No joking matter: Tim Anderson never thought ‘Jackie’ comment was joke

Tim Anderson
Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (7) hits a three run home run in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Anderson never thought that Josh Donaldson’s use of the term “Jackie” towards him was a joke and he was not shy about sharing that on Tuesday ahead of the Chicago White Sox’s game against the Boston Red Sox. 

The White Sox shortstop addressed the incident telling reporters in Chicago that he never liked Donaldson calling him that in 2019 when the now Yankee was in Atlanta. Donaldson said after Saturday’s game, when he called Anderson ‘Jackie” which eventually led to a brawl, that the two had joked in the game that year about it. 

Anderson had a very different recollection of that original interaction. 

“I told him, we never have to talk again,” Anderson said on Tuesday. “I won’t speak to you, you won’t speak to me, if that’s how you’re going to refer to me. I knew he knew exactly what he was doing.”

Donaldson was handed a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for the incident on Monday. The Yankees’ third baseman is appealing the decision.

Anderson did not have any comments on the league’s decision to punish Donaldson and he was ready to move on from the incident. 

“I can definitely move on, but I’m not looking for no friendship or relationship from that behalf,” Anderson said. 

Tim Anderson
Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (7) is restrained by infielder Gavin Sheets (32) and first baseman Jose Abreu (79) after the dugouts emptied in the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Donaldson has tried to chalk the incident up as his attempt to defuse tensions in the game and said he was referencing a 2019 Sports Illustrated story in which Anderson said “I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson.” 

There has been a swift reaction to Saturday’s incident, including from Donaldson’s own teammates. Aaron Judge denounced the comments hours after the league’s suspension was handed down.

Judge said that he didn’t think the comment was the right move by Donaldson.

“You know, it’s a tough one. Joke or not, I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do there, especially given the history,” Judge told reporters. “The series in Chicago — kind of a little bit of beef between Anderson and JD. Anderson’s one of the best shortstops in the game and he’s a big part of MLB, what’s going on here and how we can grow the game.”