Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson told reporters that he had an exchange with Chicago White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito after the right-hander's remarks during Chicago's 7-6 victory on Tuesday night.
Donaldson hit a home run off Giolito in the first inning of Tuesday's game and screamed "Hand's not sticky anymore," referring to MLB's crackdown on sticky substances.
"I didn't think that I was showing him up during the game," Donaldson said during his Zoom session. "I was talking to my bench. I didn't pimp a home run. I wasn't talking to him [or] saying anything.
"He showed offense to what I said, which I think speaks more to the looming question that's going on anyhow...which is more about was he using sticky stuff before this all happened in the first place?"
Donaldson noted that Giolito's spin rate on his fastball, curveball, and slider since Major League Baseball began cracking down on pitchers' use of foreign substances earlier this month. According to Statcast, the spin rate on all four of Giolito's pitches was down from his season average on Monday night.
Giolito referred to Donaldson as "a f------ pest" and "classless" during a postgame Zoom session, which Donaldson questioned on Wednesday afternoon.
"If we're going to talk about class, what side are you going to choose?" Donaldson asked. "Are you going to take the side of someone who's playing the game fair? Or are you going to take the side of someone who's cheating before this happened?"
Donaldson later confirmed that he spotted Giolito in the parking lot and had a discussion because he requested to "say it to his face."
"He didn't really have much to say," Donaldson said of the talk. "He said he thought it was annoying and I said 'So what? I'm on the opposing team. Why do you care about me?" I said "I'm in your face. I'm telling you what I think. What you got to say about that?' He didn't have any response."
Donaldson finished by responding to former White Sox manager and television analyst Ozzie Guillen who said that Giolito should intentionally plunk Donaldson.
"You have Ozzie Guillen talking s--- about me," Donaldson said per ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "you were a career under .700 OPS, man. My worst season in the big leagues is 150 points higher than that. This coming from a guy who (said good things) about Fidel Castro. What are we doing around here?"
The only way Donaldson's beef could escalate is if the Twins were within striking distance of the White Sox in the American League Central. Unfortunately, the Twins entered Wednesday's game with the White Sox 12.5 games out of first place.