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Astros’ Yuli Gurriel will face hostile environment at Dodger Stadium

By in Press Enterprise on October 30, 2017

By J.P. Hoornstra

HOUSTON — Yuli Gurriel will arrive in Los Angeles on Monday with a target on his back. Not literally, of course, and Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish has tried to quell any possible backlash against Gurriel’s racially motivated remark and gesture Friday.

After hitting a home run against Darvish in Game 3 of the World Series, Gurriel was caught on camera saying the word Chinito – Spanish slang for a person of Chinese descent – and pressing his fingers against his eyes.

Gurriel apologized, first through the media, then to the Japanese-born pitcher via text message. Darvish forgave Gurriel and encouraged others to move on.

“What he has done today isn’t right,” Darvish wrote on his Twitter account, “but I believe we should put our 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’m counting on everyone’s big love.”

The following day, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced a five-game suspension for Gurriel. The MLB Players’ Association did not appeal the punishment.

But because the suspension will not begin until next season, Gurriel has continued to play in the World Series. He was received warmly during the lineup announcements before Games 4 and 5 at Minute Maid Park. The Astros know that will not be the case prior to Game 6 at Dodger Stadium.

“I don’t think I need to talk to (Gurriel) about it,” Manager A.J. Hinch said. “I think everyone is aware it’s going to be a rough setting for him. I don’t think you can convince 55,000 fans to turn the page as fast as maybe the two teams have. And that goes out of support for their own players and their own people.

“But Yuli has got a good […]    

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