Astros' Gurriel suspended five games in 2018 for gesture

Major League Baseball Should Suspend Yuli Gurriel Force Others to Defend the Indefensible

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Gurriel has been suspended for five games starting at the beginning of the 2018 regular season.

Darvish, 31, was tagged for four runs off five hits in the second inning, the first of those a solo home run by Gurriel, who later in the Astros dugout put his fingers to the outside of his eyes and pulled the skin tight.

Gurriel will not appeal the suspension. The Astros organization also said in a statement that it supports diversity in the sport, as well as Manfred decision, promising to donate the salary Gurriel forfeits during his suspension to charity.

Darvish, who is of Japanese and Iranian descent, was also confronted about the gesture, telling the media it was "disrespectful".

But Gurriel reiterated in a private meeting with Manfred that he intended no disrespect - comments that he echoed through an interpreter after Friday's game.

Commissioner Manfred added, "There is no place in our game for the behavior or any behavior like the behavior we witnessed last night.There is no excuse or explanation that makes that type of behavior acceptable".

Gurriel was born in Cuba and played there and in Japan in 2014 before coming to Major League Baseball past year.

"I would particularly like to apologise to Yu Darvish, a pitcher I admire and respect".

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"Including him and I, nobody's ideal".

"He handled this in as classy a way as a player possibly could something as negative as this", Manfred said of Darvish. I don't want to offend him or anybody in Japan. "Secondly, I felt it was unfair to punish the other 24 players on the Astros' roster".

"Yuli has always demonstrated respectful behaviour and is extremely remorseful for his actions". He had no intention of offending anyone, but now recognizes the perceived offensiveness of his actions.

Yuli Gurriel and Yu Darvish.

With his impending suspension deferred to 2018, Gurriel will stick in his usual spot in the order against the Dodgers for Game 4. Gurriel played in Japan in 2014 and claimed he was joking with teammates about his prior lack of success against Japanese pitchers in the major leagues.

After the game, Gurriel spoke to reporters and confirmed he was indeed mocking Darvish by the gesture, but said he wasn't trying to offend anyone by it.

His Astros have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series against the Dodgers. "But I was in Japan and I know they are offended by that".

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