Tim Anderson is not in Chicago’s starting lineup Sunday and Cleveland’s José Ramírez is playing, as Major League Baseball weighs likely discipline following a fight and wild brawl in Saturday night’s game.
Anderson and Ramírez threw punches at second base, and the Guardians’ All-Star third baseman knocked down the White Sox shortstop with an overhand right to the chin. Anderson was dazed by the blow.
Both players were ejected, along with Cleveland manager Terry Francona, third base coach Mike Sarbaugh, closer Emmanuel Clase and Chicago manager Pedro Grifol.
Before Sunday’s series finale, Grifol said Anderson isn’t injured and this was a planned off day for the 30-year-old. Chicago also is resting Andrew Benintendi and Andrew Vaughn.
“He’s OK,” Grifol said of Anderson. “He was going to get a day off today just like Bennie and Vaughn. It might not look that way, but it is what it is.”
Grifol did not want to discuss specifics of the altercations or possible discipline. He also avoided characterizing Anderson’s actions.
“I’m not going to get into that,” he said. “I’ve had my conversations with Tim, but I’m not going to get into anything that happened last night. I’ll let MLB take care of all that stuff, but I’m not going to talk about the fight.”
Francona did not have a scheduled pregame availability.
With it being the weekend and Sunday’s 12:05 p.m. ET start time for the game, MLB is still reviewing the melee, which included several flareups and took the umpiring crew over 15 minutes to sort out.
The Anderson-Ramírez fight began innocently enough.
When Ramírez slid headfirst into second base with an RBI double in the sixth inning, Anderson was straddling over the top of him. Ramírez later said he felt Anderson’s tag was too hard and indicated he had been bothered by Chicago’s star for “disrespecting” the game.
Anderson dropped his glove and squared off against Ramírez, who swung wildly and connected to drop Anderson to the ground. As both benches and bullpens emptied, Anderson tried in vain to get at Ramírez before being forced into Chicago’s dugout.
Anderson reappeared on the field and tried to get at Ramírez before Chicago first baseman Vaughn wrapped him in a bear hug and physically carried him off the field.
On Friday, Anderson pushed Cleveland rookie Brayan Rocchio off the base, leading to a contested call that wound up being overturned by replay. Also, Anderson was warned by an umpire on Saturday for jawing at Guardians rookie Gabriel Arias.
It has been a heated rivalry between the AL Central teams, but this is the first time in recent memory that it has gone beyond trash talk and bench jockeying.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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