Given the demographics of your average MLB team, it’s rare for even the most grating player to achieve a level of personal distastefulness so profound that not even one person in the clubhouse will defend it. This dynamic makes for a good barometer: If you’ve acted like such a chud that not even one of the collection of fellow-chuds you work with every day are willing to stand by you, then you’ve really fucked up. This is the position in which Josh Donaldson currently finds himself.
Donaldson, who has been less than apologetic about the fact that he angered White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson by calling Anderson “Jackie,” spoke to reporters yesterday and was asked about the fact that his teammates have not been to eager to come to his defense in the days since the remark was made. Yankees manager Aaron Boone went through the motions of proclaiming that Donaldson is not racist, but did admit that using Jackie Robinson’s name as a way to needle Anderson was somewhere Donaldson “should not be going.” When Aaron Judge was asked about the “Jackie” incident, all he had to say was, “I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do there.”
Donaldson seems to have been hurt by this lack of support. “I think that was tough to hear, for sure,” he said to reporters. “I pride myself on being a good teammate, and everywhere I’ve went, every organization that I’ve been a part of, minus Oakland, has offered me extensions, has wanted me to stay.”
Donaldson was also asked to respond to the fact that one of his former teammates, Liam Hendriks, recently told reporters that he was “not a fan” of Donaldson.
Though it is somewhat satisfying to see Donaldson confronted with the fact that far fewer people than he might have assumed actually like him, his answer to the question about Hendriks doesn’t create much hope that any of this will affect his behavior going forward. If that guy has a problem with me, why didn’t he ever say to my face? is a canned response deployed every day by irredeemable shitheads who are incapable of understanding how normal people might choose to act in polite society. Given everything that we know about Donaldson, it seems likely that this embarrassing incident is only going to bring him to the conclusion that he is at all times surrounded by cowards and chumps who are too afraid stand up for what they really believe in and speak their minds. I expect him to be a guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast within six months.