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Aaron Boone Reacts To Josh Donaldson's Controversial Remark

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone walking out the mound.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 04: Manager Aaron Boone #17 of the New York Yankees makes a mound visit against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 04, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Josh Donaldson referred to Tim Anderson as "Jackie" during Saturday's game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox.

The Yankees third baseman insisted it was an inside joke based on comments the White Sox shortstop made three years ago that he felt like "today's Jackie Robinson" because "I'm getting to the point where I need to change the game." Anderson, however, called Donaldson's remark "disrespectful" and unnecessary."

Before starting the first game of Sunday's doubleheader, per Peter Botte of the New York Post, Yankees manager Aaron Boone agreed that Donaldson should not have invoked Robinson's name.

“I understand that Josh has been very forthcoming with the history of it, the context of it. I don’t believe there was any malicious intent with that regard. This is just somewhere in my opinion he should not be going,” Boone said.

Boone also acknowledged the context behind Donaldson's explanation. 

“When I first heard the name Jackie mentioned, I was really taken aback and frankly upset about it myself,” Boone said. “I think when you go back to the context, the original story of where it was born out of, out of the article, and then now a few years of saying that, I’m less taken aback by it at that point.

“But again, I sit here, as a white guy, that did change the context for me, but I also understand how it can be offensive or upsetting.”

MLB is investigating Saturday's incident to determine whether to discipline Donaldson, who is in the starting lineup for Sunday's first game at Yankee Stadium. Anderson was a late scratch, but there's no word yet on his availability for the second contest.