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Tim Anderson explains why he pushed umpire Tim Timmons

During the on-field scrum with the Tigers, Anderson said Timmons was pushing him. Anderson pushed back, not knowing he was pushing an umpire because Timmons was so close to him. And when Anderson realized who it was, it was too late.

Tim Anderson said he pushed Tim Timmons, but the umpire started it.
AP Photos

On Friday, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson offered his side of the incident with umpire Tim Timmons that led to the three-game suspension he’s now appealing.

During an on-field scrum between Sox and Tigers players Monday night in Detroit, Timmons was pushing Anderson, he said. Anderson pushed back, not knowing he was pushing an umpire because Timmons was so close to him, he said. When Anderson realized who it was, it was too late.

“But, yeah, I pushed him,” Anderson said. “But he started it. He initiated it. I just pushed him back. I pushed him off of me — because he was kind of in my space, a little too close.”

Anderson said that while Timmons was pushing him, Timmons was saying, “You guys are in the playoffs, you guys are in the playoffs.” As he pushed Timmons off of him, Anderson said he told him, “I don’t give a [expletive].”

“Obviously, we all know if I would have seen him and I knew that’s who it was, obviously I wouldn’t just be pushing an umpire,” Anderson said. “He didn’t do anything to me. So it kind of didn’t make sense. But it’s OK. We’re just going to deal with it and move on, but, yeah, he definitely initiated it, so of course I’m going to push him back. I’ve come to find out it was him, but it’s all right.”

It might not be all right for the Sox if there’s significant carryover this weekend against the Tigers in the final games of the regular season. Unlike the Tigers, the Sox have the postseason to worry about.

Anderson wasn’t too concerned.

“We’re just going to try to go out and whoop them, just try to beat them and leave it at that,” he said.

Few answers for playoff rotation

It looks like Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito will be the Sox’ first two starters in the upcoming American League division series, but manager Tony La Russa doesn’t know who will work the opener and who will work Game 2. He said the Sox will wait until the end of the weekend to decide.

“Just get as much information as you can before you make that call,” La Russa said.

The same goes for Carlos Rodon and his status after he threw five scoreless innings Wednesday against the Reds. La Russa said the Sox are still looking into his situation and that Rodon will play catch sometime this weekend. But nothing is definite.

La Russa didn’t want to say whether he’s optimistic or pessimistic about Rodon’s role after a heavy workload this season — his most starts and innings since 2016.

“It’s more a level of curiosity,” La Russa said. “Hope for the best. I’d hate to comment one way or the other because there’s not enough info yet.”

Bullpen righties

Right-handed reliever Evan Marshall (strained right flexor pronator) hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since June 29, and La Russa was noncommittal about his chances to throw in the divisional round. Marshall’s health and sharpness will be a factor, but he’s being considered because of his character and meaning to the team.

“We’ll just be properly respectful and considerate and do the best we can,” La Russa said.

Meanwhile, the Sox reinstated reliever Ryan Tepera (lacerated right index finger) from the injured list and designated reliever Mike Wright for assignment.