HOUSTON -- The Astros television broadcast team is being criticized after the call of a near perfect game Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park between Houston and the Texas Rangers.
After Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish lost a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning, color commentator Alan Ashby said, "That'll force a guy to learn some of the language here in America."
The reaction to that statement was immediate, starting on Twitter.
"Wow. What was up with those Astros broadcasters spouting that racist comment..."
"That Astros broadcaster needs to get canned."
"@astros shame on you and your announcers."
Folks were talking about the comment Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.
"Offensive? probably. I would say so,” said Rangers fan Allison Langdon.
"I think that it is a very racist comment. It is nuts,” said Denise Tow. “If you are a professional, you should not say that kind of stuff."
Alan Ashby is in his first year as Astros TV broadcaster, but for several years, he was the radio color man for the team.
Ashby released the following statement on Wednesday:
“I’d like to apologize if my comments last night were misinterpreted or construed as insensitive. I have the highest regard for Yu Darvish; he’s a great player and his performance last night was outstanding.
“He showed a great deal of poise in the face of a difficult moment last night, which speaks to the strength of his character.”
That’s not enough for some fans.
"It is pretty unprofessional,” said Cody Laird. “You are a broadcaster. You have got to know what you are saying."
But not everybody took the comment negatively.
"He wasn't saying it in a racist tone,” said Chris Macon. “I didn't take it that way."