Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is still steaming over the April 19 bat-flip incident that led to him being plunked and resulted in the benches clearing against Kansas City Royals.
Anderson and Royals pitcher Brad Keller both received suspensions from MLB. Keller received a five-game ban (which amounts to one start) for throwing at Anderson, while Anderson was hit with a one-game ban for allegedly calling Keller a “weak-ass f------ n-----.”
Anderson confirms heated language
In an interview with Sports Illustrated released Tuesday, Anderson confirmed that that’s exactly what he said to Keller.
“I called him a weak-ass f------ n-----,” Anderson told SI. “That’s what I said.”
Anderson finds himself at the center of a culture conflict in baseball. The new school believes in shows of emotion that include bat flips and on-field celebrations for a job well done.
The old school frowns on such displays and believes that the appropriate response is for pitchers to intentionally throw projectiles at high speeds toward the perceived offenders, something that would get them arrested if done anywhere but a baseball diamond.
Benches clear in Royals-White Sox after Brad Keller hits Tim Anderson in the 6th inning. pic.twitter.com/u9IhZ56AvP
— MLB (@MLB) April 17, 2019
Anderson compares himself to Jackie Robinson
Anderson is decidedly new school. And he told SI that his approach is blazing a new path, comparing himself to an icon of American sports progress.
“I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson,” Anderson said. “That’s huge to say. But it’s cool, man, because he changed the game, and I feel like I’m getting to a point to where I need to change the game.”
Tough words for MLB
Anderson also had some harsh words for MLB over his suspension, suggesting that a more diverse league office wouldn’t have suspended him for using a word he says belongs to him.
“That’s a word that’s in my vocabulary,” he said. “When’s the last time [MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre] heard that word?”
When SI asked him about why he didn’t appeal, Anderson didn’t feel it was worth his time.
“I don’t think there’s a black guy that’s up that high in baseball that they could drag in and be like, ‘Hey, what do you think we should do to this guy?’” Anderson said.
Anderson has shown little sign of backing off his boisterous personality at the plate since the incident, spiking his bat after hitting a walk-off home run against the Detroit Tigers last week.
Now that he has the attention of baseball, it’s not likely he’ll relinquish it any time soon.
More from Yahoo Sports: