A competitive World Series matchup may have gotten even more contentious Friday night – for reasons other than the score.
In the second inning of Game 3 in Houston, Astros infielder Yuli Gurriel launched a solo home run off of Los Angeles Dodgers starter Yu Darvish. Photos and video quickly made the rounds on social media that showed Gurriel in the dugout after rounding the bases, appearing to make an eye-squinting gesture.
Many viewers interpreted the gesture as making fun of people of Asian descent. Darvish is half Japanese and half Iranian. Some who attempted to read Gurriel’s lips believe that he used a Spanish-language slur that is derogatory toward Chinese people.
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The Los Angeles Times quickly posed the question. Following a postgame interview, Dodgers beat writer Andy McCullough reported that Darvish said the gesture was “disrespectful,” but seemed forgiving.
The New York Times’ Tyler Kepner tweeted that MLB will interview Gurriel about the incident and discipline is possible.
In the meantime, viewers continue to speculate – including the fan blog Dodgers Digest, which did not take kindly to Gurriel’s actions.
Gurriel’s homer put the Astros up 1-0 and was part of a four-run second inning in which Darvish was pulled from the game. Houston won 5-3 to go up 2-1 in the series.