After crushing a second-inning home run off Dodgers starter Yu Darvish in Game 3 of the World Series, television cameras caught Yuli Gurriel making a slanted-eyes gesture in the Houston dugout.
Below is a video of Gurriel's gesture caught on MLB's international broadcast of the World Series (it was also caught by FOX's cameras, which can be seen here).
In a huge media scrum after the Astros' 5-3 win, Gurriel spoke with reporters through translator Alex Cintron for a few minutes before a team official ended the interview session. A Major League Baseball source has told SI that it's expected Gurriel will have another statement.
"In Cuba we call everybody who is from Asia 'Chino,'" Gurriel, who defected from Cuba in February 2016 and signed with the Astros in July of that year, said. "We don’t call them Japanese, Chinese, Korean. We call them 'Chino.'"
It appeared in the video Gurriel was saying "chinito" or "chino," which means "Chinese" in Spanish.
Gurriel added that the reaction to his gesture caught him by "surprise," and was very complimentary of Darvish as one of the best Japanese pitchers. Gurriel played baseball in Japan during 2014, appearing in 62 games with the Yokohama Bay Stars.
"I didn’t know he was going to feel that offended," Gurriel said. "I feel bad and apologize if he got offended over there. It was not my intention."
Darvish and his teammates were also approached about the incident.
"Of course, Houston has Asian fans and Japanese fans," the Dodgers righthander said. "When he’s acting like that he’s disrespecting all the people around the world. It’s not OK."
Darvish then posted this to his Twitter account:
Based off the Japanese broadcast of Game 3, it appears as if Darvish got word of Gurriel's actions during the game.
Multiple players had not yet seen or heard about Gurriel's gesture when reporters entered the clubhouse, but Enrique Hernandez spoke out, saying "It's extremely disappointing. We'll let the league handle that one."
At his postgame press conference, Houston skipper A.J. Hinch didn't offer many details but noted that Gurriel was "remorseful" about the situation. Dodger manager Dave Roberts had not yet seen the clip of Gurriel when asked about it.
Los Angeles Times reporter Bill Shaikintweeted that commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to meet with Gurriel on Saturday and will decide on any disciplinary measures afterward.
Sports Illustrated's Ben Reiter and Stephanie Apstein contributed reporting to this story.