Tim Anderson Addresses Former “Jackie” Josh Donaldson Comments

Tim Anderson acknowledged Tuesday that Josh Donaldson has mentioned Jackie Robinson’s name to him before, but the White Sox Shortstop insists he didn’t take the taunting as a joke from the Yankees’ third baseman.

Donaldson, who is appealing a one-game ban he received from the MLB for his role in sparking Saturday’s bench eviction incident, explained that he has jokingly referred to Anderson as “Jackie” several times in the past after Anderson called himself “Jackie Robinson today” in a sports article. Photographer of the Year 2019.

Anderson said he told Donaldson in 2019 that he didn’t find Robinson’s references funny.

“I told him, ‘We’ll never have to talk again. I’m not going to talk to you, you won’t talk to me, if that’s how you’re going to point me,'” Anderson told reporters on Tuesday in Chicago. “I knew he knew exactly what he was doing.

“I could definitely move on but I’m not looking for any friendship or relationship like that.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone and Aaron Judge have stated publicly that Donaldson should never have included Robinson’s name in a back and forth with Anderson.

Donaldson addressed his teammates after speaking with a few of them and Boone in the manager’s office on Sunday, but Anderson stressed that he has not spoken to Donaldson since the accident. The two players were almost shocked the previous week in Chicago after a strong attack from Donaldson at third base.

It’s tough,” the judge said after Monday’s loss to the Orioles. Joke or not, I don’t think it’s the right thing to do there.

“Looking at the history, especially the series in Chicago and a bit of beef between Anderson and JD. Anderson is one of the best stopping points in the game and a huge part of MLB and how we can develop the game. [Donaldson] Get the hang of one match…I don’t know. He made a mistake, own it and we have to move on.”

First base captain Anthony Rizzo also said it was important for Donaldson to address the team and that he agreed with the judge’s assessment of the situation.

Josh Donaldson
Getty Images

“I think what Jodi said kind of represents how we all feel,” said Rizzo. “It’s an unfortunate situation. When something comes as a unit, we want to address it, get over it and move on. When things happen or are said, you can’t take them back. But you explain what you did and move on.”

“In any scenario, when things happen, you have to process it, and sometimes they are not comfortable. They can be very uncomfortable and sensitive. But as humans, you talk about it and you figure it out. Josh is a good guy with a good heart, but he says things that are there sometimes. But he is. He took it up and I am sure he will learn from it.”

Boone, who said Sunday he didn’t think Donaldson should have “goed there” by calling Robinson, added Tuesday that he doesn’t think the situation will continue at the Yankees.

“I feel we are equipped to deal with this and we are going to deal with this as a team and I don’t think it will last,” Boone said. “The story may go on. And that is something that is not necessarily in our control. But I am sure the proximity in the room will allow us to deal with this.”

On Monday, Donaldson was named to the list of those infected with the Covid-19 virus, joining teammates Joey Gallo and Kyle Higashioka, although the latter returned for Tuesday’s match.

Tim Anderson has been restricted by the teams.
Tim Anderson has been restricted by the teams.
Robert Sabo

Gerrit Cole also believes it is “definitely” important for Donaldson to address his teammates.

“We all make mistakes, and I think you just try to do your best after that and be honest and accept whatever punishment I think comes your way,” Cole said. “As a group, we just try to take care of each other. It happened and we moved forward.

“I kind of feel like that was the general atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean what happened was appropriate.”

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