GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox will be without All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson for the first two games of the season as he serves a suspension for making contact with an umpire in a game in Detroit on Sept. 29.
Anderson, who also was fined $10,000, seemed to know it was coming and took it in stride.
“It’s cool,” he said. “Just going to be there for my teammates [on Opening Day].
“Why would I [be upset]? It’s just two of 162.”
Anderson had appealed a three-game suspension and fine for his involvement during the bench-clearing incident in Detroit. He bumped umpire Tim Timmons and said at the time he didn’t initially know the contact was with an umpire. Anderson said Timmons initiated the contact.
“That’s one where you think there’s not a lot of justice,” manager Tony La Russa said. “If you look at how that incident transpired, did we instigate it? No. So we are out there defending our guy, and our guy got excited.”
The Sox open the season next Friday in Detroit. Leury Garcia likely will play shortstop, and Anderson will play in the third game of the series. The Sox’ home opener is April 12 against the Mariners.
“I’m going to be in Chicago; I don’t care about Detroit fans,” he said, laughing. “But I’ll be there [for the home opener] in Chicago.”
Anderson is a .342/.381/.513 hitter with 12 home runs in 92 games against the Tigers.
Clarification from La Russa
La Russa received public criticism for a response to a question Monday about fans wanting the organization to acquire a right fielder. La Russa said, “Those are probably the fans who are not White Sox fans. White Sox fans know there are guys in this camp who can handle it.”
It was evident La Russa was voicing support for the players in camp, but some viewed it as an insult to fans. On Thursday, La Russa called out an internet-blog headline saying his comment was “rude” to fans.
“I’ve been getting worn out the last couple of days with something I said, and I keep seeing ‘rude to the White Sox fans,’ ’’ La Russa said. “That’s so much bull. What I said was we are going to win with what we’ve got here.’’
Since he was hired, La Russa at times has gone out of his way to talk in caring tones about fans.
“It’s not that some White Sox fans don’t know what we need,” La Russa said. “No. We probably agree. Could we add this or add that? But there’s 29 other clubs trying to add, and sometimes you’ve done everything you can.
“Sometimes you can’t make a deal. We’ll win with what we’ve got.”
Players talk to commissioner
Commissioner Rob Manfred met with a group of eight Sox players Wednesday, including Liam Hendriks, as he attempts to improve his relationship with players in the aftermath of the recent contentious labor talks. Raul Ibanez and Sox vice president Ken Williams also were present.
“Building that relationship between the commissioner and the players, it’s a huge thing that both sides need to work toward,” Hendriks said. “If there was that relationship-building going into it, who knows if it would have been this contentious.”