It should have happened before the trade deadline.

 

The Chicago White Sox should have traded shortstop Tim Anderson somewhere, anywhere, before it got to this.

 

The former batting champion was ejected, and will face a lengthy suspension, for his role in an on-field fight on Saturday between the White Sox and Cleveland Guardians that lasted roughly 15 minutes.

 

Tim Anderson was angry. After getting into it verbally with Gabrial Arias earlier in the game, he was late with his tag on Jose Ramirez as he legged out a RBI double in the sixth inning. 

 

Ramirez said Anderson put the tag on harder than necessary and it escalated from there.

 

 

TA getting leveled by Ramirez was symbolic of how the last couple of seasons have gone in the Windy City.

 

Since his top-10 finish in the MVP voting following the 2020 season, he’s struggled to stay healthy, and in turn, productive. As of Sunday morning, Tim Anderson had appeared in 338 of a possible 496 games (.681) for Chicago.

 

His batting average has dropped each year since he posted a career-best .339 average in 2019 to .244 this season. Anderson has only batted below .250 once before, back in 2018. 

 

Tim Anderson Hits First Homer In 96 Games | Welcome To The 2023 Season

 

He has just one home run and only 14 extra base hits in more than 350 at-bats. For comparison, he had 22 in 2020 while playing in 49 games with 208 ABs during that Covid-shortened campaign. 

 

With Anderson on the field the White Sox were a contender, with back-to-back playoff appearances and an AL Central title in 2021. Now the franchise has plummeted to fourth place, falling 14 games out of first place. 

 

 

Now, we have the sight of Anderson falling to the dirt after taking one right on the chin. 

 

It can’t be fixed on the Southside.

 

The fan base has no confidence in the ownership or the direction of the team. Next year the team will likely have its fifth different manager in five seasons. Executive Vice President Ken Williams’ job could also be on the line. 

 

The White Sox are short on talent and time. 

 

It’s beyond the expiration date of this relationship. One of the game’s top young talents and brightest personalities has changed into a sullen and angry underperformer. That’s not good for Tim Anderson or Major League Baseball.

 

This offseason, either the White Sox or Anderson, or perhaps both, are going to have to accept that the opportunity for a peak return has passed. Hopefully there can be an acceptable match of player, team, and city that allow Tim Anderson to return to form.

 

Not Too Late For Tim To Regain Old Form

 

A TIm Anderson that isn’t hitting or dynamic on the basepaths is just another ballplayer. His glove has been adequate, but his value at the plate is what made him unique.  At age 30, it’s not too late for Anderson to put together some quality seasons that once again have him on the short list of those who cause sleepless nights for opposing pitchers. 

 

It is, however, too late for that rebirth to happen with the White Sox. 

 

Saturday night was proof positive.

 

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