HOUSTON, USA – Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish told reporters that Houston slugger Yuli Gurriel should be punished for a racist gesture made during the Astros’ 5-3 World Series victory Friday, October 27 (Saturday Manila time).
Television cameras appeared to show Gurriel putting his fingers to the outer edges of his eyes and pulling the skin wider while sitting in the Astros’ dugout.
“Acting like that was just disrespectful to people all over the world,” Darvish said through a translator. “I feel like the Astros have Asian fans too.”
Gurriel, a Cuban who played in Japan for the Yokohama BayStars in 2014, smashed a second-inning solo home run off Darvish to spark a four-run outburst by the Astros that forced the 31-year-old Japanese star out of the game after 1 2/3 innings – the shortest start of Darvish’s career.
But after the game, Darvish’s poor outing was less of a concern than Gurriel’s actions.
“He made a mistake,” Darvish said. “He’ll learn from it. We’re all human beings.”
Several media reports had Darvish later saying that Major League Baseball should impose some punishment upon Gurriel for the gesture.
US World Series telecaster Fox said that Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred plans to speak to Gurriel on Saturday about the gesture.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch said that Gurriel was “remorseful” about his actions and was planning to issue a statement but none had been forthcoming more than 90 minutes after the end of the game.
“I am aware of it,” Hinch said. “He’s going to have a statement. I know he’s remorseful. But other than that, I don’t know a lot.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was caught by surprise when asked about the gesture after the game.
“I did not see it,” he said. “That’s surprising. No, I didn’t see it.”
Roberts did see the troubles that Darvish was having on the mound, managing only five outs while surrendering six hits.
“The fastball command wasn’t there and the slider was backing up, so he just really didn’t have the feel and couldn’t get any type of rhythm going,” Roberts said. “They were taking good swings, obviously taking good at-bats against him. But it just goes to the fastball command and the breaking ball just wasn’t there.”
Hinch said that with Darvish struggling to find the strike zone with his slider, Astros batters could be patient and pound his other offerings.
“He didn’t have his normal slider in the strike zone, so we didn’t chase,” Hinch said. “He couldn’t really get it for a strike. It was all over the place.
“So when you can essentially disregard a pitch, that will go advantage to the hitter. And I think once we had some hitter counts, we put some pretty good swings on some pitches. We hit his fastball, which was really good. It looked like he was out of sorts.” – Rappler.com