Frustrations boiled over in the top of the ninth inning of the White Sox Monday afternoon tilt against the Detroit Tigers, and Jose Abreu was at the center of it.



After surrendering five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning the White Sox saw their six-run lead shrink to one. While trying to scratch across an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning, Jose Abreu was drilled in the elbow with a pitch from Tigers reliever Alex Lange.

The White Sox bench took exception to this. Bench coach Miguel as Cairo got ejected while Tony La Russa came out to have a long talk with the umpires. After a wild pitch, Abreu tried to take second base but was tagged out, but not before barreling in with a hard slide that Niko Goodrum had to sidestep. When Goodrum exchanged words with Abreu, frustrations boiled over.

The usually mild-mannered Abreu had to be restrained by the umpire and his teammates as he screamed at Goodrum. Both benches cleared as Abreu was dragged away from the scrum.

While the pitch looked accidental this has been an ongoing problem all season. The White Sox have been hit by more pitches than any team in baseball. It isn’t particularly close either, the White Sox have been hit 26 more times than they have hit anyone. Abreu has been the main victim of all these beam balls. Abreu has gotten hit 21 times this year. That is the fifth most in the MLB. The last time he was hit by a Tigers pitcher was on September 29th, 2019 when Spencer Turnball hit him twice.

Jose Abreu is a great hitter. Pitchers need to pitch him inside otherwise he will own the outside portion of the plate. If you don’t throw inside against Abreu you have no shot against him. However, it is frustrating when your best player is consistently being hit and the umpires do nothing to protect him.

It seems like Abreu said “enough is enough” and finally retaliated today with a hard slide into second base. Goodrum is fortunate that the umpires restrained Abreu because he had the look in his eye like he wanted to do damage.

Tony La Russa expressed his frustrations a couple of weeks ago when Mike Wright Jr got ejected for hitting Shohei Ohtani.

“Abreu gets hit for the 19th time and nobody pays attention to that. There’s an unfairness there that upsets me.”

The White Sox held on to win the game 8-7 after Liam Hendriks nailed down the save.

Tony La Russa was asked about Abreu’s hard slide and the Hall of Fame skipper responded by saying:

“It seems they have issues when somebody plays aggressively, but not when they pitch aggressively and beyond the limits. The game is played two ways, not just one way.”

It’s good to see that Abreu’s manager and teammates were so quick to have his back. With the victory, the White Sox improved to 89-68 and trail the Astros in the standing by 2.5 games for home-field advantage.

Mitchell studies sports communications at Bradley University and works for Braves Vision, an organization that works alongside ESPN broadcasting games and covering Bradley sports. Creator of Dorm Room Dispute podcast.