The heated conversation between Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal and New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson was unexpected. While it led to a benches clearing situation, that conflict appeared to emerge from nowhere.
Now we know why that happened. Donaldson admitted that he called White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson “Jackie” in reference to Jackie Robinson, referring to an interview with Sports Illustrated that Anderson did back in 2019 where he said that he feels “like today’s Jackie Robinson.”
MLB to investigate New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson’s comments
For his part, Donaldson thought this was an inside joke with Anderson as he has called him ‘Jackie’ for years. Anderson, meanwhile, did not find this amusing at all, something that he made very clear after the game.
If Donaldson was not aware of the impact his words had, he certainly was after that plate appearance in the fifth inning. That was the cause of that confrontation, with Grandal calling those comments “unacceptable” and making sure he had Anderson’s back. Donaldson, for his part, has been upfront about the entire situation, saying that he not only apologizes to Anderson, but wants to meet him in person. He also addressed his comments with his teammates after the game.
But that may not be enough. Major League Baseball is reportedly investigating the incident and the possibility of a suspension has been bandied about. The league is understandably concerned about the message that those comments send and wants to make certain that everyone is comfortable on the diamond.
Considering the current social and political climate, it is understandable that the league is going to look into the matter. Even if Donaldson thought this was a private joke between he and Anderson, he should have been able to read the White Sox shortstop and know that was not the case. Those comments just do not have any place in the game.
Major League Baseball is set to investigate New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson. What he thought was a joke was not taken that way at all.