Dodgers' Rich Hill Stalled On Mound To Let Fans Boo Astros' Yuli Gurriel
The Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel marred an other-wise stellar World Series on Friday when he mocked Dodgers' pitcher Yu Darvish by using a slanted-eyes gesture and referring to him as a "chinito," a slur that translates to "little Chinese boy" (Darvish is of Japanese and Iranian descent, not Chinese). Many called for Gurriel's immediate suspension from the World Series. Instead, the MLB handed out a five-game suspension that would take place at the beginning of next season (when, of course, the games don't carry as much weight as they do now).
It was only expected, then, that Gurriel would be met with a glorious hail of boos from Dodgers fans (and beyond) when he stepped up to the plate on Tuesday for Game 6. The fans came out in full-force, letting Gurriel know that his actions should be met with (real) repercussions:
The boos got an extension, too. Dodger Rich Hill was up on the mound, and it seemed like he was in no hurry to pitch; as Gurriel stepped into the box for his first at-bat, Hill stepped off the rubber and meandered a bit, notes USA Today. It became a recurring motif, too. As explained by the L.A. Times, "Hill stepped off the mound so the crowd could jeer, made a pitch, stepped off the mound for another round of jeers, made another pitch."
Hill wasn't shy about admitting that, yes, it was all intentional. "I think the one thing was just to let the crowd speak their mind," Hill said after the game, according to the Times. "I didn't think anything else would be as loud as that. The people spoke. I left it to that, and that was it." He added that it "was the best way to go about it, not hitting him or doing anything like that, but making sure that things like this shouldn't happen."
Hill also touched on the suspension, saying that if Gurriel had done those racists actions in "any other type of business," "you wouldn't have a job the next day." He told USA Today that he didn't "think the punishment really fits the action."
Darvish is slated to start Game 7 on Wednesday, meaning he'll see Gurriel again on the field.