Josh Donaldson has apologized to the wife and family of Jackie Robinson for referencing the pioneering Black baseball player in remarks that led to a confrontation with Chicago White Sox star Tim Anderson.
The New York Yankees third baseman was suspended for one game and fined on Monday by Major League Baseball. The league said Donaldson’s comment on Saturday was “disrespectful and in poor judgment.” Donaldson has appealed the discipline.
“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball,” Donaldson said in a statement Thursday issued through his agency, MVP Sports. “I stated over the weekend that I apologized for offending Tim and that it was a misunderstanding based on multiple exchanges between us over the years. My view of that exchange hasn’t changed and I absolutely meant no disrespect. In the past, it had never been an issue and now that it is, we have a mutual understanding.
“I would also like to apologize to Mrs. Rachel Robinson and the Jackie Robinson family for any distress this incident may have caused. Jackie was a true American hero and I hold his name in the highest regard.”
Donaldson said after Saturday’s game that he twice called Anderson by “Jackie.” Robinson broke MLB’s barrier in 1947. Benches and bullpens emptied as tensions escalated.
Anderson has said Donaldson was “trying to provoke me” with the comment. White Sox manager Tony La Russa called Donaldson’s comment last weekend “racist,” adding, “That’s as strong as it gets.” Anderson agreed with La Russa: “Same, along that same line, yeah.”
Anderson, an All-Star and the 2019 AL batting champion who is among the leading Black voices in baseball, told Sports Illustrated in 2019: “I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson . . . because he changed the game, and I feel like I’m getting to a point to where I need to change the game.”
Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, said that early in Saturday’s game, “I called him Jackie.” The white ballplayer also said he has “joked around” with Anderson in the past using the same reference and mentioned that Sports Illustrated interview.
Anderson said after a brief conversation in 2019 in which Donaldson called him “Jackie,” he told Donaldson: “We don’t have to talk again. I won’t speak to you, you don’t speak to me if that’s how you’re going to refer to me.”
Kyle Farmer leads Reds’ hit parade in rout of Cubs
Kyle Farmer homered twice and had five RBIs to power the Cincinnati Reds to their high-scoring game in 23 years, a 20-5 rout of the visiting Chicago Cubs.
Farmer and Nick Senzel had four hits each, and Brandon Drury, Tommy Pham and Albert Almora Jr. had three apiece. The Reds entered with a .217 batting average, 28th among the 30 teams, and finished with 20 hits in all as they gained a four-game split.
Cincinnati trailed 3-0 before scoring twice in the second and bursting ahead with eight runs in the third.
The Reds scored their most runs since a 22-3 win at Philadelphia on Sept. 4, 1999, while Chicago gave up its most since a 21-8 defeat at the Phillies on July 3, 1999.
Cubs shortstop Andrelton Simmons made his big league pitching debut, allowing five runs in the eighth.
Hunter Greene (2-6) won for the first time since his major league debut on April 10 despite giving up five runs, seven hits and two walks in five innings. He had been 0-6 with a 5.50 ERA in his previous seven starts.
Willson Contreras and Ian Happ hit back-to-back homers in the fifth. Nico Hoerner also homered for the Cubs.
Cubs starter Justin Steele (1-5) gave up seven runs, seven hits and two walks in two-plus innings,
Farmer missed the prior four games with general soreness, then hit a two-run homer in the second inning and a solo shot in the fifth for his first career multi-homer game. He entered with one homer this season.
Yankees sign INF Matt Carpenter
Matt Carpenter agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Yankees, a week after he was released from the Texas Rangers’ minor league system.
The injury-plagued Yankees also selected the contract of 31-year-old lefthander Manny Bañuelos from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before Thursday’s series opener at Tampa Bay. Bañuelos was in the Yankees’ minor league system from 2008-14 but never made it up to the big league club during that time.
Carpenter, 36, gets a contract paying a $1 million salary while in the major leagues and $200,000 while in the minors. A three-time All-Star with the St. Louis Cardinals, he hit .275 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 21 games for Round Round of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.
Carpenter spent the previous 11 seasons with the Cardinals, batting .262 with 155 homers and 576 RBIs. He hit .169 last year with three homers and 21 RBIs in 207 at-bats.
He played 19 games at first this year, one at third and two at designated hitter. DJ LeMahieu. who has shared time at third base with Josh Donaldson while also playing first and second, missed the final two games of a series against Baltimore because of a sore left wrist and was not in the starting lineup vs. the Rays.
Bañuelos gets an $800,000 salary while in the major leagues and $150,000 while in the minors.
He pitched in the major leagues for Atlanta in 2015 and the Chicago White Sox in 2019, going 4-8 with a 6.31 ERA in 14 starts and seven relief appearances. Bañuelos is 0-2 with a 2.35 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances for Scranton, striking out 30 and walking 12 in 30⅔ innings.
Bañuelos, a member of Mexico’s pitching staff at last year’s Olympics, split the 2021 season between the Fubon Guardians in Taiwan and Mexico’s Sultanes de Monterrey.