Thursday night, the Minnesota Twins lost a 4-3 game to the Chicago White Sox, as well as one of their best players. Josh Donaldson hit a home run and then got himself ejected after reaching home plate. He kicked dirt at home plate and then did so again while arguing with umpire Dan Bellino.
The incident occurred during the sixth inning of Thursday's game. The Twins were trailing 3-2 at the time and Donaldson was sitting at 2-0. He checked his swing on the next pitch, but Bellino called a strike. Manager Rocco Baldelli came onto the field to defuse the situation before play resumed. The American League MVP then proceeded to hit a home run down the left-field line. When he rounded the bases and reached home, Donaldson kicked dirt on home plate.
Josh Donaldson did not appreciate a strike call, 2 pitches later he hit a HR and got ejected crossing home plate pic.twitter.com/CitbuyMGZa— Stu Motown #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) September 17, 2020
Bellino immediately reacted to the move by ejecting the Twins player. Donaldson did return to home plate after realizing that he had tapped it at the end of his trip around the bases. He proceeded to kick dirt on the plate once again while arguing with Bellino.
When the fans saw this bizarre incident during Thursday's game, they reacted in a number of ways. Some said that the umpires are "too soft" and need to lighten up. Others, however, criticized Donaldson. Many of the "old-school fans" commented and said that the home run should not have counted due to Donaldson's actions. The Twins' manager simply said that he needed one of his best players active and not in the locker room.
"We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base," Baldelli said. "That's when we're at our best. And so that's really the end of it. I think we can move past it at this point and go from here." Donaldson had previously argued with Bellino about a 1-1 breaking ball during the first inning. He believed the pitch was too high. However, the umpire called it a strike and led to a strikeout.
With this victory on Thursday night, the White Sox clinched an American League playoff spot. The Twins, on the other hand, are still alive in the playoff hunt and they may face a familiar opponent during the first round. With little more than one week remaining, the Twins are on a collision course with the New York Yankees.