(670 The Score) A day after he was at the center of a benches-clearing incident with the Tigers after being hit by a pitch for the 21st time this season, White Sox star first baseman Jose Abreu on Tuesday explained why he was so angry and added it was the second-most upset he has been in his eight-year MLB career.
In the top of the ninth inning of the White Sox’s 8-7 win Monday, Abreu was hit on the left elbow by a fastball from Tigers right-hander Alex Lange. Shortly after, he tried to take second base on a ball in the dirt but was thrown out. Abreu slid hard into Tigers shortstop Niko Goodrum on the play, which led to the duo to jaw back and forth. Lange then walked over and into the mix, which contributed to Abreu’s anger, he admitted Tuesday. After the game Monday, Lange called Abreu out for crowding the plate looking to attack pitches away.
“Yes, because he’s the one who hit me,” Abreu said through a translator when asked if he was upset with Lange walking over. “He didn’t apologize or say anything. And that’s fine. But then I was laying on second base and he started chirping. That’s not good. You don’t do that. Why are you doing that? You do the things that you’re supposed to do. Apologize or do something. You didn’t and then you are talking to me? That’s not the way that we play baseball.”
Abreu felt he did nothing wrong.
“About what happened yesterday, it (hit by pitches) has been happening throughout the whole season,” he said. “There’s nothing new there.
About my slide at second base, I just did what I usually do. I don’t think it was anything wrong. If people want to decide what I did or anything about my slide, to me, I didn’t do anything wrong. That’s the way I play. I’ve been playing that for that way throughout my whole career. There’s nothing else to say.”
Teammates and coaches had to hold Abreu back. He called it the second-most upset he has been in an MLB game dating back to the start of his White Sox career in 2014.
“The first one was probably my first year here when I was in a game against Minnesota,” Abreu said. “Yeah, you get mad at those situations because you are concerned about yourself. If something happened, if you got hit badly, your career can end, your life can end. That’s why you are concerned and mad in those moments.”
Abreu shared an appreciation for his teammates backing him up.
“That was a really nice moment, even for me, to see the support of my teammates and everybody on the field trying to protect me and go to war for me – that meant a lot,” Abreu said. “It wasn’t the best moment or the best action, but that’s something that makes you feel good and shows unified we are as a team.”
Abreu also weighed in on the growing number of times he has been plunked in 2021.
“Twenty-one hit by pitches seems like a lot, but that’s baseball,” he said. “There’s nothing else I can do. People can say some have been intentional, sometimes not. I really can’t say if they are or not. What I can say is I’m the one taking them.”