Tim Anderson on clubhouse culture: ‘We're changing this s***'


Tim Anderson has made it his mission to show off his personality to baseball fans however he sees fit. He’s also trying to get that to be the norm in Major League Baseball.

Anderson talked about this on the R2C2 podcast with CC Sabathia and Ryan Ruocco. He said it all started with the reaction to his infamous bat flip against the Kansas City Royals early last season.

It’s why he has become outspoken about why he did that, why he will continue to do things like that and why he started his new YouTube channel.

“Since the bat flip I think my character got put out there in the wrong way,” Anderson said. “I started YouTube to let people inside my life. Let ‘em know how we grind, let ‘em know what we go through and kind of let them know what kind of person I am.”

Sabathia, now 39 and retired from pitching, said personalities were suppressed by veterans in the clubhouse when he came up with the Cleveland Indians in 2001.

“They would beat you down,” Sabathia said. “You weren’t free to be yourself until you could have an All-Star Game under your belt or different things under your belt. I mean, they would literally beat you down and suppress your personality.

“You had to come up, put your head down and just try to fit in, which sucked to be honest.”

Anderson debuted for the White Sox in 2016 at 22 years old and saw a lot of the same things. Now 26 and one of the more tenured players on a young team, he is trying to change that.

“You know when you walk into the clubhouse with a lot of older guys, you don’t really know what to do, especially when you’re the only black guy,” Anderson said. “So it was like, damn, I don’t really have anybody to vent to or talk to about things. But we’re changing this s***. We’re changing it. We’re being ourselves. We’re being real. We’re being authentic. We couldn’t care less what the next man thinks. We’re going about our business the right way.”

This dynamic may have more impact on the White Sox with all the young players on the team.

“We’re just making those younger guys comfortable now,” Anderson said. “Allowing them to be themselves because like I said, when you’re yourself, that’s when I’m going to get the best you. You’re going to go out and play hard and be excited and do whatever it takes to make that play. But when you’re not being yourself, then obviously who knows what could happen. You could be nervous or whatever, scared of what the next guy thinks.

"Do you. Whatever you do, do you because that’s how we’re going to get the best you.”

Anderson also closed with a classic complaint about the unwritten rules of baseball.

“The thing I would change are them weak ass unwritten rules,” he said. “They need to let us know what the rules is. Can we have fun? Are we going to let the kids play or what?”

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