Former “agitator” Josh Donaldson is suddenly an unplayable $25 million man who can’t even back up his trash language against a veteran pitcher who just started his career as a starter in 2022.
Left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Springs of the Tampa Bay Rays was used as a reliever from 2018 until the start of 2022 when manager Kevin Cash decided to insert him into the starting rotation. Despite the positive outcomes, Donaldson, a veteran hitter, cannot be the punchline of any jokes he makes about the 29-year-old Rays outfielder.
On Friday night, however, after the Yankees had already put runners on first and second, Donaldson was staring down a 92 mph fastball down the middle to close the first inning. In 2022, how many times will he have to see the biggest punches whiz right by his face?
And as if that weren’t enough, Donaldson proceeded to trash talk Springs (for whatever reason) and… dared the left-hander to throw him a fastball? You hit three home runs in one at-bat! The fourth inning started with you popping out to shortstop.
As if we needed any more evidence that the Yankees are a laughingstock, here it is. At his WORST, Donaldson was brought to New York to inject the locker room with some flair and “f— you” spirit.
Six weeks of that and he still can’t tell when it’s okay to slander someone. Since the start of July, the Yankees have become social outcasts and losers when it comes to even the most fundamental aspects of human contact. Donaldson is currently enduring a career-worst season after contracting the so-called “Yankees Disease.”
We got the Benches clearing in Tampa. Josh Donaldson not happy bout this pitch pic.twitter.com/r0dXHowKbx
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) September 4, 2022
OPS+ of 96 and an OPS of 684 get you a score of 220. His projected numbers for a season in which he plays 100 or more games are below his lifetime averages for home runs, RBI, runs scored, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and total bases.
The damage from his June and July performances was already done, and while his play improved in August, it was still far from what the Yankees needed. When the Yankees finally go down for the count, we’ll find out if he’s still struggling with the shoulder injury that put him on the disabled list at the end of May. Until the story is written, fans have no idea what actually happened.
Donaldson saying throw the fastball again, you won’t. Springs saying I just threw you 3, how many you want? pic.twitter.com/zNjnsBo28c
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) September 3, 2022
Soon, Donaldson will be a symbol of the worst kind of toxic masculinity that the internet has to offer. Was that a line on your bingo card?
Fans thought Donaldson’s power would allow the Yankees to go further in the lineup and intimidate opposing pitchers, and if that didn’t happen, they at least hoped his defensive prowess and propensity for getting under the skin of opponents would pay dividends.
After receiving criticism for his clumsy first-game throws, Donaldson was diagnosed with dead arm syndrome. There wasn’t much of a threat, so the Blue Jays moved Donaldson to DH for the time being. He went on the 10-day disabled list on April 13 due to shoulder irritation. His two-RBI double in his return to the lineup proved key in the Cleveland Indians’ 13-9 victory.
On June 1, though, Donaldson went back on the disabled list with a calf strain and remained there for 10 days. On June 26, while on a rehabilitation assignment, he exacerbated the calf injury again and was placed on the 60-day disabled list.
New York Yankees shortstop Gary Sánchez and catcher Gio Urshela were sent to Minnesota in exchange for Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ben Rortvedt.
The MLB announced on May 23 that they had suspended Donaldson for one game because of a “disrespectful” comment he made “in bad judgment” toward Tim Anderson when he referred to him as “Jackie” in an interview conducted in 2019.
On August 17, Donaldson blasted a grand slam in the bottom of the tenth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7. In Yankees team history, he joined Babe Ruth (1926) and Jason Giambi (2002) as the only players to hit a walk-off ultimate grand slam (2002).
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