After getting suspended one game for calling a white guy the n-word, Tim Anderson told reporters that the punishment was not going to affect him because he won’t change for anybody. It should come as no surprise, then, that the shortstop celebrated his walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth on Friday with a bat flip that may have been even more intense than his last one. What was surprising, however, was the fact that he was in position to hit that walk-off in the first place.
The Tigers clobbered White Sox starter Carlos Rodon early. Through three innings, Rodon gave up three homers and eight earned runs. As if that weren’t bad enough, Chicago’s Eloy Jimenez, the third-best prospect in baseball, injured his ankle while trying to rob the third homer his pitcher had given up.
The White Sox faced both 8-1 and 9-2 deficits, but didn’t let the slow start discourage their efforts. They continued to claw back against Detroit until they were only down one in the bottom of the seventh, 10-9. On the first pitch of his at-bat, Jose Abreu smoked what appeared to be a three-run homer to give Chicago its first lead of the game. But the scoresheet would only read that hit as a two-run single because some poor baserunning led to Abreu overtaking Anderson at first, which ruled Abreu out.
Detroit tied things up the next inning with a Ronny Rodriguez homer. Thankfully for the home crowd, the White Sox were able to prevent something similar from happening in top of the ninth to set up Anderson’s walk-off—one that was hit on the first pitch of a two-out at-bat.
Anderson, who is averaging .402 with 16 RBIs and 10 stolen bases, told reporters after the game that his celebration was an example of following through on the promise that his suspension wouldn’t change him.
“I knew I had to do it,” said a smiling Anderson. “It’s different. I did it again, so I let the people know it wasn’t a fluke. It was definitely a great moment.
More importantly, he also explained that not all of his bat flips are the same and that he’s capable of throwing his lumber around in different styles.
“Yeah, I got excited, man. I actually threw a change-up [with the bat] this time.”
Hopefully Anderson can work on his game this offseason and add a knuckleball toss to his arsenal of bat flips.