Back before the whole “sticky stuff” scandal came to the foreground of Major League Baseball, Josh Donaldson tweeted out that he had “an entire catalog of video” of pitcher’s cheating that he was planning on releasing.
I said that while Donaldson was attempting to be a hero for hitters across the league, releasing the video would make him a villain among pitchers. He would become a target and his name would go down next to the likes of Jose Canseco and Jim Bouton — two players cast out by the baseball world for airing the dirty laundry that goes on in MLB clubhouses. Donaldson decided not to release the tape — a wise decision, but he just couldn’t let that be the end of it, could he?
Last night, Donaldson and the Twins took on Lucas Giolito and the Chicago White Sox. While Giolito has never been a face of this Spider Tack situation, there was obviously something going on with him. Prior to his breakout season in 2019, Giolito had a career 5.48 ERA across 43 games started. Plus, in 2018, Giolito was 246th in MLB in observed active spin rate and jumped up all the way to 54th in 2019. Since then, he’s hovered around 65th every year. So, Giolito was almost definitely doing something to help himself out, but it has never been proven. Nevertheless, after Donaldson smacked a home run off Giolito in the first inning of last night’s game, the 2015 AL MVP shouted “Not sticky anymore!” while crossing home plate — an obvious jab at the White Sox pitcher.
Giolito heard that, and wasn’t exactly thrilled about it. There was no sign of sparks flying in any of Donaldson’s at-bats later in the game, but Giolito didn’t hesitate to give his opinion on the matter after the game calling Donaldson’s actions “classless,” before adding, “If you’re going to talk shit, talk shit to my face.”
While it’s not in the clip above, Giolito pointed out later that his team got the win and that Donaldson’s team was in last place.
This is baseball beef at its finest. Two guys with different ideas of what’s right, both willing to fight over it. That’s the good stuff. It is a little strange for Giolito to say what he said though. He tells Donaldson “if you’re gonna talk shit, talk shit to my face,” while talking to the media. These guys all know each other. White Sox closer Liam Hendriks was Donaldson’s teammate in Toronto back in 2015. He definitely has Donaldson’s number. If you really have a problem with him, call him up and say you got a problem to his face like you said he should have. Unfortunately, what should be a beef between two players will probably turn into a feud between the two clubs, and someone will get hurt.
Personal beefs like this usually devolve into chaos when one of the players involved can’t hold back on the field. Remember the Bryce Harper-Hunter Strickland fight? That brawl seriously injured Giants slugger and pivotal player in the team’s 2014 World Series run, Michael Morse, and it ultimately ended his career.
Obviously, this feud hasn’t reached that boiling point... yet. Giolito won’t be on the mound for the remainder of this series against the Twins, but based on the typical 5-man rotation that the White Sox run, he is scheduled to take the mound against Minnesota twice more this season — July 19th and August 9th. Those should be interesting. Let’s just hope the fireworks are saved for after the game rather than while Donaldson is at the plate.