GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — As far as Tim Anderson is concerned, winning a batting title doesn’t change his status.
Anderson led the major leagues with a .335 average last season for the Chicago White Sox. Despite a sprained ankle that limited him to 123 games, he hit 18 homers and stole 17 bases.
The 26-year-old shortstop has emerged as a leader on a White Sox team seeking the franchise’s first postseason berth since 2008. When Chicago failed to sign Manny Machado ahead of the 2019 season, Anderson told teammates not to get down and said: “Ride with us or get run over.”
“I just felt like everybody was depending on somebody that really wasn’t here,” Anderson said this week. “So when everybody saw that it’s was like we took a blow — no, we didn’t! I’ll fill that in for you guys.”
“No hate against Machado, I wish him the best, rooting for him, but we had to do what we had to do here on the South Side to get to where we’re trying to go,” Anderson said. “He didn’t want to be a part of it, and that’s OK.”
After finishing third in the AL Central at 72-89, the White Sox signed catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Gio González plus first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación.
While Anderson made some spectacular plays in the field, he also led the majors in errors with 26.
“We’re all looking for less errors,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He’s conscientious about that. He wants to be the best. We all said it was kind of an off year for him defensively, but he still was pretty good and I think he’s going to grow in that position.”
Anderson drew attention for his style. After hitting a home run off Kansas City’s Brad Keller in April, Anderson threw his bat toward the White Sox dugout in celebration.
Later in that game, Keller hit Anderson with a pitch, causing benches to clear. That led to suspensions for Keller, Anderson and Renteria, who got into a shouting match with Royals manager Ned Yost.
“We’re going to continue to be us, have fun, bring a lot of energy, that’s what the fans like,” Anderson said. “You come into our house, so you’re going to get what we cooked. We’re going to serve whatever we cooked, and if that comes with it, hey, you got to eat it.”
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports