NEW YORK — Derek Holland has been one of the more popular additions to the Giants' clubhouse in recent years, keeping it light throughout what has turned out to be a rough summer. On Thursday, Holland issued an apology for an attempt at humor that fell flat.
The Giants left-hander had appeared on MLB Network’s "Intentional Talk" one day earlier and brought Haro Ogawa, the team’s massage therapist, as his “hype man.” The appearance was awkward, and a day later, Deadspin ran a story criticizing Holland for making insensitive jokes. Many Giants fans complained about Holland on Twitter as well.
derek holland brought his “hype man” onto an intentional talk interview. the hype man spends the entire interview silent except when addressed.— joon lee (@joonlee) August 22, 2018
holland then impersonates a strong asian accent to play for laughs. that’s the entire joke. that holland uses an asian accent. come on. pic.twitter.com/N3qhoYncro
After Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Mets, Holland asked to speak to reporters about the incident.
“Obviously that was not our intention. I want to make sure that it’s clear that that’s all on me,” he said. "This is directly on me. Me and Haro were just doing a bit. We didn’t expect it to turn out the way that it did. Obviously it was not meant to be that way. … I apologize for what I’ve done and what I’ve caused. Now it’s become a distraction for the team, and I don’t want that, and I don’t want to have offended anybody, and I apologize for doing that.”
Holland said he spoke to Ogawa, a beloved team employee, and bullpen catcher Taira Uematsu, who also is Japanese. He apologized to both men.
“We were just doing a bit, but obviously it was too far,” Holland said. “Those were not the intentions. If we’re going to blame anybody, it needs to be me. I want to be held accountable for anything that I’ve done and caused with all of this.
"It’s embarrassing what I did. I was just trying to have some fun. Haro and I entertained trying to take it to a different level and make the interview more exciting, and I obviously crossed the line with that.”
Holland said he had seen the Deadspin article, and while he didn’t agree with the wording -- the headline was “Giants pitcher Derek Holland uses Asian team staffer for stale, racist jokes on MLB Network" -- he understands why people are upset.
“I understand I’ve offended people, and that's on me,” he said.
A few hours after the game against the Mets wrapped up, the Giants issued the following statement regarding Holland:
"The Giants were disappointed to learn of the Derek Holland’s behavior on Intentional Talk. We do not condone that type of behavior nor does it reflect our organizational values. Derek has taken full responsibility for his actions and has made a public apology."