Tim Anderson admitted Tuesday that Josh Donaldson previously called Jackie Robinson’s name to him, but the White Sox shortstop insists he never jokingly mocked the Yankees’ third baseman.
Donaldson, who is appealing the one-game ban he received from MLB for his involvement in initiating a bank clearing incident on Saturday, said he had jokingly referred to Anderson as “Jackie” on a number of occasions in the past. referred to after Anderson referred to himself as “Jackie”. today’s Jackie Robinson” in a 2019 Sports Illustrated article.
Anderson said he let Donaldson know in 2019 that he didn’t find the Robinson references funny.
“I told him we never have to talk again. ‘I’m not going to talk to you, you’re not going to talk to me if you want to call me that,'” Anderson told reporters in Chicago on Tuesday. “I knew he knew exactly what he was doing.
“I can definitely move on, but I’m not looking for a friendship or relationship in that sense.”
Yankees managers Aaron Boone and Aaron Judge have both publicly stated that Donaldson should never have included Robinson’s name in his back-and-forth with Anderson.
Donaldson addressed his teammates after speaking to some of them and Boone in the manager’s office on Sunday, but Anderson stressed that he has not spoken to Donaldson since the incident. The two players nearly clashed at third base in Chicago last week after a tough day from Donaldson.
“It’s a tough question,” Judge said after Monday’s loss to the Orioles. “Joke or not, I don’t think it’s the right thing to do there.
“Given the story, especially the Chicago show and the little argument between Anderson and JD. Anderson is one of the best shortstops in the game and a huge part of MLB and how we can grow the game. [Donaldson] got a ban for a game…I don’t know. He made a mistake, admitted it and we have to move on.”
First baseman Anthony Rizzo also said it was important for Donaldson to reach out to the team and he agreed with the judge’s assessment of the situation.
“I think what Judgie said reflects how we all feel,” Rizzo said. “It’s an unfortunate situation. Whenever something comes up as a unit, we want to address it, go through it, and move on. When things happen or are said, you cannot take them back. But you explain what you did and move on.
“In any scenario, when things happen, you have to address them, and sometimes they’re not convenient. They can be very uncomfortable and sensitive. But as humans, you talk about it and find out. Josh is a good guy and has a good heart but sometimes says things that are out there. But he raised it and I have no doubt he will learn from it.”
Boone, who said Sunday he doesn’t think Donaldson should “go there” by calling Robinson, added Tuesday that he doesn’t think the situation at the Yankees clubhouse will continue.
“I feel like we’re primed and absolutely going to get through this as a team, and I don’t think it’s going to last,” Boone said. “History can linger. And that’s something that’s not necessarily in our control. But I’m confident that the closeness in space will allow us to deal with it.”
Donaldson was also placed on Monday’s COVID-19 injury list, joining teammates Joey Gallo and Kyle Higashioka, though the latter was reinstated for Tuesday’s game.
Gerrit Cole also thought it was “definitely” important that Donaldson addressed his teammates.
“We all make mistakes and I think you just try to do your best after that and be honest and accept any punishment that I think comes your way,” said Cole. “As a group, we just try to look out for each other. It happened and we move on.
“I kind of feel like that was the mood, but that doesn’t mean what happened was appropriate.”