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Anderson defends bat toss after Royals fracas: Fans pay 'to see a show'

theScore logo theScore 4/18/2019 Simon Sharkey-Gotlieb
a man holding a baseball bat © Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson wasn't backing down after Wednesday's emphatic bat toss caught the ire of the Kansas City Royals.

Two innings after he'd homered off Royals starter Brad Keller - and subsequently spiked his bat into the dirt - Anderson was hit in the backside by a Keller fastball, igniting a benches-clearing incident. Both Anderson and Keller were ejected, along with White Sox manager Rick Renteria and Royals hitting coach Dale Sveum.

"I'm gonna continue to (be) me, and keep having fun, man," Anderson told reporters postgame, according to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Our fans pay their hard-earned money to come to the ballpark to see a show, so why not give them one?"

Renteria stood by Anderson and was not pleased with how the Royals reacted to the 25-year-old's display of emotion.

"You want (him) to not do that, get him out," the manager told Chuck Garfien of NBC Sports Chicago.

Anderson echoed Renteria's sentiment when asked what he would have done if someone flipped their bat while he was pitching, telling Garfien, "I would have tried to strike him out."

Later, Anderson continued to play up the bat flip by tweeting a video and calling out some apparent criticism from Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk:

Keller, for his part, said the pitch that hit Anderson was not intentional as the game was tied at 2-2; he also claimed to have no issues with Anderson, according to FOX Sports Kansas City. But other members of the Royals were less than pleased with their opponent's actions.

"Keller did the right thing," Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier told MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan. "He aimed for the lower body. Hit him. It should just be like 'OK, go to first and move on.' It shouldn't have been as big of a situation as it was in my opinion, but I could be wrong. I don't know."

"I'm an old-school guy," added Sveum, per Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald. "You just take your base and nothing would have happened."

This isn't the first time Anderson and the Royals have butted heads over on-field emotions. Last year, an exuberant celebration led to a brief benches-clearing incident between the division rivals, after which Anderson and Royals catcher Salvador Perez traded barbs through the media.

The White Sox and Royals' next meeting is scheduled for May 27 in Chicago.

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