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Astros’ Yuli Gurriel Suspended For First Five Games Of 2018 Following Racist Gesture

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Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel may have gone 2 for 5 with a double and solo shot in his team’s 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the World Series last night, but it’s what he did when he wasn’t at-bat that generated plenty of buzz.

After leading off the bottom of the second inning with a homer off LA starter Yu Darvish to give Houston a 1-0 lead, Gurriel went back to the Astros’ dugout and did something he probably wishes he didn’t:

Not only did Gurriel make the offensive gesture with his eyes, he clearly mouthed the word “Chinito”, which is Spanish slang for “little Chinese person”.

Darvish is of Japanese descent.

As expected, Gurriel caught plenty of heat on social media throughout the remainder of the game. Here’s just one example:

Major League Baseball officially suspended Gurriel this afternoon without pay for the first five games of the 2018 season; he will also be required to undergo sensitivity training.

Gurriel (kind of) issued an apology following last night’s game:

“I didn’t want to offend anybody. I don’t want to offend him or anybody in Japan. I have a lot respect. I played in Japan.”

He then went on to say this:

“In Cuba, we call everybody who’s from Asia, ‘China.’ … I know it is offensive to them and they don’t like that, but I didn’t mean to do it.”

So what did Gurriel “mean to do”? Especially if he knows what he did was offensive. Just makes you think.

I think anyone who reads this can agree that there’s absolutely no place in sports- or anything else- for Gurriel’s actions. At 33 years old and as a man who once played in Japan, he should know better.

Also- the cluelessness. Did Gurriel not even realize there’d be cameras everywhere, particularly on him? It’s the World Series, he just homered to break the scoreless tie- might wanna watch what you do! Really makes one think about what his thought process was, because apparently there wasn’t one.

Darvish was gracious after the game, posting the following statement on social media:

While it’s unfortunate what Gurriel did, Darvish’s response couldn’t have been better.

Gurriel came out with a more formal apology on Saturday:

“During last night’s game, I made an offensive gesture that was indefensible. I sincerely apologize to everyone that I offended with my actions. I deeply regret it. I would particularly like to apologize to Yu Darvish, a pitcher that I admire and respect. I would also like to apologize to the Dodgers organization, the Astros, Major League Baseball and to all fans across the game.”

The Astros made a statement of their own, which included the following:

“We support Major League Baseball’s decision of a five-game suspension for the 2018 season. The Astros will donate Yuli’s salary for these five games in equal parts to the Astros Foundation and to a charity directly supporting diversity efforts.”

It will be interesting to see how Gurriel’s greeted by the home fans tonight for Game 4 (8 PM ET)- and out in LA, if the series goes that far. I’m sure the ovation won’t be too nice there.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter at @HomeRunDaily for all your World Series coverage!

American League

Blue Jays Calling Up Cavan Biggio

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Cavan Biggio

The Toronto Blue Jays are calling up second base prospect Cavan Biggio to the majors for the very first time on Friday, according to ESPN.

Biggio, the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, has performed well for Triple A Buffalo this season, posting a .306/.440/.507 slash line.

Toronto selected Biggio, 24, in the fifth round of the 2016 draft.

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American League

Royals Assign Drew Storen To Double-A

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Drew Storen

The Kansas City Royals have assigned former big-league reliever Drew Storen to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, according to Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Paul Boyd.

Storen, who inked a minor league deal with the Royals back in February of this year, is attempting a comeback, as he hasn’t pitched in the majors since playing for the Cincinnati Reds back in 2017.

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American League

Neil Ramirez Accepts Outright Assignment With Indians

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Neil Ramirez

Cleveland Indians reliever Neil Ramirez will remain within the organization after clearing outright waivers and accepting an assignment to Triple-A, according to an official team announcement.

Ramirez landed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Indians this offseason, avoiding arbitration.

Ramirez, 29, has struggled during the 2019 season and maybe a stint in Triple A will help him work things out.

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