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Saturday
Oct282017

Yuli Gurriel suspended five games for racial gesture, won't miss World Series action

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel has been suspended for the first five games of the 2018 season for a racial gesture directed at Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish Friday night during Game 3 of the World Series in Houston.

MLB Comissioner Rob Manfred, who met with Gurriel on Saturday, said the 33-year-old rookie will not miss any World Series games.

"There is no question that it is a difficult decision as to when the appropriate timing was," Manfred said. "Obviously World Series games are different than regular-season games, and I used my best judgment as to where the appropriate disciplinary level fell. I understand that people may have different views. But it was my best judgment that this timing was appropriate."

After hitting a home run in the second inning off Darvish, Gurriel returned to the dugout, where he put his fingers to the side of his eyes and appeared to say a derogatory Spanish term.

Even Darvish -- born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Iranian father -- tweeted, "No one is perfect. What he had done today isn't right, but I believe we should put out effort into learning rather than to accuse him ... Since we are living in such a wonderful world, let's stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger.

"I didn't try to offend nobody," Gurriel, 33, told reporters in Spanish through a translator after the Astros 5-3 win against the Dodgers. "I was commenting to my family that I didn't have any luck against Japanese pitchers here in the United States."

Gurriel continued, "In the moment, I didn't want to offend him or nobody in Japan because I have a lot of respect for them and I played in Japan," he said, adding that, "I didn't mean to do it."

Gurriel played in Japan in 2014 before signing with the Astros last season.

He will be required to undergo "sensitivity training" as part of his punishment.

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