Sunday, May 22, 2022


Look, it really doesn't matter what I say though, because everyone has an opinion about Josh Donaldson's "comment" to Tim Anderson today, which started a brawl between the White Sox and Yankees.  Donaldson called Anderson "Jackie". Anderson said it was "disrespectful". Those are facts.  

Was Donaldson's ribbing on Anderson obnoxious? 1000%.  Guys on the baseball field razz each other and knowing that Anderson and Donaldson had a past already, it would make it much easier for one of them to give the other more razzing in this series.  It just so happens that Donaldson didn't think before he spoke today. And now? Well... the whole Twitter verse has gone fucking crazy.

Now people are going to read this post on BYB and form opinions about me.  Don't.  I don't know you guys and I'm not about to go reading your twitter and judging you. That would be dumb.  All I am trying to do is cut through this and understand it... not just the Donaldson, Anderson thing, but all of it.  But let's start there...

Tim Anderson is quoted as saying this in an article in 2019:

"I kind of feel like today's Jackie Robinson... That's huge to say. But it's cool, man, because he changed the game, and I feel like I'm getting to a point to where I need to change the game."

Now reading that quote as a 50-year-old man, I see a hungry, excited ballplayer that doesn't realize in what capacity that statement means. It's immature in my opinion.  

Think about this... Tim Anderson was 26 years old when he said that.  If you think about the struggle, the hardship, the racism, the death threats, the survival mode that Jackie Robinson had to go through in his lifetime in this country, there is literally no comparing him in the 40's when it comes to Tim Anderson playing baseball now. Yes, racism still exists, but playing in the major leagues as a black exists now too.  

But look, if Anderson feels this way about changing the game at 26 years old, I root for that... but what does that mean?  Does it mean showing his ability on the field? In 2019 he batted over .330... I was rooting hard for this guy, I still am. He's incredibly talented.  But "change the game". Again, what does that mean?

Now since that quote, it was stated today the Josh Donaldson and Tim had a thing.  They joked about it.  Here's what Donaldson said:

So, I guess now we need to think about this further. Josh suggests they've joked about it before.  Do you know that? Do I? No idea. No one knows.  

Here's what I do know. This beef between Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson first started on Friday May 13. That was how this all began.  The Sporting News writes:

"In the first inning of their second meeting, Anderson was sent back to third base by catcher Jose Trevino's throw. As Anderson was getting back, Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson applied a hard tag that knocked Anderson off the bag, and also apparently drove his knee into Anderson's arm. The third-base umpire immediately spotted the move and called time, ending the play there and allowing to get their bearings."

Was Donaldson kind of being a bully? Probably. Was he trying to get a rise out of Anderson? I think so. Was it racist? I say no, but that's my opinion.  But let me tell you something. I've seen plenty of baseball over the years from High School to the pros, and every once in a while, there's some asshole on the field that wants to get someone revved up. And I firmly believe that day it was Donaldson.

But the Sporting News goes on:

"What followed was a strange, slow saunter onto the field by both sides. Neither one seemed to know what it was trying to achieve. Anderson and Donaldson both seemed to say that things were fine, but some wires apparently got crossed. The situation on the field calmed down quickly and Anderson and Donaldson appeared to be OK with each other afterward.

Donaldson gave his viewpoint after the game..."

This is the first time Donaldson uses the phrasing "not intentionally".  At the time no one is thinking anything other than what Josh is suggesting, two competitive guys competing. OK fine. 

Today was another round of Anderson v. Donaldson. This time it was different.  This time Josh Donaldson wants to continue the ball breaking. I mean after all, since the last time the two teams met, there appears to be no bad blood at all. And do, Donaldson being the instigator decides to get under Anderson's skin again and thinks back to 2019, and calls Anderson "Jackie". 

"Josh Donaldson said Saturday night that he called White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson “Jackie” during that afternoon’s game in New York, leading to tension on the field and a benches-clearing situation..."

Donaldson claimed he was trying to 'defuse' the on-field tension. But my opinion is he was razzing once again, because if you read the timeline, the tension wasn't really existent, was it?  But what followed is what's now in play... how the word Jackie is being interpreted.
Now read that quote: 

“It was a disrespectful comment...I don’t play like that. I don’t really play at all. I wasn’t really bothering anybody today, but he made the comment, and it was disrespectful, and I don’t think it was called for. It was unnecessary.... "

But this is what's not being reported. After Anderson says that there's more:

Reporter: That was when you guys crossed paths at shortstop there at the end of the third?

Tim Anderson: Yeah, but that happened in the first. The first time he got on. You know and I spared him that time and then it happened again."

So, what does this tell me? Well, a few things. For one, Donaldson is just a pain in the ass. He was a pain in the ass with Gerrit Cole and now he's moved on to Tim Anderson. 

I love his competitive nature. I love that he can rev up a clubhouse. But I've played with guys like this and I've ignored people like this, but yes, I do know they exist. Donaldson is annoying. Donaldson will get in your head. Donaldson is looking for a way to get you off your game.  Donaldson is obnoxious, and ladies and gentlemen, let me also state that Donaldson is playing his brand of baseball.  This is just the way he is.  He will beat you down mentally as a tool and strategy to try and take your mind out of the game.   This is clear tactic, and reading that second conversation between the reporter and Anderson it makes sense. He kept doing it to Anderson... it got on Anderson's nerves.

Now, I'm a white analyst giving you my opinion of a white Donaldson razzing a black Tim Anderson.  I have no skin in this game, pardon the pun. I am merely trying to break this down. It's the way my mind works.  It is my opinion that Donaldson is more of a dumb jock than a racist ballplayer. Do I know this for a fact? No.  Do I see how Tim Anderson could take today's "Jackie" razzing? Absolutely I get what Tim is saying. All I can suggest based on Josh's behavior is that he is just one of those guys that likes to stick his finger in your eye because he knows baseball is a very mental game.

And that brings me back to the context of this. As I posted earlier, Josh said he was saying it because Tim called himself "Today's Jackie Robinson."  Does he mean that? I think so. Did he mean for it to be racist? I personally do not.

Donaldson has made a public apology. 

He said "I apologize, it's not something I wanted to do", meaning, he didn't do it intentionally. But let' not sugar coat it... he was still trying to F with Tim. That's clear.

Now let's see if Tim Anderson responds.  

Anderson is a top-notch guy. He's intense. I believe for the better of the game though, he and Donaldson will hash it out and be done with this once and for all.  I think Donaldson has learned a valuable lesson... to keep his annoying mouth shut. I think he has learned that you can't razz everyone because some players don't like jokes when they're competing.  And you know what else I think? I think this whole thing is blown out of proportion because Anderson's been frustrated with the Sox losing to the Yanks so often.  

What I don't like is that it's way too easy to call someone a racist.  We know nothing about Donaldson other than he plays ball. We see all these people on Twitter fighting about who's racist and who isn't. I literally asked a ton of questions tonight on Twitter trying to understand all sides of this. It's not easy. And don't worry... it happened to me too:

Too often people like to accuse without knowing anything. It's all about one side stories and headlines. No one researches, no one reads and no one actually thinks. I don't know if Josh Donaldson meant to be racist, but I suspect he didn't. I don't know if Tim Anderson doesn't want to be teased or if he really had a problem with being called Jackie after he already suggested he wanted to be him.  

I do know that being razzed continually while your team's under .500 can make some ballplayers pretty unhappy, and I suspect that's where Tim Anderson is right now.

Let me finally state that I have no bad feelings toward anyone. This was an exercise that I really wanted to dig into because everyone was going crazy on Twitter, and I needed to form my own opinion on it.  

Am I right? Maybe. Am I wrong? Maybe. 
But at least I thought it through and that's all that matters.

I hope these guys can get past this, I really do.

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