‘Tim Anderson vs. The League’ picked up for fourth season

If there’s one thing Tim Anderson might want to avoid in the future, it’s yelling in a way that the catcher might think it’s directed at him.

Anderson wasn’t screaming at the Royals after his fourth-inning homer on Wednesday, just like he wasn’t screaming at them last year when he annoyed Sal Perez with his exuberance. Unlike last year, when Perez had to reach for a directionless profanity-based excuse because Anderson got charged up at all, Maldonado did experience loud words across his bow.

Anderson and Maldonado seemed to settle it like adults on the way to first base after Brad Keller’s first-pitch plunking, which you can see on this very informative third-party breakdown of the incident. The Royals bench and bullpen surrounding Anderson at first changed the tone of the proceedings.

The screaming-across-a-guy part is the only change I’d suggest to Anderson. Otherwise, he’s intent on playing his brand of baseball regardless of what anybody says.

“I don’t have any rules,” Anderson said. “I play fun, I play to have fun and I play with a lot of energy.”

That’s his right. As I wrote last year after Justin Verlander’s red-assing, Anderson’s seen tough times professionally and personally, so I can understand if he wants to enjoy what he’s earned and play how he wants to play. It also seems to be what baseball wants, because it keeps defending Anderson with its marketing arm:

Considering this is Year Four of Anderson getting thrown and/or barked at — it started with the Twins at the end of 2016 — the league could do more to protect players like him if it wanted to. We’ll find out from Keller’s suspension whether it actually wants to. I suspect it won’t make the connection.

One of the stated sore spots regarding Anderson is that he isn’t good enough to be doing what he does. Perez said so last year; the Royals stuck to “respecting the game” this time around, but most of them were pretending the purpose pitch didn’t happen while discussing in depth the reasons Anderson had to take one.

Indeed, he isn’t yet good enough to back it up on a reliable basis. Anderson will eventually get humbled by a play in the same series, if not the same game, or even the same sequence. Last year, Verlander took advantage of Anderson’s excitement by picking him off second. In between the bat toss and getting drilled on Wednesday, Anderson fumbled a double-play ball, keeping the door open for the Royals to tie the game. Anderson gave the Sox the lead. He also kinda gave it away.

That’s what makes the retaliation and postgame pissyness also so stupid. They already stuck it to him on the field, which is where these things are supposed to be settled. They could’ve pantomimed him booting the ball. They could’ve thanked him for the error after the game. Instead, Keller committed sanctioned assault and they bemoaned the lack of respect afterward, as if if their franchise had a history of keeping it buttoned-down the past five years.

The Royals and White Sox will next meet up on Memorial Day in Chicago. Anderson’s at-bats will be watched very closely, and Royals broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre will champ at the bit to use his I’d-like-to-speak-to-your-manager voice. Hopefully, Anderson will still be commanding the attention for good reasons, even if he stands a chance at taking a step back after every step forward.

* * * * * * * * *

The other fallout from Wednesday’s game: The White Sox placed Lucas Giolito on the 10-day disabled list for what they’re calling a strained left hamstring. We’ll find out shortly in Rick Renteria’s pre-game press scrum how serious they think it is, but Carson Fulmer will take Giolito’s place on the pitching staff, with Manny Banuelos likely taking his place in the rotation.

Fulmer represented himself well during his lone appearance with the Sox this year, throwing three innings of one-run ball on April 8. Around that one game in the majors, he’s struck out 11 batters over seven innings in Charlotte, allowing just a run and eight baserunners. He’ll never be the model of efficiency, but he’s missing bats better than ever in pro baseball, so this multi-inning relief role could work for him.

The Sox also called up Ryan Cordell to take Daniel Palka’s space. Ironically, Palka likely hastened his demotion to Charlotte by snapping his hitless skid to open the season, as I think the Sox would probably do their best to make sure he didn’t have some record 0-fer on his ledger.

His broken-bat flare to shallow left field on Wednesday made him 1-for-33; two subsequent poor at-bats made him 1-for-35. He can’t get the ball off the ground, except when he’s way out in front and ripping it into foul territory down the right-field line. That’s something that can be addressed in Charlotte, assuming it can be addressed at all.

Cordell opened the season with the Sox and delivered a pinch-hit go-ahead homer in his first plate appearance of the year. He went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts in his only start with the Sox before they optioned him to Charlotte.

His production with the Knights has been similarly lumpy. He hit for the cycle his second game back in Charlotte, then went 4-for-22 with eight strikeouts over his next five games. He has a superficially impressive .323/.344/.581 line across those seven games, but I don’t know if his profile has changed that much. What he does offer is a right-handed bat and the ability to handle center, and definitely upgrades the defense in right.

This is all supposed to be temporary until Jon Jay comes back, but since he’s battling vague multi-body-part maladies that collectively sound an awful lot like Brett Lawrie Syndrome, Cordell and Charlie Tilson might be the only outfielders they can count on for the foreseeable future.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Best way to stay on the Sox 25-man roster? Never get a hit.



Say Eloy was still in Charlotte and was only there because the Sox were waiting on the worst player on the roster to get a hit. Is that humane to Eloy, someone who has worked his whole life to make it to the big leagues? This isn’t Jacob May. Palka has a hit in the big leagues already.

Patrick Nolan

Having nothing but Ryan Cordell and Charlie Tilson in AAA affords the White Sox the ability to do a solid to a player who, quite frankly, was one of the only reasons for enthusiasm last year.


I just find it very hypocritical of fans to be mad when the Sox hold down Eloy in AAA, saying that they should have the best 25 men on the roster, but then are fine when they keep a player up when he can’t play defense or offense. I get it if it was just a bad spell of hitting, but his at-bats have been beyond ugly.

And then the Sox prove my point by sending him to AAA the day he gets his first hit. How long would he have had to go hitless for you to finally agree that it is idiotic?


We’ll never know, but I suspect they would have sent Palka down today even if he hadn’t gotten a hit. The timing was based more on the ability to bring Cordell back up.


Are Cordell and Tilson clearly better than Palka?

Hot/Cold streaks aren’t predictive for hitters. Steamer projects Palka to have a 92 wRC+ compared to a 81 and a 73 for Cordell and Tilson. Their defense is probably better, but honestly they’re all probably about within 1/5 of a win of each other.

lil jimmy

defense not probably better. clearly better. the rest is a push.


Tilson’s career UZR/150 (291.33 Inn): -17.4
Cordell’s career UZR/150 (105.33 Inn): -23.3
Palka’s career UZR/150 (609.33 Inn): -18.2

Clearly better

karkovice squad

UZR requires a 3 year sample to stabilize so those samples don’t tell us much.

Statcast actual catch % vs expected catch %:

Palka 74%, 88% last year; 86%, 93% this year.

Tilson 78%, 84% last year.

Cordell 88% & 88% last year; 100% and 90% this year.


I’m aware. My point was that the scant evidence we have doesn’t do all that much to establish:

1) That Tilson and Cordell are better than Palka
2) That the difference in defense outweighs Palka’s advantage in offense

Hence me stating that they were only ‘probably better’


But it wasn’t Eloy. It was Cordell or some other AAAA player. I don’t have an issue with it


Cordell wasn’t even eligible to come back up until yesterday or today I think, given he was sent back down about 10 days ago. So did people really want to call up Charlie Tilson instead of Palka?


If this was the case, and since Tilson isn’t on the 25-man, then I can understand keeping him up. But I still believe the idea of keeping a player up just because they haven’t gotten a hit to be an idiotic idea.

Lurker Laura

That last paragraph on the Royals sums up why I dislike them more and more every year.


If they’re going to use that dumb justification re: Tim, one might also say that the Royals aren’t good enough to piss and moan about someone celebrating a homer off of them.

Patrick Nolan

If you have the time, I recommend listening to that Jomboy video in the post. The commentary is worth your while.

Eagle Bones

The Royals booth discussing this was an embarrassment. Listening to their explanation is infuriating. What they are condoning would be like telling your child to hit another kid if they took his or her toy. I’d like to think Stone and Bennetti would be saying the same thing if the roles were reversed and a Sox pitcher plunked a Royals batter (I think Bennetti would, not sure about Stone). This really needs to stop, but I’m not sure it ever will given at least half the league seems to agree with this insanity.


Both DJ and Farmer walked the line, saying they weren’t taught to play baseball the way Tim was, and that they understood the Royals’ retaliation. Not quite embarrassing, but not exactly supporting Tim either.

lil jimmy

they have a copy of the unwritten rules.

Eagle Bones

Honestly, I’m not really concerned with them supporting Tim. I know it’s party their jobs to support the teams (maybe more than partly). I’m annoyed that allegedly educated adults can’t seem to reason through a simple situation like this and come to a logical conclusion. The fact that so many find this acceptable is mind boggling to me. It’s also extremely passive aggressive. Think about it, when someone gets out of line in the NBA, guys get in eachother’s faces and maybe a punch or two gets thrown. In baseball they hide their contempt, throw a ball at them an hour later and then act like they did it by accident. It’s cowardly. If you have a problem with it, confront the guy.

Papa Giorgio

Every day I like Bennetti more and more…I hope he’s around for a long time.


Glad the Sox went with Banuelos and Fulmer over Covey or Stephens.
Also glad it’s a hammy for Gio and not a knee.


Doesn’t sound like we know for certain what they will do for a starter. Sox may just want an extra reliever for the moment. In Covey’s case, I believe he was out with an injury as well


Regarding the bat flip, some back and forth from players as well


I think the league should finally provide some leadership on this instead of having players all setting their own standards of behavior and risking people getting hurt

Lurker Laura

league should finally provide some leadership

Ha ha ha, everybody is cracking me up this morning.


Tim’s comments make me like him more and more. At first I thought he was kinda cocky, but he’s pretty well thought out with how he justifies his words/actions.

Josh Nelson

That’s a $1 owed into the “Still calling it the disabled list, and not injured list,” jar.

As Cirensica

Love your Brett Lawrie Syndrome phrase. It deserves itw own list (LL).
Injured List
Disabled List
Lawrie List

Josh Nelson

I’m a HUGE fan of the Lawrie List.

karkovice squad

Lawrie just borrowed it. That list will always really belong to Griffey.


That’s General Soreness to you.


Can we blame Jay’s problems on wonky orthotics, too? Do they make orthotics for the lower back?

karkovice squad

Also, too, the Royals hit Palka and Abreu on Monday. Maybe they should reconsider their stance on the wisdom of retaliatory assault.


2 points from yesterday

1. Why isnt there more concern with how the sox handled a potential head/concussion injury related to moncada? Maybe I missed any training room update, but a guy gets blasted in the temple, claims to have a headache, it shouldnt take a couple innings to remove him from the game.

2. Why doesnt the mlb immediately put a ban on players not on the field entering these skirmishes like every other sport? Why not actually target pitchers who intentionally throw at players more viciously if you want bat flipping to be apart of the new fun mlb???


Regarding the the first part of the second point: Baseball is different from other sports, since the number of players on the field is different for each team. 9 defensive players vs a possible 1 offensive player? Not a very fair fight.


Rule could be that every player on field must stay at their position. How about coaches and managers only? That would be entertaining.


#1 is a question that should be delved into further. What exactly was the diagnosis on the field vs. what did Moncada indicate a couple innings later


Game going to start on time today? Or will it be delayed?