MLB’s Josh Donaldson and Lucas Giolito Are Beefing Over Sticky Substances

Donaldson could be heard saying "hands not sticky anymore" after homering off Giolito, sparking a war of words

Josh Donaldson
Josh Donaldson of the Minnesota Twins hits a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians in the third inning of the game at Target Field on June 27, 2021.
Getty Images

For what it lacks in on-field action, Major League Baseball, at least partially, makes up for in off-field beefs between players.

The latest: Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson vs. Chicago White Sox starter Lucas Giolito.

An outspoken critic of pitchers using sticky substances on the mound, which the league recently started cracking down on, Donaldson homered off of Giolito on Tuesday and could be heard saying “Hands not sticky anymore” while crossing the plate.

That prompted Giolito to call Donaldson out after the game for his post-homer comment.

“He’s a fucking pest,” Giolito said after giving up three runs on six hits and a walk over six innings in a 7-6 win. “That’s kind of a classless move. If you’re going to talk shit, talk to my face.”

Speaking on Wednesday, Donaldson said he went after Giolito in the Guaranteed Rate parking lot after the game and that the White Sox pitcher “didn’t have really much to say.”

“He said that he thought I was annoying,” Donaldson said. “I said, ‘So what? I’m on the opposing team. What do you care about me?’ I said, ‘I’m in your face. I’m telling you what I think. What have you got to say about that?’ And he didn’t have any response.”

He went on to tell reporters that the “sticky” comment was meant to inspire his teammates, not put down the opposing pitcher.

“I didn’t think I was showing him up during the game,” Donaldson said. “I was talking to my bench. I wasn’t pimping my home run. I wasn’t talking to him, saying anything. I’m trying to get our boys fired up and ready to go. We’re at a point in our season which is critical. This is do or die for us, going through this stretch. We’re playing with a sense of urgency right now to go out there and win ballgames. Me talking to my teammates and me trying to encourage them and getting them fired up, that’s part of my job. That’s why I’m here.”

Of course, some of the rest of what Donaldson said contradicted his assertion he wasn’t directly going after Giolito:

Donaldson did fire himself up as he homered in his first at-bat off White Sox starter Dylan Cease on Wednesday and dropped his bat at the plate so he could have a moment to admire his shot.

Unfortunately for Donaldson and the fourth-place Twins, the White Sox went on to win 13-3. The team will play again Thursday in Chicago and play again next Monday through Wednesday in Minnesota.

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