The Houston Astros first basement, Yuri Gurriel, narrowly avoided being booted from the World Series after he made a racist gesture and used a Spanish-language slur for “little Chinese guy,” against Japanese-born Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, Yu Darvish.
Gurriel won’t be suspended for the World Series, but he will be suspended for five games — without pay — when baseball returns next spring. He will also receive “sensitivity training” and will make an apology to Darvish.
“There is complete unanimity — me, my office, both owners, both clubs, and the (union) — that there is no place in our game for the behavior like we witnessed last night,” Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement late Friday. “There is no explanation that makes that type of behavior excusable.”
“Mr. Gurriel quickly realized last night that his behavior was wrong. I met with him today. He reiterated that remorse and he assured me that he will offer a private apology to Mr. Darvish,” Manfred continued.
Gurriel made an informal attempt at an apology Saturday night. “Yesterday I was commenting that I’d never had any success against Darvish, and the gesture was saying that I wish he would look at me like one of them (Japanese players) and maybe he’d throw me an easy pitch so I can do something. At no point did I mean that in an offensive way. On the contrary, I’ve always had a lot of respect for them.’’
Darvish was surprisingly kind, telling media that he felt Gurriel’s gesture was “disrespectful,” also suggested that players could consider the incident a “learning experience” and move on — perhaps his conciliatory mood was helped by the fact that the Astros led the series 2-1 before Los Angeles tied it up Saturday night.