Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel could face a fine or possible suspension after he made a racist gesture during Game 3 of the World Series between the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gurriel said he did not intend for his actions to offend Yu Darvish the Los Angeles pitcher when he pulled back on the corners of his eyes following his home run against the Dodgers’ pitcher during Houston’s win of 5-3 in Game 3 Friday night.
In Spanish via a translator Gurriel said he did not try to offend anyone. He added that he was commenting to his family that he did not have luck against pitchers from Japan while playing in the U.S.
Gurriel, who is 33 and from Cuba, made his gesture just after homering during the Astros four-run explosion in the second inning. While he was sitting in the Astros dugout, Gurriel pulled back at the corners of his eyes and spoke “chinito,” which is a Spanish term that is derogatory and its literal translation is “little Chinese.”
Darvish has a Japanese mother and Iranian father and was born in Japan.
A source with knowledge of this situation has told the AP the league is going to speak with Gurriel and that the first baseman might by punished and that could include being suspended during the ongoing World Series.
Recently, the league suspended players that were caught using racial slurs. Kevin Pillar an outfielder for Toronto and Matt Joyce with Oakland each were suspended two games during the season for homophobic comments they made.
Gurriel explained that the derogatory term is commonly used in Cuba in reference to people from Asia. He added that he knows the Japanese are offended when it is used since he played in 2014 in Japan.
Darvish played in Japan between 2005 and 2011 for a professional league prior to signing in 2012 with the Texas Rangers. On this year’s trade deadline of July 31, the Rangers traded Darvish to Los Angeles. He was upset about the incident on Friday.
Acting that way, said Darvish through his Japanese translator is disrespecting people around the world.
Gurriel said he would like to speak with the Dodgers’ pitcher about what he did. Gurriel said if Darvish felt offended, then he would like to apologize directly to him.
Gurriel played 15 years in the professional league in Cuba and in Japan one season prior to signing last season with Houston. In Game 3, he hit a home run and doubled and during the postseason has a .346 batting average.