Donaldson disappointed the Yankees didn’t publicly support him

NEW YORK (AP) — Josh Donaldson was hurt when his New York Yankees teammates failed to back him after he made a remark to White Sox star Tim Anderson about Jackie Robinson as Chicago manager Tony La Russa, called it a racist.

Donaldson was suspended for one game by Major League Baseball for making multiple references to Robinson during a conversation with Anderson on May 21. Donaldson appealed the discipline.

Anderson said he agreed with La Russa, and several Yankees said Donaldson was wrong. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said: “That’s just my opinion – (it’s) a place he shouldn’t go.” New York star Aaron Judge said: “I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do there.”

“I think it was hard to hear, of course, just for the simple fact that I’m proud to be a good teammate, and everywhere I’ve been, every organization I’ve been in, minus Oakland, has offered me extensions, wanted me to stay back,” Donaldson said during batting practice Wednesday.

“They showed they wanted me on their team. Obviously it didn’t work out that way,” he said. “And that’s just the business side. And also everywhere I went, I won. I think part of winning is having good team chemistry, and I’ve been proud everywhere I’ve been, I’ve always tried to help people try to improve.

Three-time All-Star and 2015 AL MVP with Oakland, Donaldson, 36, said he was surprised by criticism from White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks, his former track teammate, who said he didn’t was “not a fan” of Donaldson.

Donaldson said Hendriks never raised any issues when they met in a parking lot outside a baseball stadium.

“I know Liam has come out a lot of times and said stuff about me,” Donaldson said. “It’s weird because I hear one thing and then when I see it it’s different. So it’s been really confusing for that. I’m not saying every one of my teammates has always been best friends with.”

Donaldson issued a public apology to the Robinson family last week.

“I think everyone wanted to have their say. But they don’t know my heart,” Donaldson said. “I feel bad that the Robinson family – I never wanted them to feel their name should be viewed in a bad light. That’s why I apologized.

He maintains of Anderson, “maybe he misinterpreted” the references but said “I didn’t get a chance to speak to him”.

“I think at the end of the day, over the last two years, there’s been animosity from their team towards me,” Donaldson said. “And I don’t really have a problem with the team. I think there are things that were questioned last year.

Donaldson annoyed Chicago last season when he alleged ace Lucas Giolito profited from the use of illegal sticky substances. He said he intended to stop chatting with the White Sox.

“I shouldn’t talk to those guys anymore, just because I never want to be brought up in that light or that show again,” he said. “It’s been tough.”

Donaldson, acquired by the Yankees this year, is with his sixth major league team and is hitting .238 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in 37 games. He is on the injured list with an inflamed right shoulder and could be activated on Sunday. He was also briefly absent from the squad with COVID-19 following the incident with Anderson.

Donaldson had been feeling shoulder pain for most of this season and says his swing responded to a cortisone shot.

“I just have wear and tear over the years,” he said. “I have tears all over it. It’s old stuff that gets in the way sometimes.


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