Tim Anderson's fight with Cleveland Guardians star José Ramírez didn't go very well, but he at least notched a small win in appealing his corresponding suspension.
The Chicago White Sox shortstop had a six-game suspension reduced to five games through a settlement with MLB, the league announced Thursday. He was scheduled to appeal the discipline before an arbitrator that same day.
Anderson was allowed to continue playing while his appeal was pending. He will begin serving the suspension Friday, when the White Sox face the Colorado Rockies.
A few hours after the discipline was announced, Anderson posted a statement on social media apologizing for his part in the brawl and acknowledging he has been going through "an incredibly disappointing season."
The full statement:
"I want to apologize to the entire White Sox organization, my teammates, manager and coaches and to the fans for my part in the altercation which took place in Cleveland. This has been an incredibly disappointing season for me personally and for our team. I will not get into the things that were said to me by Cleveland players both Friday night and Saturday, but those comments do not excuse my language or conduct, and I take full responsibility for my emotions getting the better of me. The Cleveland players are free to say whatever they want, but I will just say that no one has more respect for the game of baseball than me. I look forward to returning after serving my suspension and finishing the season playing the best baseball I can to help my team."
The settlement closes the book on the wildest brawl of the season, in which Anderson reportedly took exception to a comment from Ramírez about how hard he tags players and squared up for a fistfight. He and Ramírez exchanged a couple of punches before a right hook from Ramírez connected with Anderson's jaw and sent him to the ground.
That wasn't the end of the festivities, as both dugouts cleared and got into a mass shoving match twice, with Guardians manager Terry Francona and White Sox manager Pedro Grifol both getting into it. Anderson was also seen talking trash before getting carried off the field by teammate Andrew Vaughn.
The result discipline-wise was an initial six-game suspension for Anderson, three games for Ramírez and one game each for Francona, Grifol, Guardians pitcher Emmanuel Clase and Guardians third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh. White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech and Guardians infielder Gabriel Arias were also both fined.
Clearly, MLB placed primary responsibility for the brawl on Anderson, even though he took the hardest punch.
Ramírez also had his suspension reduced to two games on appeal, while Clase accepted his one-game ban. Coaches cannot appeal MLB suspensions, so Francona, Grifol and Sarbaugh all served their suspensions.
The whole episode was a lowlight — but at least an entertaining lowlight — in a miserable season for Anderson, who is currently hitting .238/.285/.284 with one homer and 11 stolen bases in 397 plate appearances this season. That underperformance by an All-Star is one of many reasons the 48-73 White Sox have been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this year.