Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has made waves in the baseball world this season with his demonstrative bat flips, and he's not going to let any so-called unwritten rules stop him from playing the game with passion.
"I like to go out and play with a lot of passion, because that's fun and I think that draws attention to the fans and the kids," Anderson said on ESPN's The Dan Le Batard Show on Wednesday. "You know the kids love it. I'm on deck now, I get from the fans, 'Hey, do the bat flip.' So it's cool stuff, and it's all fun stuff. It's nothing to disrespect anybody, but I think it's a part of the game or it should be.
Back on April 17, Anderson angered the Kansas City Royals after forcefully throwing his bat off to the side following a no-doubter:
Kansas City pitcher Brad Keller would make Anderson pay for his perceived showboating, drilling the infielder on the backside in his next plate appearance. Benches cleared as a result, and Keller was suspended for five games for sparking the brawl. Anderson received one game for using inappropriate language during the incident.
Apparently, celebrating a non-walk-off home run with flair goes against baseball's unwritten rules. While that may be the case, the 25-year-old Anderson let it be known that he isn't familiar with the game's unwritten rules.
"I don't really know the rules," Anderson admitted, per ESPN. "There's not any for me. I can't call them dumb because I don't have any. ... Nobody really came to me and said these are the rules, so I really don't know what they are."
Less than two weeks after his incredible bat flip against the Royals, Anderson was back at it:
"I'm not bothered by other teams," Anderson said on Wednesday. "I go in and I'm trying to beat the other teams. I could really care less how they feel about me or how they think of me as a player. But I know my teammates understand me. I'm going to go out every day and give them what I got."
Anderson recently told Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein that he "kind of feel[s] like today’s Jackie Robinson." He told The Dan Le Batard Show that he made those comments "jokingly," noting that he was looking to break the "fun barrier" the way Robinson broke the color barrier.
Anderson has been having a lot of fun at the plate this season, hitting .331 with six home runs, 20 RBI and an MLB-leading 12 stolen bases in 31 games. His strong start to the 2019 campaign earned him American League Player of the Month honors for April.