Josh Donaldson gets a 1-game suspension for ‘inappropriate comments’ to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson

New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson received a one-game suspension and undisclosed fine Monday for what Major League Baseball described as “inappropriate comments” made to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson during Saturday’s game at Yankee Stadium.

“There is no dispute over what was said on the field,” Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president for on-field operations, said in a statement. “Regardless of Mr. Donaldson’s intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions.

“In addition, Mr. Donaldson’s remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams and warrants discipline.”

Donaldson has elected to appeal.

Donaldson was running between second and third base after Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s flyout to right ended the third inning when Anderson said Donaldson “made a disrespectful comment.”

“Basically tried to call me Jackie Robinson: ‘What’s up, Jackie?’” Anderson said Saturday. “He made the comment and it was disrespectful and I don’t think it was called for. It was unnecessary.”

Donaldson and Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal exchanged words before Donaldson’s fifth-inning at-bat, and the benches cleared.

Donaldson admitted after the game, “I called him Jackie,” later adding: “I thought that was a joke between him and I because we have talked about it before. … He’s called himself Jackie Robinson. That’s why I thought it was funny between us.”

Donaldson referred to a 2019 Sports Illustrated article that came out soon after Anderson’s bat flip against the Kansas City Royals and subsequent plunking made news.

The article discussed a “have-fun barrier.”

“I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson,” Anderson said in the article. “That’s huge to say. But it’s cool, man, because he changed the game, and I feel like I’m getting to a point to where I need to change the game.”

Anderson expanded later, telling reporters on May 1, 2019: “Just more so on the side of I’m trying to have fun — and they don’t want me to have fun. So I think it’s cool when you bring excitement to the game and you bring something different. I think I bring something different to the game, and that’s a lot of energy and a lot of excitement.”

Donaldson added on Saturday: “My meaning of that is not any term trying to be racist by any fact of the matter. It was just off of an interview. … Just trying to defuse it, make light like, ‘Hey, we’re not trying to start any brawls or anything like that.’ Obviously he deemed that it was disrespectful and if he did, I apologize. That’s not what I was trying to do by any manner.”

Sox closer Liam Hendriks on Sunday said Donaldson’s explanation was “complete bull(bleep).”

Saturday’s bench-clearing incident was the second between the teams this season.

On May 13 at Guaranteed Rate Field, the Sox loaded the bases with one out in the first. Gavin Sheets struck out and Yankees catcher Jose Trevino threw to third to try to get Anderson.

Anderson made it safely by diving, but Donaldson, playing third, tried to nudge him off the base. The benches and dugouts briefly cleared.

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