Ortiz: MLB suspends Astros' Gurriel for racially insensitive gesture

Houston Astros player Yuli Gurriel could face punishment for making a racially insensitive gesture
Astros' Gurriel Makes Racist Joke Mocking Dodgers' Yu Darvish During Game Three Of World Series
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29 October, 2017

But even if Major League Baseball elects to suspend Gurriel, he's nearly certain to appeal, which likely would delay the process so that a decision isn't made until after the World Series.

Major League Baseball has made a decision to suspend Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel five games in 2018 for his racist gesture after hitting a home run off Dodgers starter Yu Darvish in the second inning of Game 3 of the World Series.

After hitting a home run in the second inning of Friday's Game 3 off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish, Gurriel returned to the Astros' dugout, where he used his fingers to motion at his own eyes in a mocking gesture and appeared to mouth a derogatory term in Spanish.

Manfred met with Gurriel, who apologised after the game, and said the Astros first baseman reiterated his remorse and assured the commissioner that he would be offering a private apology to Darvish.

"Let me begin with what I regard to be the most important point that I'm going to make today: there is complete unanimity - me, my office, both owners, both clubs and the (players' union) - that there is no place in our game for the behavior or any behavior like the behavior we witnessed last night", Manfred said.

"I would particularly like to apologize to Yu Darvish, a pitcher that I admire and respect".

A Cuba native, Gurriel played 15 seasons in the Cuban National Series and Japan Central League from 2001-16.

For his part, Darvish called the gesture "disrespectful" after the game, and pointed out that "Houston has Asian fans and Japanese fans" too.

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Darvish was born in Japan, to an Iranian father and a Japanese mother.

Gurriel will not appeal, the Major League Baseball Players Association said in a statement.

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.

Manfred faces a delicate balance in deciding how to discipline Gurriel. I've never had anything against Darvish.

"I see a difference between behavior from one player directed specifically at a player and a logo", he said.

"What he had done today isn't right, but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him". If I offended him, I apologize. He was traded to the Dodgers at this year's July 31 trade deadline. "That's what I'm saying, so just learn from it and we've got to go forward, move forward".

After Darvish spoke with reporters on Friday, he posted a note on social media, expressing the hope that the Gurriel incident could serve as a learning experience.


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