Giants

Giants' Derek Holland apologizes for insensitive MLB Network appearance

Giants' Derek Holland apologizes for insensitive MLB Network appearance

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. 

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."

Madison Bumgarner not thinking about possible final days with Giants

Madison Bumgarner not thinking about possible final days with Giants

Madison Bumgarner has two or three more starts left this season.

Those could be Bumgarner's final starts in a Giants uniform.

With the playoffs out of sight for the Giants and free agency looming for Bumgarner, he is starting to field some of the same questions he got before the July 31 trade deadline.

Has Bumgarner started to think about the end of his time with the Giants?

"No, I hadn't," Bumgarner told reporters after the Giants' 4-2 loss to the Marlins. "I don't want that to come across the wrong way, but same deal, just take it one game at a time. Who knows what the future holds. Can't get caught up in that, so we had a ballgame to win today and I did my best to give us a chance to win and that's all I can really do."

Bumgarner was his vintage self on Saturday night. In seven strong innings, he allowed four hits and two earned runs. One pitch to Miami catcher Jorge Alfaro cost him.

Despite the two-run homer allowed to Alfaro, manager Bruce Bochy liked what he saw from his ace.

"I thought he was great tonight," Bochy told reporters. "Really good, effecient job. One pitch there left the ballpark, but overall, there he is, seven innings, two runs, that's pretty nice work. We're just struggling offensively, couple runners left on third with one out, that's not going to help out matters either."

[RELATED: Where Bumgarner projects among free agents]

Bumgarner will hit the free agent market for the first time this winter. With the Giants rebuilding, it's quite possible that president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi lets Bumgarner leave in free agency. Or Zaidi could bring back Bumgarner to anchor the rotation for a few more years.

As Bumgarner said himself on Saturday night, who knows what the future holds.

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner listed as fourth-best 2020 MLB free agent

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner listed as fourth-best 2020 MLB free agent

The 2019-20 MLB free agent class doesn't have the star power of last offseason's crop, but there are still several franchise-changing players that will be available.

Madison Bumgarner, who was not traded by the Giants prior to the July 31 MLB trade deadline, will test the free agent market for the first time in his career.

Coming off a contract that saw him earn $12 million in each of the last two seasons, this winter is Bumgarner's chance to cash in.

As the 2019 season winds down, MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince projected the top 20 free agents-to-be and has the Giants icon ranked No. 4 on the list.

"Despite an overall velocity decline since 2016 and a wealth of big league innings since debuting at age 19, Bumgarner has remained effective this season with increased curveball usage," Castrovince wrote. "Savvy teams might target ways to further tap into his potential as he enters his 30s, and, even in our increasingly analytical age, his pedigree is valued."

The players ranked ahead of Bumgarner are, in order, Astros ace Gerrit Cole, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon and Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg.

After two injury-shortened seasons, Bumgarner stayed healthy this year and will make his 32nd start on Saturday night against the Marlins. If he makes his final two scheduled starts, he will match a career-high with 34.

In his 31 starts this season, Bumgarner has a 3.77 ERA with 184 strikeouts in 188 2/3 innings.

While those numbers are respectable, that ERA would be the worst of his career.

Still, Bumgarner holds tremendous value for any prospective team, including possibly with the Giants. Aside from freak injuries, he's a workhorse who takes the ball every fifth day without complaint.

Bumgarner has one of the most decorated postseason resumes, so perennial contenders like the Yankees and Braves would be perfect fits for the 2014 World Series MVP.

[RELATED: Bumgarner could lead NL in innings pitched]

It will be fascinating to watch the market for Bumgarner play out this offseason. Giants fans understand his value, but MLB teams might not fully appreciate what he brings to the table and undervalue him because he's 30 years old and has never won a Cy Young. But you're paying for the no-nonsense workhorse.

Our advice to interested teams? Back up the Brinks truck for Bumgarner.