White Sox, Royals benches empty after Brad Keller throws at Tim Anderson

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White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson hit a prodigious two-run home run off of Royals starter Brad Keller in the fourth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game in Chicago. Anderson celebrated by throwing his bat back towards his dugout.

MLB celebrated Anderson’s achievement as such:

Predictably, the next time Anderson stepped to the plate, leading off the bottom of the sixth inning, Keller threw a fastball at him. The benches emptied. Keller and Anderson were ejected, as was White Sox manager Rick Renteria.

10 days ago, Pirates pitcher Chris Archer intentionally threw at Reds infielder Derek Dietrich. I predicted, correctly, that Archer would get a mere five-game suspension, which didn’t even result in a missed start. Archer essentially had his start pushed back one day; he started on April 7 and 13, his team’s eighth and 13th games of the season. Archer was also fined, but hardly enough to outweigh the social incentives for retaliation.

Just as MLB needed to suspend Archer for a much longer period of time, the league needs to make Keller’s fine and suspension count. MLB can’t, at both times, promote “let the kids play,” then do nothing when the “kids” who “play” have baseballs intentionally whipped at their bodies. Based on precedent, however, Keller will receive a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine, and pitchers will continue to hurl baseballs at batters whenever their feelings get hurt.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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