Tim Anderson’s World Baseball Classic Performance Finally Has MLB’s Tabloid King In the Headlines For The Right Reasons

Chicago White Sox baseball star Tim Anderson is a hero again. The All-Star shortstop, who had a rough past year with the media, some opposing fans, staying healthy and a run or two in the gossip mill, is enjoying a favorable light in the public eye and the kind of media attention that makes legends on the field on the heels of his contributions to Team USA’s 12-1 win over Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic on Monday night. 

Anderson, who hadn’t been on an MLB infield field since August before playing shortstop in an upset Pool C loss to Mexico, hopped out of the telephone booth like Superman, moved to second base and recorded two hits, including an electrifying opposite field triple. He also registered a walk and a steal along with an RBI. 

Tim Anderson Thriving In WBC

So far, Anderson is slashing .571/.625/1.000 from the batter’s box between two games in the WBC. 

If Team USA lost that game they would have been in embarrassing jeopardy of not making it out of WBC pool play and failing to defend their 2017 title. 

Anderson not only provided the speed, excitement and production that we have become used to, but his energy and locker room character has been acknowledged by his coach and fellow players. 

“I do think when you play in the WBC, it’s a feeling-out process at first,” manager Mark DeRosa said. “He kind of wanted to let some people know how good he was in that dugout, in that clubhouse, the coaching staff, down the line. He has really caught the eyes of a lot of people on this team.”

Anderson, as usual, is blunt about his purpose for being here and representing the United States. 

“I’m always out to prove something,” Anderson said to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. “Just to be among some of the greats, I just get a chance for the world to see what kind of athlete I am. And also the guys get to know what kind of person I am, the human being.”

Well, he’s been proving it so far and Anderson’s package of effectiveness and energy is something USA Baseball will need to overcome the power teams of the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, PR and Venezuela. 

What a difference a WBC makes. The old adage, “Baseball cures all ills” rings true for Anderson, who is finally getting the respect the former batting champion deserves.  

2022 Was Challenging For Tim Anderson 

Last season, Anderson’s fourth-straight campaign hitting over .300, was marred with several suspensions, including one for arguing balls and strikes and making contact with an umpire, which prompted Anderson to speak out against a baseball culture that some have described as “archaic” and too attached to the unwritten rules of the past.

The first month of the season was rough for Anderson as he struggled defensively recording six errors in the first three games. Those unusual defensive lapses started attracting the harassment of opposing fans. This all came to a head when the usually cool and calm Anderson flipped off Cleveland Guardian fans in an 11-1 loss after he made two errors in the first two innings. Anderson was suspended one game by the league for that, but it was just the beginning of his tumultuous 2022. 

During a May 21 game between the Yankees and White Sox, NY player Josh Donaldson, who is white, called Anderson “Jackie,” referring to Jackie Robinson. That led to the benches clearing out and a war of opinions on race, the legacy of Jackie Robinson.

People also blamed Anderson, who had referenced Jackie Robinson in an interview about himself sparking some backlash from baseball fans of all ethnicities.

“I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson,” Anderson said. “That’s huge to say but it’s cool, …because he changed the game, and I feel like I’m getting to a point where I need to change the game.”

Anderson Produces Love Child In Affair With Influencer Dejah Lenae

Then in June, Anderson’s life on and off the field was coming unglued. He suffered an injury earlier in the month which curtailed a great start with the bat; a strained right groin injury that took the All-Star to the 10-day injured reserve list. 

A few days later his personal life took center stage for a messy situation as Anderson, a married family man of two, had some uncomfortable revelations made public on the internet; he was  allegedly the father of social media influencer Dejah Lenae’s unborn child.

Anderson had maintained a picture-perfect image of father and husband, marrying Bria Anderson in 2017. During their relationship, the pair has had two children, a daughter reportedly in 2016, and a second daughter in 2019.

Anderson and his wife were seen out and about in Chicago. The two attended a gala event and looked happier than ever. Unfortunately, the next day, Dejah Lanae crashed the party, posting a picture of Anderson, making the internet abuzz with curiosity, and added a video with a baby bump.

The tea got hotter when Anderson’s wife Bria was reported as saying that she was initially mad, like any married woman would be in this situation, but has become more accepting of the child and has not filed for divorce or separation from her husband.

In addition to dealing with those distractions, the White Sox team was faltering, and rumors swirled about the health and job security of 77-year-old manager Tony LaRussa. But the team still had an outside shot at the playoffs. That was until Anderson suffered a tear in the sagittal band of his left middle finger that effectively ended his season. 

Anderson Using Social Media To Drop Hints About Mental State

Anderson wasn’t vocal about his experiences during the offseason, but one could find cryptic Twitter messages directed at no one but everyone that became common for Anderson over the past few months. 

Anderson is a much-needed enigma for MLB. He’s way more the gift than the curse. He doesn’t always give the politically correct answer or move through life like a choir boy. Nobody with his talent, desire, edge and unapologetic self-love does. What is undeniable is Anderson’s greatness as one of the faces of baseball and a Black diamond-miner with elite accomplishments. He’s part of the new breed of MLBbro bombers who flash five-tool packages, are comfortable in their own skin and have made the game re-adjust to their unique cultural influence and presence.


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