Keller, Anderson suspended for roles in fracas

April 19th, 2019

DETROIT -- Royals pitcher Brad Keller was suspended five games, while White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Rick Renteria each received a one-game suspensions for their roles in the benches-clearing incident during the sixth inning of Wednesday’s 4-3 Royals victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Keller was suspended for intentionally throwing at Anderson one at-bat after the White Sox player celebrated a home run. Anderson’s suspension is for his conduct after the benches cleared. All three also received undisclosed fines. Keller is appealing his suspension, and will make his regularly scheduled start on Monday against the Rays in St. Petersburg. Both Keller and Royals manager Ned Yost declined to comment any further.

Renteria and Anderson served their suspension Friday night, with the duo returning to the team hotel to watch the second game of the four-game series against Detroit at Comerica Park. Bench coach Joe McEwing served as manager for the night.

“I would rather just take this one day and use it as an off-day," Anderson said of not appealing the suspension. "Just keep going. Be ready for tomorrow. Put it behind me and keep moving. There are a lot of positive things going on. I got off to a great start. Continue to work, and keep getting better. Flush this.”

“They made their decision. We'll abide by it and put it behind us and get ready to go tomorrow,” Renteria said. “They've looked over everything. I'm not going to make it a public debate about what I agree or don't agree with. They did what they did. I think they deliberated on it and drew their conclusion.”

Anderson broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer off Keller -- punctuated with an emphatic bat flip -- in the bottom of the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game. The pitch from Keller that hit Anderson’s backside in the bottom of the sixth -- and the matter of whether Anderson celebrated too much after his blast -- inspired a heated debate about baseball's "unwritten rules" in the two days following the incident.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Anderson used foul and racially charged language when shouting at Keller, resulting in his one-game ban. Anderson would not get into the specific details of the disagreement or ensuing commentary when asked Friday, wanting to focus on the positives ahead.

“We are going to keep moving forward. That happened a couple of days ago,” Anderson said. “So, we are going to keep having fun and keep playing with a lot of energy and a lot of confidence.

“I’m having too much fun. There are a lot of positive things. It is what it is. I accept my suspension and it will be a good day to get some rest. Go back to the hotel and watch the guys ball out, and I’ll be ready tomorrow. I’ll be back in there. Just going to continue to have fun and bring a lot of energy to the ballclub.”

This incident has brought more attention to Anderson than his performance to date -- a .422 average, 1.096 OPS, four home runs, 12 RBIs and seven stolen bases to start the season.

"Everybody around here knows who I am, and knows what kind of person I am, and knows what kind of player I am, and knows what kind of energy I play with," Anderson said. "There’s not a lot more explaining to do.”

“That's a good group of kids in there. They're excitable. They try to play the game the right way,” Renteria said. “They try to inspire each other in any shape or form. Tim's a high-energy kid. I certainly don't think he was, to be honest -- and this is the last thing I'm going to say on it -- he was not doing anything to embarrass the other side. Timmy is going to be Timmy. I can't place a limit on anybody's personalities.”