OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) –Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said someone posted a homophobic slur on pitcher Derek Holland’s Twitter account Sunday that was directed at a heckler.
Major League Baseball is investigating the post, which was quickly taken down. Holland said Monday in Oakland he was either pitching at the time or in the dugout and he didn’t do it. He noted that his fiancée, Lauren, is the only person he knows has access to his account and she told him she was not involved. He also checked with family members, who said they knew nothing about it.
“I honestly don’t know. I know it wasn’t myself,” Holland said. “I’ve talked to my family and my fiancée and they all said the exact same thing: It wasn’t them. I have no idea. All I know is MLB is taking care of it and they’re going to help me out and figure out who it was. I was blindsided by it. I had no idea.”
Daniels called it a “serious issue, it’s an unacceptable term to use.”
“We found out shortly thereafter. Obviously we take something like that very seriously,” Daniels said. “It’s not a term or a sentiment we endorse in any way. We asked Derek about it. He was not aware of it happening. He had been out during the game. We alerted MLB about it so while we’re doing our own investigation they can do one as well. We continue to follow up on that at this time. Derek says he didn’t do it. He’s not sure how it got out, obviously. That’s what we’re looking into.
“I don’t know if he was on the mound or on the bench. He was in a spot you wouldn’t think it would be possible.”
Less than two weeks ago, the Toronto Blue Jays suspended starting shortstop Yunel Escobar for three games for wearing eye-black displaying a homophobic slur in Spanish during a game against Boston.
From Holland’s account — @Dutch_Oven45 — a tweet using a homophobic slur was sent in response to someone calling Holland a “pathetic excuse” for a pitcher.
Holland (12-6) was alerted to the post after Texas beat the Angels 8-7 in the second game of a doubleheader. The left-hander trailed 4-0 after only five batters before settling down to work into the seventh.
“I’m pretty upset with the whole situation and me being accused of something I haven’t done,” Holland said. “In case you haven’t seen, all I ever do write Chuck Norris facts or random facts, ‘a pig or a duck, you can’t hear its echo.’ I don’t ever write anything like that.”
Holland has nearly 93,000 Twitter followers. He said he hasn’t “messed with the whole Twitter since.” Holland said he will let baseball officials determine whether the tweet was the work of a hacker and wouldn’t speculate on what happened.
“Whatever was said was said on there. It has nothing to do with me,” Holland said. “I didn’t say anything.”
Manager Ron Washington said he had nothing to add to Daniels’ remarks but supports his pitcher through this as he would any player.
“He’s a Texas Ranger,” Washington said.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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