Yankees' Donaldson suspended 1 game for inappropriate comments to Anderson
Major League Baseball suspended New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson one game for inappropriate comments directed toward Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on Saturday, the league announced Monday.
Donaldson also received an undisclosed fine and will appeal the suspension.
Michael Hill, MLB's senior vice president for on-field operations, explained the rationale for the discipline:
"MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals in this incident. There is no dispute over what was said on the field. Regardless of Mr. Donaldson's intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions. In addition, Mr. Donaldson's remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams and warrants discipline."
Donaldson referred to Anderson as Jackie Robinson during Saturday's game, which Anderson took exception to. White Sox manager Tony La Russa deemed the remark racist.
"He just made a disrespectful comment. Basically, he was trying to call me Jackie Robinson, like, 'What's up, Jackie?'" Anderson said after the game. "I don't play like that. ... I don't think it was called for. It was unnecessary."
Donaldson admitted to calling Anderson "Jackie" but said the two had joked about it in the past.
"(In) 2019, when I played for Atlanta, we actually joked about that (in) the game," Donaldson said. "And I've said it to him in years past, not in any manner (other) than just joking around (about) the fact that he called himself Jackie Robinson.
"So if something has changed from that, my meaning of that is not any term trying to be racist. ... Obviously, he deemed that it was disrespectful, and look, if he did, I apologize. That's not what I was trying to do."
White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz weighed in on the ruling and felt a one-game ban was too light.
The White Sox and Yankees won't meet again during the regular season.