SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy criticized a nationally syndicated radio host Sunday for what he said was a "racist" comment about San Francisco reliever Ramon Ramirez.
Radio host Tony Bruno referred to Ramirez as an "illegal alien." He also called Bochy a "coward" in a Twitter post following Friday night's benches-clearing brawl between the Phillies and Giants. The mayhem came after Ramirez plunked Shane Victorino in the lower back in the sixth inning of the Phillies' 9-2 victory.
Bruno's show is broadcast on local station KNBR 1050 AM. He later deleted his tweet and apologized for his "stupid and insensitive" post.
"gutless (...) Giants," he tweeted. "Bochy is a coward for having his illegal alien pitcher hit a guy since mighty Frisco boys ..."
Bochy didn't mince words when asked to respond to Bruno on Sunday morning.
"Forget the remarks about me," Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle. "That doesn't bother me. For a guy to make a racist comment like that and have the ear of so many people, that bothers me. I can defend myself as a coward. I don't know if you can defend yourself making a racist comment."
Ramirez is from the Dominican Republic. He has declined to discuss the brawl but said Sunday he is in the U.S. legally and wouldn't be able to work in the major leagues otherwise.
"I'm not interested in what he thinks about me," Ramirez said in a Spanish interview with The Associated Press and a Spanish reporter before the finale of the Giants' four-game series with Philadelphia. "I'm not interested in what he has to say. I don't need to pay attention to what he has to say about me. A lot of people say things about me. I know who I am. How would I be able to work here if I were an illegal? He put it on the Internet? I can't believe that."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and Victorino felt Ramirez hit the center fielder on purpose. The pitcher, Victorino and Giants catcher Eli Whiteside were ejected after the fracas -- and Bochy expects to hear from Major League Baseball as soon as Monday regarding any suspensions.
"It's not like somebody went out to the mound," Bochy said of visiting Ramirez or instructing him to plunk Victorino. "He just walked a guy. There's no communication there. The next pitch hit Victorino. It happened so fast. We were as surprised as anybody to be honest."
Ramirez is ready to move forward -- from the brawl and Bruno's comments.
"Everyone says what they feel in their heart," Ramirez said. "But I feel that's not right."
On his Facebook page, Bruno addressed his remarks.
"My stupid and insensitive twitter post was up less than one minute before I realized it was caustic," Bruno said. "It was removed immediately and I typed a quick apology on twitter and here. Since I was doing my live radio show, I apologized more emphatically on the air, and the podcast is available on my website (tonybrunoshow.com, hour 3) for those who choose to actually get some facts to go along with the hearsay or bloggers who spread falsehoods about my apology not being 'sincere.'"
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.