Aaron Judge
Denny Medley | USA TODAY Sports

It sounds like Josh Donaldson needs to tread lightly moving forward.

Aaron Judge didn’t throw the third baseman completely under the bus for his spat with Tim Anderson. But the Yankees‘ best player and budding leader didn’t exactly circle the wagons around Donaldson either.

“Joke or not, I don’t think it’s the right thing to do there,” Judge said after Monday night’s 6-4 loss to the Orioles, according to The Post. Judge was making his first comments since Donaldson called the White Sox’s Anderson “Jackie” last Saturday, sparking another altercation between the two (and clearing the benches).

Donaldson said his taunts were a reference to an interview Anderson did several years ago where he compared himself to Jackie Robinson. Anderson took umbrage and White Sox manager Tony LaRussa called the comments racist. Donaldson has been suspended for a game and fined by Major League Baseball; he is appealing the punishment.

“Anderson is one of the best shortstops in the game and is a big part of MLB and how we can grow the game. [Donaldson] getting a one-game suspension … I don’t know. He made a mistake, owned up to it and we’ve got to move on.”


The issue now is whether the Yankees can effectively do that. General manager Brian Cashman traded for Donaldson because he felt his abrasive personality and reputation  were needed. He wanted to give the Yankees an edge. Which makes sense.

But now Donaldson — currently on the COVID-19 injured list — is batting .238. And he just did went somewhere with Anderson that, as manager Aaron Boone said, he really shouldn’t be going. It’s pretty obvious Donaldson took his feud with Anderson to a reckless place. And it’s fair to wonder if this transgression will hang around for a while.

“We’re grown men. He owned up to what he did,” Judge said. “That’s all you can ask, especially when we’re playing games every day. Can’t sit here and linger on a lot. … You learn from it when you make a mistake.”

James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]

 

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.