Professional sports are the modern-day Roman Colosseum. Athletes assemble on a field or court inside a stadium or arena, and fans buy tickets and sit in their seats. There are, uh, varying levels of fan involvement that meet different levels of response from fellow fans — or, in the case of the Thursday night MLB game between the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics, response from the players.
In a 2-1 loss at the Athletics' home opener March 30, Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon didn't take too kindly to some particular "fan involvement."
As you can see in the clip below, Rendon — who finished the game 0-for-3 with a walk — grabs an Athletics fan by his shirt, is pulling him toward him and says, "What did you say? Yeah, you called me a b****, huh?"
It's difficult to determine what the fan says, but Rendon follows up with, "Yeah, you did. Yeah, mother******." He then lets go of the fan, swipes at him and says, "Get your b**** a** outta here."
Anthony Rendon Grabs A's Fan By the Shirt
Anthony Rendon was on the verge of fighting a fan pic.twitter.com/6AYPvKjn4g
— Talkin? Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) March 31, 2023
Interestingly, as you'll also see in the clip — which now has north of 11 million views — this occurred right near Angels star players Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, and a few security people.
Well, as you see from this story's headline, it's clear that some of those 11 million views came from Major League Baseball and, more specifically, from the office of Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Rendon Was Suspended By MLB
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As expected, Major League Baseball has suspended Rendon. The suspension was for five games and also included an "undisclosed fine." The statement, as seen below, also stated that Rendon's suspension would begin April 4 unless he appealed it.
Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon has been suspended five games and fined an undisclosed amount, MLB announced. pic.twitter.com/gUQYL1iZn2
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) April 3, 2023
Rendon originally was set on appealing the suspension, but decided to drop it after MLB reduced his suspension to four games. Rendon also spoke on the phone with the fan Monday. Both of them apologized to each other.
"It sucks. My emotions got the best of me. I'm usually pretty good about interacting with fans. Always like to chirp back at them, kind of have fun with it," Rendon said in his first comments about the incident, via the Associated Press.
Rendon's Tenure With The Angels Has Been Rough
Since signing a seven-year, $245 million deal with the Angels in 2020, Rendon has struggled to see the field. As Danny Vietti of CBS Sports points out, Rendon has now been suspended twice while with the Angels for a total of 10 games, has missed 228 games and has played in 159.
Anthony Rendon?s tenure with the Los Angeles Angels
Games played: 159
Games suspended: 10
Games missed: 228
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) April 3, 2023
In those 159 games, Rendon has posted a line of .249/.356/.415 and has just 20 home runs and 90 RBIs. This four-year total of home runs and RBIs is almost equivalent to his 2016 campaign, where he finished with 20 home runs and 85 RBIs. His best season with the Angels came in the shortened 2020 season, where he finished 10th in MVP voting, hit .286/.418/.497, and had nine home runs and 31 RBIs across 232 plate appearances.
Even worse for the Angels, Rendon is making more money this year than both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Considering their highest-paid player is getting into scuffles with fans and can barely stay on the field, it's no wonder the Angels haven't posted a record over .500 since 2015.