New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson has put forth conflicting messages in the wake of the Saturday incident where he derisively called Tim Anderson “Jackie,” drawing inspiration from a 2019 interview where Anderson briefly compared himself to Jackie Robinson.
In the immediate wake of the incident, when Tony La Russa made Donaldson’s comment public and called it “racist” and Anderson also pushed back at him, he was quick to apologize and stated he believed he’d been continuing an “inside joke” from several years ago.
When MLB levied a punishment (one-game suspension) on Donaldson, though, he immediately appealed (just one game!) from his position on the COVID IL, battling an illness but not testing positive.
Why appeal one measly game if you believed you’d genuinely erred? Beats us, but since nary a suspension goes by these days without a player having their day in court, it felt familiar (yet tone deaf for this particular case).
In another apparent sign of contrition (again, while appealing), Donaldson released a statement on Thursday that reiterated his story of attempted intent.
The third baseman also added a paragraph on the immense respect he has for Anderson, one of the game’s brightest and most important stars.
Yankees’ Josh Donaldson releases Tim Anderson statement
“I apologized for offending Tim” goes down like milk on a hot summer day, but the rest of the statement covers a wide swath of necessary contrition.
Now, perhaps time to drop the appeal and take one game’s worth of medicine?
The remainder of Donaldson’s season will be defined by how much “edge” he’s able to retain in his game after crossing the line (according to Anderson, the only person whose viewpoint on where the “line” is matters, in this particular case). Will his quest to bring the Yankees fangs hit another significant snag? Can Donaldson be trusted to participate in an entire championship run without incident?
Will this be the final statement of contrition the Yankees must deal with this season? And how much hot water has Carlos Correa found himself in in Minnesota so far? Just curious.