OAKLAND — A day after video of Anthony Rendon engaging in an altercation with a fan circulated on social media, the Angels circled the wagons and said little, citing the ongoing Major League Baseball investigation.
The Angels’ third baseman stood in front of dozens of reporters on the field Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum and declined to answer any questions about the incident.
“I’m sorry I can’t comment,” Rendon said in response to several different versions of questions about what happened between him and a fan after Thursday’s season-opening loss.
Wow! Uncool! pic.twitter.com/FNRFWL46A0
— PetrosAndMoneyShow (@PetrosAndMoney) March 31, 2023
Video showed Rendon reaching up to grab the shirt of a fan wearing A’s apparel. He then called the fan a “mother——“ and swiped toward his head with his left hand. Rendon seemed to be responding to verbal abuse the fan had directed at him.
A second video surfaced Saturday that showed Rendon waved the fan over to the railing before the incident.
Here’s a new video, by the way.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) April 1, 2023
Major League Baseball is investigating, a league spokesperson said Friday.
If Rendon is suspended, it would be his second suspension in less than a year. He was suspended for five games for his part in a brawl between the Angels and Mariners in June. Rendon, who was on the injured list after undergoing wrist surgery, was on the field taking swings with his arm in a cast.
Rendon was able to rehab his injury quickly enough to serve that suspension at the end of last season, so he could be available for Opening Day this year.
Rendon also may be the subject of an Oakland Police Department investigation. The OPD released a statement Friday indicating it was an investigating an incident at the address of the stadium.
“The Oakland Police Department (OPD) is investigating a battery that occurred on March 30, 2023, following an event in the 7000 block of Joe Morgan Way. At this time, no victim has contacted OPD, however, surveillance video of the incident has surfaced. As a result, OPD created an incident, made a report, and is actively investigating.”
Citing the ongoing investigations, Angels general manager Perry Minasian and manager Phil Nevin declined to say much about the incident.
“Obviously it’s in MLB’s hands right now,” Minasian said. “At this point, I can’t talk about it. But at some point, I will.”
Nevin and Minasian led a team meeting in the clubhouse before Saturday’s game, which was the Angels’ first game since the incident came to light Friday.
“We talked briefly,” Nevin said. “As always, we have those intimate moments between myself and the players. They stay in there. We talked a little bit.”
Asked if the incident could become a distraction for his team, Nevin said: “For the moment, maybe because a lot of media is here, but I don’t think so. I’ve said all along that we’ve got a great group in there. The one thing that I was most proud of last year and then continuing through the spring was the way this team bonded and jelled together. They’re all going to stand together now. It was evident when we met earlier.”
Rendon was in the lineup for Saturday’s game. A’s fans booed him each time he came to plate. Rendon ended up playing five innings, and coming to bat four times, with a sacrifice fly. He banged his left knee against the tarp chasing a foul ball and came out of the lopsided game as a precaution.
“He hit it pretty hard,” Nevin said. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
Nevin said David Fletcher would get his first start of the young season Sunday, although he hadn’t decided which position Fletcher would play. “I want to get him some at-bats and get him in the flow,” Nevin said before the game. “It’s hard for guys to come off the bench and ask a lot of them, both offensively and defensively if they’ve not played. I don’t want to go this long without a guy playing.” Fletcher ended up playing the final few innings of Saturday’s game at shortstop. …
Gio Urshela put on a show with a couple spectacular plays at shortstop and after he moved over to third to finish the game. “Same thing I’ve seen for years,” said Nevin, who was with Urshela with the New York Yankees. “He’s unbelievable. The ball sticks in his glove. He’s not the most rangy guy, but if the ball hits his glove, it’s an out.” Urshela also had three hits a walk after picking up two hits on Opening Day…
Before Saturday, the last time the Angels scored 11 runs in an inning was July 2, 2016, at Boston.
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