Major League Baseball has decided 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. Gurriel will not miss any time during the World Series, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
Gurriel's was seen using his hands to slant his eyes and mouthed the word "chinito," which is a Spanish term that translates to "little Chinese." The gesture was caught on cameras on the international feed and quickly spread on social media during the game.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said that to his understanding Gurriel will not appeal the suspension. Gurriel will also be required to attend sensitivity training.
"There is no place in our game for the behavior, or any behavior we witnessed last night," Manfred said in a press conference before Game 4. "There is no excuse."
After the game, Gurriel answered for his actions through an interpreter. He said that he did not intend to offend anyone in Japan. He claimed that he was excited because he had not hit a home run off a Japanese pitcher since his debut in August 2016.
"I didn't think anybody would think (bad) about what I meant with all those kinds of things like that," Gurriel said through his translator. "I offer my apologies to baseball and anyone offended."
He added that he would be open to speaking with Darvish about what happened and to apologize.
Darvish, in his sixth MLB season since arriving from Japan, described Gurriel's gesture as "disrespectful" but was also forgiving in a statement that he posted on Twitter.
“No one is perfect," Darvish wrote. "That includes both you and I. What he had done today isn’t right, but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him. If we can take something from this, this is a giant step for mankind. Since we are living in such a wonderful world, let’s stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger. I’m counting on everyone’s big love.”
The Houston Astros issued the following statement after the suspension was announced:
Gurriel, 33, finished Friday night's 5–3 win over the Dodgers going 2-for-4 with a home run and a double. He is hitting .340 with a .933 OPS during the postseason. He played one season in Japan in 2014.