Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has been given a three-game suspension and fined by Major League Baseball for making contact with umpire Nick Marley after he was ejected during the seventh inning of Friday night’s loss to the Oakland Athletics.
MLB reviewed the incident on Saturday. Anderson appealed the suspension and was in the starting lineup Saturday for Game 2 of the series at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Video evidence suggested that Anderson’s helmet clearly touched the brim of Marley’s cap when the shortstop hit the umpire’s face. Marley even pointed to the cap to alert Anderson to the violation, which is a sure way to earn a suspension.
Anderson was a repeat offender, which factored into discipline.
Sox manager Tony La Russa seemed to think Anderson has a strong case.
“It will be interesting to see how they handle it,” La Russa said Saturday. “I saw part of the video and there is an argument that can be made for Tim. So we’ll see.
So what is the argument? Anderson’s helmet didn’t touch Marley?
“Did you see how the interaction happened?” The Russian responded.
Yes, I saw it.
“Well, the way I see it, the way we see it, it was argued that the referee didn’t back down,” he said. “He was also moving forward.”
Video of the incident on Twitter didn’t show Marley moving forward when Anderson got in his face and made contact, so it’s hard to know what video La Russa saw that convinced him otherwise.
Anderson did not speak after the game, letting the media know that he would speak on Saturday. Before Saturday’s game, Anderson sent a message through the media relations department that he was not available.
La Russa said Friday that he was “disappointed” by Marley’s quick ejection of Anderson for arguing a limit strike.
“I don’t think Tim cussed him out or anything,” he said. “If you don’t let a player get excited, you just have a bunch of robots playing. That’s not entertaining. That at bat, I thought the pitch was questionable. (Anderson) was upset. I think you have to let players get on fire as long as they don’t cross the line, and that escalated before Tim did anything.”
La Russa admitted that the referees “are also human beings and they get upset.”
“But part of their training is that you have to let the players get emotional, as long as they’re not being disrespectful or vulgar,” he said.
La Russa, who eventually came out to protect Anderson after the damage was done, was also ejected.
The Red Sox cannot afford to lose Anderson for any significant time as they continue their long quest to get back above .500 and challenge the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians in the race for the American League Central.
They have been without Luis Robert since just before the All-Star break when the center fielder began suffering from what the team called dizziness and blurred vision. After a rehab season-long game with Triple-A Charlotte, Robert sat out with what the team said was a cold.
La Russa said Saturday that Robert would fly to Chicago for tests. The Red Sox announced that he would miss Saturday and Sunday games with Charlotte while he was “indisposed.” So his return to action remains as much of a mystery as the ailment itself.