Yuli Gurriel Suspended Five Games In 2018 For Racist Gesture Towards Yu Darvish Last Night

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First of all, shouts to Yu Darvish for handling this whole situation classier than anyone could’ve predicted. Dude had a rough night on the mound and had to answer questions about stinking against the Astros in the biggest start of his life AND address Yuli Gurriel doing what he did in the Astros’ dugout. That can’t be easy to control your emotions immediately after a night like that and then to go on to speak with such positivity, sound logic and clarity was admirable.

Second, I expected nothing less than for Rob Manfred to handle this situation perfectly. We’re not too far into his tenure as baseball’s commissioner, and I think he’s already brought so much to the table for the sport and its future. Was Gurriel’s gesture enough to merit a suspension during the World Series? Absolutely. But Manfred’s logic behind waiting until next year for Gurriel to serve his five-game suspension during the 2018 regular season makes sense. Suspending him during the World Series hurts the other 24 guys on Houston’s roster who fought so hard all year to get to this point, and that’s not fair to them.

And it’s not like Gurriel walks away from this with a slap on the wrist, either. He’s going to wear this for the rest of his career, the remaining games of the World Series included. Even if he got a zero-game suspension, his punishment is that he’s always going to be the guy who got busted for doing that to Darvish, a man who has never showboated in his entire life, never mind in Game 3 of the World Series against the Astros. Darvish has literally done nothing to draw ill will from anybody he has ever opposed on the mound. All he did was go out there and compete for the Dodgers, so not only do no Asian athletes deserve to have something like that be directed towards them, but Darvish especially.

I’m sure there will be blowback for Manfred not suspending Gurriel immediately, and I’m not even saying that the people who feel that way have no right to be upset about it. A suspendible offense is a suspendible offense, and I get that, but in a way, Gurriel almost ends up in a worse position with this decision. If he sits in Game 4, then we all likely move on and forget about it because this series has been so intense and competitive. Now, he can’t just shake it off for one game and sweep it under the rug. Now, it’ll be a topic of discussion for the rest of the World Series, and AGAIN to start Houston’s season in 2018. That’s worse.