White Sox: Tim Anderson’s One Game Suspension is Incredibly Stupid
White Sox shortstop suspended one game for language during bench-clearing that happened after he was hit by a pitch. MLB certainly isn’t letting the kids play.
The Chicago White Sox have been in the news a lot over the past two days and has nothing to do with their most recent losses. It has more to do with a bat flip that appeared to be nothing more than a player pumping up his team.
The incident in question occurred on Wednesday afternoon in a contest between the White Sox and Kansas City Royals. Tim Anderson was up at the plate in the sixth inning. He had already hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning off of Royals starting pitcher Brad Keller.
After hitting the home run, Anderson turned towards the White Sox dugout and tossed his bat while signaling excitement towards his teammates. The home run put the Sox ahead 2-0 at the time in a game they would eventually lose in extra innings. However, the Royals were displeased with Anderson’s antics and Keller proceeded to hit him with the first pitch of his next at-bat in the sixth inning.
As Anderson proceeded to walk towards first base, he would get into an argument with Keller and both the Sox and Royals benches would empty out onto the field of play. Well, on Friday, MLB announced the suspensions of Anderson, Sox manager Rick Renteria, and Keller. Anderson and Renteria both received one-game suspensions while Keller got a five-game suspension which amounts to just one start.
Looking closely at why Anderson was suspended, you will see that MLB suspended him not for his bat flip but apparently because of the language he used towards Keller according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. Yes, Anderson called Keller the dreaded “n-word”. I’m not going to get into specifics of why Anderson can say the “n-word” and why others can’t. This isn’t the website for that.
However, I will note that Anderson being suspended for this kind of language is absurd. Anderson was already walking towards first base after being plunked by Keller. Keller came off like a petulant child because Anderson hit a home run off of him and was attempting to pump his teammates. South Side Sox editor Bret Ballantini did a great job of describing the at-bat where Anderson hit his home run and perhaps why he was so exuberant with his celebration.
If Anderson can’t tell Keller off, what else can he do? Keller was clearly in the wrong here and continued to antagonize Anderson after he had already hit him with a pitch. Anderson is quickly becoming a folk hero to Sox fans and also fans of other teams after this incident with the Royals.
He’s having the best start to any season in his major league career, and he’s starting to challenge the absurdity of baseball’s unwritten rules. MLB continues to struggle with attracting a large portion of younger viewers. Instances like this could be a reason why younger people and minorities for that matter don’t flock to baseball.
For Anderson and Renteria, they won’t be appealing their suspensions and will miss Friday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. Maybe someday bat flips and exuberant celebrations from players on offense will become more of a norm than they are now. In other countries, they already are. It’s about time for MLB to catch up.