joke, though."

But the reporter, a Chinese-American from San Francisco, was upset at Warthen repeating the insult that is commonly used to belittle people of Asian descent.

The Wall Street Journal published the story, and now Warthen has come out and apologised for the remark.

"I apologise for the thoughtless remarks that I made yesterday in the clubhouse," Warthen said in a statement. "They were a poor attempt at humour, but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting. I am very sorry."

The Mets organisation also released their own apology, delivered by general manager Sandy Alderson, but Alderson refused to say whether Warthen would face any further disciplinary action.

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