MILWAUKEE — It was a new day for Tim Anderson.
The Chicago White Sox shortstop has gained a well earned reputation around the organization as a guy who comes to play every day, always with the same winning have-fun attitude and an energizing smile on his face. So it was no surprise to see him laughing and joking with his teammates in the visitors dugout at American Family Field.
Even if the last time he was in that dugout, he was being dragged out of it.
Anderson, like his manager before him, had had enough of home-plate John Libka's strike zone in the late innings of the White Sox 7-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night. And he let Libka know about it, enough that he was ejected. That sent him into a continuous stream of screaming in the dugout. He continued railing against Libka in emotional fashion, White Sox coach Shelley Duncan wrapping his arms around the All-Star shortstop and escorting him to the clubhouse.
"It was a frustrating night," Anderson said Saturday. "I feel like he made some bad calls on certain pitches. I had to let him know."
Tony La Russa had been ejected an inning earlier, run after he complained about pitches called balls while White Sox relievers walked a combined four batters in a nightmare seventh inning. Anderson let his emotions, to borrow La Russa's terminology, "flare up" after a low pitch to Yoán Moncada was called a strike in the top of the eighth.
By then, what was a 1-0 game through six and a half innings had unraveled into lopsided Brewers lead, and the White Sox were in a huge hole with just a few outs remaining.
They'd had enough.
"That was a good game. It was 1-0 for a while, both sides competing," Anderson said. "We wanted to win it, we wanted to win it bad. So of course emotions are going to (be high) and we're going to get frustrated at certain pitches at certain parts of the game.
"We competed from Pitch 1 all the way to the end. You hate to get screwed. We work, man. We have to hold those guys accountable, as well. We expect them to work as hard as us. We're out here, we're all in the big leagues. It says a lot about us. We all have to work to get better. Got to hold them accountable as well and let them know how we feel."
La Russa made sure to emphasize Friday night that the calls made by Libka were not the reason the White Sox lost the game, and the meager offensive output — one run on five hits — made it easy to agree with him.
But the South Side skipper also pointed out how the emotional outbursts by him and Anderson showed the team's passionate pursuit of victory.
Talking Saturday, Anderson showed off a couple more White Sox attributes that have been definitive in the team's journey to the top of the division standings and contender status: their shortstop playing with personality and a team-wide commitment to focusing on nothing more than the day at hand.
"I always speak what I feel. I always say what I need to say, when I want to say it and not let anybody control how I need to speak," Anderson said. "That's my teammates. Those are my brothers, so of course I'm going to back them up for sure.
"Today's a new day. Yesterday was yesterday, and today is a new day. You have to learn how to separate them. You can't let it drag. New attitude, and you have to kind of forget it, not really worry about it."