Young MLB star sparks bench clearer after veteran hears his post-HR comments


You’ll see it in most professions, but especially in sports.

New employees — or in this case, young players — are supposed to know their place.

They’re not supposed to speak unless spoken to.

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is in his third big league season, so maybe he’s at the proverbial line of experienced.

Royals catcher Salvador Perez is one of the most admired players in the majors, a five-time All-Star and a World Series MVP.

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He believes the game should be played a certain way — one that Anderson has violated.

After leading off Saturday’s game with a home run, the 24-year-old apparently had the temerity to shout out, “Woo!”

As he touched home plate, it’s clear that Perez had something to say.

Do you think Anderson behaved inappropriately?

“I’ve hit some homers,” he told Anderson. “I keep running the bases. I don’t get loud like you.”

That may have served as the appetizer, setting the table for the main course.

In the bottom of the first, with Perez at second, the two players got into it even more, with both benches emptying before peace was reached.

The Royals won the game 5-2, earning a split of the doubleheader, but afterward, all the talk was about the tête-à-tête between the two.

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“I’m having fun,” Anderson said. “I play the game with my heart, and I put a lot of work into it. I’m not going to change because of that. It’s not the first incident. It probably won’t be the last.”

In case we thought this was settled, the shortstop was asked if he and Perez had reached an understanding.

“I don’t know,” Anderson said. “Obviously, I don’t care.”

Well, OK then.

Let’s say that May probably can’t come soon enough for Anderson, who last week was involved in an incident with another All-Star, Houston right hander Justin Verlander.

After breaking up JV’s no-hitter, Anderson stole second base on a 3-0 count, even with his team trailing 5-0.

“He steals on 3-0 in a 5-0 game, that’s probably not great baseball,” Verlander said. “Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. But he celebrated that, though. And it’s like, ‘Hey, I’m not worried about you right now. It’s 5-0, I’m giving a high leg kick, I know you can steal. If I don’t want you to steal, I’ll be a little bit more aware of you. But I’m trying to get this guy out at the plate.'”

Anderson then was looking to steal third, but Verlander spun around, forcing the runner back to second.

After this week, maybe the White Sox should make sure Anderson gets a copy of baseball’s unwritten rules.

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
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