Giolito calls Donaldson move 'classless'

White Sox pitcher angered by Twins slugger's 'sticky' reference after HR

June 30th, 2021

CHICAGO -- was happy with the White Sox 7-6 victory against the Twins on Tuesday night, and satisfied with his three runs allowed over six-plus innings in improving to 6-5 this season.

But the White Sox right-hander was not thrilled with Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson, who connected for a two-run homer on Giolito’s fifth pitch of the game. As Donaldson crossed home plate, he rubbed his hands together and said, “Hey, it’s not sticky anymore! It’s not sticky anymore!” as picked up by the television microphone on the Twins' broadcast and in reference to Major League Baseball’s crackdown on pitchers no longer using sticky substances.

Giolito didn’t see the moment during live game action, but saw it after the fact.

“He's a [expletive] pest. That's kind of a classless move,” Giolito said during his postgame Zoom. “If you're going to talk [expletive], talk [expletive] to my face. Don't go across home plate and do all that, just come to me.”

Donaldson was not available for comment after the game. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli thought Donaldson was more excited about the home run than anything else and not necessarily directing anything at Giolito or the White Sox.

“I’ll tell you this: Nothing that I’ve heard in reference to the White Sox, particularly,” Baldelli said. “Probably more of a general discussion that’s in every clubhouse around baseball right now.

“I would certainly bet on that being the case. But no. Nothing that pertains to these guys that I hear pregame or at any point before that.”

Calling Donaldson’s comments and routine “annoying,” Giolito was more concerned with Tuesday’s results and the overall results this season.

“We won. The W's next to my name,” Giolito said. “They're in last place.”

Donaldson had been one of the most outspoken players in the Majors regarding pitchers' use of foreign substances earlier in the season, prior to the league's crackdown, going so far as to tweet in late May that he had "an entire catalog of video of [pitchers] cheating" before he later explicitly mentioned the name of Yankees ace Gerrit Cole with relation to the issue, several days before the Twins were scheduled to host the Yanks.

Donaldson later noted that he had seen Cole's spin rates drop as a result of the league's stated intention to crack down on the usage of substances to increase spin rates, and mentioned that there were several other pitchers whose numbers he'd been monitoring with relation to the issue.

"Nobody is speaking up for the hitters right now," said Donaldson on June 9, when he also noted that he had 10-15 players from other teams reach out to him in support. "It's probably not going to be [taken] as serious as if it's a rookie or somebody else who doesn't have the time in the big leagues. I felt it was almost a responsibility for me to say something with this, that's how serious I think it is."