Yankees ‘Josh Donaldson at the event with White Sox’ Tim Anderson, two weeks later

Josh Donaldson has been as consistent as he is. The Yankees have found the former baseman this year aware of his long history of good performances on the pitch, but he also has a history, over the course of 12 years of his career, of controversy and criticism from teammates and opponents.

“I have to be alone,” Donaldson said Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. “I play the game a certain way, and I go to play, I play to win.”

Being alone has brought Donaldson the MVP award and three All-Star titles. This has also brought him a reputation as a player who does not know how to interact with those around him, who seems to have ruined the good environment that other players may need to leave in order to interpret his words and actions.

Donaldson is currently on the list of injuries and shoulder problems, which he received after a cortisone injection last week. He was transferred to IL for 10 days from COVID-19-IL after coming with a non-COVID infection. There is a one-game suspension waiting for him when he is removed from IL. In mid-May, he named White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson “Jackie,” referring to the 2019 words in which Anderson told a reporter that he felt like it was Jackie Robinson trying to break the “fun” baseball bar. Anderson called the comment “disrespectful,” and White Sox manager Tony LaRussa said it was racist. Donaldson has decided to appeal the MLB sentence.

Illness and a shoulder injury that Donaldson says is a fracture have given the third time left on the field and, after the team went to St. Petersburg over the weekend, away from his friends. It has taken him out of the spotlight for the past week where he once again became a young artist in his mouth.

About two weeks ago, a repeat of Donaldson’s intent against Anderson to interpret his comments had taken place without the two parties communicating directly.

Donaldson has said he considers it a joke between the two players when he first named Anderson “Jackie” in 2019; Donaldson said Wednesday that he remembers “loving each other over and over again.” Anderson said last week that when Donaldson told him in 2019, he told him, “I’m not going to talk to you and you won’t talk to me if that’s what you call me.”

With about 10 minutes of questions and answers Wednesday of Anderson’s interpretation of his interpretation, the way his former teammates and opponents feel, and the way the Yankees clubhouse responded to “Jackie” comments, Donaldson seemed to be constantly confused. hence his actions received the answers he received.

He was asked Wednesday that what he did in 2019 made him feel that Anderson interpreted his comment as a joke.

“I think he took it as an insult,” Donaldson said. “It was like, ‘Hey, you compared yourself to Jackie. What is this?’ kind of a problem. I think he took it like that. That’s how I interpreted it. “

Whether there was a disagreement or not between Donaldson and Anderson, Donaldson’s manager and teammate saw that it crossed the line even though, as he said, it was a joke.

“When I first heard Jackie’s name, I was sent back,” Aaron Boone said in May. “I have to admit, I was disappointed with this.”

Boone added that he heard Donaldson’s comment on his statement, “he does not believe that there were any evil intentions in this matter. But you know, this is – in my opinion – somewhere he should not go.”

Aaron Judge, who commended his teammates for their public record despite wrongdoing, said that Donaldson’s choice of Anderson “Jackie” was “very difficult. Making a joke or not, I don’t think it’s the right thing to do there.

Donaldson said Boone and Judge’s comments were “difficult to understand.”

“I’m proud to be a good friend,” Donaldson said Wednesday. “Everywhere I went, I won. And I think the other part of winning is having a good team. I am proud of wherever I have gone. I have always tried to help people to succeed. I have also tried to learn from my teammates. So it was very difficult. ”

In the morning after the May game when Donaldson called Anderson “Jackie,” the White Sox next to Liam Hendriks reiterated their hatred of the third Yankees player, and showed that they were common sense in the game.

Hendriks states: “My opinion of the interviewer is clear, because we disagree. “What I’ve talked to him about now, I think, is that four different groups have been in it, and all in all, no one has agreed.”

Donaldson said Wednesday that he met Hendriks at a Chicago parking lot in early May and “said, ‘Hey, how are you?’ and he hath given me peace.

“Then it is amazing. I feel the same thing then when I see him, it is different. It’s not confusing, “continued Donaldson. I can win. ”

Donaldson expressed his concern that the examples of the players questioned about him did not represent his relationship with players in the rest of the league, saying Wednesday that “one of my best friends, who is still my best friend, is Dallas Keuchel, who.

Keuchel, who played for Donaldson at the 2019 Atlanta Braves, was selected to be sent to the White Sox last week.

“If you talked to him, I can assure you – I think he would have given you a different idea of ​​me as a friend,” Donaldson said. But I can’t stop what they are saying about me.

Donaldson’s response Wednesday showed he wanted to look like a well-intentioned but powerful player who was looking forward to winning on the field. However, he is now in a situation in which there is a great difference between his goals and those of others. Just as success and productivity in a game define his history, so too, he fights with players, many of whom are also competitors and want to win.

“I do not know why. We haven’t talked much, let’s just say it, ”Donaldson said of his experience with Anderson. “On the pitch, we chatted and had a good sense of humor and obviously, Tim is a competitor and he plays with a chip on his shoulder.”

He also considered a performance in third place in Chicago in May. It was an experiment, when Donaldson appeared to try to push Anderson down, which prompted Anderson to push Donaldson away from him. The benches were removed and the event resolved without further ado. But the White Sox flew to New York the following weekend, still angry with Donaldson for the third game and other complaints since last year when Donaldson had the Twins.

“I think I tried to get out in front of them and say, ‘Hey, like, my bad guys.’ I felt like I was trying to give up an olive branch and be like, ‘Hey dad, let’s laugh and resolve the conflict,’ “Donaldson said.” That’s what I’m trying to do. That was my goal. It had nothing to do with trying to overthrow him or the competitive situation. That was not my intention. Talking to other guys, I wouldn’t have put myself and my team in that situation. As I said in my introduction, if (Anderson) is upset by this, I apologize. “

(Photo: Sarah Stier / Getty Images)


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