NEW YORK – Josh Donaldson will not be available for the Yankees’ series opener Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.
On Monday, Donaldson’s one-game suspension by Major League Baseball was upheld, though his $10,000 fine was reduced by half, as first reported by the Associated Press.
Donaldson, 36, appealed the suspension, which he received three weeks ago, regarding his repeated references to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson as “Jackie.”
In his original ruling, Michael Hill, MLB’s senior VP for on-field operations, said Donaldson’s references were “disrespectful and in poor judgment,” and a contributing factor in two bench-clearing incidents between the teams in May.
JOSH DONALDSON:‘It was tough’ to hear comments about character after ‘Jackie’ incident
Donaldson later issued an apology to the family of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke MLB’s color barrier in 1947.
But Donaldson insisted that his comments were just “friendly banter” with Anderson, and that he had “nothing to do with trying to bring him down or the race situation.”
Anderson’s teammates blasted Donaldson for his actions and for thinking that Anderson was in on the joke.
Donaldson added that it “was tough to hear” criticisms from his own clubhouse, which included a rebuke by Aaron Judge.
“Joke or not, I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do there,” Judge said.
Pete Caldera is the Yankees beat writer for NorthJersey.com.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @pcaldera