NEW YORK (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell plans to have a talk with Yunel Escobar before the shortstop is eligible to return from a three-game suspension on Friday night and said he's had past discussions with him regarding "baseball things."
Escobar was given the penalty for wearing eye-black displaying an anti-gay slur written in Spanish during a game last weekend against Boston. He apologized and said he meant it to be a joke.
"As this event unfolded, I think he began to get an understanding of the scope of it. That wasn't the case at the time," Farrell said Thursday. "Otherwise, I'm hopeful he wouldn't have even thought of doing this. Unfortunately we're having to deal with it. Yunel and everyone else in this uniform has had to deal with it. And it hasn't made anybody happy. I can honestly tell you that."
Escobar served the penalty during a three-game series against the New York Yankees and can get back on the field for Friday's series opener at Tampa Bay.
"I'm expecting that we will sit down with him, or I will sit down with him tomorrow," Farrell said. "And I can tell you this won't be the first time we've sat down and talked about issues."
Asked about what issues, Farrell said only "just some baseball things" and "baseball things."
Toronto doesn't play at home until Sept. 27 against the Yankees.
Escobar will take part in an outreach initiative to promote tolerance to others based on their sexual orientation, and participate in a sensitivity training program.
"We can't fully replicate what lies ahead," Farrell said. "But I think he's got a better understanding that he went over the line."