Josh Donaldson’s ‘Jackie’ suspension upheld by MLB

Josh Donaldson got some relief, but not on his suspension. 

Major League Baseball upheld Donaldson’s one-game ban for his “Jackie” comments to White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, though the Yankees third baseman’s appeal resulted in his fine getting cut in half, a source confirmed on Monday. 

Donaldson will have to serve the suspension on Tuesday, meaning the Yankees won’t have him for their series opener against the Rays in The Bronx. 

John McHale, a special assistant to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, handled the appeal hearing on Thursday. Donaldson’s fine was cut to $5,000, as the Associated Press reported. 

MLB originally announced the suspension and fine on May 23, two days after Donaldson called Anderson “Jackie” multiple times during a game at Yankee Stadium, which ultimately led to a benches-clearing spat. 

New York Yankees Josh Donaldson works out before an MLB game
Josh Donaldson will miss Tuesday’s series opener against the Rays.
Corey Sipkin

Donaldson insisted it had been a long-running joke between the two — referencing a 2019 Sports Illustrated story in which Anderson said he felt like the modern-day Jackie Robinson — but the White Sox star did not find it funny. White Sox manager Tony La Russa called the comments “racist.” 

“Regardless of Mr. Donaldson’s intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions,” Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president for on-field operations, said in handing out the initial discipline. “In addition, Mr. Donaldson’s remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline.”

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