After Homer Off Japanese Pitcher, a 'Disrespectful' Move

Yuli Gurriel apologizes after slanting his eyes and laughing in dugout
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2017 6:47 AM CDT
Astros Player Apologizes After Racist Gesture
Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel celebrates his home run against Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish of Japan.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros hit a home run in the second inning off Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish Friday night, giving him reason to celebrate in the dugout afterward. But Gurriel is now apologizing after cameras caught him taking things too far. The Cuban native can be seen making a slant-eyed gesture in regard to Darvish, who is from Japan. He also acknowledged using the word "chinto," meaning "little Chinese guy," reports USA Today. "At no point did I mean that in an offensive way," he said through an interpreter afterward. “Yesterday I was commenting that I’d never had any success against Darvish, and the gesture was saying that I wish he would look at me like one of them and maybe he’d throw me an easy pitch so I can do something."

Darvish, for his part, called the gesture "disrespectful," but wasn't making a big deal about it. "I have a lot of respect for him," he said of Gurriel, who played for a while in Japan, "so I try not to think about it too much against him." Later, the pitcher tweeted: "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." Gurriel could face league discipline, though it was unclear whether that might mean missing a World Series game. "We are aware of the situation and the commissioner intends to speak with the player," says a league spokesperson, per ESPN. The Astros won the game to take a 2-1 lead in the series. (More World Series stories.)

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