Yuli Gurriel tips his helmet to Yu Darvish in first encounter since racist gesture

LOS ANGELES — The most controversial subplot of the 2017 World Series got a second act in Game 7 as Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel met Los Angeles Dodgers starter Yu Darvish for the first time since Game 3, which is when Gurriel was caught making a slanted-eye gesture about Darvish.

This time around, Gurriel tried his best to make amends.

Before the first pitch of his at-bat against Darvish in the first inning, Gurriel stopped and tipped his helmet to Darvish. Here’s how it played out:

Gurriel was suspended for five games by Major League Baseball for the incident, but the suspension won’t take place until the start of the 2018 season, leaving Gurriel free to play in the World Series for Houston. This didn’t sit well with many people, Dodgers fans and otherwise. So Gurriel has been booed relentlessly since the series came back to Dodger Stadium.

In Game 6, Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill purposely took his time on the mound when Gurriel was at-bat, giving fans more time to boo him. After the game, Hill called it a silent gesture to show how he felt about Gurriel’s actions toward Darvish.

Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel tips his hat as he gestures to Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish during the first inning of Game 7 of baseball’s World Series Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Darvish didn’t appear to react in the moment to Gurriel’s helmet tip. Previously, Darvish had shown compassion to Gurriel and the situation, saying he hoped people would learn from Gurriel’s mistake. The night of the incident, Darvish said in a statement on Twitter:

No one is perfect. That includes both you and I. What he had done today isn’t right, but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him. If we can take something from this, that is a giant step for mankind. Since we are living in such a wonderful world, let’s stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger. I’m counting on everyone’s big love.

Gurriel trying to make amends doesn’t mean people have to forget what he did or forgive him — and many people won’t. But it is — as Darvish wanted — a first step in the direction of positivity.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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