Astros' Gurriel suspended five games in 2018 for gesture

Lawrence Cooper
October 29, 2017

Gurriel is hitting.250 with a.975 OPS (on-base plus slugging) in the first three games of the World Series.

Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel was facing intense scrutiny - and the possibility of discipline by Major League Baseball - for an apparent racially insensitive gesture toward Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish that he made Friday night during Game 3 of the World Series.

After Gurriel hit a home run off the Dodgers' Yu Darvish in Friday's game, Gurriel returned to the Astros' dugout.

After the game, Gurriel, a Cuba native, was asked about the gesture, for which he quickly apologized. "At no point did I mean that in an offensive way". As ESPN's Buster Olney has pointed out, even if Manfred had tried to suspend Gurriel during the World Series, the players' union appeal process would have delayed the suspension until next season anyway. "I was commenting to my [teammates] that I hadn't had any good luck against Japanese pitchers here in the U.S".

Gurriel hopes to speak with Darvish about what happened. Darvish is not Chinese; he was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Iranian father.

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Gurriel said it's common in Cuba to use the word "chinito" to describe someone of Asian heritage, although he admitted he realizes it's considered offensive in Japan. The four-time All-Star played professionally in Japan from 2005-11 before joining the Texas Rangers in 2012.

As part of the punishment, Gurriel will be required to undergo sensitivity training during the offseason while the Astros, in a gesture of support, have agreed to donate Gurriel's salary for the five games to charitable causes.

"I know he's remorseful", Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "He expressed remorse. I met with him today". (I didn't see it, and don't care to.) This touched of a storm from the Indignation-Industrial Complex, and one of its subsidiaries, Major League Baseball. "Acting like that is disrespectful to people around the world and the Houston organization". "I didn't try to offend anybody". Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar was suspended in May for using a homophobic slur.

Darvish responded as well, taking to Twitter to ask everyone to focus on moving forward from the incident.

"Nobody's flawless and everybody is different and then. we just. have to learn from it", he said. "It's just learn from it, and we've got to move forward".

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