Houston Astros Player Under Fire for Racist Gesture

Astros' Gurriel may be punished for gesture at LA's Darvish

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Saturday that he was suspending Gurriel without pay for five games at the start of next season, and said he chose to delay the suspension because he didn't think it would be fair to penalize Gurriel's teammates by suspending the first baseman - who is hitting.340 this postseason - from any World Series games.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel will be suspended the first five games of the 2018 season without pay after making an insensitive gesture and using a derogatory word during Friday night's game, allowing him to play the remainder of the 2018 World Series.

Gurriel was in the dugout in the second inning after hitting one out of the park off Yu Darvish when he set his sights on Dodgers pitcher, who is from Japan.

After the game, Gurriel, a Cuba native, was asked about the gesture, for which he quickly apologized.

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"I didn't want to offend anybody", said Gurriel, 33. "I have always had a lot of respect [for Japanese people]".

"I felt it was unfair to punish the other 24 players on the Astros' roster". "I was commenting to my family that I didn't have any luck against Japanese pitchers here in the United States".

For his part, Darvish called the gesture "disrespectful" after the game, and pointed out that "Houston has Asian fans and Japanese fans" too.

Gurriel will lose $322,581 of his $12 million salary next year, which the Astros will donate to charitable causes. He won't be forced to miss any games during the 2017 World Series.

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Gurriel, who spent time playing with the Yokohama DeNA Baystars of Japan before signing on with Houston in July 2016, said he never meant to offend Darvish.

Gurriel will be put on the restricted list next season, meaning the Astros can replace him and play with a 25-man roster.

Darvish hopes the incident can be a learning experience.

From the Dodgers clubhouse, Darvish responded through a translator after game three. "We are all human beings, that's what I'm saying". "It's just learn from it, and we've got to move forward".

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