Last month, tempers flared between members of the White Sox and Royals when pitcher Brad Keller threw at shortstop Tim Anderson. Anderson had celebrated a home run off of Keller earlier in the game, so Keller exacted revenge by throwing at Anderson, causing both teams’ benches to empty. Keller was suspended for five games and Anderson was suspended for one game (for using “a racially charged word”).
The White Sox and Royals didn’t meet up again until Monday in Chicago, with the White Sox winning the first two games of the three-game set. In the second inning of Wednesday’s series finale, after Eloy Jiménez singled, Royals starter Glenn Sparkman hit Anderson on the bill of his helmet with a 1-0, 86 MPH change-up. Sparkman was ejected immediately without any warning issued by home plate umpire Mark Carlson.
It is clear by the context of the situation, by the type and location of the pitch, and by Sparkman’s reaction that there was no malicious intent. It was a pitch that simply got away from Sparkman. The White Sox, already having scored two runs in the first inning, plated five runs in the second inning to take a commanding 7-1 lead.
We shall see if Sparkman receives any punishment from Major League Baseball. I would bet against it.