White Sox's momentum short-lived as Red Sox come out swinging
On Saturday, Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson set off a major firestorm by "jokingly" referring to White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson as "Jackie," as in Jackie Robinson.
On Sunday, Anderson hit a 3-run homer and the Sox swept New York in a doubleheader.
Do Donaldson and his dubious antics deserve credit for giving the White Sox a spark?
"If you need bulletin board material, you have issues," Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "And if that's what gets you there, it's short-lived. You should question your club's commitment. I've said all along, I know how this club competes so we don't need that."
Regardless of the source, the White Sox had a needed day off Monday and they appeared to have momentum heading into Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
That changed quickly. Boston's Kiké Hernandez hit starting pitcher Dylan Cease's first pitch into the White Sox's bullpen, and the rout was on. The Red Sox beat the White Sox 16-3.
Cease was lit up for 7 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in 3 innings, raising his ERA from 3.09 to 4.24. Was he tipping his pitches?
"I think we're going to have to take some time, look into it," Cease said. "They put some good swings on it. It's definitely possible, we'll cover everything. They definitely had some comfortable swings."
Anderson tried to get the White Sox's erratic offense going, leading off the fourth inning with a double to break up Boston starter Nick Pivetta's no-hit bid. Jose Abreu followed with a 2-run homer to make it a 10-2 game, but that was as close as the home team would get.
As for Donaldson, he was suspended one game and fined on Monday, although he is appealing.
Before Tuesday's game, Anderson was asked for his thoughts on Major League Baseball's ruling.
"No reaction," he said. "I mean, it's out of my control, so I guess I'm cool with whatever. I could care less about what kind of suspension you get or whatever. I didn't care."
Anderson did say Donaldson started calling him "Jackie" in 2019, when he played for the Braves. Anderson saw Donaldson quite a bit the past two seasons when he was with the Twins.
"In 2019, I know he did," Anderson said. "He did say that. I told him that, you know, we don't ever have to talk again. And I won't speak to you, you won't speak to me, if that's how you're going to refer to me. And I know he knew exactly what he was doing, because I already told him.
"But yeah, he goes to Minnesota, you know, two, three years, doesn't say nothing to me because, you know, I already addressed it. And he felt the need to say it again, you know, he's trying to provoke me. And he knew what he was doing."
Anderson said he has not heard from Donaldson or the Yankees since Saturday's incident.
In Game 2 at Yankee Stadium Sunday night, the crowd was chanting "Jackie" throughout the game, but that ended when Anderson hit a 3-run homer in the eighth inning to lift the White Sox to a 5-0 win over New York.
"It was pretty dope, you know, for me to shut 'em up," Anderson said. "That was cool. That was fun. That didn't do nothing but motivate me a little bit more."