HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – After the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 in game three of the World Series on Friday Night, First Baseman Yuli Gurriel was not answering questions about his performance on the field, rath his actions in the dugout caught most of the media attention.
After Gurriel hit a solo home run off Dodgers starter Yu Darvish in the bottom of the second inning to give the Astros a 1-0 lead he was caught on camera in the dugout pulling at his eyes in reference to the Japanese pitcher. He also appeared to say a derogatory Spanish term for Asians while making the gesture with his eyes.
Gurriell after the game, through an interpreter, apologized for the gesture.
“I just feel bad,” Gurriel said through an interpreter. “If anybody got offended over there, it was not my intention.”
The explanation Gurriel gave for why he made the gesture is that he, who played in Japan in 2014, never had success off of Japanese pitchers and maybe Darvish thought he was Japanese and so the Dodgers pitcher pitched differently to him.
The 33-year-old acknowledged he knew the word he used “Chinito” is offensive.
“In Cuba we call everybody who is from Asia ‘Chino,’” he said through the interpreter. “We don’t call them Japanese. We call them Chino. Plus, I know in Japan that offends them. They don’t like that, but I didn’t mean to do it.”
Darvish took to his official Twitter account early Saturday morning to say he hopes we all can be better because of this incident.
The statement read:
“No one is perfect. That includes 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, that 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.”
Gurriel did say he would like to meet with Darvish and apologize directly to him.
“I want to apologize to him,” Gurriel said, “and tell him I did not mean to offend him.”
Gurriel is also expected to meet with Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred who is in Houston to watch the World Series.