Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel was suspended on Saturday for five games at the start of the 2018 season for making a racially insensitive gesture aimed at former Ranger pitcher Yu Darvish – now pitching for the Dodgers.
It happened on Friday night during Game 3 of the World Series when Gurriel returned to the dugout after he hit a homer off Darvish, who is half Japanese. TV cameras caught Gurriel pulling the skin on the outside corners of his eyes to make them narrower and it appeared he said the word “Chinito,” which means “little Chinese boy” in Spanish.
On Saturday, just hours before Game 4 of the World Series, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the suspension at a news conference, saying, “There is no place in our game for any behavior like the behavior we witnessed last night. There is no excuse or explanation that makes that type of behavior acceptable.”
Gurriel issued a statement through the Astros that said, “I sincerely apologize to everyone I offended with my actions. I deeply regret it. I would particularly like to apologize to Yu Darvish, a pitcher that I admire and respect.”