Josh Donaldson disappearing from Yankees dugout spoke volumes before bizarre interview

Where did Josh Donaldson watch the Yankees' impressive comeback Sunday?

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox - Game Two
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox - Game Two / Winslow Townson/GettyImages
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Despite a lengthy conversation in the manager's office prior to first pitch Sunday, Josh Donaldson still had a front row seat to the Yankees' enthralling late-game comeback over the first-place Texas Rangers. If only he had used it.

Instead, Donaldson was nowhere to be found as the game progressed. According to The Athletic's Chris Kirschner, the embattled third baseman didn't spend time on the bench with the rest of the players who found themselves out of the starting lineup.

He missed a hell of a game; Anthony Volpe and Harrison Bader led the charge in the eighth inning, while Michael King locked things down against the top of the lineup (and don't forget Giancarlo Stanton's insurance knock).

Maybe he was in the cage working on refining his Gold Glove defense? Or finding a way to secure a non-home run hit (Donaldson currently has six dingers and two singles on the season)?

Where was Josh Donaldson in the Yankees dugout Sunday? Being weird?

In an almost impossible parody of a "home run or nothing" statline, Donaldson truly has produced zilch in at-bats where the ball hasn't gone over the wall. Prior to hitting the injured list in April, he'd struck one single. After returning in late May, he added a second single. Give him credit for the five post-return homers, but one of those came in garbage time at Fenway Park in the late innings of a 15-5 loss -- and, again, there's been nothing else. The stopping. The staring. The striking out (20 times in 71 PAs). It's beginning to look a lot like 2022.

So, where does Donaldson go from here? Was he really inches from being DFA'd on Sunday, only for Aaron Boone to pivot? Did Boone pledge that his runway had actually been extended, and his elimination from the weekend series against the Rangers was far from permanent?

We may never know what went on in that strange little room, and Donaldson wasn't exactly forthcoming about the chat after the game.

Yes. Certainly. Aaron Boone was 30 minutes late to his pregame media session before the rubber game against the Rangers because he and Donaldson were too wrapped up in sharing personal stories to check the clock.

There's something brewing, and despite Boone's chipper words on Sunday afternoon, it probably doesn't involve upping Donaldson's playing time and hoping for the best. Boone is always going to defend the players in his locker room, even at the expense of the public growing tired of his treacly words. Donaldson will probably be in that locker room a while longer, considering it would cost the Yankees half his 2023 salary to send him to another team and (longshot, but possible) watch him prosper.

But Donaldson as a bench player moving forward? Now that's an interesting "personal story" to tell. As long as he agrees to stay on the bench instead of departing for the bowels of the stadium next time.