White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson have been at odds here in the past few weeks and things went to the next level on Saturday. White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal exchanged words with Donaldson at home plate and benches cleared.
In the aftermath, we learned Donaldson was called out for making a “racist” comment, by White Sox manager Tony La Russa. Donaldson called Anderson, who is Black, “Jackie” — as in Jackie Robinson — multiple times. Donaldson said he did so, but that it was an inside joke (for a full and detailed breakdown, we’ve got you covered here).
With the two teams playing a doubleheader on Sunday — including in the spotlight of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball for the nightcap — the story was still a talking point the following day.
Prior to the start of the first game Sunday, White Sox closer Liam Hendriks weighed in and came strong at Donaldson, calling his explanation “complete bullshit.”
“That’s completely inappropriate, and then after hearing what was said after the game, usually you have inside jokes with the people you get along with, not people that don’t get along at all,” Hendriks told reporters of Donaldson’s explanation. “So that statement right there was complete bullshit. But, then again, my feelings toward the individual in question are pretty well documented that we don’t get along. I’ve now spoken to, I think it’s four separate clubhouses that he’s been into and, as a whole, none of ’em got along.
“So, him trying to whip out that narrative is complete and utter bullshit.
“In this clubhouse, we have TA’s back in everything. That was just a completely unacceptable thing and trying to whip it out as being an inside joke, that’s horseshit. They don’t have those sorts of things going on. It’s like having an inside joke with a guy who you are a nemesis with, I guess you could say? But that’s not how it went down in this clubhouse and I don’t understand how he ever thought about it like that, it’s just straight delusional.”
Hendriks and Donaldson played together on the 2015 Blue Jays. Donaldson had been with the A’s in the previous season and that’s where Hendriks headed for 2016-20, so not only did they have a full season together, they had a lot of teammates in common.
Last season, Hendriks told NBC Chicago, “playing with Donaldson, I am not a Donaldson fan.” He went on to say that while Donaldson is a great player, “I saw behind the curtain too much,” and that Donaldson’s personality “turned many teammates into enemies.”
It should be pointed out that Donaldson also had issues with White Sox starter Lucas Giolito last season and questions about that were what triggered Hendriks’ comments.
Simply, there are plenty of layers to the beef between Donaldson and the White Sox.