Rob Manfred Explains Delaying Yuli Gurriel's Suspension for Racist Gesture

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 27:  Yuli Gurriel #10 of the Houston Astros reacts after hitting a solo home run during the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred praised Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish as part of his explanation of Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel's five-game suspension being delayed until 2018.

The suspension was handed out in response to Gurriel making a racist gesture after hitting a home run of Darvish in Friday's Game 3 of the World Series.

MLB Network's Anthony Castrovince tweeted the following summary of Manfred's explanation in a press conference of why Gurriel won't miss any World Series games:

Anthony Castrovince @castrovince

Rob Manfred outlined these 4 reasons that Yuli Gurriel's suspension (5 games) will be served in 2018 and not during World Series. https://t.co/kbP3egCqeY

After the 5-3 win, which gave Houston a 2-1 series lead, Gurriel said he didn't intend to insult Japanese pitcher Darvish with the gesture, in which he pulled his eyelids to narrow them, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

"Yesterday I was commenting that I'd never had any success against Darvish, and the gesture was saying that I wish he would look at me like one of them [Japanese players] and maybe he'd throw me an easy pitch so I can do something. At no point did I mean that in an offensive way. On the contrary, I've always had a lot of respect for them."

Nightengale added that Gurriel appeared to say "chinito" while making the gesture, which is a Spanish word meaning "little Chinese guy."

During the press conference, Manfred said in reference to Gurriel, "I believe ... he understood both [the] language [and] gesture [were] offensive," per Bleacher Report's Scott Miller.

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According to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times, Manfred said there is "no place in our game" for Gurriel's actions.

Per ESPN.com, Darvish condemned the gesture but also acknowledged the notion that everyone makes mistakes:

"I feel like, of course, Houston has Asian fans and Japanese fans, and Asian fans live all over the place. And acting like that, it's just disrespectful to people around the world, to the Houston organization. It's not OK.

"Including him and I, nobody's perfect. Everybody's different. We've just got to learn from it. He made a mistake, and we've just got to learn from it. We are all human beings."

According to Arash Madani of Sportsnet, Manfred said, "I was impressed by my conversation with Yu Darvish to have this move forward."

Manfred added Gurriel plans to personally apologize to Darvish, per Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle.

The Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement saying Gurriel will not appeal the suspension, which the Astros announced will result in his first five game checks being donated to charity.

Gurriel is expected to be in the lineup for Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday night when the Dodgers look to even the series in Houston.


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