White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson warned Josh Donaldson about calling him ‘Jackie’
“I told him we don’t ever have to talk again. And I won’t speak to you, and you won’t speak to me if that’s how you’re gonna refer to me,” Anderson said.
Josh Donaldson was warned.
The Yankees third baseman claimed he jokingly called White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson ‘‘Jackie’’ in the past, and Anderson acknowledged that Tuesday. But Anderson insists Donaldson’s taunting wasn’t taken in a joking manner.
“In 2019, I know he did say that,” Anderson said before the Sox were routed 16-3 in the opener of a three-game series against the Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, talking about the verbal exchanges Saturday that turned into a benches-clearing brouhaha. “I told him that we don’t ever have to talk again. And I won’t speak to you, and you won’t speak to me if that’s how you’re gonna refer to me. And I know he knew exactly what he was doing.”
Donaldson, who was handed a one-game suspension from MLB on Monday for sparking the incident, said he was making “an inside joke” about Anderson referring to himself as “today’s Jackie Robinson” in a 2019 Sports Illustrated article, the context of which was lost on Donaldson.
“Two, three years, don’t say nothing to me because I already addressed it,” Anderson said.
But when Donaldson pushed Anderson off third base on May 13, “he felt the need to say it again,” Anderson said. “But he’s trying to provoke me.”
Sox general manager Rick Hahn praised Anderson’s teammates for their support. Yasmani Grandal and Liam Hendriks were the most vocal.
“That was remarkable,” Hahn said.
“It’s been nothing but love from my teammates, from the coaching staff, from the organization,’’ Anderson said.
There was talk of Anderson-Donaldson and the Sox’ riveting doubleheader sweep of the Yankees on Sunday serving as a jolt for an underachieving team that needed one. But any such juice was quickly extinguished by the Red Sox, who got a home run from Kike Hernandez on the first pitch of the game from Dylan Cease and a three-run homer by Trevor Story later in the inning. The Red Sox scored their runs in the first five innings, with multiple runs in four of those while building a huge lead en route to their sixth straight win.
“If you need bulletin-board material, then you have issues,” manager Tony La Russa said before the game. “And if that’s what gets you there, it’s short-lived.”
The Red Sox banged out 18 hits against Cease, Jose Ruiz, Bennett Sousa and Matt Foster in the first five innings, while the Red Sox’ Nick Pivetta was retiring the first nine batters in a row. Anderson bounced a double down the first-base line and Jose Abreu homered to cut Boston’s lead to 10-2. It was Abreu’s fifth homer, but the game already felt out of reach.
Pitching on six days of rest, Cease got whacked for seven runs and eight hits. His ERA climbed to 4.24.
“With 30-something starts, you’re going to have some where your location is not good,” La Russa said. “Everybody hit and made him pay.”
Cease said he would review video to determine if he was tipping pitches.
“They definitely had some comfortable swings on it,” Cease said. “I don’t want to say without knowing for sure, but it’s possible”
Vince Velasquez, who might be assuming regular bullpen work with Johnny Cueto moving into the rotation and Lance Lynn joining it in early June, pitched three innings of hitless ball with one walk and five strikeouts.
“Vince wants to start but evidently could pitch in that role if he had to,” La Russa said.
It was cold and windy, and the battering sent fans to the exits in the fifth inning. They missed Anderson’s second hit, an RBI single, that raised his average to .365. Anderson and Abreu were pulled from the game by La Russa. Jake Burger replaced Anderson in the lineup, making his first career appearance at second base but getting no fielding chances.
By that time, Anderson’s homer in New York felt like a long time ago.
“It was pretty dope, you know?” Anderson said. “For me to shut them up, I think you guys saw the reaction. And it was a great moment, for sure. [The booing] didn’t do nothing but motivate me a little bit more.”