NEW YORK — Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson received a one-game suspension from Major League Baseball on Monday afternoon, along with an undisclosed fine, for his comments directed toward White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson during Saturday's game at Yankee Stadium.
Michael Hill, Major League Baseball’s Senior Vice President for On-Field Operations, made the announcement.
Donaldson will appeal the suspension.
New York's slugger referred to Anderson as "Jackie," in reference to Jackie Robinson, during Saturday's game. That comment—deemed "disrespectful" by Anderson and "racist" by manager Tony La Russa—was the catalyst for a benches-clearing altercation later in the game.
Here's what Hill had to say about the situation, printed in MLB's official release on Monday:
“MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals involved in this incident. There is no dispute over what was said on the field. 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 explained after the fact that he was trying to make a joke to Anderson, not meaning for the comment to be malicious. He referenced what Anderson said in an interview back in 2019, telling Sports Illustrated he feels like "today's Jackie Robinson."
"My meaning of that is not in any term trying to be racist, by any fact of the matter. It was just off of an interview with what he called himself," Donaldson said on Saturday. "Obviously he deemed that it was disrespectful and look, if he did, I apologize. That's not what I was trying to do, by any matter."
To make this stretch even more eventful for Donaldson, the third baseman landed on the COVID-19 injured list on Monday. He's the third Yankees player in the last two days to be placed on the COVID-IL, joining outfielder Joey Gallo and catcher Kyle Higashioka.
Although none of those three players have tested positive for the virus, each are symptomatic. That in mind, Donaldson stayed home from the ballpark on Monday.
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