Except … nobody told the Houston Astros slugging first baseman from Cuba Yuli Gurriel (who just hit a big homer off Clayton Kershaw in Game 5 of the World Series).
After the Cuban-born baseball player (who wears his hair like Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons) hit a homer off the Dodger’s 6’5″ Japan-raised pitcher Yu Darvish in Game 3, Gurriel made slanty-eyed gestures at Darvish and called him a Little China Boy. He later apologized through an interpreter.
(In case you were wondering how a Japanese guy gets to be 6’5″, Darvish’s father is Iranian.)
From the Los Angeles Times:
Yuli Gurriel’s offensive gesture unleashes World Series debate about racism and political correctnessSpeaking of ethnic stereotypes, Darvish is a classic Japanese technician-athlete, with a complex assortment of pitches. He throws something like six different pitches. Since he can throw 98 miles per hour, I’m not sure if he really needs all that technique.
Hailey Branson-Potts, Andrea Castillo , Bill Shaikin and Amina Khan Contact Reporters
The world was watching when Yuli Gurriel made a racially charged gesture during Friday’s World Series game.
It came after a moment of triumph: The Houston Astros first baseman had just hit a home run off of Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. He returned to the Astros’ dugout, where he put his fingers to the sides of his face and lifted the corners of his eyes — a “slanted eyes” gesture widely regarded as a racist mockery of Asians.
Gurriel also used the word “chinito,” or “Chinese boy,” in reference to Darvish, who is of Iranian and Japanese descent. …
Darvish was born in Japan, to an Iranian father and a Japanese mother. He grew up in Japan and played there before coming to Major League Baseball in 2012.
Gurriel was born in Cuba and played there. He also played in Japan in 2014 before coming to Major League Baseball last year. …
Some argued that for Gurriel, the gesture and epithet don’t carry the same level of animus as they do in the U.S., with its record of violence against Asian Americans and other people of color. …
Gurriel said he was aware that “chinito” is regarded as a slur among the Japanese.
“In Cuba and in various places, you don’t say Japanese, you call all Asians ‘chinitos,’ ” Gurriel said. “But I was in Japan and I know they are offended by that.”
I noticed back in the Seventies when Japanese tourists started showing up to play municipal golf courses in L.A. because they were so much cheaper than in Japan, that Japanese golfers love really complicated golf swings.
The Japanese attitude toward any type of sporting technique appears to be Keep It Complicated Smartguy. (Similarly, Japanese naval strategists in WWII were addicted to complex battleplans, such as attacking the Aleutian Islands at the same time as attacking Midway. Dividing their forces into four parts at Leyte Gulf almost worked when Admiral Halsey fell for one feint.)
By the way, I don’t really get the Dodgers pitching order in this World Series. Okay, Kershaw #1 to start in Games 1 and 5, but then 37 year old Rich Hill (12-8 won-loss record, 3.32 ERA) to start Games 2 and 6 (and then the manager gave Hill a quick hook in Game 2 even though he was pitching well), then Yu Darvish (4-3, 3.44 with Dodgers) in Games 3 and 7, and finally 26-year-old Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72) to start just Game 4. Wood gave up only 2 hits to Houston’s line-driving hitting order, but he’s done as a starter for the Series now (barring a rainout in L.A.).