There are still things to settle following the incident of Josh Donaldson with Tim Anderson. The third baseman still doesn’t know when his one-game suspension appeal will take place and there are conversations between him and some teammates, like Aaron Judge, that need to happen.
But Donaldson will once again be welcomed back into the Yankees clubhouse, even though Judge said he felt his teammate’s comments weren’t correct.
“I haven’t spoken to him, but it’s something we’ll deal with internally and sort it out,” Judge said ahead of Wednesday night’s game against the Angels. “But it’s a big part of the [leadership] in this room and a lot of guys look up to him and it was a difficult situation he was in.
“He’s going to be a big part of us going forward. I was therefore delighted to find him in good health.
Donaldson said it was difficult to hear judge and manager Aaron Boone criticize his actions after the incident. The benches cleared after Donaldson repeatedly called Anderson, who is black, “Jackie” in reference to Jackie Robinson. White Sox manager Tony La Russa called it “racist”, while Anderson and the league called it “disrespectful”.
” It’s difficult. Joke or not, I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do there,” Judge said of the May 21 incident. Boone said he thought it was “somewhere Josh shouldn’t be going.”
Donaldson was adamant that he meant nothing racially towards Anderson with the comments, that he was simply relying on a 2019 interview in which Anderson compared himself to Robinson trying to get through the ‘fun barrier’ in the game.
Donaldson took criticism from his own club hard.
“I think it was hard to hear. For sure. Just for the simple fact that I take pride in being a good teammate,” Donaldson said. [gone], every organization I’ve been a part of, except Oakland, has offered me an extension. They wanted me to stay… They showed they wanted me to be part of their team. Obviously it didn’t work out that way if it’s the business end.
“But – and also everywhere I went – I won,” continued Donaldson. “I think part of winning is having good team chemistry. And I’m proud like everywhere I’ve been I’ve always tried to help people try to improve. J I also tried to learn from my teammates, so it was definitely difficult.
Donaldson said he told his teammates about it from the minute it happened and would continue to do so if it continued to be an issue. He released his statement last week apologizing to the Robinson family because he said he never intended “Jackie” to be considered an insult. He said he and Anderson had joked about it in the past, after Anderson called himself “today’s Jackie Robinson” in an interview, but obviously they had issues at least dating back to the week before the incident at Yankee Stadium with a very physical tag at third base.
Donaldson said he was confused because other White Sox guys, including Liam Hendricks, who publicly criticized him, were friendly with him off the field last week. The bench clearance incident actually happened a few innings after the “What up, Jackie” comment and started when catcher Yasmani Grandal got in Donaldson’s face and blocked him from entering the box. of the batter.
That — and that his comments have been labeled racist — is primarily the reason Donaldson is appealing the one-game suspension issued by MLB Dean of Discipline Michael Hill.
“My intentions weren’t what they were supposed to be,” Donaldson said of his reason for appealing. “And I think a big part of it was I made the benches come off when it was like, four innings out. I don’t know how I instigated anything. I approached home plate and the catcher confronted me. I don’t know how it was my prerogative. They decided they wanted to clean the pews. So, in my opinion, I didn’t do that.
When the Yankees acquired him, there was a lot of talk about Donaldson playing with an advantage. He’s not shy about saying controversial things, just ask Gerrit Cole. A former teammate said of Donaldson that “he’s a smart guy/great player”, who “thinks he must be a hole to add to his natural strengths”.
Donaldson is not going to change who he is.
“I have to be myself. I play the game a certain way and I’m not going out there obviously at this point, but I’m going out there and playing and playing to win,” Donaldson said.