Gurriel's big night marred by ugly gesture
HOUSTON -- Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel apologized and said he didn't mean to offend anyone after he was seen making an inappropriate gesture toward Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish in the second inning of Houston's 5-3 win in Game 3 of the World Series.
Gurriel, who went 2-for-5 and hit the Astros' first World Series homer at Minute Maid Park, made the gesture in the dugout following his homer, and he appeared to mouth the word, "Chinito," which is translated as "little Chinese boy."
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"In Cuba and in other places, we call all Asian people Chinese," Gurriel said through team translator Alex Cintron. "But I played in Japan and I know [that is] offensive, so I apologize for that."
Gurriel, who is from Cuba, played for one year in Japan, where Darvish was born and started his professional career.
"I didn't want to offend anybody," Gurriel said. "I don't want to offend him or anybody in Japan. I have a lot respect. I played in Japan."
Darvish expressed a willingness in a tweet to move on from the incident, which he said could be a learning experience for Gurriel.
"No one is perfect," Darvish said. "That includes both you and I. What he [did] 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."
According to multiple reports, Gurriel is expected to meet with Major League Baseball officials prior to Game 4 of the World Series, and he could potentially face discipline for his actions.
Gurriel, signed by the Astros to a five-year, $47.5 million deal last summer after a decorated career in his native Cuba, played in 2014 for the Yokohama BayStars of the Japanese Central League. Darvish was already playing in the Major Leagues, so he and Gurriel never faced each other prior to last year, when the pitcher was with the Texas Rangers.
Gurriel said he would like to apologize to Darvish personally.
"Of course, I want to talk to him, because I don't have anything against him," Gurriel said. "I want to apologize to him."
Astros manager A.J. Hinch was aware of Gurriel's gesture and said the player was "remorseful."