The N-word can’t be the reason why.
Tim Anderson was hit – again.
This time, not with a pitch after a crazed bat flip, but by MLB.
According to an ESPN report, however, Anderson – the Chicago White Sox shortstop – was suspended for one-game after calling Kansas City pitcher Brad Keller a “weak-ass F—ing (N-word) during that now famous benches-clearing brawl on Wednesday.
Remember, Keller, who is white, hit Anderson, who is black, in the butt in his next at-bat following a monster HR and a bat flip, actually he spiked it.
The Royals, apparently, didn’t care for it.
Sorry, MLB. In this case, you got it wrong.
Anderson – one of the breakout stars of 2019 – gets hit for doing his job with flare and he gets a suspension for words in a heated moment.
We know this is a gentler, more politically correct world. And most of the time, that’s a good thing. Really, it is.
Here, however, MLB missed the mark and punished, just to punish.
It was kind of ironic that this mess came up
during Jackie Robinson’s celebration week. Just asking. How many players were suspended for using the N-word in 1947 when he broke the color barrier?
Trust me. On some teams, you might have had enough players to field a team.
What baseball did covered new ground, did what seems like a first in the history of the game.
Can’t imagine that this is the first time inappropriate language was used between players in a brawl. That’s a guess. But probably a good one.
It just seems as if this is a slippery slope that will lead us down a strange place in heat-of-the-moment situations.
Let’s face it, most of us would not be happy getting hit with a 92-mile-per-hour fastball in a game that’s supposed to be fun just because the other team didn’t like it.
This argument isn’t new by any stretch. It’s been going on forever, those unwritten rules.
The new part is baseball acting on mean words, slang if you will, during an altercation. From here on, will all players get suspended if they use foul language in earshot of an umpire or other players.
Will this turn into a hearsay court? Let’s hope not.
One person who is in support of Anderson and also thought MLB got it wrong was Toronto pitcher Marcus Stroman, who is also black.
Stroman took to Twitter with a passionate and reasonable defense for Anderson.
He wrote: Felt like I needed to speak on this. You can’t suspend someone for language. That’s ridiculous. Also, what he said is also normal slang trash talk in our culture. I don’t believe in “beef” and I never take my battles off the field. I love competing against competitors. What happens between the lines, always stay there for me. I will never allow confrontations on the field, that happen in the heat of the moment, to carry over after the game and cause me to change my view on the character of my opponents. I respect and love everyone. We all go to different places mentally on the field, in order to compete at the highest level. I support passion and emotion. I’ve been authentic from the beginning. I will always speak my mind when I feel things aren’t right. And, I will always defend and respect our culture in the game. I stand with @timanderson7 on this!
To his credit, Anderson, 25, handled this episode very maturely. He didn’t even appeal his suspension and instead just served it Friday night in the White Sox win over the Tigers.
Anderson didn’t go into what actually happened and was said in the melee.
“We’re going to keep moving forward,” Anderson said to the media. “That happened a couple days ago, so we’re going to keep having fun and keep playing with a lot of energy and a lot of confidence.”
For starting the entire thing, Keller got a five-game suspension. Nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Being a starter, Keller won’t miss a start at all. That’s not punishment at all.
And in this case, Anderson didn’t deserve one at all.