One side says let the kids play, the other will have none of that. It’s one of the many unwritten rules of baseball to, well, not have too much fun and the “rule breaker” Wednesday was Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.
The charge: an exuberant bat flip. The penalty: a hit by pitch and freebie to first from the Kansas City Royals.
Anderson gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth on a fastball hit 418 feet to left field. The 25-year-old turned back to his own dugout, tossed the bat and celebrated during his trip around the bases.
This did not seem to please the Royals and in an unsurprising move, the 23-year-old Brad Keller plunked Anderson with the first pitch of the sixth inning. The benches cleared, beginning with the coaches.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria separated Anderson and Royals hitting coach Dale Sveum before going at it with Royals manager Ned Yost. There were reportedly no punches thrown during the ruckus.
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, Keller, Renteria and Sveum were all ejected by umpire Joe West. Keller threw 91 pitches over five innings and was replaced by Ian Kennedy. The White Sox did not score in the sixth after the hit-by-pitch put a runner on first. The Royals would go to win the game 4-3 in 10 innings.
After the game, Anderson said he wouldn’t do anything differently based on the Royals reaction.
“The fans pay their hard earned money to come see a show, so why not give them one,” Anderson told reporters after the game.
In the visiting clubhouse, Keller denied throwing at Anderson purpose.
We’re guessing the league will have a different opinion and that fines and suspensions will be coming shortly.
The Royals and White Sox will play each other 13 more times in 2019 with next series taking place May 27-29 in Chicago.
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