Josh Donaldson has had better days.
The American League reigning MVP left Wednesday’s game against the Yankees after his at-bat in the sixth inning after jamming his right thumb on a fielder’s choice, but the real frustration came from an altercation with manager John Gibbons in the third inning.
Both parties had different things to say about the context of the argument, however, after the Blue Jays’ 7-4 win.
The Blue Jays led 3-1 when Donaldson led off the top of the third with a swinging strikeout. He also struck out in his first at-bat.
Clearly upset at himself, Donaldson threw his bat when walking back into the visiting dugout, right in front of Gibbons, who then stepped in.
“I told him after that first at-bat, ‘Get a new bat, that one ain’t working,’ ” Gibbons said. “He took that same one up there the second time. When that didn’t work, he chose to break it. So I went up to him, I told him, ‘You should’ve listened to me.’ That was basically it.”
OK, sure. Sounds reasonable. But Donaldson had a much different take.
“I was just coming back to the dugout and hit my bat against the thing and Gibby asked me what kind of cologne I was wearing,” Donaldson said with a sly grin. “I said, ‘It’s this new cologne called Tom Ford; I just got it.’ So he got pretty close to me, and I guess got a good whiff of it, and I was like, ‘Hey man, back up.’ So I was like, ‘I’ll give you some after the game.’ So then we separated.”
The separation came when Troy Tulowitzki stepped between them.
“Yeah, I think he liked it, too,” Donaldson said of Tulowitzki’s opinions on his new fragrance.
Both Toronto and Donaldson are in the midst of successful seasons. The Blue Jays have taken over first place in the AL East with a 69-52 record and appear poised for another run at the playoffs.
Donaldson has followed his MVP campaign from 2015 with similarly impressive numbers this season. After his 0-for-4 Wednesday, Donaldson owns a slash line of .289/.399/.556 with 28 home runs, 80 RBIs and 96 runs scored.
Couple that with Gold Glove caliber defense at third base, and his name should be in the discussion for AL MVP once again.
There didn’t appear to be tension after the game between Gibbons and Donaldson. Both were able to make light of the situation, one that will more than likely be categorized as a result of in-game emotions.
Cameras did catch Gibbons slapping Donaldson a low-five after the superstar scored a run in the fifth inning.
Maybe Donaldson agreed to give Gibbons a spritz of that cologne a little sooner, putting any ill will behind them.