Gurriel is hitting.250 with a.975 OPS (on-base plus slugging) in the first three games of the World Series.
After a Gurriel home run off pitcher Yu Darvish put the Astros up 1-0, Gurriel returned to the dugout and pulled the skin on the side of his eyes back. He said that he did not intend to offend anyone in Japan. Without talking to him, I'm sure Darvish was a lot more bothered by Houston hitters, including Gurriel, lighting him up than he was by any puerile gestures Gurriel might have made after going yard at Yu's expense.
The 33-year-old Gurriel is a native of Cuba who played for the Yokohama DeNA Baystars of the Japanese Central League in 2014.
Darvish, also speaking through an interpreter, called the gesture and the word "disrespectful". Darvish is not Chinese; he was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Iranian father. "The Astros and Major League Baseball pride ourselves on the diversity of our sport and in showing great respect to all cultures represented by our players, front office staff, fans and members of the media".
"In Cuba and in various places, you don't say Japanese, you call all Asians 'Chinitos, ' " Darvish said. Gurriel may be punished, including a possible suspension during the World Series. The four-time All-Star played professionally in Japan from 2005-11 before joining the Texas Rangers in 2012. "I would also like to apologise to the Dodgers organisation, the Astros, Major League Baseball and to all fans across the game". I'm sure Darvish did.
The league and the players union also could negotiate a deal and propose that Gurriel accept it, foregoing the need for an appeal. He was traded to the Dodgers at this year's July 31 trade deadline. For me, he's always been one of the best pitchers. Matt Joyce of the Oakland Athletics and the Blue Jays' Kevin Pillar were both suspended for two games this season after using gay slurs in separate incidents, so there's already some precedent for the commissioner to take action.
Later, in a statement released on Twitter, the Iranian-Japanese player seemed more forgiving, adding that "no one is flawless", and while what Gurriel did "isn't right", he believes "we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him".
"Yes, of course. I want to talk to him because I have nothing against him", he said. "Just learn from it and we have to move forward".