(670 The Score) MLB has suspended Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson for one game and issued him an undisclosed fine after he called White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson “Jackie” Robinson during a game Saturday, a remark that Chicago manager Tony La Russa and his club called racist.
Donaldson plans to appeal the suspension.
“MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals involved in this incident,” MLB senior vice president for on-field operations Michael Hill said in a statement. “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 explained that his “Jackie” comment toward Anderson was a joke and a reference to Anderson referring to himself as a modern-day Jackie Robinson in a Sports Illustrated article in 2019. Anderson and White Sox teammates have pushed back at the idea that it could've been a joke, noting that the relationship with Donaldson has been contentious as opposed to a friendly nature in which a joke might be shared.
Anderson was upset by Donaldson’s remark.
"He just made a disrespectful comment," Anderson told reporters after the game Saturday. "Basically he was trying to call me Jackie Robinson. 'What's up, Jackie?' I don't play like that. I don't really play at all. I wasn't really going to bother nobody today, but he made the comment and you know it was disrespectful and I don't think it was called for. It was unnecessary."
Donaldson hasn’t received much support from his own clubhouse, with Yankees manager Aaron Boone acknowledging Donaldson was wrong to have made the comment.
Donaldson has had several run-ins with the White Sox in recent years. While with the Twins in 2021, Donaldson had a parking lot confrontation with White Sox ace Lucas Giolito. And in the Yankees’ win against the White Sox on May 13, Donaldson gave Anderson a hard tag and push off third base on a close play. Anderson responded by shoving Donaldson as the two exchanged words.