Over the years, Josh Donaldson has built the reputation of being a chippy guy both on the field and in the clubhouse.
He has always played with an edge, and that’s arguably his biggest strength. Although, now that he’s getting older, that edge is not taking him nearly as far as it used to.
After a failed stint with the New York Yankees, Donaldson joined the Milwaukee Brewers in hopes of helping them make a run at the World Series.
It seems like Donaldson’ infamous attitude made the trip to Milwaukee with him.
Brewers first baseman Rowdy Tellez, who had previously played alongside Donaldson on the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018, recently shared what his reunion encounter with Donaldson was like.
“He came in the clubhouse and walked straight by, and I was like, ‘Hey,’ – along with a couple of other words after that – ‘when you walk in the clubhouse, you introduce yourself to your new teammates.’ And he goes, ‘Everybody knows who I am,'” Tellez said on Foul Territory.
Tellez continued: “And then, I was like, ‘Yeah, hey, and when you see a former teammate, you say what’s up.’ And he was like, ‘Hey, are you on the seafood diet?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, good one … See food, eat food. Beat you to it. F*ck off.'”
How’s that for a reunion between two “friends”???
Donaldson’s arrival and interactions like these are emblematic of his polarizing reputation as a teammate. Some embrace his unique personality, while others find it challenging to mesh with.
This reputation has led Donaldson to play for six different teams since 2018, despite winning the AL MVP not too long ago.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan, commenting on Donaldson’s previous trade to the Yankees, said: “I think the Donaldson trade was bad from the start because the Yankees knew just how poorly he was getting along with people in Minnesota. There was some toxicity going on there. I don’t think you can look at the Donaldson trade in any positive way.”
Donaldson’s time with the Yankees was an enormous disappointment, ultimately resulting in his release. Over two years in the Bronx, he batted .207 with 25 home runs, 77 RBI’s and a .678 OPS in 165 games.
For what it’s worth, Tellez was complimentary of Donaldson’s instant impact in Milwaukee.
“He is playing good baseball for us, he really is … He’s having big at-bats, good at-bats, he’s great in the clubhouse for everybody,” he said.
“Everybody knows JD can be a little over the top. He’s been a good spark plug and helping us out as young players too. Keeping guys ready. He’s a pro, he’s been doing it a long time, he’s an MVP.”
“You watch what he does, and he’s been nothing like what you expected and what I’ve seen from the young JD.”
With a record of 89-69, the Brewers have already clinched the NL Central and hope to make a deep postseason run when the playoffs begin next week.
What are your thoughts on Donaldson?
Do you think the Brewers are legitimate World Series contenders?